Jul 24, 2017
14-year-old beekeeper and farm honored for work

Jake Reisdorf is the first-ever beekeeper under 18 years of age to receive the Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award. (PRNewsfoto/Bayer)

A 14-year-old beekeeper, and a pair at a farm working with a pest abatement district, were recently honored June 24 by the agribusiness Bayer for their work protecting bees and educating the public about bees.

Young beekeeper Jake Reisdorf, and Kirk and Heidi Tubbs of Tubbs Berry Farm in partnership with the Twin Falls County Pest Abatement District, were awarded the fifth annual Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award.

Sponsored by the Bayer North American Bee Care Program, the Community Leadership Award honors those dedicated to protecting pollinators and educating their communities about bee health.

Reisdorf is the first-ever beekeeper under 18 to receive the honor, which includes a $1,000 prize to support his school and community honeybee-focused initiatives. The 14-year-old was selected from among 20 entries, according to Bayer.

“With the money I’ve been awarded, I’d like to fulfill my dream of building an educational center called Pollination World to teach people about all types of pollinators including bees, bats, birds and butterflies,” Reisdorf said in a news release from Bayer.

His passion for bees started after completing a beekeeping course with his father when he was in fifth grade, according to Bayer. He later designed a honeybee-themed website he designed for a school project. His classmates began to look to him as a resource for bee health information. This inspired Jake to adopt a hive of his own.

Reisdorf now owns the Carmel Honey Company and has nearly 100 hives throughout Monterey County, California, according to Bayer. He sells pure, raw, premium honey and honeycombs to specialty food stores and restaurant chefs; places hives on residential and commercial properties for people who want to support the bees but don’t have the time or resources to be beekeepers; and gives educational presentations at schools and local organizations focusing on the importance of bees in the food chain.

Reisdorf is also a member of the California State Beekeepers Association, the American Beekeeping Federation and is currently participating in the UC Davis Master Beekeepers Program.

New this year, Bayer expanded the scope of its awards program to show support for the future of the beekeeping industry by recognizing not only one innovative beekeeping partnership, but also by honoring a tenacious young beekeeper.

Tubbs Berry Farm also awarded

In addition to the Young Beekeeper award, a pollinator-supportive partnership in the Pacific Northwest was also recognized for its positive impact in the realm of honeybee health. Kirk and Heidi Tubbs of Tubbs Berry Farm began beekeeping 10 years ago due to pollination issues on their farm and have since become a local resource in Twin Falls, Idaho, for anything related to beekeeping.

As a result of their esteemed reputation in the pollinator community, the opportunity to partner with Twin Falls County Pest Abatement District arose, with their first joint venture piloting tests to determine if a new mosquito control method had an effect on bees. As a result of their ongoing research on Integrated Pest Management, county employees have gained opportunities to expand their knowledge of bees and the products that are employed to reduce nearby mosquito populations. Also, Kirk instructs mosquito control operators at various conferences and workshops about how to have informed discussions with beekeepers on the impact various control methods have on bees.

“With the funds we’ve been granted as a result of our award win, we’re eager to continue spearheading research on the effects of insect controllers on bees, while also exploring alternate methods of insect control and educating our communities about the importance of the extraordinary honey bee species,” Kirk Tubbs said.

The winners of Bayer’s award this year were selected from many qualified entries by an incumbent panel of judges including Pamela Smith, editor at The Progressive Farmer, Joe Graham, editor at the American Bee Journal and Becky Langer, Bayer North American Bee Care Program Project Manager.

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