Honey Bee Health

The Challenge

Bees play a vital role in agriculture as natural pollinators. Pollination is a necessary part of some plants’ fertilization processes, because it allows for the development of fruits and seeds. Honey bees are vital to the production of fruits, vegetables and nuts we enjoy every day. In fact, one-third of the world’s crops are pollinated by honey bees.

Farmers are facing the challenge of providing more food for a growing population. And the honey bee population has been facing its own problems. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a phenomenon in which bees are disappearing abruptly from an otherwise healthy colony. A USDA report confirms there are many causes that compromise bee health, including pathogens or diseases, poor nutrition and pesticides.


Hover over, or if you're using a touchscreen device, tap the blue dots below to learn more about the role honey bees play in providing food for breakfast.


What Monsanto is Doing to Help

At Monsanto, we’re committed to protecting our planet now and for generations to come. We partner with farmers and organizations to help provide enough food for our growing population – while also using natural resources more efficiently. Part of our commitment to preserving the environment includes protecting the health of honey bees. That’s why we work with many groups to develop sustainable solutions for the complex issues facing honey bee health.

Honey Bee Health Coalition

Monsanto is a member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition facilitated by The Keystone Center, which brings together a diverse range of organizations to explore solutions to honey bee health. The coalition includes beekeepers, farmers, researchers, government agencies, agribusinesses, conservation groups, manufacturers and consumer brands, and other key partners. The Coalition’s mission is to collaboratively implement solutions that will help to achieve a healthy population of honey bees in the context of productive agricultural systems and thriving ecosystems. The Coalition is focusing on four key areas: forage and nutrition, hive management, crop pest management, and outreach and education.

PAm (Project Apis m.) Collaboration

We worked with PAm to develop forage projects, which provide more nutritious food for bees. Beekeepers are rightfully concerned about the lack of forage available to bees during pollination seasons. By ensuring bees have enough natural pollen to eat, their health is improved – making them better able to tolerate other stressors. This effort enables around 1.8 million honey bee colonies, which are transported to the California almond fields each year, to support food production.

Honey Bee Advisory Council (HBAC)

In 2012, we formed the Honey Bee Advisory Council to bring together members of the beekeeping industry, experts and academia. Together, we have learned a great deal about the complicated challenges facing beekeepers. With this council as a guiding force, our bee health research and development efforts are focused on overcoming key challenges and discovering sustainable solutions for beekeepers.


Beeologics is a research firm dedicated to protecting the future of insect pollination by focusing on honey bee health solutions. Monsanto acquired the Israel-based company in 2011 and through continuous investments in research and innovation, we are developing a line of products to specifically address the long-term health of honey bees.

These products, which are still in early phases of discovery, promise to protect honey bees from viruses and parasites that weaken their health. The honey bee health solutions we are exploring fall within BioDirect™ technology, one of two core technologies within our Agricultural Biological technology platform. BioDirect Bee Health, one of the products in the early stages of research and development, aims to control Varroa mites and multiple viruses to improve health and colony survival in honey bees.