Honey Bee Health
More Than Honey
If you eat, you need honey bees. Your dessert, lunch box and morning pick-me-up all benefit from honey bee pollination. Without these important insects we risk losing watermelon, pumpkin, blueberries, and peaches along with beeswax, almonds and honey! Many of your favorite treats, drinks and snacks depend on the humble honey bee and other pollinators.
Why are Honey Bees in Trouble?
This pest is the #1 threat to honey bees. Almost every colony in the U.S and Canada has varroa mites. The varroa attaches to honey bees, spreads viruses and bacteria, steals nutrition and makes them sick. Our scientists are working to develop technology to protect the honey bee from this nasty parasite.
Lack of Nutrition
Honey bees eat nectar from wildflowers. Due to climate change and other factors, many of these bee-friendly flowers are missing from meadows, forests and valleys. One way we are trying to help our pollinator friends in this area is to encourage farmers to grow wildflowers along their property.
Pesticides & More
Pesticides play a vital role in farming and beekeeping. To help fight varroa mites, beekeepers apply insecticides to their hives. Unfortunately, these products can negatively affect the health of honey bees, because honey bees are insects too. That's why we're working to develop technology intended to more precisely target the varroa mite and limit its negative impact on honey bee colonies.
Honey Bee Health Coalition
Since the dawn of humanity honey bees have been helping us — now, it’s time to return the favor. Through the Honey Bee Health Coalition we're joining farmers, universities, conservation groups and others to improve honey bee health. This issue is too big, too important and too complex for one company or group — we have to work together.
The Bee Understanding Project
Part of our collective efforts include working to create better communication between farmers and beekeepers. To encourage collaboration, the Bee Understanding Project asked a beekeeper, farmer, entomologists, and crop advisor to swap jobs and experience the challenges facing honey bees from different perspectives.
Watch a preview of this short documentary below, or visit their website to learn more about The Bee Understanding Project.