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Steve Ellis: a speaker for the bees

This morning Team Echinacea was joined by special guest Steve Ellis, a commercial beekeeper based in Barrett, MN. Steve is also a national advocate for curbing the usage of neonicotinoid pesticides and has filed a lawsuit against the US EPA for sanctioning the widespread use of these chemicals in agriculture. While sipping on wild forage sumac-ade and devouring some delectable scones, the team was captivated by Steve’s description of the US pesticide regulatory system and the consequences of neonicotinoid usage. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of neuro-active insecticides used in agriculture throughout the US. Mounting evidence suggests these long-lived chemicals are at least partly responsible for the precipitous decline of commercial honeybee populations over the past 20 years. However, less is known about how neonicotinoids affect native pollinators, the birds and mammals that feed on pesticide-ridden insects, and the aquatic systems where neonicotinoids accumulate.

SteveEllis.JPG

In other news, we finished measuring P1 before returning to the Hjelm House to celebrate Keaton’s birthday with cake and “exercises in estimation.”

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