by Ben Nuelle
Honey bees support billions of dollars in U.S. agriculture. According to the health coalition, over the last few years there has been a major decline in honey bee health putting agriculture at risk but populations are slowly starting to rise again. One company plans to continue their bee health promotion program into 2017.
Lance Rupert is an agronomist for Growmark.
They began a sustainability program in early 2016 called “Endure”.
“Endure is a company-wide initiative to promote sustainability. It would go across all our divisions, including energy, agronomy and grain. One of the programs is the pollinator program promoting bee health.”
Rupert says in early 2016 they gave member companies pollinator flower seed mix to put out for bee habitats.
“We had over 100 of those. We also had collaboration with 4-H and grain members as well.”
Rupert says there have been various reasons of why the bee population has been on the decline.
“One of the reasons some gave was neonicotinoid seed treatment insecticides which is what we sell so we wanted to do some outreach to promote bee health and this was a way to do that.”