In April, the Minnesota House Republicans mocked efforts to fund bee habitat in the agriculture bill, seemingly ignorant of the vital role pollinators play in agriculture.
Minnesota Public Radio reports today in Bill would ensure habitat preservation for bees, pollinators:
A conference committee has approved a plan to improve habitat for bees and other pollinators.
Pollinators around the country are suffering from a complex set of problems that is causing their numbers to plummet. This could hurt agriculture, which relies on insects to pollinate crops.
Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin, sponsored a bill that requires the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture to ensure they keep pollinators in mind as they are restoring habitat.
One way to help is by choosing plants to ensure there is always something blooming.
"We have bees that have colony collapse. We have bees that are impacted by pesticides. We have just a reduction in the number of pollinators, so this is an attempt to say throughout the state we have the right habitat," Poppe said. . . .
Check out the whole article at MPR.
How big of a problem are bees and other pollinators facing in Minnesota? On Thursday, CBS-Minnesota reported in Minn. Farmer Blames Pesticides For Big Bee Die Off:
As farmers get underway with their spring planting, some bee farmers in Minnesota are already counting their losses.
In the last couple days one major producer reported that thousands of honey bees suddenly died.
In 2005, Minnesota was the sixth largest honey producer in the nation. But since 2006, millions of bee colonies have died off in Minnesota and across the nation. ...
The service that bees and other pollinators provide allows nearly 70 percent of all flowering plants to reproduce; the fruits and seeds from insect pollinated plants account for over 30 percent of the foods and beverages that we consume. Beyond agriculture, pollinators are keystone species in most terrestrial ecosystems. Fruits and seeds derived from insect pollination are a major part of the diet of approximately 25 percent of all birds, and of mammals ranging from red-backed voles to grizzly bears. However, many of our native bee pollinators are at risk, and the status of many more is unknown. Habitat loss, alteration, and fragmentation, pesticide use, and introduced diseases all contribute to declines of bees.
Republicans joked about a "buzzkill" in their tweets about the legislation written by the Austin-based chair of the Ag Policy committee. Apparently, they had no idea about the job-killing consequences of bee loss as they droned on to themselves.
Here's the CBS-MN clip:
Photo: A honeybee helping out an apple grower.
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