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Beekeepers, Researchers and Bayer CropScience Associate Overwintering Bee Losses with Varroa Mite


Honey bees are essential to the world’s agricultural system and food supply. More than a quarter of the food produced in the U.S. is dependent upon honey bees because of their efficiency and utility as pollinators. Although colony losses are typically expected following the winter season, experts have expressed concerns about the severity of this winter‘s colony losses.

University and government scientists, beekeepers and other bee experts attributed this year’s possible higher losses to an increased presence of Varroa mites. The Varroa mite is a parasite that feeds on the blood of honey bees and reproduces on the developing bee brood. An increased Varroa mite infestation weakens bees and could lead to a devastating colony loss during the stressful wintering period. Overwintering losses are not discernable until the following spring.

Bayer Crop Science recently developed a research brief and video on overwintering losses as part of Bayer’s Bee Care Program in order to inform and educate beekeepers, farmers and others interested in engaging in the conversation on bee health. Bayer has established one Bee Care Center dedicated to improving the understanding and health of pollinators, located in Monheim, Germany, and is currently building another Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The Bayer Bee Care Centers, an essential element in the Program, will host research focused on integrated management of the multiple causes affecting bee health, including parasites, such as the Varroa mite.

Bayer is committed to environmental stewardship and sustainable agricultural practices, including the protection of beneficial insects such as honey bees. For additional information and background on other sustainability initiatives please visit You can also follow and share with us on Twitter @BayerBee Care and Facebook at

About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. This year the company is celebrating 150 years of Bayer – consistent with its mission “Bayer: Science For A Better Life”. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 8,383 million (2012) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 20,800 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at:

Bayer CropScience Media Hotline: 1-877-879-6162


Find more information at

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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