Bees are still dying off at alarming rates, but Minnesota is taking bold steps to protect these and other vital pollinators. This includes two new bills making their way through the state legislature to address the problem of bee-harming pesticides head on.
Speak up today! Urge your elected officials to support pollinators — and farmers — across the state.
The first piece of legislation to create a “pollinator account” (included in HF 895/SF 780) would fund research and farmer-focused outreach and education — and make it easier for farmers to eliminate unnecessary uses of bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides while managing pests.
The second piece of legislation (originally included in HF 1717/SF 1674) would create a “treated seed program.” Pesticide seed coatings are the most common use of neonics, particularly on common crops like soy and corn. But thanks to a loophole in federal and state policy, seed coatings aren’t technically counted as a “pesticide application.”
With a treated seed program, state legislators could have a chance to close the seed-coating loophole to support pollinators, farmers and beekeepers. Unfortunately, legislators have eliminated this language from the omnibus bill — but it still has a fighting chance as session continues.
These bills are headed to hearings very soon. Legislators need to hear from you today!
Not only do bees pollinate one in three bites of our food in the U.S., but they are critical to Minnesota’s agricultural economy. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bees contribute over $30 million to Minnesota’s agricultural economy by pollinating key crops and producing honey.
Why are pollinator populations continuing to decline? Scientists agree that habitat loss, poor nutrition, and disease all play a role in this troubling trend — and widespread use of bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides is a key part of the problem.
Tell your state legislators to address the pesticide problem to support pollinators, farmers and the state economy. Urge them to pass bee-protective bills!