Neonicotinoids or neonics are pesticides used on 140 different agricultural crops as well as for residential and turf pest control.  Seeds of plants such as corn and soybeans as well as garden plants are coated with neonics. 

Bees are exposed to neonics through pollen and nectar, the drifting of insecticide from fields, and seed dust.  Laboratory and field studies have shown neonics are harmful to bees. 

Pollinators such as bees are necessary to produce 30% of the food we eat and for the reproduction of 90% of flowering plants.

When purchasing garden plants, ask the nursery if neonics have been used.

The DFL supports regulating the use of pesticides from the neonicotinoid family and labeling treated plants to protect bees and other pollinators. 


Minnesota is improving pollinator protections, but more work to be done

MPR 11/20/2019, Dan Gunderson

". . . the state is making some progress, but there's a lot of room for improvement."


The following bills are before the legislature in 2019.


HF0721 - Insecticide use in wildlife management areas prohibited.

             A person may not use a product containing an insecticide in a wildlife management area if the insecticide is                 from the neonicotinoid class of insecticides.


HF1252 - Neonicotinoid pesticide gross sales fee increased, and proceeds dedicated to pollinator research and outreach.


HF1293 - Corn and soybean additional label statement required for seed coated or treated with neonicotinoid pesticide.


HF1239 - Health commissioner directed to test for contaminants in surface water used as drinking water

             By September 30, 2021, the commissioner of health must adopt health risk limits 
             for the following neonicotinoids: clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam;

HF2647 - Neonicotinoid pesticide presence in wild deer study funding provided, and money appropriated.

HF212 -   Pesticide control ordinances for cities of the first class state preemption eliminated.

             Large cities can make laws controlling pesticide usage.


The following law, Minnesota Statute 18H.14, Subd. (e), states that plants can't be advertised as beneficial to pollinators if the plant has been treated with a systemic insecticide that is labeled as harmful to pollinators.

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