Feed a Bee, the national pollinator forage initiative by Bayer, today announced it has reached its goal of awarding grants supporting diverse forage for honey bees and other pollinators in all 50 states. The 50th recipient awarded recently wasGateway to the Arctic Camp in Talkeetna, Alaska.
Dedicated to service and agriculture, the nonprofit camp teaches the significance of serving those in need and the value of hard work through fun activities involving sustainability, farming and environmental stewardship. This summer it will dedicate an entire field as forage for bees and other pollinators where campers of all abilities, including those with special needs, will discover the connection between honey bees and the crops they pollinate.
“We’re proud to have awarded more than $650,000 for pollinator-focused planting projects over the last three years,” says Becky Langer, project manager, Bayer North American Bee Care Program. “We’re now connected to nearly 170 organizations all over the country who are thinking critically about how to diversify forage for pollinators, have put that plan to action and, equally important, have integrated educational components encouraging their local community to get involved.”
“The Feed a Bee grant is a welcomed and powerful resource to continue our forage efforts at the farm,” says Raymond Nadon, executive director, Gateway to the Arctic Camp. “We’re committed to teaching Alaskans of all ages about the important role of honey bees and other pollinators in our ecosystem, and their connection to our food supply.”
Experts agree that one of the major health challenges facing honey bees is a lack of forage and habitat. Launched by the Bayer North American Bee Care Program in 2015, Feed a Bee has provided funds and sponsored educational activities encouraging people to get involved in meeting this need. To date, those efforts have led to the distribution of more than 3 billion pollinator-attractant wildflower seeds across the country.
In addition to Gateway’s efforts in Alaska, other groups awarded funding for their pollinator efforts include the Living Coast Discovery Center in San Diego, which is establishing a native pollinator garden, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which is planting pollinator-attractant wildflowers on former cropland and oil fields. Other recipients include additional nonprofits, growers and grower organizations, beekeepers and beekeeper groups, businesses, schools, clubs, gardening groups, government agencies, and more.
Feed a Bee proposals and grant submissions are selected by a steering committee comprised of independent educators, researchers and scientists. Members include:
· Billy Synk – Project Apis m.
· Dan Price – Sweet Virginia Foundation
· Diane Wilson – Applewood Seed
· Doris Mold – American Agri-Women
· Keith Norris – The Wildlife Society
· Barry Neveras – Massey Services
· Nicole Hindle – Ernst Seed
· Vince Restucci – R. D. Offutt Company
· Richard Johnstone – IVM Partners
· Scott Longing – Texas Tech University
· Scott Witte – Cantigny
· Zac Browning – American Beekeeping Federation; Project Apis m.; Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund