A new research initiative from Bayer CropScience looks to improve the health of honey bee colonies. Healthy Hives 2020 will be conducted over the next five years and will bring together a cross-section of bee health stakeholders from multiple sectors, including academia, government, agriculture, business and the beekeeping community.
Bayer CropScience is organizing a two-day workshop on June 2-3, 2015 with the goal of determining present honey bee health conditions in the U.S. and setting three tangible and assessable initiatives to improve honey bee 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 overall number of honey bee colonies in North America is increasing, they are being impacted by a wide range of factors, including disease, lack of forage and invasive pests like the Varroa mite, among other major stressors,” said Dr. David Fischer, director of Pollinator Safety at Bayer CropScience. “The goal of Healthy Hives 2020 is to define the current status of honey bee health in the U.S. and establish priorities with measurable goals to improve the health of honey bees through collaboration with some of the country’s most recognized pollinator health experts.”
Along with Healthy Hives 2020, 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.