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Erin Rupp is the founder and executive director of Pollinate Minnesota, an education and advocacy organization working toward a better Minnesota for pollinators and people. PAN Organizer Willa Childress recently chatted with Erin about the challenges beekeepers face in our current farming system and the exciting pollinator work progressing in the state.What is Pollinate MN? How did you get into...

Yet another scientific study, released today, shows just how deadly our chemical-intensive farming system has become to pollinators and other insects. The findings should concern us all. In short, U.S. farmland is 48 times more toxic to insects than it was 20 years ago. This is a staggering number. When added to the fast-growing evidence showing many insect populations teetering on the...

Last week, it was reported that this past winter saw the highest honey bee colony losses on record. A few days later, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it will be suspending its annual tracking of the honey bee population due to a budget shortfall.Not a good look, USDA.From bad to worseIt’s no secret that bees and other pollinators...

The news over the past few weeks has been riddled with headlines like “Plummeting insect numbers ‘threaten collapse of nature’,” “Monarch butterflies are going extinct,” and “The insect apocalypse is here.” If it sounds bad, that’s because it is.You probably know that bees and other pollinators are in trouble for several reasons — including increased overall pathogen loads, poor nutrition,...

Last month, the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) published results from their annual survey of managed honey bee colony losses in the United States. With the combination of increased overall pathogen load, poor nutrition, habitat loss and pesticide exposure all contributing to bee declines, the results were — unsurprisingly — not comforting.But looking past the numbers for this year’s survey, the...

As the Minnesota legislature adjourned last week, I was left with mixed feelings of disappointment and hope for Minnesota pesticide legislation.Going into this legislative session PAN and our allies knew that we would be playing a tough game of defense. What we didn’t expect? While legislators had a field day attacking clean water, air, and pipeline protections, we witnessed some...