2015 Winner Paul Vonk

Paul Yonk CLA winner press release

Paul Vonk

Winner of the Third Annual Community Leadership Award

Georgia beekeeper Paul Vonk has won the third annual Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award and the accompanying $5,000 grant to continue his work. Paul was chosen because of his efforts to improve pollinator health, by educating the beekeeping community students interested in pursuing STEM education fields through HiveTool™, which provides a noninvasive way to analyze colony health.

HiveTool provides a collection of readily available, off-the-shelf hardware and free, open source software that continuously monitors beehives. The system allows beekeepers to better manage their hives by giving real time feedback on hive conditions. Vonk also uses HiveTool to transmit data to NASA to study how bees are impacted by land use and climate changes.

Paul Vonk has made HiveTool the centerpiece of his work with a local school as well as regional beekeepers, sharing his passion and enthusiasm for beekeeping with students who previously had never worked with pollinators. The HiveTool system has attracted students to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields by allowing the students to work with bees and learn more about bee health and beekeeping.

“It is truly an honor to be chosen the winner of the 2015 Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award,” Paul said. “With Bayer's recognition and contribution, even more students and beekeepers will be able to learn about HiveTool and how it can be used to improve pollinator health.

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