Bayer apiologist, Dick Rogers, contributed to a panel discussion focusing on the relationship between pesticides and pollinator health at the annual CropLife America/RISE Spring Conference. Representatives of the Almond Board, honey producers and the European Food Safety Authority also participated on the panel.
Apiculture and other forms of agriculture can, and must, co-exist,” said Rogers. “Honey bee health can be improved if we work together and address the real problems.” Since the mid-1980s, commercial beekeepers have had to contend with the devastating impact of the invasive parasitic Varroa mite and the increased demand for pollination services, which has created increased nutritional and management challenges. As part of his presentation, Rogers showed what farmers, beekeepers and manufacturers like Bayer CropScience are doing to promote bee health.
In a separate meeting, Dr. Iain Kelly, Bayer’s Bee Health Issue Manager, met with staff members of the United States Senate Agriculture Committee to discuss how honey bees and crop protection products can co-exist for the benefit of sustainable agriculture. Dr. Kelly noted, “The solution to greater bee health consists of many parts and many stakeholders. Bayer CropScience is committed to do its part through the continued development of innovative tools and treatments.”
For more than 25 years, Bayer has been actively involved in finding solutions to improve honey bee health. Last month, the company announced plans for conducting large-scale field studies this spring to evaluate its new seed application technology, which is designed to reduce potential dust exposure to honey bees.
In 2013, Bayer plans to complete a North American Bee Care Center, which will serve as a gathering place for researchers, bee experts, students and other visitors to meet regularly with leading Bayer scientists on issues involving bee health.
For additional information and background on Bayer’s other sustainability initiatives please visit http://www.bayercropscience.us/our-commitment/bayer-initiatives.