RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -- Honey bees and other pollinators are responsible in some way for many of the everyday things we take for granted. The apples that fill our favorite pies and many of the beautiful flowers that make up our bouquets are readily available thanks to our pollinator friends. That is why this National Pollinator Week (June 20-26), The Wildlife Society and Feed a Bee are saying "Thank you!" to them in a big way.
The Bayer Bee Care Program has engaged as a Premier Partner of The Wildlife Society (TWS). The groups will work together toward the goal of planting 25 million pollinator-attractant wildflower seeds, increasing forage and nutrition options for hungry bees that are suffering from a limited menu. So far, thousands of people have participated in "Tweet a Bee Emoji, #FeedABee," the social initiative driving the number of seeds being planted. By partnering with TWS and encouraging even more people to get involved online, Feed a Bee hopes to double the number of current engagements to reach the 25 million seeds by the fall, when the planting will take place.
"Bees and other pollinators play a vital role in contributing to the outdoor landscapes that TWS members work so hard to protect and preserve," said Ken Williams, chief executive officer of TWS. "As an organization committed to sustaining wildlife populations and habitats, TWS is partnering with the Feed a Bee program to help combat one of the leading challenges facing honey bees today – lack of forage."
TWS will engage its nearly 10,000 members to identify key areas in the U.S. in need of more forage and announce where the millions of seeds will be planted at its 23rd Annual Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, in October. The planting will occur later in the fall, just in time for the pollinator buffet to bloom and establish spring 2017 forage.
"We're excited to partner with TWS for the Feed a Bee program's first ever large-scale planting this fall," said Dr. Becky Langer, program manager of the Bayer Bee Care Program. "Planting more flowers is something everyone can do to help address the challenges pollinators face today. Conducting a planting of this magnitude on a national scale will help not only to increase forage options but also to raise awareness of the important role pollinators play in our everyday lives."
In addition to partnering for the premier planting event of the year, TWS will involve its dedicated membership of scientists, managers, educators, consultants, students and other pollinator allies to distribute and plant 60,000 wildflower seed packets, contributing to even more forage across the nation.
Partnering with TWS is one of many ways the Feed a Bee program is supporting pollinator and bee health awareness. In the year since the White House announced its National Pollinator Strategy, more than 500,000 people have engaged with Feed a Bee to plant 150 million flowers across the nation. Additionally, Feed a Bee has partnered with more than 100 organizations, including TWS, from every sector for planting and education initiatives.
In addition to leveraging their social media accounts to plant seeds, people can get involved with Feed a Bee in several ways:
- Request seed packets: For a short time, individuals can request a free packet of wildflower seeds, while supplies last, to start their own pollinator patches.
- Sing along: An original Feed a Bee music video stars Beatrice Blume and her friends as they spread wildflowers. As more people follow along and view the video, Bayer will plant additional wildflowers working with its network of Feed a Bee partners.
FeedABee.com features even more ways to help the bees, including committing to planting pollinator-attractant flowers, and encourages people to check the interactive partner map to find Feed a Bee partners in their area. Check back throughout the year to learn new ways to get involved. For more information on Bayer's bee health initiatives, please visit: http://beehealth.bayer.us. You can also follow and share with us on Twitter @BayerBeeCare, on Facebook at facebook.com/BayerBeeCareCenter and view photos on Flickr.