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Minneapolis green lights new efforts to protect city's honeybee population

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Minneapolis council members on Friday agreed to steps to protect the city's falling bee population by passing a pollinator resolution.

Concern has been growing about the toll pesticides, habitat loss and disease have been taking on bee numbers and the potential knock-on effects it could have on the food chain.

Minneapolis will now attempt to do its part to reverse the decline by increasing the number of bee-friendly plants placed by its Public Works Department in locations around the city, according to the resolution.

It will also look into installing more "pollinator forage" at city facilities as well – with a pilot already underway at four Minneapolis Fire Department centers – as well as on vacant land controlled by the Community Planning and Economic Development Department.

The city has also re-affirmed its pledge to decrease the amount of pesticides it uses, and is urging homeowners to follow suit and avoid planting flowering plants that require pesticides or "systemic insecticides" on their property.

"(Bees’) dwindling population also poses a threat to our food security. With the passage of today’s resolution, Minneapolis is now doing its part in the global effort to protect and grow the pollinator populations,” Mayor Betsy Hodges said, according to WCCO.

The TV station notes that city has already been making bee protection efforts over the past nine months, by increasing pollinating plants as well as housing around 75,000 honeybees atop City Hall. It has also loosened regulations to make it easier for people to keep honeybees.

Federal money pledged to conserve monarch butterfly

A representative of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was in Minnesota this week to pledge $20 million over the next five years dedicated to the conservation of the monarch butterfly.

Director Dan Ashe joined Sen. Amy Klobuchar to pledge the $4 million-a-year funding, much of which will be used in the Midwest, to prevent the butterfly species' extinction.

According to a new release, the service will focus on spring breeding areas in Texas and Oklahoma, summer breeding habitat in Minnesota and other Midwest states, and areas west of the Rocky Mountains important for the western monarch population.

They would do well to take tips from Jonah Hamberger, from Minneapolis, who at the tender age of 10 is a monarch expert and plans to raise and release 300 of them this year.

You can read about his story via KARE 11.

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