In light of the ‘Week of the Bee’ in Belgium, Bayer organised the ‘Farmers love bees’ event last Monday, 28th May, at its Forward Farm Hof Ten Bosch in Huldenberg. Bees and other pollinators provide a crucial pollination service that supports most of the world’s plant diversity – and a significant portion of global agriculture. In turn, the farm provides a good habitat to both managed and wild bees.
The event was a perfect opportunity to open a Bee Education Center at the farm, where visitors can learn why agriculture and bees need each other. The Peeters family , who have run the farm since 1890, and Bayer are partnering with the ‘Vlaams-Brabants Verbond’ (an umbrella organisation of beekeepers in the Flemish Brabant provence) and beekeeper association Krainer Bieënvrienden. The Center will educate new beekeepers who are just getting started via practical training in good beekeeping practises, and farmers in ways to protect and/or support bees and other pollinators.
A new pollinator garden has been planted, which will provide season-round food for the local bees at the Forward Farm in future.
The attendees of the event – including farmers, beekeepers, research institutes, educational bodies and local authorities – learned more about the Bayer Forward Farm in Huldenberg and its bee activities, the Bee Care Program, good beekeeping practices, honey bee health and the importance of wild bees in the fruit orchard. The event generated some lively discussions, which continued out in the field, where the sun was blazing. Participants could experience and hear from the experts about the challenges beekeepers face, the benefits and challenges around ecological enhancement measures and boosting pollination, and the bee safety of pesticides.
It was an eventful morning, which demonstrated that by sharing knowledge, talking to each other and joining forces, we can really make a difference when it comes to pollinator protection. It’s in the interest of all that bees do well – and not least for the farming community!