Healthy Hives

Healthy Hives 2020 advisory council
Healthy Hive 2020 Workshop Participants:
Kneeling (L-R):
Dan Schmehl, David Tarpy, Don Parker, Al Summers
1st Row (L-R): Tim Tucker, Barb Glen, Randy Verhoek, Gordy Wardell, Christi Heintz, Sara Riley (Crop Science Intern), Annie Krueger (Crop Science Intern), Melanie Robinson, Don Hopkins
2nd Row (L-R): Jamie Ellis, Dick Rogers, Reed Johnson, Dave Fischer, Raj Singh, Steve Sheppard, David Westervelt (Not pictured – Elina Nino)
Healthy Hives 2020 is a major initiative focused on finding tangible solutions that will improve the health of honey bee colonies in the United States by the year 2020. Through the initiative, Crop Science, a division of Bayer is partnering with experts on bee health and establishing an advisory council to discuss strategies to improve honey bee health by:  
  • Better quantifying the characteristics of a healthy honey bee hive;
  • Enhancing collaboration, communication and partnerships to address honey bee health issues; and
  • Identifying and developing new strategies and tangible solutions that will improve colony health.
“The goal of Healthy Hives 2020 is to define the current status of honey bee health in the U.S. and establish priorities with measurable goals to improve the health of honey bees through collaboration with some of the country’s most recognized pollinator health experts,” said Dr. David Fischer, director of Pollinator Safety at Crop Science, a division of Bayer.

Healthy Hives 2020 logoThe Health Hives 2020 Advisory Council includes about 20 members, bringing together bee health stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds including academia, government, agriculture, business and the beekeeping community. The cross-section of these communities will be able to better quantify and determine the characteristics of a healthy honey bee hive in order to develop new strategies and concrete solutions to improve colony health.

The Advisory Council came together for a two-day workshop on June 2-3, 2015 with the goal of determining present honey bee health conditions  in the U.S. and setting tangible and assessable initiatives to improve honey bee health by the year 2020. While these research areas are still being developed, they provide a potential roadmap for the future. When the assessment of these projects is completed, the steering committee will present fully-developed proposals and work with partnering organizations in order to turn these ideas into reality.

Healthy Hives 2020 Video: Taking Action to Help Improve Bee Health

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This editorial by Barbara Glenn, Ph.D., the CEO of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, states that there is “reason to be optimistic” about the efforts being taken to address challenges facing pollinators and beekeepers. She points to the recently announced strategy of the Pollinator Task Force and its multipronged approach to improving bee health as one reason. Additionally, there is “growing collaboration among many diverse stakeholders,” including the Healthy Hives 2020 initiative by Crop Science, a division of Bayer. The opinion piece was published in The Hill’s Congress Blog on July 20, 2015.
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