In a European-wide initiative to promote the planting of flowering strips for pollinators, many Bayer Group sites are helping to enhance the nutritional status of bees and other beneficial insects by planting lush flower fields on their campuses. This initiative is part of a broad corporate strategy to improve the health and well-being of bees.
One of the main reasons for the ailing health of bees in some regions of Europe and North America is lack of nutritious foods,” says Annette Schürmann, Head of the Bayer Bee Care Center in Monheim, highlighting the rationale behind the flowering strip initiative. “Over the years, more and more natural forage habitats for bees and other pollinators have disappeared,” she adds.
“We at Bayer are now actively working towards reversing this trend.” In 2013, the Bayer blooming acreage at sites from the Netherlands to Germany and France has reached some 45,000 m2, providing food and shelter to the local pollinators.
During the summer, the flower fields were in full bloom, alive with beneficial insects, delighting Bayer employees and visitors alike with their colorful beauty.
Bayer is encouraging beekeepers, hobby gardeners, farmers, and local authorities to join the initiative to plant blooming strips. To help them get started, Bayer has developed “Bee Pasture”, a seed mixture of around 35 different wild flowers that offer nutrition – and an ever-changing display of color – from spring to late autumn.
In addition, Bayer has been supporting rural villages to plant flower strips along lanes, field ways, hiking trails and bicycle tracks to create an uninterrupted nutritional network for the precious pollinators.
Farmers are highly dependent on the pollination services of bees and other beneficial insects. To support the farmers, Bayer is strongly involved in promoting initiatives to improve the health of bees.
To this end, the Bayer Bee Care Center in Germany and the one planned to open in the USA in early 2014 offer platforms for the exchange of scientific information, best practices and new ideas on bee health.
As part of the Bayer Bee Care Program, Bayer researchers are also working with external collaborators to develop new solutions to help fight the Varroa mite, one of the most destructive enemies of the honey bee.
To find out more about these initiatives and other activities being carried out through the Bee Care Center, take a look at our homepage.