No Bees, No Berries

Honey bee honeycomb

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Now this is true flower power.  Wyman’s of Maine, one of the nation’s leading growers and marketers of frozen fruits and a longtime supporter of native pollinators, is distributing millions of wildflowers seeds to consumers who want to do their part to help save the dwindling honey bee population. Growing wildflowers is one of the easiest and most effective ways to create pollinator habitats. To request seeds, consumers can simply visit www.nobeesnoberries.com and sign up to receive seeds.

Honey Bee on Willow Catkin

Image courtesy of Bob Peterson.

Wyman’s will randomly select one lucky gardener to win a one-year supply of Wyman’s of Maine product. As part of the giveaway, Wyman’s is asking consumers to post photos of their new wildflower gardens on their social channels- and hashtag #nobeesnoberries. Wyman’s will also be distributing wildflower seeds in a series of “flash swarms” at various events across the Northeast.

Wyman’s has been a longtime supporter of honey bee health and a leader in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) research. CCD is the mysterious disappearance of honeybees, which has led to the disappearance of one third of all honey bee colonies. Without these North American pollinators, Wyman’s and other farmers cannot grow produce.

“The honey bee population isn’t essential just to the wild blueberries that we grow, but to countless crops worldwide,” said Wyman’s of Maine CEO Ed Flanagan. “Fortunately, this is something that anyone can do their part to help by creating their own pollinator habitat, and we’re happy to help people do just that.”

Wyman’s has donated significant resources to researching CCD over the years. In 2014, Wyman’s funded a University of Maine Audit of Hive Health, which tested the condition of bees before and after their time on wild blueberry fields. As part of their analysis, they performed “bee physicals” to learn about honey bee habitats and what will help them survive. Additionally, Wyman’s maintains its own 1,400 hives at their facility on Prince Edward Island and co-funded a multiyear study with Agriculture & Agri Food Canada to determine optimal native pollinator habitat and the process for creating it.

Wyman’s has also been an active sponsor of The Pollinator Partnership, an organization dedicated to pollinator health and research. They have also provided an annual grant to Pennsylvania State University, Department of Entomology, to assist in general research on CCD. Additionally, Wyman’s added its testimony to a 2008 Congressional hearing on USDA funding for CCD research, provided a keynote speech at the 2010 Pollinator Conference at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History and attended a White House meeting on pollinator concerns in April 2014.

Feature image courtesy of Vipin Baliga

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