As many Minnesotans are already well aware, pollinator populations have been in the midst of a drastic decline for quite a while now. Beekeepers report consistent hive loss each year, citing habitat loss, pesticides and diseases as causes. Many are taking note of this disturbing trend, posting on social media and creating activist groups to raise awareness of just how dire the situation is. Luckily, we live in a state in which habitat and bee health is highly valued.
A total of four cities across Minnesota have taken steps to become pollinator friendly, reducing their impact on the downward trend pollinator’s populations have been taking. In 2014, Shorewood became the first city in Minnesota, and the third city in the nation, to pass a pollinator friendly resolution. Many cities have since followed suit, three of which are located in the East Metro. To have city legislators acknowledge the importance of bee health and the role is incredibly important and vital to the survival of bees and other pollinators.
Stillwater, the most recent city to join the rank of bee friendly cities in the state, passed a bee friendly resolution early this past April. Stillwater’s resolution follows in line with those of Shorewood, Lake Elmo, and St. Louis Park, calling for neonicotinoid-free and pollinator friendly plants to be placed in public spaces, in addition to city support of pollinator education. With the East Metro at the forefront, it’s exciting to see support build for policies that protect and beautify Minnesota’s delicate ecosystem. I look forward to witnessing the rest of the state follow suit, as more city officials catch onto the importance of pollinator health. And as the East Metro Community Coordinator for Conservation Minnesota and Audubon Minnesota, I’m excited to work with the individuals that have already had a great impact on the pollinator populations in the area.