AG NEWS
AG NEWS

Swarming Together to Support Honey Bee Health

  • Jun 15, 2015
This week, a buzz can be heard as people swarm together to raise awareness and advocate for honey bee health during National Pollinator Week. As a proud member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition, Land O’Lakes, Inc. is working to achieve a healthy population of honey bees to support productive agricultural systems and thriving ecosystems.

Honey bees are essential for sustainable agriculture, healthy diets, a bountiful global food supply, and a prospering economy. One-third of global food production is dependent on pollination by honey bees and other pollinators. This translates into $18 billion in American agriculture that relies on the work of honey bees. 

Unfortunately, honey bees are currently facing numerous stress factors and, in turn, declining as a population. Recently, 29% of the honey bee population has been lost each winter, compared to merely 10-15% historically. 

The Honey Bee Health Coalition and its members are striving to combat the downturn of honey bees by implementing novel and proven solutions to challenges, enhancing effective communication and collaboration, and instituting sound science and evidence when making decisions. Land O’Lakes is also doing our part to make a positive impact on the health of honey bees by installing hives in our community and planting a pollinator garden.

Additionally, organizations such as the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and Golf Course Industry (GCI) are bringing awareness to honey bee health by providing information about fostering honey bee wellness on golf courses. In order to conserve pollinators that call your golf course home, familiarize yourself with native pollinators and their habitats and adjust existing land management practices to avoid causing undue harm to bees. Honey bee lives can also be saved by reading all labels and strictly following application guidelines when applying pesticides. Furthermore, consider transforming out-of-play areas into diversified habitats for pollinators.  For more information on honey bee health preservation in the golf industry, take a moment to read about a superintendent who experimented with managing pollinator habitats at his course and discover some suggestions for safeguarding bee populations.

We encourage you to leave your mark on the honey bee population by visiting the Honey Bee Health Coalition’s website and planting your own pollinator garden as well.  After all, “Healthy Bees.  Healthy People. Healthy Planet.”