Bees in a hive.

MN Impact: Researchers and Extension Partner to Help Pollinators

September 1, 2017

Issue 

Insect pollinators provide essential services to growers of US fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and honeybees are their star performer accounting for over two-thirds of the agricultural output attributed to insect pollination. But since the mid-2000s honeybees have been struggling to survive and beekeepers have had to resort to costly management tools to keep their hives going.

What has been done

The University of Minnesota is a national leader in research and extension related to honeybee management and health. In recent years, groundbreaking research has been conducted on hygienic bees and other non-chemical ways to improve pollinator health. Extension programs have included outreach to both beekeepers and green space lovers on how they can protect their hives and positively impact colony health.

Results

At the 2016 Minnesota State Fair Governor Dayton announced an executive order (Executive 16- 07) that will make Minnesota a leader in protecting pollinators. The executive order outlines action steps for state agencies to minimize the negative impact on bees and other insect pollinators. Policymakers plan to work closely with farmers, commercial gardeners, and homeowners to refine and put the any new standards into effect.