Seed World

Bayer Seeks Nominations for Bee Care Community Leadership Award

Bayer announced it is seeking nominations for its fifth annual Bee Care Community Leadership Award. New in 2017, the program recognizes a partnership between a beekeeper and a grower, researcher, golf course superintendent or other stakeholder whose collaboration protects pollinators and benefits their community, as well as recognizing a young beekeeper undertaking pollinator-focused initiatives in his or her school or community.

This year’s award, an initiative of Bayer’s North American Bee Care Program, provides the winning partners a $5,000 prize to continue their valuable collaborative work to promote and protect pollinators in the community. A $1,000 prize will be awarded to a young beekeeper to research ways to improve pollinator health, establish an apiary on his or her school campus or amplify existing beekeeping efforts.

The award winners are selected from a pool of applicants by a panel of three judges. Returning in 2017, the judges include Pamela Smith, editor at The Progressive Farmer, Joe Graham, editor at the American Bee Journal and Becky Langer-Curry, project manager for the Bayer Bee Care Program. The judges will select winners based on responses to two essay questions and a reference from one of several stakeholders, such as an apiarist, community organization, grower, agricultural group, teacher, school official, or member of a relevant organization, such as a beekeeping or gardening association.

“We’ve found that growers, researchers, golf course superintendents and similar stakeholders play an essential role in helping beekeepers provide pollinators sustainable habitats and diverse food sources, and youth are critical to promoting and preserving the overall health of pollinator species for generations to come,” says Langer, project manager for the Bayer North American Bee Care Program. “We’re passionate about celebrating these strategic partnerships and young beekeepers and supporting the valuable work they’re doing in their communities.”

The past winners of the Bee Care Community Leadership Award exemplify beekeepers who leveraged their passion for honey bees to benefit their neighbors and communities. The 2016 winners, Scott Witte, director of agronomy at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton, Illinois, and Luke Cella, executive director of the Midwest Association of Golf Course Superintendents (MAGCS), were the first partners to be recognized for their efforts to promote healthy ecosystems for honey bees on golf courses through the Bee Barometer Project. The teamwork they demonstrated inspired Bayer’s decision to expand eligibility of the 2017 Bee Care Community Leadership Award to beekeeping collaborations and young beekeepers.

Any beekeeper and grower, researcher, golf course superintendent or other stakeholder who have created a pollinator-supportive partnership may apply for the $5,000 prize, and any student under 18 who has approval from a legal guardian and sponsoring mentor, such as an apiarist, grower, community leader, teacher, school official, beekeeper, etc., may apply for the $1,000 prize.

To review application requirements and expectations of the award winners, and enter online or download an entry form, visit The deadline for submission is May 19.