Bayer CropScience Breaks Ground On North American Bee Care Center
As part of its continued commitment to honey bee health, Bayer CropScience broke ground on its North American Bee Care Center, a recognition of the importance of these pollinators to agriculture. Senior company managers, bee health experts and representatives from the community were on hand to begin work on the new facility, approximately a 6,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building which will complement an existing Bee Care Center that was established last year at the company’s global headquarters in Monheim, Germany.
Housed in the Bee Care Center will be a full laboratory and teaching apiary; honey extraction and workshop space; interactive learning center; and meeting, training and presentation facilities for beekeepers, farmers and educators, as well as office space for graduate students. Although the North American Bee Care Center will have its own honey bee colonies for teaching and demonstration purposes, the facility will be supported by other research apiaries, located nearby the Research Triangle Park area, to coordinate and extend research projects directed toward bee health.
The Bee Care Center, a hub to promote worldwide bee health initiatives, will serve to support scientific research and will help educate stakeholders and the general public about the importance of honey bees to agriculture by providing pollination of crops that help meet the growing global demand for a nutritious and abundant food supply. To address food challenge issues, the Center will bring together significant technological, scientific and academic resources to protect and improve honey bee health and sustainable agriculture.
In its recent comprehensive assessment on honey bee health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture noted that bees are suffering from a complex set of stressors – including parasites and diseases, lack of genetic diversity and inadequate nutrition – while stressing the need for collaboration and information sharing among all stakeholders as a critical component in promoting best management practices. The North American Bee Care Center is being created with these goals in mind.
Bayer CropScience is also expanding its Clayton research apiary, known as “Beesboro,” to include an approximate 1,200-square-foot building with an office, wintering cold room, extraction area, bee hive maintenance area and storage areas. This facility expected to be operational in late summer 2013.
“At Bayer, we have been committed to bee health for more than 25 years,” said Jim Blome, President and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP. “The Bee Care Center is the latest example of our dedication to sustainable agriculture, and we hope to continue to provide the research necessary to ensure the health of colonies and honey bees around the world. Our scientists are working to help solve some of the most pressing honey bee health problems, as their importance to the global food supply cannot be overstated.”
Additionally, the Bee Care Center will be a highly sustainable facility, which will help Bayer CropScience reduce its carbon footprint in an effort to promote corporate environmental stewardship.