Although growers use a variety of innovative tools to produce a healthy and robust harvest, there is one natural tool they must rely on to help produce the world's food supply - the honey bee.
More than a quarter of all plants consumed in the U.S. are dependent upon honey bee pollination. To further the understanding of the important role bees play, Bayer is launching its first national Bee Care Tour. The Tour will foster education and collaboration among growers, beekeepers, researchers and others interested in honey bee health.
The mobile Bee Care Tour is launching this week in Orlando, Fla. and will travel to university agriculture schools and farm communities across Corn Belt states over the next three months. Tour stops will include The Ohio State University in Wooster; University of Illinois in Urbana; Iowa State University in Ames; The University of Nebraska in Lincoln; and University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
"At Bayer, we strongly believe that advancing sustainable solutions for honey bee health requires ongoing collaboration with partners and stakeholders," said Robyn Kneen, Bayer CropScience North America Bee Health Project Manager. "Through our mobile Bee Care Tour, Bayer will foster interaction directly with supporters of bee health across the country to heighten discussion, increase awareness regarding good stewardship practices and encourage the sharing of ideas."
At each location, a specially-wrapped vehicle will bring an interactive exhibit, stewardship workshops and expert presentations on issues impacting bee health to communities that care about the health of bees. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in Bayer's Pollinator Pledge, an initiative encouraging stakeholders to make pollinator health and stewardship a priority.
Specifically, the tour will:
Provide information on the vital role honey bees play in sustainable agriculture and our food supply;
Raise awareness of the health challenges impacting honey bee populations;
Foster collaboration among growers, beekeepers and other stakeholders to promote best stewardship practices and bee health.
The Bee Care Tour is part of Bayer's overall Bee Care Program, which brings Bayer's extensive experience and knowledge in pollinator health under one platform.
The Bee Care Program also includes a Bee Care Center, expected to be completed in 2013, at the North American Bayer CropScience Headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C., which will aid the advancement of honey bee research by providing a state-of-the-art research and meeting facility.
Additionally, the program includes Bayer's Bee Ambassador Campaign, a field staff training initiative dedicated to cultivating dialogue and awareness around topics related to honey bee management and health.
"Bayer recognizes the important role of bees in our backyards, our communities, our crop fields and our world," said Kneen. "Through the Bee Care Tour, we hope to help increase the public's awareness of the critical need for pollinators to help maintain the world's food supply."