Bayer and the Orleans Parish 4-H chapter teamed up to help a new generation make its own mark on the city by breaking ground on a pollinator patch in the teaching garden at Benjamin Franklin Elementary Mathematics and Science School.
Working with local horticulture specialists, representatives from the Bayer Bee Care Program joined students and 4-H members at the school to plant the ideal pollinator-friendly plants to increase forage and educate the next generation of bee advocates about the importance of pollinators.
“We’re thrilled to work with Bayer to inspire a new generation of bee advocates, while ultimately enhancing our communities and teaching the students lessons about the importance of gardening and agriculture,” said Kevin Gordon, board president of the Orleans Parish 4-H Foundation.
In 2015, the Feed a Bee initiative planted more than 65 million flowers, and this year the program is kicking off with a $10,000 donation to the local 4-H chapter to establish pollinator-friendly habitats in several of the urban gardens operated by the organization throughout New Orleans.
“When we talk to the public, the most common question we hear is, ‘What can I do to help bees and other pollinators? ‘Providing pollinators with abundant, diverse food sources is one of the most important things we can all do to promote bee health,” said Dr. Becky Langer, manager of the North American Bee Care Program. “We created Feed a Bee to make it easy for people to be involved in bee advocacy and are delighted to get the kids and community of New Orleans involved in our initiative.”
Bee health experts agree lack of forage and habitat are two of the major issues affecting pollinators today. With a world population expected to grow to more than 9 billion people requiring 70 percent more food by 2050, we’re increasingly relying on bees, the world’s most heavily traveled livestock, to pollinate many of the foods required for a nutritious diet and the rich diversity of the flowers and plants we cultivate and enjoy in our homes and gardens.
Feed a Bee is a major initiative to increase food for honey bees and other pollinators by planting more flowers and establishing additional forage acreage. By working with organizations such as the Orleans Parish 4-H chapter, Feed a Bee will help to provide pollinators with the diverse forage and habitat they need to thrive. For more information on Bayer’s bee health initiatives, please visit: http://beehealth.bayer.us. You can also follow and share with us on Twitter @BayerBeeCare, on Facebook at facebook.com/BayerBeeCareCenter and view photos on Flickr.