Dr. Dave Smitley is a professor and researcher at Michigan State University.

He works with the turf grass and nursery industries to deal with emerging pest problems, and the greenhouse industry to grow plants in ways that are safe around pollinators.

In this episode we talk about practical tips as well as national initiatives to protect pollinators in urban landscapes.

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“You want to avoid putting in certain plants that you almost are required to use an insecticide on to keep it healthy.” -Dave Smitley

Show Notes:

  • How Dave began to research the safety of plants at garden centers for pollinators
  • How pollinator health is different in horticultural industries than in agricultural industries
  • How butterfly species are also part of the research into nursery plant health
  • Strategies that people can take around their garden to protect pollinators
  • What the modern threats to bees are
  • Why people end up with pest problems in their gardens
  • The products you can use to get rid of pests that won’t bother bees
  • How the largest plant centers have been pressured to change how they get their plants
  • What to look for when you are buying plants at the garden center
  • How nurseries have developed pollinator friendly plant lines
  • About the GrowWise BeeSmart initiative
  • Why lawn care effects bees as well
  • Some of the most pest-prone plants to keep your eye out for
  • How invasive pests change the game

“We have a lot of education to do for protecting pollinators.” – Dave Smitley

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