Visitors to Becknology Days at Beck’s Hybrids in Atlanta, Ind., were able to tour the Bayer CropScience Bee Care exhibit, as well as observe a hive of bees and help the Bayer experts locate the queen bee.
Visitors to Becknology Days at Beck’s Hybrids in Atlanta, Ind., were able to tour the Bayer CropScience Bee Care exhibit, as well as observe a hive of bees and help the Bayer experts locate the queen bee.

ATLANTA, Ind. — Bayer CropScience has been busy buzzing around the country, touring with the North American Bayer Bee Care exhibit.

Robyn Kneen, who serves as the head of the North American Bayer CropScience Bee Care Program, noted that the company unveiled the exhibit two years ago to help raise the awareness of how important honeybees are to agriculture.

“One-third of every bite of food one eats comes from bees,” she said, adding that Bayer is committed to the coexistence of crop protection products and bees in the same environment.

The reason Bayer CropScience started touring with the Bee Care exhibit, which included the Commodity Classic earlier in the year, was to try and foster communication among the different industries in the agriculture sector, as well as to individuals who live in urban areas, Kneen said.

“The best thing for the bees is if growers and beekeepers communicate with each other,” she said, adding that the exhibit also has traveled across much of the Midwest and stopped at several land-grant universities to make presentations.

At first, she noted, not everybody who came to a Bee Care event really understood why Bayer was raising awareness of the striped insects because they didn’t fully understand the importance of bees.

However, once people participate and walk through the Bee Care exhibit they are better able to understand bee health and why farmers and growers need to work with beekeepers to help protect the creatures, she said.

“Many ask how they can help or contribute,” she said, adding that the Bayer CropScience experts who tour with the Bee Care program inform people that not only are open lines of communications vital, but there also are simple things an individual can do to help a bee hive remain healthy.

One of those steps is planting wildflowers because, just like humans, bees like to collect pollen from a wide variety of food items, Kneen said.

“More and more land is being used for monoculture agriculture. Corn and soybeans are not the best for honeybees,” she said, which is why Bayer hands out wildflower seed packets at the Bee Care exhibit and encourages guests to plant them in their yard.

Kneen stressed how a farmer planting wildflowers or alfalfa around the edge of a field can greatly help the honeybee population because it is providing more forage for them the eat.

Besides the touring Bee Care exhibit, Bayer CropScience is set to open the Bayer North American Bee Care Center in Raleigh, N.C., in January.

The center will provide an area for further research to be completed on what factors are affecting the dwindling numbers in the honey bee population.