Bayer 2013 Bee Health Initiatives: A Review Of This Year’s Commitment To Bee Health
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Bayer collaborated with stakeholders throughout the year to emphasize the essential role pollinators play to sustainable agriculture and promote how we can protect honey bees. Honey bees face many challenges, such as poor nutrition, diseases, weather conditions and the Varroa mite, a parasite that weakens honey bee health and transmits viruses. Through our Bee Care Program and collaboration with stakeholders we hope to find solutions to combat these stressors affecting Bee-Health.
Here is a glimpse into some of the initiatives we’ve implemented throughout the year to promote environmental stewardship and sustainable agricultural practices, including the protection of beneficial insects such as honey bees.
Inaugural Bayer Bee Care Tour
To foster education and collaboration among growers, beekeepers and researchers, Bayer conducted a 2,000-mile mobile Bee Care Tour. The six-state Tour kicked off in Orlando, Fla. and visited university agriculture schools at The Ohio State University in Wooster; University of Illinois in Urbana; Iowa State University in Ames; The University of Nebraska in Lincoln; and University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The Tour lasted from February to April and more than 2,300 attendees visited the mobile bee care exhibit.
National Pollinator Week
During National Pollinator Week, Bayer hosted employee, community and Congressional events to celebrate the contribution pollinators make to the world’s food supply. For the second year, Bayer organized its Pollinator Pledge, which successfully allowing Bayer to donate $10,000 to the non-profit Pollinator Partnership in support of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. Bayer also published a video that showcased the Week’s events.
Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award
While celebrating National Pollinator Week during a reception in Washington, D.C., Congressional staff gathered to honor Illinois beekeeper and director of development Steve McNair of Salem4youth, with the first Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award. The award along with $5,000 is presented annually to an individual and organization that exemplifies a commitment to bee health in the community.
Groundbreaking of the North American Bee Care Center
On May 29, Bayer broke ground on its North American Bee Care Center, a 6,000-square-foot building designed to host research and education opportunities dedicated to honey bee health. The Center will contain a full laboratory and teaching apiary; honey extraction and workshop space; interactive learning center; and meeting, training and presentation facilities for beekeepers, farmers and educators, as well as office space for graduate students.
Fluency Agent Field Trials
Bayer announced at 2013 Farm Progress Show successful field trials of its new fluency agent for seed application. The product was designed to further reduce potential dust exposure to honey bees during a typical planting process, while offering improved handling efficiencies to corn and soybean growers. The field studies covered more than 40,000 acres, and the agent was shown to significantly reduce dust and emissions.
Clayton Bee Care Facility Ribbon Cutting
The Clayton Bee Care Facility has studied the health of bees since 2010, however the ribbon-cutting officially marks this facility as the first building in Clayton dedicated solely to bees. The facility includes:
- Nearly 1,215 square foot building dedicated to promoting and protecting bee health.
- Office and storage space along with a wintering cold room to support a practical apiculture.
- Comprehensive extraction and bee hive maintenance areas to conduct research so that these hard-working, beneficial insects can continue to provide hive products as well as pollination services for foods we enjoy each day.
For more than 25 years, Bayer has been actively involved in finding solutions to improve honey bee health and this effort continues. For additional information and background on other bee health initiatives, please visit the Bayer Bee Health website. You can also follow and share with us on Twitter at @BayerBeeCare, on Facebook at facebook.com/BayerBeeCareCenter and on Flickr.