Is any general insecticide actually bee safe? I've seen acephate in the stores since imidacloprid is going to be banned in MA this year, but it also hurts bees. Maybe you can time your treatments for after your trees flower so the bees would have no interest in them at that point.
Often we concern ourselves over generalities, perhaps the actual degree of harm outweighs the benefits on occasion.That seems to be the general advice. I THINK that malathion when applied via foliar application washes off quickly enough that it's not as major of a concern as having a plant that is essentially made entirely of poison, on the inside.
It's possible that there's no way around it if you want to ensure you keep the borers away...
I'd be curious if folks disagree that post-flowering is "safe enough", I'd really like to not Silent Spring my back yard. The water runoff from the pots doesn't really go anywhere all that important, habitat-wise.
Often we concern ourselves over generalities, perhaps the actual degree of harm outweighs the benefits on occasion.
Indiscriminate use of pesticides is far different in scope from informed use and specific application with safeguards in place.
Sometimes the view is clearer when the lens is focussed! Not wishing to be obtuse, just the opposite actually!
Short answer, I think it is the best choice when used appropriately!
I use them in two circumstances, boring insects and very difficult fungal issues!I think that makes sense to me - tbh my biggest concern is borers that get busy before I notice. I can't think of much else I'd be as interested in using systemics for, and truth be told, I've yet to find one - so perhaps the answer is to not use any at all, until I'm shown why I shouldn't do that!
What kind of plants are you treating?
Bees stay away from my conifers and wasps only dive in when there's a raging aphid issue.
I have bee baths all around the yard and it's only wasps that drink from my bonsai soils. Fuck wasps.
I use plastic boxes to treat my plants in and keep nasties inside that box. But I only treat plants if I see they're having issues that seem detrimental to their long term health.
Even when we practice discretion, bonsai people will never win the organic seal of approval.
And secretion is all we have.
What are you trying to systemically accomplish? Is there a specific pest problem?
Hmm I'm not familiar with any borers that pose an issue to flowering plants over here. Either because I have very few of those, or because those kind of borers aren't around.
I wish I could help, but I only know that beetles respond to different chemicals than bees do. So it might be worth your time to see if there's something out there that doesn't hurt bees.
If you know the exact type of borer, I can try to help find something.
I use imidicloprid on my trees each year but only on species that do not bloom. One good application each spring is all the trees need so it is easy to control where the flow through ends up. I keep them away from any flowering plants during the application process.
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