MU: states ahead of feds on pollinator health policy

When it comes to insect pollinator health policies, state governments are doing more than the federal government. A University of Missouri study found between 2000 to 2017, 36 states had enacted just over 100 laws to address the insect pollinator health crisis compared with only four laws at the federal level. And, MU researcher Damon Hall says Minnesota is leading the way among Midwest states, “They’ve created a task force that works closely with the governor’s office and that is filled with experts at the University of Minnesota or some of the world’s leading experts on insect pollinator health as well as honeybee health.”

Hall says the Minnesota task force has developed a funding stream for more pollinator research. But, he says, there is a glaring omission by states that is very much needed, “One that’s not being addressed by states is monitoring of these bee populations or insect pollinator populations.”

Hall says native bees need to be managed like other wildlife and without a push by state legislatures to fund that data, in his words, “we are spinning our wheels.” Insect pollinators are vital to the existence of 90% of the worlds flowering plants – including a large amount of food products.

14 states, including Iowa and South Dakota, did not pass any pollinator laws over those 17 years.

Interview with Damon Hall

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