Bee-safe (or pollinator-safe) plants are free from pesticides harmful to bees and other pollinators.
Buy Bee-Safe Plants
Be aware that nurseries—even those producing pollinator plants—may have treated their plants with pesticides. Growers are very sensitive to consumer intolerance for plant damage, and sometimes states mandate pesticide applications to prevent the spread of certain pests. Toxic levels of insecticides and high levels of fungicides have been detected in nursery plants repeatedly. Unfortunately, bees and butterflies may encounter risks from the commonplace use of pesticides during plant production, which can leave residues on or in plants.
Choose to find, buy, and grow pollinator-safe plants to create a welcoming home for pollinators.
Talk to Your Nursery
To determine if plants for sale are pollinator-safe, talk to your nursery, garden center, or plant vendor. Let them know you want plants free of harmful pesticide contamination. Nurseries are more likely to make investments in pollinator-friendly production if their customers make it clear this is what they want. By respectfully asking the questions outlined here, you will signal that customers are informed and care about the safety of pollinators. We suggest these simple steps:
- Seek out USDA certified organic plants and seeds
- Avoid plants grown with neonicotinoids and similar systemic insecticides
- Ask what steps the nursey takes to offer plants grown with pollinator-friendly pest management practices
- Grow your own plants if you can’t find pollinator-safe plants for sale
Join the Movement
We need your voice to make a difference! The more people who visit, call, or write to their nurseries about harmful pesticide residues, the more pollinator-safe plants we can hope to see for sale. Learn what to ask and join us across the U.S. and Canada in advocating for bee-safe plants. Let’s do this together!
Offer Bee Safe-Plants at Your Store
Three core elements of pollinator-friendly growing include using non-chemical methods to prevent and manage pests, monitoring of pest pressure, and limiting risk to pollinators if pesticides are used. These concepts are rooted in integrated pest management. Whether you are a plant retailer or grower, you can adhere to pollinator-safe practices and sourcing.
- Buying Bee-Safe Plants: a guide for customers
- Buying Bee-Safe Plants webinar
- Offering Bee-Safe Nursery Plants: A Guide for Nurseries
- Buying Bee-Safe Plants postcard
- Pollinator Conservation Resource Center