RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The North American Bayer Bee Care Program announced Healthy Hives 2020, a major new initiative focused on finding tangible solutions that will improve the health of honeybee colonies in the U.S. in the next five years. Announced during an event to celebrate the first anniversary of the Bayer Bee Care Center, the initiative brings together a cross-section of bee health stakeholders from multiple sectors, including academia, government, agriculture, business and the beekeeping community to:
- Better quantify the characteristics of a healthy honeybee hive;
- Enhance collaboration, communication and partnerships to address honey bee health issues; and
- Identify and develop new strategies and tangible solutions that will improve colony health.
Healthy Hives 2020 is a Bayer CropScience initiative for improving the health of honeybee colonies in the U.S. by the year 2020. Bayer CropScience will partner with experts on bee health and establish an advisory council to discuss strategies to improve honeybee health. Bayer CropScience is organizing a two-day workshop on June 2-3, 2015, with the goal of determining present honeybee health conditions in the U.S. and setting three tangible and assessable initiatives to improve honeybee health by the year 2020. The best ideas from the inaugural meeting will become part of an action plan that will include sponsored research through collaborations with various organizations as well as research conducted directly by the North American Bayer Bee Care Center.
While the Healthy Hives 2020 council members will work to find solutions to improve honey bee health long-term, Bayer is also working to tackle one of the major issues facing pollinators today: lack of forage. The Feed a Bee initiative is working with individuals and organizations across the country to grow 50 million flowers and to increase bee forage areas. As bees are working harder to pollinate crops, they need more food and food diversity.
Continuing its more than 25 years of supporting bee health, Healthy Hives 2020 is one of several programs sponsored by Bayer’s Bee Care Program. Bayer has also:
- Opened a North American Bee Care Center last year in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, as a focal point for education, research and collaboration to improve honeybee health;
- Welcomed almost 3,000 visitors to the center since it opened in April 2014;
- Conducted two mobile bee care tours that reached 4,750 people and traveled more than 8,300 miles to promote bee health; and
- Created an annual award to recognize beekeepers who have used beekeeping to improve their local communities.
For more information on Bayer’s bee health initiatives, visit www.beehealth.bayer.us.