Pollinators like wild bees, honeybees, and butterflies play many vital roles from helping propagate fruits, nuts, and vegetables in commercial agriculture to maintaining beautiful natural flowers in our backyards. Honeybee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States. However, pollinator populations have seen dramatic losses in the past few decades.
Much of the pollinator population decline has been attributed to widespread overuse of pesticides, disruption of natural habitats, and numerous species-specific diseases and parasites.
During Minnesota’s 2016 Legislative Session, Conservation Minnesota supported several pollinator friendly bills to reduce pesticide overuse and to address habitat loss along roadways. But there is more to be done. Even you can help pollinators in your yard or in your community. Here are a few ways:
- Plant pollinator friendly plants like Virginia waterleaf, Goatsbeard, or purple prairie clover.
- Never buy plants treated with neonicotinoid pesticides.
- Reduce or eliminate pesticide use in your yard or in your community. Support local governments who implement pollinator friendly policies in their communities.
- Learn from the researchers at our very own University of Minnesota Bee Lab who are on the cutting edge of pollinator research. Check out the Bee Lab website has many valuable tips on helping pollinator populations.
Conservation Minnesota will continue to advocate for pollinator friendly policies at state and local levels, and you can do your part in your backyard or in your community to make sure pollinators help our agricultural economy while also helping maintain the Minnesota you love.