(The Star Tribune) Lawmakers may give cities throughout Minnesota the authority to ban some widely used pesticides – including neonicotinoids – as native bumble bee and pollinator populations continue to collapse. The recently-introduced measure would grant each city the choice to issue a blanket ban on a group of pesticides that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has labeled as lethal to pollinators.
(StarTribune) The federally endangered bumble bee — a single male of the species — has been discovered at the Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area in Inver Grove Heights, a positive sign for ecologists who have worked on restoring the area. Just one bee represents approximately 0.2 percent of the species’ known world population. Minnesota hosts the largest population of the bee in the world, with about 35 percent of the species buzzing about in the Twin Cities metro area.
(Minnesota Public Radio) The Lawns to Legumes program received $900,000 in funding this year from the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. The initiative aims to help homeowners lawns into pollinator habitat. Over the winter, homeowners will be able to apply for roughly $700,000 in cost share funds for pollinator habitat projects. A priority area for the funding will be where endangered rusty patched bumble bees live.
(CBS 4 WCCO) The rusty patched bumble bee nests, feeds and winters along part of the transit line’s proposed route between downtown Minneapolis and Eden Prairie. Critics of the project say the ongoing construction is a threat to the bumble bee.
(Minnesota Public Radio) Gov. Tim Walz made the state bee designation official when he signed state budget bills into law this week after a contentious legislative session. The designation comes along with a pledge to protect the bee, which in Minnesota is found primarily in and around the Twin Cities. And scientists say regular Minnesotans can help the population recover.
(Star Tribune) The state of Minnesota will set aside $900,000 over one year to assist homeowners by covering much of the cost of converting traditional lawns by planting wildflowers, clover and native grasses in an effort to slow the collapse of the state’s bee population. The plan could help replenish food sources for pollinators of all kinds, but will specifically aim at saving the rusty patched bumblebee, a fat and fuzzy species on the brink of extinction that seems to be making its final stand in the cities of the Upper Midwest.