Editor’s note: Jim Shamp is director of public relations for the N.C. Biotechnology Center and a regular contributor to WRALTechWire.

CLAYTON, N.C. – The Clayton suburb of “Beesboro” is ready to start humming.

Actually, Beesboro is more of a research apiary than a suburb.

On Monday, global agricultural company Bayer CropScience held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new 1,200-square-foot bee-care center on its 278-acre Clayton Training and Development Center campus.

The office, wintering cold room, extraction area, bee hive maintenance area and storage areas are part of Bayer’s global push to find ways to stop honey bees from dwindling across fields and orchards.

The new Johnston County site will promote bee health throughout North America. Its previously built twin at Bayer’s campus in Monheim, Germany, is targeting sustainable solutions to improve honey-bee health in Europe and elsewhere.

Bees are necessary for plant pollination. Yet many colonies are disappearing due to increasing disease and environmental threats, including a syndrome called Colony Collapse Disorder.

“Apiculture (the study of bees) is an integral part of agriculture that must continue to grow to meet the needs of an increasing global population,” said Jim Blome president and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP. “Through the work of the world’s brightest agricultural scientists, we can help bees continue their vital impact on crops around the world for years to come.”

Bayer has also added a $20 million, 60,000-square-foot R&D greenhouse expansion at its North American headquarters nearby in Research Triangle Park for the development of new plant seeds, and recently embarked on an additional $33 million expansion there.

(C) NC Biotechnology Center