Minnesota officials are launching a campaign to promote public awareness of bugs such as honeybees, wasps and moths.
The state Department of Agriculture is asking Minnesota State Fair attendees to pledge to protect insect pollinators this week. They want supporters to create buzz on social media with a "pollinator hero" hashtag. The state's year-long campaign aims to educate people about how the bugs contribute to the food system and environment.
The state Legislature ordered the agency to devise guidelines for protecting the insects in 2013. The number of pollinators in Minnesota and across the U.S. has dropped significantly in recent years.
The campaign offers tips for nurturing ecosystems by planting pollinator-friendly flowers and other plants. It also suggests ways to reduce pesticide use.