Study of Pollinator Habitat in Managed Forests Receives SFI Conservation Leadership Award for Greif and Partners

Date: 2013-09-24

DELAWARE, Ohio (Sept. 24, 2013) – The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) recently recognized Soterra, LLC and Pollinator Partnership with its coveted Conservation Leadership Award for the Tiger Swamp Pollination Study, their research of pollinator habitat in a managed forest ecosystem. Soterra is the land management business of global industrial packaging leader Greif, Inc. (NYSE: GEF, GEF.B).

 "At Greif, we are driven to succeed as an environmentally responsible company.  The Conservation Leadership Award is certainly a high honor and welcome recognition of our work in learning how to improve pollinator habitat in forests," said Matt Bonham, vice president of Soterra, LLC. "More than that, this award will help raise industry awareness of the study, which found that properly managed forests are good for bees and bees are good for managed forests."

Bonham said the study showed that bee colonies in managed forests were healthier than in other forests studied. Healthier colonies correlated with healthier forests. "The bees help create more fruit in managed forests, which means more food such as blueberries, blackberries and other fruit-bearing plants for deer and other wildlife. At a time when beekeepers face the challenges of colony collapse disorder, it is valuable to encourage the expanded use of timberlands for healthy bee habitat."

Led by Soterra and Pollinator Partnership, the study also included project partners The U.S. Forest Service, Mississippi State University, NASA, the University of New Orleans, Sandhill Crane Refuge and Allen Farms and Hines Honey.

The study, conducted on Soterra's lands at Tiger Swamp in Mississippi, used a mix of honey bee foraging surveys, controlled pollination experiments, plant productivity analyses and automatic hive data collection to determine the effect of different forest management techniques on the pollinator habitat.