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Macalester College Signs Resolution to 'Bee' Friendly

May 9th, 2016
Center for Food Safety

College Joins Growing Number of Institutions Certified by Center for Food Safety under BEE Protective Campaign.

WASHINGTON–Center for Food Safety (CFS) congratulates Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota on becoming a designated neonicotinoid-free campus. This recognition comes from the BEE Protective Campaign, a program led by Center for Food Safety and Beyond Pesticides which aims to protect bees and other pollinators from harmful pesticides like neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides known to have severe impacts on bee populations.

“Macalester’s new resolution to help protect pollinators fits well with our Sustainability Plan and Sustainable Landscaping Master Plan. I’m glad that our college has this opportunity to play a role in the fight to keep bees and other important pollinators safe from harmful pesticides,” said Suzanne Savanick Hansen, Macalester College’s Sustainability Manager.

Resolving to be a Bee-Friendly campus compliments other pollinator awareness initiatives at Macalester. The college recently brought honey bee colonies to its Ordway Field Station in an effort to educate students and others about bees and their imperiled status.

“We are so excited to see Macalester resolve to be a leader in protecting pollinators,” said Larissa Walker, pollinator program director at Center for Food Safety. “Macalester is clearly dedicated to making their campus more sustainable and pollinator friendly— we applaud Macalester and thank them for their commitment. We look forward to many more institutions following in their footsteps.”

One in every three bites of food depends on bees for pollination, and the annual value of pollination services worldwide is estimated at over $125 billion. In the United States, pollination contributes $20-30 billion in agricultural production annually. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides known to have acute and chronic effects on honey bees and other pollinators, and are considered a major factor in bee population declines and poor health. Numerous cities, municipalities, campuses and other institutions across the U.S. have taken action to restrict and reduce the use of neonicotinoids in order to protect pollinators.

Joining the BEE-Protective Campaign is another step Macalester has taken to make the campus and community more sustainable and committed to food ethics. In 2012, Macalester signed the Real Food Campus Commitment, joining other institutions of higher education in accepting the Real Food Challenge; a national initiative to shift $1 billion of existing university food budgets away from industrial farms and junk food and towards local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources by 2020. Also in 2015, the College signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, an effort to make campuses more sustainable and address global warming.

BEE Protective is a national campaign established by Center for Food Safety and Beyond Pesticides, and works with municipalities, campuses, and homeowners to adopt policies that protect pollinators from bee-toxic pesticides. For more information about the campaign, visit http://bit.ly/1kp3gSV.

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