Readers know Bluestem has a bee in our bonnet about the House Republican Caucus using new legislation and funding for pollinator habitat as an example of "waste," when bees and other pollinators are an important part of the ag economy, as well as a key link in food production.
Today's Fergus Falls Daily Journal reports in Bee loss a growing concern for Otter Tail County apiaries:
Many believe the insecticide’s spread to other plants has caused a recent increase in bee deaths. The European Union passed a two year ban on neonicotinoid pesticides in April.
While Sundberg is concerned, he still isn’t completely convinced. He will, however, take caution in the future.
“I’m not ready to point the finger and say corn farmers are killing our bees,” he said. “But it does affect how I’m going to run my business.” . . .
Habitat is a greater concern for the beekeeper:
Sundberg said he believes the biggest reason for losses could be a lack of available food sources in the area. A recent trend of farmers planting crops instead of renewing CRP contracts and cutting in road ditches has meant less alfalfa, sweet clover, buckwheat, basswood trees and other plants where bees collect pollen and nectar.
“It could be related to a lack of nutrition and diversity,” Sundberg said. “We’re dependent on all this land that we don’t have control over.”
Who represents this area? Bud Nornes. While he didn't join in the vocal, public bee-bashing, he voted against the Omnibus Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance and Policy Bill, which funded bee habitat.
Photo: A bee helps out an apple tree.
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