Bees on the brain at Hermantown gardening extravaganza

By KBJR News 1

April 12, 2014 Updated Apr 12, 2014 at 10:48 PM CDT

Hermantown, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Many people were thinking spring today at the annual spring garden extravaganza in Hermantown Saturday.

The all–day conference focused on creating a bee friendly environment. Gardeners and homeowners learned about plants that keep bees and other pollinators thriving.

Experts say bees provide for one in three of the bites of food that we eat. They are responsible for pollinating fruits and vegetables.

Bee experts warned consumers about neonicatinoids, a pesticide that is used on many garden plants.

While the pesticide is not harmful to humans, officials say it can be harmful to the bee population.

"If a bee gets enough of a dose of a neonicotinoid pesticide it will just die," said master gardner Katherine WInter, "but then at what they call sub–lethal levels, levels where they don't die but just become sickened, all sorts of weird things happen, like the bee might lose its ability to get back to the hive."

A few plants bees love include pussy willow, dandelions, and sunflowers.

Kati Anderson