Witness today's editorial in the Mankato Free Press. The board notes in Pesticides threaten bee pollinating:
Why it matters: Protecting bees is necessary to ensure an adequate supply of food can be produced economically. . . .
Minnesota has taken a stand for the bees with two new laws. One prohibits labeling plants as beneficial to pollinators if the plants have been treated with a detectable level of pesticide. And another law creates a scientific panel to investigate bee deaths and compensate beekeepers whose hives are destroyed by pesticide use.
The law provide adequate protection for farmers or others who apply pesticide. Pesticide applicators only have to pay financial damages to beekeepers if it is determined they improperly applied the pesticide. If it is determined pesticide killed bees but was applied properly, a fund set up by the state would compensate beekeepers up to $20,000 each.
Those applying pesticides — be it farmers or homeowners — have a responsibility to use them correctly and without affecting neighboring property. Pesticides are best applied very early in the morning, or better yet very late in the day as bees are not foraging at the time. And if gardeners choose to use pesticides, they should resist using them when flowers are in bloom.
The alarming collapse of pollinators is not simply a problem for beekeepers or those who love honey. About one third of the food we all eat is dependent on pollinators. That’s why the search for improved pesticides and other measures to protect bees is so important.
Read the rest of the editorial, which leads with President Obama's pollinator initiatives, at the Free Press. For more on that, check out Do bees freak you out? Well, President Obama wants to keep them around at the Fix in the Washington Post.
We've been enjoying the abundance of pollinators at our large garden we share at some friends' farm--and the bees' help with pollinating our plants. Having left milkweed for the monarch butterflies. we admire their caterpillars simply for their lovely striped selves.
Photo: A beekeeping demonstration in Fillmore County, June 2014. Via Representative Rick Hansen's Facebook page.
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