Bayer CropScience opens bee center in RTP

Bayer CropScience on Tuesday held a grand opening for its $2.4 million North American Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park.

The facility will focus on figuring out what’s behind the decline in the bee population worldwide.

It is intended to complement the company’s Eastern Bee Care Technology Station in Clayton, a 1,200-square-foot facility that is an educational center and is also experimenting with natural and synthetic approaches to managing bee populations and keeping them healthy and pollinating properly. The company has a third bee care center in Germany, and is spending $14 million on bee health this year.

Bayer CropScience is a subsidiary of the German conglomerate Bayer. It produces seeds and crop-protection products such as insecticides. It has regional headquarters in France, Brazil and Singapore and has been investing heavily in the Triangle in recent years.

In 2012, Bayer CropScience moved its global Seeds headquarters to RTP from France and opened a $20 million, 60,000-square-foot greenhouse. Last year, it spent $16.1 million renovating and expanding its labs.

Bayer CropScience has about 500 workers on its RTP campus and about 140 employees in three other Triangle locations.

Staff writer David Bracken