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I am a lurker on an iris list.  I am sending a message copied from it.  What 
are your thoughts?  I have never used this product nor have I researched the 
use of.  The writer seems to be a very knowledgeable member of this list.

Generally systemic insecticides are considered to be reasonably safe to 
pollinators since they don't get excessive exposure via the pollen or 
nectar, but Merit may be a bit different. The active ingredient 
(imidacloprid) has two actions. One, at higher doses, is lethal to insects. 
At lower doses it can affect behavior without directly killing the insect, 
such as stopping aphids from feeding. It is the behavioral effects that are 
of concern regarding bees since it is claimed that imidacloprid can disrupt 
foraging activities.-- in fact some of it's uses were banned in France 
because of complaints from beekeepers. Bayer (who make it) deny these 
claims based on what seems like good research, and there haven't been many 
complaints about its impact on bees in the US as far as I know. This is all 
complicated by the fact that bee populations in the US have been decimated 
by Varroa mites, and if colonies do decline, it could well be mites that 
are causing it. So, as usual, the situation is murky, and it depends who 
you believe. There are some interesting websites on this if anyone is 
interested in digging deeper. I have a couple of research projects at the 
moment on this compound and its effects on insects, so the area is of some 
interest to me and all of this may be more than you wanted to know!. Bob 

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