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Old 07-10-2014, 01:01 AM   #1
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bumblebee Don't cross the pollinators: Starting July 1, they're protected by law

Don't cross the pollinators: Starting July 1, they're protected by law

MinnPost
By Mike Cronin
06/20/14
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BRISTOL TOWNSHIP, Minnesota — Pollinating his zucchini crop by hand has been one of Jonas Hochstetler’s daily chores between roughly 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning during this month of June.

The Amish organic farmer, 54, keeps four hives of honeybees to help pollinate the dozens of types of vegetables he and his family grow then sell to stores in the Twin Cities, such as Whole Foods Market and the Seward Community Co-op.
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“Years ago, there were more wild honeybees and bumblebees,” Hochstetler told me early Monday morning, his 16-year-old son, Christian, assembling a mechanical double-blade sickle hay mower from Germany by our feet. “Their hives were in the trees. They used to swarm when I was a boy. That’s not happening anymore. I blame that on the pesticides.”

That’s part of it, said Marla Spivak, an expert on beekeeping and social insects and professor of entomology at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. Other causes include diseases, parasites and the lack of flowering plants that provide nutrition for bees, she said.
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Speaking for the bees
In an effort to strengthen bee populations and the humans who tend them, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and legislators enacted two laws this spring unique among the 50 states. The first prohibits labeling plants as beneficial to pollinators — such as bees, ants and bats — if those plants have been treated with and have a detectable level of pesticide that is lethal to pollinators.
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Minnesota is the first state with those types of laws, said Scott Hendrick, program director for environment for the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures.

“This is a big deal. There’s nothing else of their kind,” said state Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, who sponsored both measures in the Minnesota House ...
Don't cross the pollinators: Starting July 1, they're protected by law | MinnPost
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:53 AM   #2
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wonderful!
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:36 AM   #3
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It is about time this message seeped through to legislators and state officials. The current loss of insect populations is serious and will have consequences to the general public as well as those concerned about the environment.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:45 AM   #4
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Native squash bees will keep that amish farmer from having to hand pollinate. We have many little zucchinni and butternut squash growing nicely in the garden. It is more than a matter of pesticides, though that is a major concern. With the native bees, habitat is very important. The squash bees nest in the ground near the plants and next years bees will increase populations if an effort is made to leave space and not disturb.
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:22 PM   #5
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This law is only a small step, but it's good to see that recognition of a problem with our pollinators is getting some attention. Hopefully this will lead to stronger more effective legislation.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by NEWisc View Post
This law is only a small step, but it's good to see that recognition of a problem with our pollinators is getting some attention. Hopefully this will lead to stronger more effective legislation.
Yes; it appears this is actually going to happen - one step at a time...

Very rewarding to read of it...
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