Monheim -- Bayer welcomes the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators published by the U.S. President’s Pollinator Task Force on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.
“Bees are important pollinators in modern and sustainable agriculture. The U.S. strategy to improve pollinator health is a reasoned and multi-faceted approach,” said Annette Schuermann, Head of the Bayer Bee Care Center. “We fully support the call for extensive research into all aspects of pollinator health and the unprecedented commitment to increase suitable habitats and foraging, as a blueprint for a global approach to improving bee health.”
For almost 30 years, Bayer has been researching pollinator health, particularly managed honey bee colonies. Specifically, Bayer has focused on partnering with researchers around the world to better understand the various factors affecting honey bee health, helping beekeepers control the dangerous Varroa mite, expanding education and outreach on pollinator health, and promoting forage habitat for pollinators.
The Task Force, created last year by President Barack Obama, is co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and outlines a comprehensive approach to tackling and reducing the impact of multiple factors on pollinator health.
Four-pillar strategy to improve pollinator health
Scientists and regulatory authorities agree that bee health is a complex issue. Major factors affecting honey bee health are, for example, pests and parasites, inadequate diet, bee management practices and severe weather events. Therefore, the Task Force has developed a four-pillar strategy which includes a Pollinator Research Action Plan, expanded education and outreach, public-private partnerships and improvements to pollinator habitats.
Bayer is committed to finding solutions to further improve honey bee health and safety by promoting sustainable crop management practices, including evaluating measures to enhance on-farm biodiversity through the creation of foraging and nesting opportunities. Sharing knowledge and expertise with stakeholders in the beekeeping and agricultural communities will help achieve these goals. Bayer experts are working to improve bee health, both inside the beehives and out in the field. For example, Bayer researchers are developing new solutions that will protect bee colonies from the deadly Varroa mite.
Improvements to the regulatory systems will further protect bees
The Task Force has recognized that crop protection products play a critical role in agricultural production and the health of our society. Bayer also welcomes the U.S. approach to further reduce the potential risks to honey bees by implementing a harmonized risk assessment process.
“This harmonized process will enable the EPA to make even stronger and more scientifically reliable regulatory decisions on the uses of neonicotinoid-based crop protections products,” said Klaus Kunz, Global Regulatory Manager Insecticides at Bayer CropScience. “Pollination is important to agriculture; hence safeguarding the health of bees is a shared responsibility of all the partners involved: farmers, beekeepers and industry.”
For more information on Bayer’s bee health initiatives, please visit the respective website www.beecare.bayer.com. You can also follow and share with us on Twitter @BayerBeeCare and on Facebook at facebook.com/BayerBeeCareCenter
About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 9,494 million (2014) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 23,100 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.
Find more information at www.bayercropscience.com.