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Austin has announced that the city will be a "bee-friendly." Officials promised during the March 20 city council meeting that the city will try to refrain from using systemic pesticides that are lethal to insects. Officials vow to refrain from using systemic pesticides, including neonicotinoids and Fiprinil which can be lethal to the insects. Officials also encouraged property owners not to use systemic pesticides on their property.

AUSTIN — Hormel Foods employees have been busy bees.

The Austin-based food company announced the expansion of its existing pollinator garden on Friday.

Justin's, which was acquired by Hormel Foods in 2016, recently announced its pledge to help restore, protect and conserve bees and other important pollinators. Justin's is a sponsor of the Growing Gardens sixth annual Bee Earth Day, which they will share regionally appropriate wildflower seed packets, Justin's products, and information about pollinator conservation to bring focus on the issue and the work Justin's is doing to assist in combating pollinator decline.

"When we heard about the Justin's initiative, we knew we wanted to do something to support their efforts," said Jim Snee, president and CEO of Hormel Foods. "We are proud to announce our commitment to expand our existing pollinator garden at our world headquarters in Austin, Minnesota."

Hormel Foods is also encouraging its employees to plant regionally appropriate wildflowers. The company is providing free seed packets to employees.

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