Honey Bee Initiative Recognized With Annual Award

Through its Bee Care Program, Bayer shines a spotlight on developing solutions that improve the health of honey bees.

Bayer announced the recipients of the fifth annual Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award: Kirk and Heidi Tubbs of Tubbs Berry Farm in partnership with the Twin Falls County (Idaho) Pest Abatement District, and a young beekeeper Jake Reisdorf.honey bee

Sponsored by the Bayer North American Bee Care Program, the Community Leadership Award honors individuals and partners that have demonstrated dedication to pollinator protection and educating their communities about bee health. It can recognize a partnership between a beekeeper and a grower, researcher, golf course superintendent, or other stakeholder whose collaboration protects pollinators and benefits their community. The award provides the winning partners a $5,000 prize to continue their collaborative work with bees in the community. This year’s winners are Kirk and Heidi Tubbs of Tubbs Berry Farm in partnership with the Twin Falls County Pest Abatement District.

Kirk and Heidi Tubbs of began beekeeping 10 years ago due to pollination issues on their farm and have since become a local resource in Twin Falls, ID, for anything related to beekeeping. As a result of their reputation in the pollinator community, the opportunity to partner with Twin Falls County (ID) Pest Abatement District arose, with their first joint venture piloting tests to determine if a new mosquito control method had an effect on bees. As a result of their ongoing research on Integrated Pest Management, county employees have gained opportunities to expand their knowledge of bees and the products that are employed to reduce nearby mosquito populations.

Additionally, Kirk instructs mosquito control operators at various conferences and workshops about how to have informed discussions with beekeepers on the impact various control methods have on bees. “We’re honored to be recognized for our dedication to safe beekeeping and expanding local stewardship initiatives related to pollinator health,” he said. “With the funds we’ve been granted as a result of our award win, we’re eager to continue spearheading research on the effects of insect controllers on bees, while also exploring alternate methods of insect control and educating our communities about the importance of the extraordinary honey bee species.”

Young Beekeeper Wins $1,000 Prize

The 2017 Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award also recognizes a young beekeeper under 18 years old with a $1,000 prize to support honey bee-focused initiatives in his or her school or community, such as researching ways to improve honey bee health, establishing an apiary on his or her school campus, or amplifying existing beekeeping efforts.

This year’s winner is Jake Reisdorf, a 14 year old beekeeper, was selected for his diversified approach to pollinator health and commendable efforts to ensure that future generations understand the significant impact of bees on the ecosystem.” It is so cool to receive the Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award for my efforts to educate the world about the honey bee,” said Jake, who owns the Carmel Honey Company in California. “With the money I’ve been awarded, I’d like to fulfill my dream of building an educational center called Pollination World to teach people about all types of pollinators including bees, bats, birds and butterflies.”

Jake’s passion for bees originated after completing a beekeeping course with his father when he was in fifth grade, which served as the impetus behind a honey bee-themed website he designed for a school project. Stemming from the creation of this simple beekeeping website, his classmates began to look to him as a resource for bee health information. This inspired Jake to adopt a hive of his own.

Today, Jake has nearly 100 hives throughout Monterey County, CA. He sells pure, raw, premium honey and honeycombs to specialty food stores and restaurant chefs; places hives on residential and commercial properties for people who want to support the bees but don’t have the time or resources to be beekeepers; and gives educational presentations at schools and local organizations focusing on the importance of bees in the food chain. Jake is also a member of the California State Beekeepers Association, the American Beekeeping Federation, and is currently participating in the UC Davis Master Beekeepers Program.

“We believe young beekeepers are critical to promoting and preserving the overall health of pollinator species for generations to come,” said Dr. Becky Langer, project manager, Bayer North American Bee Care Program. “We were thrilled to receive so many entries from individuals and groups of all ages who are passionate about bees. This year’s Community Leadership Award winners are celebrated for their forward-looking approaches to beekeeping, coupled with their deep passions for spreading knowledge about pollinator protection to community members and future generations of beekeepers.”

Amongst many qualified entries, this year’s winners were selected by an incumbent panel of judges including Pamela Smith, editor at The Progressive Farmer, Joe Graham, editor at the American Bee Journal, and Dr. Langer, the Bayer North American Bee Care Program Project Manager.