The Seeds for Bees program open enrollment launched in California today and is open for three months until August 31st. This year’s goal is to plant 15,000 acres of cover crop in what growers and beekeepers are saying is one of the most challenging years in recent memory. “Last year was tough, this year is even tougher,” said Rory Crowley, Project Apis m.’s Director of Habitat Programs. “In every way possible, growers and beekeepers are being pressed to their limits, and that is why cover crop is so important. That is why Seeds for Bees is so important.” Crowley said that the drought and economic pressures actually demands more cover crop being planted.
The challenges that growers and beekeepers are facing run the gamut, from economic—extreme increases in cultural cost—to agronomic—water availability, quality, and price. Project Apis m. is stressing its important economic and agronomic niche amidst these challenges. Seeds for Bees is now offering more money for free seed for first- and second-year participants. $2500 in free seed is being offered off overall seed purchases for first-year participants and $1500 for second-year participants. Because Seeds for Bees is nonprofit, buys seed in high volumes, and pays for shipping, growers of honey bee-pollinated crops in California can capitalize on pricing discounts through the program. Seeds for Bees has a huge competitive advantage that directly benefits producers’ pocketbooks, especially this year.
“We are doing absolutely everything at Project Apis m. to help—giving away more, negotiating for better pricing on seed, and creating easy-to-use tools that growers can look at quickly and understand what to do and how to do it, like our new Management Quick Guide,” Crowley said. “We have two goals this year: to help growers and beekeepers get through and make a profit and get the bees the nutrition they need to come back strong and do it again next year. Let’s get to work.”
There is only a 3-month Enrollment Period and funding is limited, so apply today HERE.
Seeds for Bees
Seeds for Bees encourages the use of cover crops to increase the density, diversity, and duration of bee forage in California working lands while improving soil health and crop production. The seed mixes available through Seeds for Bees are designed to bloom at critical times of the year when natural forage is scarce but managed and native bees are active. Seeds for Bees serves the needs of bees, beekeepers, and growers, increasing sustainability of pollination and agriculture. Learn more at www.ProjectApism.org/Seeds-For-Bees
Project Apis m.
Project Apis m. (PAm) is the go-to organization at the interface of honey bees and pollinated crops. Since 2006, we’ve infused over $8.5 million into honey bee research and $2.9 million into forage programs, resulting in better pollination and increased crop yields for growers, and lower losses and better honey production for beekeepers. We work closely with commercial beekeepers, growers, and top bee scientists in the USA and Canada to fund projects and direct strategic efforts focused on practical solutions. PAm funds studies, offers graduate scholarships to encourage careers in pursuit of science-based solutions to honey bee challenges, and has expanding efforts to put forage on the landscape where bees need it most. We are a 501(c)5 nonprofit organization governed by an eleven-member board of stakeholders representing major national and state industry organizations, and an additional seven-member Science Advisory Board. Learn more at www.ProjectApism.org