Fall is a time of pumpkin pie and hot apple cider, but neither of these would be possible without the hard work of pollinators. To honor the efforts of these busy creatures, Bayer is celebrating fall with their Feed a Bee program and the planting of wildflowers and dedicated forage areas.
Feed a Bee is on a mission to create pollinator forage across the U.S. Currently they’re making their way to four locations: Lubbock, Texas; Scott City, Kansas; Flanagan, Illinois and Fort Pierce, Florida, over the course of six weeks to plant 50 million wildflower seeds. Locations were chosen because of the resources of an important partner in this project, The Wildlife Society (TWS).
TWS Business Solutions and Development Manager Chuck Shively says they are a science-based organization looking to aide pollinators. “When the work of Bayer Bee Care came to our attention – the work that they’ve been doing for many, many years; the research in trying to maintain and bring back a thriving population of pollinators – we started having conversations about what they were doing and how we might spread the word through our membership and our social media followers across North America,” said Shively.
So far Bayer’s Feed a Bee program has wildly exceeded expectations, according to Dr. Becky Langer, project manager for the North American Bayer Bee Care Program. “The goal of 25 million has been exceeded and we’re actually planting 50 million this fall with the help of many people across the nation and a big part of that is The Wildlife Society and the conjunction of their local chapters and driving that social media attention,” Langer says. “It’s been an outstanding response and we’re going to blow that original goal out of the water.”
Festivities began at Texas Tech University, where the Department of Plant and Soil Science hosted an educational pollinator field day. Attendees helped to begin a new forage area at Quaker Avenue Research Farm. November and December will see plantings in the remaining three locations, held in conjunction with other partner organizations and communities.
“Every additional bit of forage planted helps pollinators, whether it’s next to a community garden, alongside cropland or in a homeowner’s backyard,” Langer says. “We’re proud to work with TWS and our other fantastic Feed a Bee partners this fall for the first annual forage planting tour. By planting these wildflower seeds, we’re helping to sow a healthier spring for honey bees and other pollinators.”
Learn more about the pollinator program here: Interview with Becky Langer & Chuck Shively