OTHELLO - Bees will soon be abuzz at the former Monsanto facility in Othello. Within the next 60 days, Washington State University’s Honey Bee and Pollinator Research and Education program will purchase the buildings formerly occupied by Monsanto’s corn breeding program. Located at 776 Booker Rd., the 50-acre lot has been for sale after Bayer bought Monsanto in 2018. Authorized by university’s board of regents, WSU will purchase the facilities for $2.5-million after the environmental inspection of the land.
“This facility will really help upgrade the work we do,” said Steve Sheppard, P. F. Thurber Endowed Professor of Pollinator Ecology in WSU’s Department of Entomology. “We’ve been in ‘temporary quarters’ since 2000. We’ve got great people and equipment but we’re spread out around campus, which limits collaboration. While some of our bee breeding work will continue in Pullman, due to the presence of isolated mating areas and USDA approved quarantine apiaries, the new bee facility near Othello will greatly expand our capacity.”
“This facility will increase collaboration and allow for enhanced short courses, demonstrations, and classes for beekeepers—which will directly help the agricultural industry since honey bees are vital to our food supply,” Sheppard said.