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Source: Bayer CropScience news release

Did you know an estimated 15 percent of the combined value of U.S. fruit, nut, vegetable and field crop production can be attributed to pollinators? Bees, birds and butterflies are essential to agriculture and urban and rural landscapes, making the protection of pollinators critical to the future of the world's food supply.

To celebrate the contribution of pollinators to agriculture, Bayer concludes its 2nd Bee Care Tour during National Pollinator Week (June 16-22) by hosting community and Congressional events aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of pollinator health.

Bayer's National Pollinator Week initiatives launch with a Congressional reception in Washington, D.C. on June 18. The event will gather Congressional officials and others interested in bee health to learn more about the importance of pollinators.

Pollinator-inspired hors d'oeuvres, the signature "D.C. Bee's Knees" cocktail and a portable observation hive will help celebrate the contribution pollinators make to agriculture.

The Congressional reception will also honor this year's recipient of the 2nd annual Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award, an accolade presented to an organization that has harnessed the power of the honey bee colony to develop innovative projects that benefit a community. The award, an initiative of Bayer's North American Bee Care Program, provides a $5,000 grant to the winner to be used in support of a community beekeeping project.

"Bayer strongly believes that education and collaboration are essential to increasing support for pollinator health," said Monty Christian, vice president of U.S. Cotton Operations at Bayer CropScience LP. "National Pollinator Week provides us with a forum to connect with interested stakeholders and the broader community to celebrate the value of pollinators to sustainable agriculture."

Bayer's National Pollinator Week events also include a pollinator garden planting on June 19 at The SEED Public Charter School of Washington, D.C. Pollinator gardens provide forage essential to the health of honey bees, and Bayer will donate $10,000 over two years to the school for maintenance of the garden.

Bayer partnered with the University of the District of Columbia Master Gardener Program to plant the garden and the event will gather students, local agriculture and beekeeping organizations, industry experts and Bayer employees to help establish forage to provide honey bees with proper nutrition. A portable observation hive of live bees will help educate attendees on the interworkings of a hive and emphasize the importance of colony nutrition.

"Pollinator forage is essential to the health of honey bees," said Sandra Farber, president of the University of the District of Columbia Master Gardener Program. "We are delighted to partner with Bayer CropScience and come together with students and industry stakeholders to plant a garden to support pollinator health."

Bayer has been actively involved in finding solutions to improve honey bee health for more than 25 years. Its Bee Care Program includes initiatives designed to further bee health research, engagement and discussion and brings Bayer's extensive experience and knowledge in bee health under one platform.

Bee Care Program initiatives include:

Opening a new Bee Care Center at Bayer's North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C. that serves as a focal point for honey bee health research as well as a meeting facility for a wide range of stakeholders committed to improving honey bee health;

The 2nd Bayer Bee Care Tour, which concludes this week in Washington, D.C. after it visited major agricultural schools and events in six states to foster collaboration among beekeepers, growers, researchers and others concerned about bee health;

Opening a new Eastern Bee Care Technology Station in Clayton, N.C., to support the already established research apiary and work in tandem with broad honey bee health initiatives; and

Training more than 350 employees as Bee Ambassadors, a field staff training campaign dedicated to cultivating dialogue and awareness around topics related to honey bee management and health.

For more information on Bayer's activities during National Pollinator Week, please visit Also, view our 2013 National Pollinator Week video to learn about Bayer's previous commitment to pollinator health.

Bayer is dedicated to crop protection and is committed to environmental stewardship and sustainable agricultural practices, including the protection of beneficial insects such as honey bees.

For additional information and background on other sustainability initiatives please visit

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