seed suppliers and bees and slugs

Max Withers
Sat, 18 Sep 2010 20:42:11 PDT
I heartily second Michael's lament about seed collectors -- and his
gratitude to the Saunderses. I dearly hope someone steps into these vacuums.
(Particularly Mexico and Crete, if I have to be specific).

I also second what I imagine are everyone's concerns about honeybees. For
what it's worth, the wikipedia page on imidacloprid indicates that none of
the studies done since the ban in France have found a meaningful effect on
honeybees, but I would take that with a grain of salt.

The UC Davis IPM site, which I strongly recommend to all gardeners (although
it could be better indexed), has a useful table of pesticides that includes
relative bee hazards:

That same site also says that iron phosphate baits like Sluggo are "safe for
use around" domestic animals and birds (as well is children, which is my
most immediate concern at the moment). All I know is that I drastically
reduced my Sluggo use after Kathleen described what happened to her chickens
a few years ago, then was forced to increase it after several losses -- and
lack of commitment to handpicking that I will blame on aforementioned
children rather than my own laziness. I observed no ill affects among the
towhees that frequent my yard (who cycle rather too thoroughly through the
top layers of my soil, undoubtedly ingesting some iron phosphate along with
the Calochortus seeds). This was by no means a scientific observation. But
although I use it more now, I still sprinkle rather than blanket.


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