Honey Bee Care and Bayer
Honey bee health is a complex issue
For more than 25 years, Bayer has been actively involved in finding solutions to protect honey bee health. That’s why we support and collaborate with agricultural, scientific, governmental and beekeeper communities to research and better understand the impact of various factors on honey bee populations.
Most scientists, experts and regulators agree that any declines in honey bee health are a result of multiple factors, including parasites, diseases, inadequate nutrition, adverse weather, hive management practices, and misuse of crop and hive chemical products. Evidence shows neonicotinoids are not responsible for declines in honey bee colonies.
Honey bees matter to us
We truly understand that honey bee health is critical to the success of the agriculture sector and our company. Bayer is the single largest contractor of honey bee hives for pollination services in Canada for our InVigor hybrid canola seed business, and this hybrid could not be grown without the pollination service they provide. Their continued health is therefore of utmost importance to us.
What are we doing for bees?
Our Bee Care Program
In 2012, Bayer initiated a global Bee Care Program to further promote honey bee health. This program brings together our experience and knowledge of bee health under one coordinated initiative, which includes:
- Opening state-of-the-art Bee Care Centers (BBCC) in Europe and North America, which are dedicated to improving honey bee health through collaborative research, education and training.
- Launching our Fluency Agent, an innovative seed lubrication technology to help reduce the potential for unintended exposure of neonicotinoid dust to honey bees during corn and soybean seed planting.
- Implementing the Sentinel Hive Program in collaboration with beekeepers to monitor the health of colonies associated with agricultural production.
- Developing Varroa Gate, a novel technology consisting of a perforated plastic strip installed at the hive entrance that releases an active acaricidal compound that helps manage destructive Varroa mite infestations without contaminating the honey.
- Engaging in efficacy screens of registered acaricides to monitor for the development of resistance in Varroa mites, as well as testing of new active ingredients for Varroa control to offer new control option alternatives to beekeepers.
- Collaborating with leading researchers and participating in major scientific forums to remain up-to-date on the latest advances, as well as to identify fruitful areas of honey bee research.
- Encouraging our seed treatment farmers and applicators to CARE through the following practices:
- Communicate planting activities to neighboring beekeepers and be aware of adjacent beehives;
- Be aware of wind speed and direction during planting, particularly in areas with flowering crops;
- Reduce potential exposures to bees by using Fluency Agent, a new seed lubricant for corn and soybeans; and
- Ensure each seed is planted correctly.
Working with partners for solutions
Bayer will continue to work with industry stakeholders such as CropLife Canada, Canadian Seed Trade Association, and the Canadian Honey Council, as well as agricultural associations such as the Canola Council of Canada, Grain Farmers of Ontario, and the Canadian Horticulture Council to ensure the responsible use of neonicotinoid seed treatments. We will also work collaboratively to bring innovative crop protection and honey bee health solutions to Canadian agriculture.
For more information
To learn more about the best management practices for pollinator protection, visit www.healthcanada.gc.ca/pollinators