On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) and the Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Committee (MnSTAC) hosted a symposium focused on the potential effects of pesticides on honey bees and other pollinators called Pollinators & Pesticides: A 360 Degree Perspective. As most of us are well aware, concerns about pesticides and their potential effects on honey bees and other pollinators has been increasingly in the news and has gotten the attention of a growing segment of the landscaping and gardening public and the public in general. Local examples of media coverage include recent articles in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine (Panic in Bloom - October 2013), the StarTribune newspaper (Pesticide, EPA Faulted in Bee Die-off – April 1, 2012; Minnesotans Fight for the Pollinators – January 26, 2014; Bees at the Brink: Nature’s Dying Migrant Worker – June 29, 2014; and Bees at the Brink: Battle Seeks Our Hearts and Minds – July 27, 2014). The topic has also been covered by the MNLA in The Scoop (Pollinator Section – May 2014) and several MNLA Foundation Research for the Real World articles published over the past few years (www.mnla.biz). Of course, neonicotinoid insecticides, the systemic, nicotine-based insecticides that have become ubiquitous in agronomic and horticultural crop production systems because of their reduced toxicity to mammals, including humans, and their ability to effectively control of a wide variety of damaging insect pests, but can also be toxic to non-target insects including bees and other pollinators, have become the center of the ongoing debate and were a primary focus during the symposium. The pesticide/pollinator issue is a subject that has received nearly world-wide attention, a topic that is getting increased attention from researchers, and a matter that has become fairly contentious on both a political and emotional level. It is also an important and potentially consequential issue for the green industry. Read more on the Research for the Real World blog.
says... Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Since Jim posted this article last week, the Star-Tribune published a third article by Josephine Marcotty in the Bees at the Brink series, entitled "Field of Green a Desert For Bees" on September 7th.