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5 Things You Can Do to Help Bees this Pollinator Week

on Wed, 06/17/2015 - 23:51

June is full of meaningful occasions, like graduations and Father’s Day, but it also marks National Pollinator Week. It’s a time to bring awareness to the vital role bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators play in creating a diverse, bountiful food system. In fact, honey bees pollinate one out of every three bites of food we eat — and they’re in serious trouble. This Pollinator Week, will you join in the fight to safeguard our valuable pollinators? Here are five simple ways you can get involved:

1- Know the issue

With so much conflicting information available online, it’s important to

EPA, bees need more

on Mon, 06/15/2015 - 17:59

Last month, on the heels of the rollout of the White House’s plan to protect honey bees and other pollinators, EPA announced its own piece of the plan: a new rule that would limit the use of some bee-harming pesticides when honey bee colonies are contracted for pollination.

EPA’s new rule has made headlines. After years of pressure from PAN and our partners for federal decisionmakers to take the bee crisis seriously, it’s good to see EPA acknowledge the pesticide problem. But EPA’s proposed new rule is remarkably short on meaningful action.

As part of EPA’s proposed new rule, the agency

Swing & a miss on bee-harming pesticides

on Mon, 06/15/2015 - 17:56

Once again, it looks like federal decisionmakers are sidestepping the issue of bee-harming pesticides. The Pollinator Health Task Force, launched almost a year ago by President Obama, released its strategy for addressing pollinator declines last week — without tackling the pesticide problem.

While the plan sets an ambitious goal for reining in honey bee losses, and calls for state plans to increase habitat for pollinators, it fails to directly address the impact of neonicotinoids and other insecticides, despite crystal clear science that these chemicals are impacting pollinators. 

The

Newest news on bee-harming neonics

on Mon, 05/04/2015 - 20:47

Guess what? Two more studies have confirmed that neonicotinoid insecticides (aka "neonics") are bad for bees. One study documented neonics' impacts on wild bees, which hasn't been looked at much to date. The second found that bees show a preference for neonic-laced food.

A third report from the European Academies Science Advisory Council underscores the importance of the ecosystem service provided by pollinators. The scientific case for taking action to protect bees and other pollinators from neonics just keeps getting stronger.

Neonics are systemic insecticides, meaning they get taken up by

Minnesota bees poised for relief from neonics

on Mon, 05/04/2015 - 20:42

A few months into the Minnesota legislative session, things are starting to get exciting. In the midst of the flurry of hearings, amendments and hallway conversations that make Minnesota politics happen, there’s cause for celebration for bees at the Capitol.

This week, three members of the Minnesota House of Representatives introduced a bill that would suspend the use of neonicotinoids and fipronil — systemic insecticides that are among the driving factors behind bee declines.

As I’ve written before, Minnesota has been stepping up to protect bees. Our state’s Department of Agriculture is

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