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Way to bee, Minnesota!

on Tue, 09/20/2016 - 16:52

Recently, a small crowd gathered in the agriculture building at the Minnesota State Fair. Beekeepers, entomologists, reporters, farmers and pollinator advocates circled around a small podium, waiting for Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson and Governor Mark Dayton to speak. The crowd wasn't disappointed. In a short press conference, Frederickson and Gov. Dayton announced new rules to restrict the use of bee-harming pesticides — and make the state a national leader in protecting pollinators. 

The science is clear

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has been conducting a

Wins for bees in the Golden State

on Tue, 07/05/2016 - 19:33

Earlier this month, dozens of pesticide and industrial agriculture lobbyists filled the halls of California’s Capitol as they worked to defeat the Pollinator Protection Act (SB 1282) on the Senate floor. If passed, this bill that would have created new protections for bees from harmful pesticides, along with ensuring that seeds and plants pre-treated with neonicotinoid pesticides be labeled as such. But unfortunately, pesticide industry interests prevailed — a deeply disappointing turn of event for those of us working to protect bees.

But thanks to the hard work of a state senator and many

Bayer: Keep the Hives Alive!

on Tue, 07/05/2016 - 19:31

Outside Bayer’s North Carolina headquarters this week, a beekeeper stood with 2.5 million dead bees — a symbol for the number of kills U.S. beekeepers face across the country annually — thanks in part to the bee-harming pesticides that Bayer and others manufacture.

This was one stop on the beekeeper-led Keep the Hives Alive Tour, which made its way across the country during National Pollinator Week. The tour's aim is to build momentum for state and national action to protect bees and support farmers and beekeepers at each stop, in each region.

The tour is also part of the effort to reclaim

Have you heard the latest bee buzz?

on Tue, 05/03/2016 - 16:21

Yesterday, the "Pollinator Protection Act" took a big step forward in the California legislature, moving closer to becoming state law. This is just one of many positive developments for bees in recent weeks. As public momentum to protect vital pollinators continues to build, cities, states and businesses are getting in gear — even as federal policymakers continue to come up short. 

States stepping up

In the face of strong opposition from the citrus industry lobby, the Pollinator Protection Act (SB 1282, Leno-Allen) passed out of the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee on

EPA: Finally connecting the dots?

on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 23:55

More than 20 years after neonicotinoid pesticides hit the market, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its first assessment of the impacts on honey bees. Looking at one neonic in isolation — Bayer's imidacloprid — the agency acknowledges some harm to bees. But it's still missing the big picture.

EPA's assessment concludes that "imidacloprid potentially poses risk to hives when the pesticide comes in contact with certain crops that attract pollinators." The agency points specifically to citrus and cotton, where pesticide residues above EPA's acceptable level were