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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Two state agencies in Minnesota are working to protect the honey bee population.

The Department of Natural Resources is developing guideline to improve the habitat for pollinating insects that are so important to agriculture. In a report to the state Legislature Wednesday, the Department of Agriculture will outline its plan to study the use of a popular insecticide linked to bee deaths. The Legislature last year instructed agriculture officials to develop a process for reviewing the safety of widely used neonicotinoid insecticides, which are absorbed by plant roots, leaves and pollen.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that more than a third of the nation's honey bee population has died in the last several years. Minnesota Public Radio says the bees are suffering from persistent disease problems and effects of the insecticides.

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