Monsanto Company Forms Honey Bee Advisory Council
St. Louis Front Page - Business and Technology News
How To Reach:
St. Louis Front Page
3832 S Broadway Street
St. Louis, MO 63118
To submit news, contact:
To advertise, contact:
Monsanto Company Forms Honey Bee Advisory Council|
ST. LOUIS, (SLFP.com), June 16, 2013 - The 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 government sectors.
Summit attendees heard from some of the nation's top apiculture researchers on the challenges facing honey bees, an important ecosystem service provider and natural pollinator.
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:
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.
- Diana Cox-Foster, Ph.D., professor, entomology, Penn State University
- David Mendes, commercial beekeeper and past president of American Beekeeping Federation
- Gus Rouse, honey bee queen breeder and owner of Kona Queen Hawaii, Inc.
- Larry Johnson, row crops grower and commercial beekeeper
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 strong.
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 tools.
The Saint Louis Front Page is owned and maintained by the Moore Design Group for the sole purpose of disseminating news and information about the Metropolitan Saint Louis area. Text or graphics may not be copied, rewritten or distributed in any manner whatsoever without written permission. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org All rights reserved world wide © 1996 - 2013 Moore Design Group.