Bayer Seeks Nominations for Award Honoring Collaboration between Beekeepers and Growers

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (June 23, 2016) – Bayer Crop Science Division today announced it is seeking nominations for its fourth annual Bee Care Community Leadership Award. The 2016 program recognizes a partnership between a beekeeper and a grower whose collaboration protects pollinators and benefits their community.

An initiative of Bayer’s North American Bee Care Program, the award provides a $6,000 grant to the winners to be used in support of a community partnership that demonstrates how beekeepers and growers are working together to promote and protect pollinators. This year‘s award has evolved from previous years of focusing on the efforts of individuals to recognizing the importance of collaboration between beekeepers and growers in supporting our pollinators.

A panel of three judges consisting of Pamela Smith, editor at The Progressive Farmer, Joe Graham, editor at the American Bee Journal and Dr. Becky Langer-Curry, program manager for the Bayer Bee Care Center, will consider applications based on select criteria. Specifically, they will make their decision based on a description of the cooperative project submitted, the quality of answers to questions about bee health, and a letter of reference from one of several stakeholders, such as an apiarist, community organization, grower, agricultural group or member of a relevant organization, such as a beekeeping or gardening association.

“Honey bees play a critical role in supporting modern agricultural production, the pollination value of which has been estimated as much as $15 billion to American crops,” said Dr. Becky Langer-Curry, project manager for the Bayer North American Bee Care Program. “By working together, beekeepers and growers have shown how they can promote pollinators in their communities. This effort will highlight such programs and support partnerships that support crops and honey bees in a mutually beneficial manner.”

The past winners of the Bee Care Community Leadership Award exemplify beekeepers who leveraged their passion for honey bees into ways that benefited their neighbors and communities:
-2015 winner Paul Vonk of Mountain City, Georgia, created “HiveTool,” a system he created to help beekeepers better understand their hives, bee health and larger pollinator trends.
-2014 winner Herbert Everhart of Kearneysville, West Virginia, was recognized for founding an innovative program for veterans and youth to learn about beekeeping.
-2013 winner Steve McNair of Flanagan, Illinois, is the director of development at Salem4youth, a therapeutic residential program for at-risk men ages 12-18 years old. Through beekeeping, he provided a unique skill set and approach to teaching responsibility and discipline to Salem4youth teens.

Any beekeeper and grower pair that has created a partnership that promotes bee health in their community may apply. Those interested in applying for the award can obtain an application at BeeHealth.Bayer.us/Beekeepers/Community-Leadership-Award. The deadline for submission is Aug. 19, 2016.

The Community Leadership Award is only one of several Bayer North American Bee Care Program initiatives.  Others include:
-Healthy Hives 2020, a program to support key areas of research to tangibly improve hive health in the United States by the year 2020 through investments totaling $1 million in grants over four years.
-Feed a Bee, an initiative to improve nutrition for pollinators by planting ­flowers and establishing additional forage acreages by working with individuals and organizations throughout the U.S.

For more information on Bayer’s bee health initiatives, please visit: Beehealth.Bayer.us. You can also follow and share with us on Twitter @BayerBeeCare, on Facebook at Facebook.com/BayerBeeCareCenter and view photos on Flickr.