Moral dilemma and new rose spray product

The Bee Dilemma

I am facing a moral dilemma.  There is growing evidence that the use of neonicotinoids is a significant contributor to the decline in bee populations.  One of the insectisides in this class, and one that I have used in my battle against japanese beetles, is imidacloprid.  It is sold under the name Merit and also is a major component in several products made by Bayer Cropscience:  Bayer Advanced All-in-One Rose & Flower Care and BAYER ADVANCED  Dual Action Rose & Flower Insect Killer.  In the past, I have used and recommended the All-in-One product but now I am changing my mind.   In fact, earlier this spring, I purchase a new bottle of the All-in-One.  <sigh>

I am going to stop using this class of insecticides on my roses.   I value bees more than hate japanese beetles.

  • My bottle of Merit 75 WP will go to the household hazardous waste drop-off.
  • I will use up my stock of All-in-One but only on roses that are not going to bloom, like OGRs that have already bloomed for the season….hmmm… I guess I should research how long the compound stays in the plant.
  • I am going to read the labels of the products I am buying and look up the active ingredients to determine if any are neonicotinoids

I am  not giving up the use completely.  Imidacloprid is the active ingredient in Advantage flea treatment.  I hate having fleas and I do not see how use on fleas would impact bees.

 New spray product

While browsing in the pesticide aisle at Lowes, I came across Garden Safe Fungicide 3:

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It is based on Neem Oil, which I have tried in the past, with mediocre results…. but it a more organic pesticide solution to both insects and fungus, like the ever present black spot.  What particular attacted me was the packaging.  It attaches to my hose.  Ok, I am getting lazy in my old age.  I never seem to get around to going out, mixing up the stuff in the sprayer, spraying the bushes and then cleaning the sprayer.  In addition, the hose-attached built in applicator give sufficient pressure that I can be sure that the Souvenir de la Malmaison is getting well sprayed.  I have been having a lot of problem with black spot and bloom rot (Looks like botrytis to me) on this rose so I trying this to see how well it works.  Basically the week after the Rose Crown, all the blooms on the bush were rotted.    I have been using about 6 weeks and I think that the black spot has decrease (though not gone complete).  As for the botrytis, I just haven’t had many blooms so I can not tell.   The lack of blooms may be because the weather has gotten hot or maybe I need to feed the bush.  Oh, by the way, I tried this product on some other bushes and I can say that Knockout and Rosa Mundi do NOT like this stuff.  It burned the hell out of the leaves… I thought someone had spilled something on the Knockout.

Ok enough for now.

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