Bee The Change

To our customers: Effective March 1, 2011, Magnolia Gift & Garden will no longer carry Bayer yard care products. Over the past decade, international research has accumulated extensive data to suggest that neonicotinoid pesticides are harmful to honeybees. Many Bayer formulations contain the systemic chemical Imidacloprid, which falls under this pesticide category. While it has primarily been observed to cause functional handicaps in pollinators, such as impaired navigational ability, reduced foraging activity and disorientation, other insecticides in this group have been directly associated with the death of juvenile bees, ultimately leading to deterioration of the colony. Honeybees have a vital role in agricultural production as well as the biodiversity of native ecosystems, and their continued population decline worldwide has inflicted serious economic loss and environmental damage.

While this information has certainly been a factor in our decision to discontinue the Bayer product line, the primary impetus for this change is that there are simply better alternatives. A landscape must be viewed holistically, and like natural ecological systems, the health or decline of each individual component affects the sum of the parts. Since the nursery was founded in 2008, Magnolia has advocated a systematic approach to plant nutrition, pest and disease control with minimal environmental impact known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This philosophy emphasizes preventative measures, including sanitation and a maintenance schedule which maximizes the vigor and immune function of plants while minimizing risks of infection. Biological controls or concentrates of botanical extracts are applied remedially. As a last resort, precise dosages of selective synthetic products may be utilized to bring a severe infestation back under the threshold of natural management; we will still offer some selective herbicides which do not contain neonicotinoids.

We do not view this change as a reduction of services to our customers. Rather, we have progressively expanded our inventory of organic fertilizers, soils, and natural pest and disease control measures to continue to meet the needs of the Northstate community. The products we stock are carefully chosen and tested in-house before they appear on our shelves, and we back that with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. Agroecological research continues to demonstrate the efficacy of IPM. While a holistic approach may not provide the rapid gratification of a chemical application, it pays dividends over the long-term without the environmental costs of synthetics, such as pest resistance, salt buildup and toxic leaching into the surrounding landscape or groundwater. Our knowledgeable staff are always eager to help you work toward comprehensive landscape health through a combination of sound horticultural practices and proper application of naturally-derived products.

Here’s to a healthier planet,

Magnolia Gift & Garden