Steve McNair recognized for exceptional use of beekeeping to support at-risk youth
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 19, 2013) – Bayer CropScience will honor Illinois beekeeper Steve McNair today with its first Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award. The award will be announced at Bayer’s National Pollinator Week Congressional Reception in Washington, D.C., an event where supporters of pollinator health celebrate the contribution pollinators make to the world’s food supply.
The Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have harnessed the power of the honey bee colony to benefit their community. Applicants are judged on their ability to improve a community by leveraging the intrinsic workings of a honey bee hive. The recipient’s organization is awarded $5,000 to aid in the advancement of the winning initiative.
McNair is the director of development at Salem4youth, a therapeutic residential program for at-risk young men ages 12-18 years old. Salem4youth mentors and supports youth and families in crisis. The organization’s four-phased program focuses on social skills needed to help its members reintegrate into their communities and develop a successful future. Inspired by McNair’s experiences in beekeeping, Salem4youth recently added an apiary of six hives to its working farm program.
“Salem4youth’s apiary program is an exemplary initiative that demonstrates the importance of honey bees while offering youth skill-building and community support,” said Jim Blome, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP. “We are honored to recognize Steve’s innovative leadership during National Pollinator Week and hope his program’s accomplishments will inspire others to channel the lessons to be learned from honey bees.”
In developing this unique, hands-on program, McNair realized the potential of beekeeping to provide a unique skill set and approach to teaching responsibility and discipline to Salem4youth teens. With the help of local beekeepers, McNair played an integral role in launching and establishing the apiary in spring 2013.
“Bayer’s recognition of our apiary program and the experiences it has brought to our youth is truly an honor,” said McNair. “This award not only reinforces the organization’s beekeeping efforts, but it also encourages our staff and youth to continue advancing the program.”
Bayer has been actively involved in finding solutions to improve honey bee health for more than 25 years. Its Bee Care Program includes initiatives designed to further bee health research, engagement and discussion and bring Bayer’s extensive experience and knowledge in bee health under one platform. Bee Care Program initiatives include:
- The North American Bee Care Center, which broke ground last month at the North American Bayer CropScience Headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C., will aid the advancement of honey bee research by providing a state-of-the-art research and meeting facility to support worldwide bee health initiatives,
- Thorough monitoring and management research of the Varroa destructor through Integrated Pest Management studies regarding monitoring thresholds and treatments,
- Bee Ambassador Program, a field staff training campaign dedicated to cultivating dialogue and awareness around topics related to honey bee management and health, and
- The Bee Care Tour, a mobile exhibit which traveled to Midwestern university agriculture schools this spring to foster education and collaboration among growers, beekeepers, researchers and others interested in honey bee health.
For more information about the Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award and Bayer’s celebration of National Pollinator Week, please visit www.pollinatorweek.bayer.com. Also, view our National Pollinator Week video to learn about Bayer’s commitment to pollinator health.
Bayer is dedicated to crop protection and is committed to environmental stewardship and sustainable agricultural practices, including the protection of beneficial insects such as honey bees. For additional information and background on other sustainability initiatives please visit here.
About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. This year the company is celebrating 150 years of Bayer – consistent with its mission “Bayer: Science For A Better Life”. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 8,383 million (2012) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 20,800 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.
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