Last Friday, the Minnesota legislature wrapped up its 2014 bonding session with the passage of two important pieces of legislation to protect bees from pesticides.
A truth-in-advertising bill introduces the language of “pollinator lethal insecticide” into Minnesota statutes. It bars nurseries from labeling plants pretreated with these pesticides from being labeled as “bee-friendly.”
A beekeeper compensation law – part of an omnibus finance bill – creates an emergency response team to respond to colony losses that are suspected to be pesticide-related, and compensate beekeepers if pesticides are implicated in the bee kill.
Both bills are currently awaiting Governor Mark Dayton’s signature.
Lex Horan, Midwest organizer at Pesticide Action Network, issued the following statement:
“Our legislators should be commended for acting quickly to incorporate last summer’s findings on neonic-treated nursery plants into Minnesota law. And with annual losses to beekeepers still at unsustainable levels, the beekeeper compensation bill is an important stopgap measure that takes some of the sting out of acute pesticide kills.
Neonicotinoids are a driving factor in declining bee populations, and this session, Minnesota legislators took the scientific evidence to heart. For Minnesota beekeepers, gardeners and farmers who rely on pollinators for their crops, these bills are the beginning of the policy change we’ve been working for. We hope that Governor Dayton will move quickly to sign these bills into law, making Minnesota a national leader in protecting bees from pesticides.”