On March 3rd, Mindsailing was honored and excited to attend the University of Minnesota Bee Lab’s 2016 State of the Bees, where we learned about the latest in honey bee and wild bee research. The event took place at the Radisson Blu Mall of America and was attended by several hundred bee enthusiasts, including educators, pollinator advocates and students, who shared information and learned more about the challenges bees face and what can be done to help them survive and thrive. 

  • There are 3,500 species of bees in the U.S.
  • The Upper Midwest is the highest honey-producing region in the nation.
  • Honey yields in the Upper Midwest are declining due to the replacement of flowering plants with large monocultures of corn and soybeans.
  • Widespread use of neonictinoid insecticides is killing bees at alarming rates.


Speakers included Dr. Marla Spivak, MacArthur Fellow and Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Community and Landscape Ecology of Native Bees and Restoration Ecology. (Check out her amazing TED Talk - “Why bees are disappearing”.) Additional speakers included Dr. Dan Cariveau; Gary Reuter; Dr. Mike Goblirsch; Ph.D. Candidate Elaine Evans; Ph.D. student Morgan Carr-Markell; Dr. Renata Borba, and MS student Ian Burns. 

Mindsailing supports the pollinator community and recently produced a video highlighting the work of Pollinate Minnesota, an organization created in response to a growing concern for pollinators and the need for unique connecting and teaching tools in food systems advocacy work. We collaborated with Pollinate Minnesota’s Founder and Executive Director, Erin Rupp. You can check out the video below.