Seed World

Engineer Wins Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award

Bayer CropScience announces that Georgia beekeeper and engineer Paul Vonk has won the third annual Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award.
Vonk 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. The award is sponsored by the Bayer CropScience Bee Care program and annually recognizes an individual who uses their interest in and commitment to honeybees to benefit their community. As the 2015 winner, Vonk will receive a $5,000 grant to continue his work.
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.
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.