New Research Proposals Aim to Improve Honey Bee Health

Bayer Crop Science News Release  February 18, 2016

Project Apis m. to spearhead multi-year research funded by Bayer’s Healthy Hives 2020 initiative

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (Feb. 18, 2016) – Bayer and Project Apis m. today announced they are partnering to sponsor research to improve the health of honey bee colonies in the United States within the next five years.

A multi-year, $1 million research effort, Bayer’s Healthy Hives 2020 initiative brought together a diverse group of bee experts to prioritize the most urgent research areas needed to improve the health of U.S. colonies by the end of 2020. Project Apis m., the leading non-profit organization dedicated to pollination research, will oversee the administration of the Bayer-funded research grants which are focused on the following major research objectives:

  • Conducting an economic assessment of the “true” cost of commercial beekeeping operations to help beekeepers maximize efficiency and production;
  • Creating a set of “Best Management Practices” for commercial beekeeping based on definitive colony health performance data;
  • Evaluating the use of “smart hive” technology to monitor honey bee colony health during commercial migratory operations; and,
  • Assessing honey bee genetics for traits that are relevant to colony resistance to pests and diseases, as well as pollination efficiency and honey production in the United States.

“While the overall number of honey bee colonies continues to increase, they are still being impacted by a wide range of health-related issues,” said Christi Heintz, executive director of Project Apis m., Peso Robles, California. “In issuing a request for proposals, our goal is to identify scientists and promising research initiatives that can help solve some of the most critical concerns facing beekeepers today.”

Proposals should address one or more of the key focus areas and include qualifications of the research team, proposed timelines, deliverables and budget. According to Heintz, the intent is to conduct multi-year investigations with annual reports on progress toward achieving project goals. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m., PST, Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

The new research effort arose out of Bayer’s Healthy Hives 2020 initiative, which launched in 2015 with a two-day workshop that brought together some of the nation’s leading bee health experts and stakeholders at the Bayer North American Bee Care Center in Research Triangle, North Carolina. The 17 summit workshop attendees identified a wide range of bee health concerns which were later reviewed by the Healthy Hives 2020 Steering Committee and prioritized into the most promising areas of research that were announced today.

“Today’s announcement represents a collaborative effort of some of the country’s leading bee health stakeholders including beekeepers, academic researchers, governmental officials and industry representatives,” said Dr. Steve Sheppard, professor of entomology and departmental chair at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, who chairs the Healthy Hives 2020 Steering Committee.

Healthy Hives 2020 is one of several activities of Bayer’s North American Bee Care Program. “We have supported and promoted bee health for nearly 30 years,” said Dr. David Fischer, director of pollinator safety, Crop Science, a division of Bayer. “Because of the critical role honey bees play in crop pollination, we have long recognized that a vibrant beekeeping industry is vital to maintaining sustainable agriculture.”

Other Bayer bee health programs include:

  • Establishing the North American Bee Care Center two years ago as a focal point for education, research and collaboration, hosting more than 6,000 visitors;
  • Launching Feed a Bee, a major honey bee forage initiative that engaged more than 250,000 consumers last year to distribute seed to plant more than 65 million flowers; and,
  • Forming more than 70 partnerships with a wide range of organizations to plant thousands of acres of forage for honey bees.

For more information on Bayer’s bee health programs, please visit www.beehealth.bayer.us.

http://goo.gl/RaROLB

Bayer Concurs With EPA Findings on Certain Neonicotinoid Hazards to Honey Bees

Beyond Pesticides   January 14, 2016 

Bayer CropScience, revising its stance, has decided to concur with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) preliminary risk assessment of neonicotinoids and acknowledge the finding of harm to honey bees in certain crops. A spokesman for Bayer CropScience said the neonic-selling giant has reviewed the assessment and found it to be “quite good and scientifically sound,” according to a news report. The Guardian is reporting that Bayer will be proposing new protections for pollinators, however the company has not yet announced what the new protections will be. This is a stark turnaround from Bayer’s statement last week, which said EPA’s assessment “appears to overestimate the potential for harmful exposures in certain crops, such as citrus and cotton, while ignoring the important benefits these products provide and management practices to protect bees.”

Last week, EPA released its preliminary honey bee risk assessment for one of the most widely used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid, which is linked to...

Continue reading... http://beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/2016/01/neonic-creator-bayer-agrees-with-epa-about-neonic-dangers/

Source: The Guardian

BayerCropScience Opens North American Bee Care Center

Triangle Business Journal   Raleigh/Durham Press Release   4/15/14

State-of-the-Art Facility Dedicated to Improving Honey Bee Health through Research and Development, Education

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.April 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of Bayer CropScience's more than 25-year commitment to pollinator health, today the company celebrated the grand opening of its North American Bee Care Center, at its North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park. The $2.4 million center brings together significant technological, scientific and academic resources, with goals of promoting improved honey bee health, product stewardship and sustainable agriculture. A 6,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, the Center will complement the Eastern Bee Care Technology Station in Clayton, N.C., and a Bee Care Center at the joint global headquarters campus of Bayer CropScience and Bayer Animal Health in Monheim, Germany.

The North American Bee Care Center, part of the company's $12 million investment in bee health in 2014, brings together some of the brightest minds in agriculture and apiology to develop comprehensive solutions for bee health. This includes entomologists and apiarists...

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