By Jerry Hayes, Honey Bee Health Lead at Monsanto
This week, my friends and I will join a global community at South by Southwest Eco (SXSW Eco) to explore solutions for a sustainable world. As part of our commitment to engage in open dialogue, we’ll sit in on a variety of sustainability, farming, food and environmental workshops to learn and listen about the great work and ideas taking place around the world.
I also look forward to contributing to the panel Bees: What the Buzz is All About to discuss how we can protect the health of a precious pollinator. On October 7, author of “The Beekeeper’s Lament” Hannah Nordhaus will lead a conversation on the current state of honey bees in the U.S. and their impact on food production. Other panelists joining me in the conversation include Dennis van Engelsdorp of University of Maryland and Project Director of the Bee Informed Partnership, and Jake Wenger of Wenger Ranch & Wood Colony Nut Company. Together, we will explore ways to improve and sustain honey bee health for generations to come.
Those new to the conversation on pollinators may be interested to learn that Monsanto has been involved with honey bee research since 2011. We have a strong commitment to protecting honey bee health, and joined The Keystone Center’s Honey Bee Health Coalition to explore solutions with other like-minded organizations. Alongside the American Beekeeping Federation, fruit and nut growers, government agencies and many others, we are dedicating our support to four main areas of focus:
- Investing in new technology for Varroa mite and virus control
- Improving honey bee nutrition
- Researching the impact of pesticides and best management practices among growers and beekeepers
- Supporting the economic empowerment of beekeepers
The discussions at SXSW Eco are sure to spark the spirit of action in us all. My friends and I look forward to exchanging ideas with panelists and attendees at SXSW Eco. I hope you’ll join the conversation using #SXSWEco on Twitter and check back for a recap of our experience.
You can learn more about the panel Bees: What the Buzz is All About at SXSWEco.com.