To boost bee health, Syngenta developed Operation Pollinator to establish pollinator habitats in field borders, hedgerows, filter strips, marginal cropland and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land. This program is critical to bee colonies that have become more fragile from factors including Varroa mites, declining habitat and reduced food supplies.
“Increasing the amount of flowering habitat will go a long way toward helping bees,” said Jay Overmyer, Ph.D., a Syngenta technical expert in ecotoxicology.
A global initiative, Operation Pollinator started in Europe more than 12 years ago and has expanded across the U.S. in the last several years. Syngenta has been working with scientists at the University of Florida, Michigan State University and the University of California, Davis, to determine what types of flowering plants can be grown successfully in one-acre plots adjacent to agricultural fields.
“The focus is habitat creation and restoration as well as management for native pollinators,” said Overmyer, who noted that Syngenta is also working with companies in the hotel industry and golf course operators to establish Operation Pollinator plots on U.S. golf courses. “We don’t have all the answers yet, but Operation Pollinator is providing new options to protect bee health.”