Is Nicotiana safe for pollinators?
Everyone seems to be asking the question on line because of the danger of neonicotinoids but no one seems to have the answer.
Also – I have recently heard that many annuals are treated with neonicotinoids. How can you know if the plants you are buying are safe?
Your question regarding neonicotinoids is certainly pertinent to our widespread concern for pollinators.
I found the University of Washington Botanic Gardens Gardening Answers Knowledgebase presents a balanced look at current research with many links which you may wish to explore to gain further insights. http://depts.washington.edu/hortlib/resources/resource_search.php?term=1595
They ‘doubt whether the pollen or nectar of the ornamental plant Nicotiana has the same properties as a formulated systemic pesticide which contains a synthetic form of nicotine. . . .’ There is much more scientific material provided in links.
Nicotiana has been used for centuries as a pesticide and is toxic if ingested, therefore, it is advisable to keep it out of reach of small children.
To answer the second part of your question, you have to rely on the honesty of the seller, if s/he knows whether or not the producer has used the chemical.
I hope that this answers your questions and we applaud you for your ecological concerns.