Bee trucks carrying more than 1.7 million honey bee colonies travel south to California every autumn to escape cold temperatures and to get the bees all set for the world’s largest pollination event: the almond blossom of California’s central valley. Unfortunately, the blooming season for almond orchards does not start until around Valentine in mid-February, and there are not enough natural forage habitats available over the winter months to provide food for this gigantic visiting bee population.
To help address the pre- and post-bloom food challenge, Bayer CropScience is giving $100,000 to Project Apis m., a nonprofit organization dedicated to better bee health through its work with growers. Project Apis m. will use the funds to provide seed mixes to growers in California and Washington who have agreed to plant cover crops for honey bees before and after almond bloom. The project will help build a healthier bee population to support crop pollination nationwide as bee colonies are transported to other states for other growing seasons.
“This initiative is a direct response to the lack of adequate forage needed to keep honey bees healthy and thriving,” said Jim Blome, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP North America. “In 2015, Bayer CropScience is committed to research and partnerships that will make a positive impact on honey bees.”
Project Apis m. will work with almond and other growers to get commitments for cover crops that will be planted in Fall 2015.
Read more about the initiative in the Bayer CropScience US press release.