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We’re proud to announce a new partnership with The Beez Kneez, a local pollinator advocacy organization and honey producer that is committed to “reviving the hive for healthy bees, healthy lives” by establishing and maintaining honey bee hives throughout the Twin Cities. They partner with various Twin City restaurants, museums, food co-ops, schools and urban farms who serve as urban apiary host sites. Recently, Mississippi Market was put in touch with The Beez Kneez and asked if we’d be willing to partner. We jumped at the opportunity!

We’re currently serving as one of The Beez Kneez urban apiary host sites. In early May, they installed honey bee hives on the rooftop of our West 7th store! As a natural foods grocery store, we recognize the crucial role that bees and other pollinators play in producing healthful, nutritious food. Our West 7th store is an ideal location as it’s close to the river bluffs and a local source of reliable water and pollen for the bees.

As you may have heard, honey bees and other pollinators are struggling to survive and have been facing unprecedented colony collapse in recent years as a result of multiple factors. These include increased use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides in the agricultural and landscaping sectors as well as increased rates of pollinator habitat loss. Synthetic pesticide and herbicide exposure has been scientifically shown to disrupt bee reproduction, mobility, navigation, feeding and foraging skills in addition to their memory and overall hive activity. These chemicals are toxic to them and are often used on monoculture crops typical of industrial agriculture operations. Unfortunately, industrial scale agriculture tends to focus on productivity and proprietary seeds and technologies at the expense of environmental health or conservation of beneficial pollinator habitat. Additionally, suburban/urban sprawl and deforestation for agricultural land contributes to habitat loss, furthering the decline of pollinators.

For these reasons, it is extremely important that we continue promoting and supporting sustainable agriculture practices such as the organic standards, permaculture, and biodynamic farming which limit or eliminate the use of harmful synthetics while increasing biodiversity and creating ecosystem resilience. We’re excited to be playing a small part in local efforts to revitalize beneficial pollinator populations, especially since bees serve such a crucial role in feeding the world!