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Protecting the Bee Community

Swingle leads the charge

Swingle is taking a stance on pollinator protection – educating our customers on how our applications have changed in order to protect the bee population in Colorado. Protecting honeybees takes effort beyond the green industry. There is an opportunity for homeowners, gardeners, and many others to do their part. Making a difference in the environment and helping honeybees can start by installing plants pollinators love.

Plants such as salvia, aster, sunflowers, lavender, and oregano are great food sources for pollinators, especially in Colorado. Another option for people to get involved is through beekeeping. Beekeeping classes are offered across the nation providing information about beekeeping in backyards, honeybee biology, and harvesting honey.

Swingle partners with the Denver Botanic Gardens and Hudson Gardens both offering beekeeping courses. Rocky Mountain Bee also offers classes, in addition to relocation services and swarm collection.

Throughout the state of Colorado, certain cities allow beekeeping in backyards such as Denver, Boulder, and Aurora. Check with your local municipality before considering beekeeping.

Committed to Pollinator Safety

Protecting the bee community is critical to our ecosystem and food supply. Swingle believes it’s important to take precautions to look out for our honey-making friends while performing services for our customers. “As a leader in the green industry, we have a responsibility to promote awareness of this important ecological issue and take measures to ensure we do our part.” – John Gibson, Swingle President

Our commitment includes:

  • Retraining technicians. Because of the labeling changes, technicians needed to be re-educated and updated on new regulations.
  • Beyond label training, which specifically mentions bees, continued training on other pesticides was provided for proper application methods.
  • Swingle technicians have always been trained to be aware of areas where bees are present before spraying. If a customer or nearby yard accommodates beehives they need to understand what to look for.

Treatment for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Depending on the size of your ash tree, Swingle may recommend a soil or trunk injection to treat against emerald ash borer (EAB). However, if the base of your tree has flowering plants near its root system, which are often visited by bees and other pollinators, Swingle will NOT perform a soil injection. The product for a soil injection is directly injected into the ground near the roots of the tree, and may compromise the toxicity of flowering, pollinator-friendly plants. A trunk injection will then be utilized as we continue our environmental efforts to protect the pollinators of Colorado.

  • Swingle provides customers with options to relocate hives with local beekeepers, when possible.
  • The company will not spray insecticides on any plant, shrub, or tree when in flower. Swingle redesigned treatment programs and timing to allow for this.
  • Swingle will not inject pesticides into root systems of flowering annuals, perennials in flower, shrubs, or edibles.
  • Where possible, the company will apply pesticides through soil or trunk application pesticides rather than a topical spray to prevent drift to pollinator plants.

Additional resources:

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Pollinator Pathway at Denver Zoo

On Saturday, June 25th, 2016, Swingle and the Denver Zoo opened the Pollinator Pathway – supporting the pairs ongoing efforts for education and sustainability across Colorado. The Pollinator Pathway was recognized as the 200,000th certified Backyard Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) during the ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday.

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