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bee careful – the initiative in a nutshell

Three years of efforts at protecting bees and raising awareness: on the long-term initiative, and the activities in 2019

The global bee careful initiative was launched by the Hero Group in 2015 to better understand and address the bee colony collapse disorder problem.
By gathering pollen and nectar, bees are directly responsible for pollinating a large percentage of crops – fruit and vegetables – in the world.
“We, as a worldwide operating food producer, see ourselves committed to raising awareness through research, education, and support for beekeepers. They are vital for us and for the survival of humanity,” Rob Versloot, CEO Hero Group said.
By increasing knowledge and spreading the word, the ultimate goal is to have an effect on improving general bee health and increasing the bee population.
“With brands and products in 19 countries, we have a certain responsibility for our one and only natural environment. bee careful, as a long-term initiative, includes various local activities in our subsidiaries all over the world,” Versloot explained.
Additionally to these projects, one of the main features of the initiative is the bee careful web portal which includes recent news, facts, and information on bees.
The site, which serves as a tool for education and to support beekeepers, has received thousands of unique visits since its launch.

Outstanding projects
Over the past three years, many projects were carried out by the Hero Group subsidiaries.
As one of the biggest projects, the bee research stations in Schwartau, and Würzburg (both in Germany), and Bournemouth (UK), are a key component of the whole initiative. These stations were co-funded by the Hero Group companies Schwartau and Organix.
The teams in Germany and the UK are working together with the Honey Bee Online Studies, short HOBOS to perform comparative research analyses using the data from the research stations.
These studies include insights into universal or location-dependent factors influencing bee biology and health, which can be also helpful for beekeepers all over the world.
In other projects, Schwartau has launched a ‘bee-helper’ natural spread with which the company raises awareness for the importance of meadow orchards for pollinators. The company also helps fund the expansion of these orchards.
Hero MEA (Middle East & Africa) has initiated a long-term project to help save a distinctive type of Egyptian bee from extinction. Hero Benelux has funded a bee education center and is involved in increasing the biodiversity in the city of Breda.
In southern Europe, Hero Spain is spreading the word about bee health by increasing external communication and aligning it with a new honey product.

The Hero Group is an international food company focused on branded nutritional food products. The company was founded in 1886 in Lenzburg, Switzerland, where its headquarters are still located today. Hero’s main core product categories of Baby & Toddler Food and Milks, Natural Spreads, and Healthy Snacks, complemented by its activities in Gluten Free and Specialties. The Group, which lives by its mission to delight consumers by conserving the goodness of nature, boasts a global footprint and its portfolio consists of many well-known international and local brands. In 2018, the Group generated revenues of CHF 1.16 billion.