Bayer’s CARE Program has been promoting bee health and communication between growers and beekeepers for four years now. This program was created to educate both groups about the importance of working together, especially during planting season, to protect the vital pollinating work bees do.
Feeding, clothing and providing fuel to the world is an important work, and it wouldn’t be possible without the contribution of bees. This spring planting season the CARE program asks growers to keep these key points in mind:
- Communicate planting activities to neighboring beekeepers when practical and be aware of beehives adjacent to the planting area;
- Be Aware of wind speed and direction during planting, particularly in areas with flowering crops;
- Reduce risk to pollinators by using Fluency Agent, a planter seed lubricant for corn and soybeans; and
- Ensure seed is planted correctly. To help protect the environment, clean planters and seed boxes in a way to minimize dust release and ensure treated seed is planted at the proper depth.
The program has already seen great success, with many growers opening lines of communication with local beekeepers. The result has been a steady rise in the number of honey bee colonies, reaching 2.74 million in 2014.
“Collaborating with beekeepers is just one of the ways today’s growers are minimizing their impact on the environment,” said Kerry Grossweiler, Bayer SeedGrowth™ product manager. “Growers recognize the importance of following label instructions, adhering to best management practices and utilizing Integrated Pest Management programs, making agriculture more sustainable now than ever before.”
Bayer has spread its message through direct mailers, radio ads, video and social media. They have also invest more than $7 billion since 2011 in Research and Development to expand production capacities and seed processing facilities to create solutions to producers’ greatest concerns. And CARE is just one of the programs implemented by Bayer to create a more sustainable future. The Bayer Bee Care Program and Feed a Bee have also seen success in helping bees thrive.
“Bee health experts agree that lack of adequate forage and nutrition is one of the major factors affecting honey bees today,” said Dr. Becky Langer, manager of the North American Bee Care Program. “Feed a Bee encourages everyone, from individuals to large corporations to growers, to do their part to help bees, and the CARE Program helps to highlight another important way growers can help pollinators.”