Burt's Bees and the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign are looking for a few good scientists to help improve the ailing health of the honeybee.
Burt's Bees, the maker of "earth-friendly natural" personal care products, is contributing $32,000, and the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign's Honeybee Health Improvement Task Force will leverage its scientific expertise in choosing the 2-4 projects most worthy of a cash infusion. The money will benefit research that focuses on one of four things: the effect of climate on nectar or pollen quality and other environmental variables, the effects of nutrition on bee or colony health, the health effects of pesticides, or ways to improve the genetic stock of honeybees.
The goal is to define real-world techniques that will improve honeybee health at a time when an unknown agent (or some combination of known agents) is causing unprecedented death in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder. Even before colony collapse disorder reared its ugly head (scattering bees from their hives, to which they never returned), honeybees had experienced years of decline as a result of a series of viruses, parasites and other problems.
If you're a scientist with a great idea, go to Pollinator.org for more information.
If you're just concerned about bees, take heart that maybe some sorely needed help is on the way.
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