Syngenta’s Operation Pollinator helps restore bees and other pollinators in landscapes like golf course while establishing low- to no-maintenance natural areas for superintendents, the argichemical company says.
The initiative stems from Syngenta’s honeybee research as scientists investigate pesticides as a potential cause of honeybee decline. Syngenta produces neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides linked to bee decline.
Syngenta launched the program — which includes regionally selected wildflowers planted in out-of-play areas to boost bee numbers — in Europe more than 10 years ago. Now global, the company has been working with several US universities the past four years to establish Operation Pollinator sites in the US.
Griffin Gate Golf Club at Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa in Lexington, Ky., was part of the pilot Operation Pollinator with the University of Kentucky that began fall 2011.
The initiative shows Marriott’s commitment to the environment, says Scott Bender, director of engineering and grounds.
“It definitely attracts lots of bees,” Bender says. “Our course is alive with activity.”
So far, Syngenta has signed up more than 50 courses across 20 states in the program.