Bayer Commits Additional $325,000 to Healthy Hives 2020 Initiative with Project Apis m., Bringing Program to $1.3 million

February 25, 2019

Since 2016, Healthy Hives 2020 has funded 10 bee health research projects; new digital booklet details each project’s ongoing work and success

ST. LOUIS – Bayer and Project Apis m. today announced additional funding for Healthy Hives 2020, an initiative dedicated to improving honey bee health, raising Bayer’s total investment in the program to $1.3 million. Additionally, the two organizations are releasing an educational booklet, Research for Tangible Bee-Health Solutions, to coincide with the three-year anniversary of the program’s first request for proposals.

The digital booklet features profiles of all current Healthy Hives 2020 research projects, which include:

  • Getting to the Root of a Deadly Bee Virus: Establishing the diversity of the Deformed Wing Virus strains across the USA – Stephen J. Martin, Ph.D., University of Salford, Manchester, England; Randy Oliver, commercial beekeeper, Grass Valley, Calif.
  • Giving Honey Bees a Nutritional Boost: Phytochemicals as a management tool for sustainable honey bee colony health – Arathi Seshadri, Ph.D., Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, Colo.
  • Keeping Track of Hive Health, Smartly: Electronic data collection and sensor integration for data aggregation, best management practices, data mining and smart hive development – Joseph Cazier, Ph.D., James Wilkes, Ph.D., and Ed Hassler, Ph.D., Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C.
  • Can Old-World Bees Improve New-World Bee Performance: Comparison of U.S. honey bee genetic lines for queen production and pollination efficiency under field conditions – Steve Sheppard Ph.D., Washington State University, Pullman, Wash.
  • Data-Driven Beekeeping: Evaluation and comparison of management strategies and economics of agricultural practices in commercial beekeeping operations – Brandon Hopkins, Ph.D. Washington State University, Pullman, Wash.
  • Understanding the Bugs within the Bees: Determining how Nosema ceranae infection alters the honey bee midgut microbiome – Quinn McFrederick, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside, Calif.; James Nieh, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, Calif.
  • New Ways to Fight an Old Foe: Pesticide toxicity analysis of Varroa mites – Jody Johnson, Ph.D., Cullaborate LLC, Baltimore, Md.
  • Slow and Steady Could Win the Race to Control Varroa: Optimization and scale-up of timed-release organic acids for Varroa control – Edmund Stark, Ph.D., Michigan State University St. Andrews, Midland, Mich.
  • Good Genes May Help Bees Fight Disease: Comparative characterization of virus content and resistance in genetic lines of U.S. honey bees – Olav Rueppell, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Greensboro, N.C.
  • A Diversified Portfolio is Good for Business – and Bees: Bee integrated demonstration project – pragmatic beekeeping, forage and farming practices – Julie Shapiro, Keystone Policy Institute, Keystone, Colo.; Mike Smith, Conservation Technology Information Center, West Lafayette, Ind.

“Our combined efforts have been directly focused on identifying tangible solutions for improving honey bee colony health and the beekeeping industry by the year 2020,” said Dr. Becky Langer, project manager, Bayer North American Bee Care Program. “These 10 research projects are addressing some of beekeepers’ biggest issues and will have a direct impact on the future of hive health.”

All grants are reviewed by a steering committee comprised of representatives from across the academic, regulatory and commercial sectors of the bee industry. The steering committee is chaired by Steve Sheppard, Ph.D., of Washington State University. Other members include:

  • Dave Westerveldt, former assistant chief, Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Dick Rogers, principal scientist and entomologist, Bayer Bee Health & Integrated Apiculture Research
  • Don Parker, Ph.D., manager, integrated pest management, National Cotton Council
  • Gloria Degrandi-Hoffman, Ph.D., research leader, Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, U. S. Department of Agriculture
  • Randy Verhook, commercial beekeeper, Harvest Honey Inc., Honey Bee Health Coalition, The Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund

Healthy Hives 2020 is one of several Project Apis m. initiatives. For more information on these programs, please visit

Healthy Hives 2020 is an initiative sponsored by Bayer’s Bee Care Program, continuing its nearly 30 years of supporting bee health. For more information on Bayer’s bee health initiatives, please visit: You can also follow and share with us on Twitter @BayerBeeCare, on Facebook at and view photos on Flickr.

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About Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2017, the Group employed around 99,800 people and had sales of EUR 35.0 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.4 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.5 billion. For more information, go to

About Project Apis m.
​Project Apis m. (PAm) is the go-to organization at the interface of honey bees and pollinated crops. Since 2006, we've infused nearly $7 million into honey bee research which aims to provide healthier bees, resulting in better pollination and increased crop yields for the grower, and lower losses and better honey production for the beekeeper. We work closely with commercial beekeepers, growers, and top bee scientists in the USA and Canada to direct strategic efforts focused on practical solutions. PAm funds research studies, purchases equipment for research labs, supports graduate students through scholarships to encourage careers in pursuit of science-based solutions to honey bee challenges, and has expanding efforts to enhance honey bee health and nutrition by putting forage on the landscape where it counts most for bees. We are a non-profit 501 (c) (5) organization governed by a nine-member board. Our board members are beekeepers, pollinators and honey producers representing major national and state industry organizations. PAm also has five scientific advisors who review project proposals with the board.


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Lee Redding
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Sharah Yaddaw, Communications Director
Project Apis m.
Tel: (916) 287-3035