Preserving Biodiversity

Research & Resources

A Monarch Butterfly on a flower

At Bayer, we’re pushing ourselves to find groundbreaking solutions to help preserve biodiversity. That is why we’re investing in initiatives like our Healthy Hives program, which is focused on providing real solutions for beekeepers. We’re also committed to educating others about best stewardship practices and to providing resources for others to join us in preserving biodiversity.


In addition to that information on this page, you’ll find science-based information about pollinators along with educational and fun materials. All of these materials are shareable and we invite you to share and distribute these resources.

Healthy Hives

Targeted Research For Bees In The USA

Healthy Hives 2020 USA, a multi-year, million-dollar research initiative, is well on its way to finding measurable and tangible solutions for improving the health of honey bee colonies in the USA. A diverse group of researchers and scientists is focused on studying critical bee health topics affecting beekeeping, such as bee nutrition, the parasitic Varroa mite, disease management and enhanced colony management techniques through “smart hive” technology.

Today’s beekeepers are coping with a broad array of challenges, making management of their hives more difficult than ever before, while the need for bees in agriculture continues to increase. Healthy Hives 2020 USA is looking at areas that will improve honey bee health over the next four years and counter the continued reduction of colony losses.

Quote: Research projects conducted through the Healthy Hives 2020 USA initiative are helping identify and develop solutions for improving honey bee colony health and performance. It is increasingly important to highlight the advancements made through research." said Dr. Daniel Schmehl , Pollinator Safety Scientist at Bayer.

The Healthy Hives 2020 USA initiative was launched in 2015 at the Bayer North American Bee Care Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. The two-day workshop brought together some of the nation’s leading bee health experts and stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds, including academia, government, agriculture, business and the beekeeping community.

The 17 summit workshop attendees identified the areas of research with the highest probability of finding measurable and tangible ways to improve honey bee colony health in the USA. These were later reviewed and prioritized by the Healthy Hives 2020 USA Steering Committee.

The program is focused on four major research objectives:

  • Conducting an economic assessment of commercial beekeeping operations to help beekeepers maximize efficiency and production;
  • Creating a set of “Best Management Practices” for commercial beekeeping based on definitive colony health performance data;
  • Evaluating the use of “smart hive” technology to monitor honey bee colony health during commercial migratory operations; and
  • Assessing honey bee genetics for traits which are relevant for colony resistance to pests and diseases, as well as pollination efficiency and honey production in the USA.

Quote: "Today’s beekeepers are in urgent need of practical solutions to improve the health of their colonies. The projects funded by Bayer through Healthy Hives 2020 USA are critical to helping enhance the vitality of honey bee colonies, while also improving crop productivity." said Danielle Downey , Executive Director of Project Apis m. and Healthy Hives 2020 Program Manager.

Leveraging Bayer-funded research grants, the nonprofit pollinator research organization Project Apis m. leads the administration of the program, including issuing requests for proposals, managing accountability and allocating funding. Project Apis m. and the Healthy Hives 2020 USA Steering Committee have allocated $794,713 of the 1 million US dollars provided by Bayer to date.

Steering Committee/Review Panel

A review panel assesses the Healthy Hives 2020 USA project proposals and provides the funding decisions. The panel includes:

  • Steve Sheppard, Washington State University (Chair)
  • Don Parker, National Cotton Council
  • Dick Rogers, Bayer Bee Care Center
  • Dave Westervelt, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Gloria Degrandi-Hoffman, USDA ARS Tucson Bee Lab
  • Randy Verhoek, Harvest Honey Inc.


Since its launch, the program has funded ten innovative research efforts that either support one of the program’s priority objectives or was felt by the Steering Committee to have the potential to make an immediate impact on honey bee colony health.


These researchers and their colleagues are helping to enhance the health and vitality of U.S. honey bee colonies. In their efforts to seek solutions for sustainable beekeeping, they are also helping to understand and combat honey bee colonies’ most significant threats.