Bayer Principal Scientist Dick Rogers has been honored with an appointment as Associate Research Fellow at Appalachian State University. The Fellowship will strengthen his partnership with the university to develop, evaluate and implement practical digital tools and processes for the benefit of apiculture globally. It is a continuation of Bayer's Bee Care work he has been doing for the past ten years and it builds on his over forty years of experience and research to manage and improve honey bee health. For Dick, the Fellowship means both a great recognition and an exciting highlight in his career: “Even though a lot of people know me in the bee community already, the Fellowship will further increase my credibility and standing and allow me to continue work, making advances that support beekeeping globally.”
When he started with Bayer Bee Care many years ago, Dick’s goal was to go beyond identifying the factors that affect honey bee health: he wanted to improve identification, measurement, record keeping, interpretation of observations and management of the problems. As a Principal Scientist and entomologist at Bayer, he developed several tools to support this ambition, among them the Healthy Colony Checklist (HCC), which allows beekeepers to determine the well-being of their hives in a simple, standardized way. When he presented the Checklist to the scientists at Appalachian University five years ago, they evaluated it scientifically and were soon convinced that it could help simplify hive inspections and management for beekeepers globally. Dick and Appalachian State University professors in the Center for Analytics Research & Education have been jointly promoting the HCC in presentations and publications ever since. As an Associate Research Fellow, Dick will assist the analytics and information systems experts at the university to adapt the HCC as a basis for a standardized data collection system that will form part of a Big Data and analytics system aimed at benefiting all beekeepers.
The appointment will also benefit Dick’s work at Bayer, by strengthening engagement and support of external groups to advance tools and processes in order to help the pollination service industry and enhance food security. This is how Dick describes his mission at Bayer: “We need to raise awareness to the fact that beekeepers and farmers are two parts of the same system. Beekeeping is an agricultural enterprise and crop production needs pollination services. Crop production also needs integrated pest management. We must make sure that the total system is sustainable and environmentally-acceptable.”