Monday, July 24, 2017

2017 Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award Winners Honored for Impactful Local Honey Bee Health Initiatives

Jake Reisdorf, Tubbs Berry Farm and Twin Falls County Pest Abatement District, recognized for innovative approaches to promoting pollinator health and dedication to educating future generations

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., July 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer announced the recipients of the fifth annual Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award: young beekeeper Jake Reisdorf, and Kirk and Heidi Tubbs of Tubbs Berry Farm in partnership with the Twin Falls County Pest Abatement District. Sponsored by the Bayer North American Bee Care Program, the Community Leadership Award honors individuals and partners that have demonstrated dedication to pollinator protection and educating their communities about bee health.

New this year, Bayer expanded the scope of its awards program to show support for the future of the beekeeping industry by recognizing not only one innovative beekeeping partnership, but also by honoring a tenacious young beekeeper. By striving to understand the importance of honey bees at a young age, these next-generation beekeeper applicants have proven their commitment to making a positive impact on the long term well-being of the species.

Jake is the first-ever beekeeper under 18 years of age to receive this award, which includes a $1,000 prize to support his school and community honey bee-focused initiatives. Among 20 entries, based on his standout application, 14-year-old Jake was selected for his diversified approach to pollinator health and commendable efforts to ensure that future generations understand the significant impact of bees on the ecosystem.

"It is so cool to receive the Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award for my efforts to educate the world about the honey bee," said Jake Reisdorf, owner of the Carmel Honey Company. "With the money I've been awarded, I'd like to fulfill my dream of building an educational center called Pollination World to teach people about all types of pollinators including bees, bats, birds and butterflies."

Jake's passion for bees originated after completing a beekeeping course with his father when he was in fifth grade, which served as the impetus behind a honey bee-themed website he designed for a school project. Stemming from the creation of this simple beekeeping website, his classmates began to look to him as a resource for bee health information. This inspired Jake to adopt a hive of his own.

Fast-forward to present day, Jake has nearly 100 hives throughout Monterey County, California. He sells pure, raw, premium honey and honeycombs to specialty food stores and restaurant chefs; places hives on residential and commercial properties for people who want to support the bees but don't have the time or resources to be beekeepers; and gives educational presentations at schools and local organizations focusing on the importance of bees in the food chain. Jake is also a member of the California State Beekeepers Association, the American Beekeeping Federation and is currently participating in the UC Davis Master Beekeepers Program.

"We believe young beekeepers are critical to promoting and preserving the overall health of pollinator species for generations to come," said Dr. Becky Langer, project manager, Bayer North American Bee Care Program. "We were thrilled to receive so many entries from individuals and groups of all ages who are passionate about bees. This year's Community Leadership Award winners are celebrated for their forward-looking approaches to beekeeping, coupled with their deep passions for spreading knowledge about pollinator protection to community members and future generations of beekeepers."

In addition to the Young Beekeeper award, a pollinator-supportive partnership in the Pacific Northwest was also recognized for its positive impact in the realm of honey bee health. Kirk and Heidi Tubbs of Tubbs Berry Farm began beekeeping 10 years ago due to pollination issues on their farm and have since become a local resource in Twin Falls, Idaho, for anything related to beekeeping. As a result of their esteemed reputation in the pollinator community, the opportunity to partner with Twin Falls County Pest Abatement District arose, with their first joint venture piloting tests to determine if a new mosquito control method had an effect on bees. As a result of their ongoing research on Integrated Pest Management, county employees have gained opportunities to expand their knowledge of bees and the products that are employed to reduce nearby mosquito populations. Additionally, Kirk instructs mosquito control operators at various conferences and workshops about how to have informed discussions with beekeepers on the impact various control methods have on bees.

"We're honored to be recognized for our dedication to safe beekeeping and expanding local stewardship initiatives related to pollinator health," said Kirk Tubbs of Tubbs Berry Farm. "With the funds we've been granted as a result of our award win, we're eager to continue spearheading research on the effects of insect controllers on bees, while also exploring alternate methods of insect control and educating our communities about the importance of the extraordinary honey bee species."

Amongst many qualified entries, this year's highly respected winners were selected by an incumbent panel of judges including Pamela Smith, editor at The Progressive Farmer, Joe Graham, editor at the American Bee Journal, and Dr. Becky Langer, Bayer North American Bee Care Program Project Manager.

The Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award is just one of many initiatives of the Bee Care Program, continuing its nearly 30 years of supporting bee health. For more information on Bayer bee health initiatives, please visit: http://beehealth.bayer.us. You can also follow and share with us on Twitter @BayerBeeCare, on Facebook at facebook.com/BayerBeeCareCenter and view photos on Flickr

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Jake Reisdorf is the first-ever beekeeper under 18 years of age to receive the Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award.

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