A resolution supporting bees buzzed through the Minneapolis City Council last week, with the city’s press release touting it as “significant action in the fight to protect the sharply declining local bee population.” Recognizing the problem and pledging to plant more pollinator forage are good steps, but the month’s news reveals the complexity of getting city government to move in a single direction. The city council’s bee-friendly resolution did not (and cannot) actually ban any specific pesticides, and doesn’t affect the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, or other government bodies, such as the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. Continue reading
Tag Archives: pollinators
An Eden Prairie Boy Scout’s bee houses, pollinator gardens across the Twin Cities, and a bee highway in Norway highlight the urgency of preserving endangered native bees. Recent studies show that climate change, as well as pesticides and habitat loss, threatens native bees. This ongoing bee-pocalypse goes far beyond the colony collapse disorder of commercial honeybee hives that first hit the news a couple of years ago. Wild bees, hundreds of native species from big, furry bumblebees to solitary, ground-nesting andrenid bees, pollinate most of our plants, including food crops. Continue reading
Wild bees may be in even more peril than managed honeybee colonies, and they are essential to food production.
Because bees pollinate or fertilize crops, entomologist Thomas Seeley called them “flying penises” for plants. Bees are essential for our food supply and our ecological health. According to a May 13 USDA report, summer losses of honeybee colonies now exceed winter losses, for first time. Honeybees not the only, and maybe not the biggest problem: wild bees are in even greater peril than managed honeybee colonies. Continue reading
What’s wrong with the agriculture, environment and natural resources bill? It’s hard to know where to begin. Partly, the problem is the bill is too damn big. Along with the budget items, (mostly) Republican legislators threw in a pile of bad laws that they thought they could get through at the last minute. They figured, wrongly as it turned out, that Governor Dayton would focus only on the education bill and would let them get away with murder in environmental rollbacks. They were wrong.
The Republican-deformed agriculture and environment budget bill attacks Minnesota waters, bees, and the MPCA citizen board. And that’s just the beginning of a long list of problems with the bill. Continue reading
Minnesota’s state butterfly, the dazzling orange-and-black Monarch, is a treasure that we share with the world during its multi-generation migration between Minnesota and Mexico. Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service warns that, “Unless we act now to help the Monarch, this amazing animal could disappear in our lifetime.” According to the Washington Post, “what’s happening to monarch butterflies is nothing short of a massacre.” The Center for Biological Diversity is petitioning for endangered species protection for the monarch, citing a 90 percent decline in the population over the past 20 years. Continue reading