Thursday, April 17, 2014

Company that makes some pesticides linked to bee deaths opens $2.4 million bee research center

For years honeybees, which pollinate many crops, have been dying off in record numbers from a deadly virus and probably other causes. The bees are losing about a third of their population each year, with U.S. beekeepers losing 45 percent of their colonies during the 2012-2013 winter. Factors include the Varroa mite, pesticides, lack of genetic diversity, declining forage areas and diseases. Some groups have called for a ban on pesticides.

 Bee Care Center
In an attempt to reverse the deadly trend and save the bees Bayer CropScience, a maker of pesticides linked to bee deaths, on Tuesday held the grand opening of its $2.4 million, 6,000-square-foot Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C., reports Agri-Pulse, a Washington newsletter. "Bayer will develop products and technology to control parasitic mites in honey bee hives, help manage a healthy-bees program, and assess the safety of crop protection products to bees." Agri-Pulse is subscription only, but a free trial is available by clicking here.

"According to a news release, the company’s new bee center has a laboratory with a teaching and research apiary, honey extraction and hive maintenance space, a learning center, a meeting area, presentation areas, and office space for staff- or student-researchers," reports Laura Oleniacz for the Durham Herald-Sun. David R. Tarpy, an associate professor and extension beekeeper at North Carolina State University, told her, "The overall problem is that colonies are dying off at a greater rate than what is sustainable, and because we need them for pollinators, we need a sustainable honeybee population.” (Read more)

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