Monsanto Company Forms Honey Bee Advisory Council, Pledges Support For Honey
Bee Health At First-Of-Its-Kind Summit
Monsanto Commits To Collaboration With Beekeeping Industry Partners To Improve
Honey Bee Health
ST. LOUIS, June 13, 2013
ST. LOUIS, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, a first-of-its-kind Honey Bee
Health Summit concluded at Monsanto Company's Chesterfield Village Research
Center. The three-day event hosted by Project Apis m. (PAm) and Monsanto's
Honey Bee Advisory Council (HBAC) included nearly 100 members of the bee
community representing academics, beekeepers, industry associations and
Summit attendees heard from some of the nation's top apiculture researchers on
the challenges facing honey bees, an important ecosystem service provider and
Learning from the Honey Bee Community
"Healthy honey bees are essential for productive agriculture and the
environment," said Jerry Hayes, who runs Monsanto's bee industry efforts as
the Beeologics commercial lead. "As a company focused on sustainable
agriculture, Monsanto has made significant investments in collaborations and
R&D for the betterment of honey bee health, including the formation of
Monsanto's Honey Bee Advisory Council."
Monsanto joined forces with beekeeping industry experts to form the HBAC.
Through the counsel of these experts from the beekeeping industry, Monsanto
has learned a great deal about the complex challenges facing beekeepers.
Members of Monsanto's HBAC include:
oDiana Cox-Foster, Ph.D., professor, entomology, Penn State University
oDavid Mendes, commercial beekeeper and past president of American
oGus Rouse, honey bee queen breeder and owner of Kona Queen Hawaii, Inc.
oLarry Johnson, row crops grower and commercial beekeeper
In addition to working with the honey bee community, Monsanto, alongside other
agriculture industry leaders, supports best management practices that are
beneficial to honey bee health. Monsanto supports The Guide to Seed Treatment
Stewardship, which the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and CropLife
America (CLA) recently released. The Guide is an industry-wide initiative that
promotes the safe handling and management of treated seeds.
Forage for Pollinating Bees
Year-one results of a three-year partnership between PAm and Monsanto also
were provided during the summit. The goal of the partnership is to educate and
provide forage with growers and landowners in California about the value of
planting honey bee forage on land they would otherwise leave unused. The
selected flowering plants provide pollen diversity to keep pollinating bees
Almond pollination is extremely important and it demands more colonies than
any other crop. It takes approximately 800 commercial beekeepers and 1.6
million honey bee colonies to pollinate California almonds.
"To ensure strong colonies and healthy honey bees for pollination, they need
access to varied forage," said Christi Heintz, executive director, PAm. "This
partnership signifies a strong commitment to helping find sustainable
solutions to improve bee health by providing honey bee forage," said Heintz.
130 percent of the first year's goal was achieved, yielding an area of 450
acres of forage.
Working to Control the Varroa Mite
Based largely on HBAC's counsel, Monsanto has focused its bee health research
efforts on finding a way to control the Varroa mite, which is a carrier of
various viruses that are harmful to honey bees. The Varroa mite is considered
to be a potential leading contributor to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
"If beekeepers let mite pressure get out of control, it becomes an uphill
battle and they usually lose," said Hayes.
Monsanto's BioDirect™ technology has the potential for sustainable benefits to
beekeepers, growers and consumers in the form of biological solutions. The
technology has the potential to control a problem insect on a beneficial
insect without harm to the beneficial insect. BioDirect technologies may
ultimately be used to identify new and additional opportunities for current
herbicides, create better insect control options and offer new virus-control
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions
and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.
Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers
to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural
resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our
commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter^®
at www.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows at
www.monsantoblog.com, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.
Beeologics is an international firm dedicated to restoring bee health and
protecting the future of insect pollination. Beeologics was founded in 2007
upon many years of research conducted by some of the world's leading
scientists and became a unit of Monsanto Company in 2011. Through continuous
research, scientific innovation and a focus on solutions, Beeologics is
developing a line of products to specifically address the long-term well being
of bees. With offices and laboratories in the United States and Israel,
Beeologics brings together some of the world's most recognized scientists in
its field to help achieve its mission to positively impact bee health
worldwide. To learn more about Beeologics, please visit: www.beeologics.com.
Contact Billy Brennan firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Monsanto Company
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