The $2.4 million center features technological, scientific and academic resources to promote improved honeybee health, product stewardship and sustainable agriculture.
The 6,000-square-foot facility will go hand-in-hand with the Eastern Bee Care Technology Station in Clayton, North Carolina and Bee Care Center at joint global headquarters campus of Bayer CropScience and Bayer Animal Health in Monheim, Germany.
Throughout 2014, Bayer CropScience will be investing $12 million in bee health. The North American Bee Care Center will include entomologists, apiarists and graduate researchers.
The North American Bee Care Center team includes Becky Langer, Bee Care program manager; Dick Rogers, M.Sc., bee health expert and manager, Bee Care Center Research Program; Dr. Ana Cabrera, pollinator safety and varroa mite research scientist; Sarah Myers, apiarist and event manager, Bee Care Center; Kim Huntzinger, bee health laboratory diagnostic specialist; Sadye Howald, field apiarist in Indiana; and Jim Dempster, apiarist at Eastern Bee Care Center Technology Station in Clayton, North Carolina.
The new center houses a full laboratory with teaching and research apiary, honey extraction and hive maintenance space, as well as an interactive learning and center. The facility will also include meeting, training and presentation facilities for beekeepers, farmers and educators, as well as office space for full staff and graduate students.
There are also on-site honeybee colonies, pollinator-friendly gardens and a screened hive observation area.
Products and technology developed at the Center will control parasitic mites in honeybee hives, help manage a Healthy Bees program, assess the safety of crop protection products to bees and more. Other activities conducted on-site include a Sentinel Hive monitoring program, varroagate testing and development, Varroa resistance monitoring and varroacide screening.
As part of the grand opening celebration, the company launched the “Color Me Bee-autifully” coloring contest. The contest will include an online component, where students ages 12 and under nationwide can enter their “pollinator-friendly” artwork, which will be displayed at the Center throughout May and June. Locally, students in elementary school classrooms in the greater Raleigh-Durham area will be asked to participate as well, and will have the chance for their artwork to be displayed at the Center during July.