The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861
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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – May 2016

- May 1, 2016 -

Honey Bee Comic Strip

I am a middle school Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) teacher in Lakewood, Ohio, and on the side, I create educational comics. I began creating my comics as an effort to reach my struggling readers, but I have recently felt it necessary to use my skills to reach a much wider audience. Our planet is in desperate need of help, and those of us who are aware need to speak up. I plan to speak up using my comics. I recently completed a comic about honey bees, and I am sharing it with other organizations to help spread the word. I am passionate about the environment and doing whatever I can to help. Feel free to share this comic via your site, newsletter or with whomever you wish.

Thank you and enjoy!
Laura Balliett
Cool School Rap

Swarm in Shangri-la

As a novice beekeeping family from New York, it was exciting when we saw—on a recent trip to Shangri-la (formerly Zhongdian) in western China—a swarm of bees clinging to a beautiful colored cloak hanging from a crop fence. Turns out one of the women minding the field had left her garment there overnight, and the feral bees took up temporary residence!

The Maley family
(Donna, Matt, Lucas, Benett and Autumn)
Manhasset, NY

Keep Those Articles coming!

As a reader of ABJ, I just wanted to make sure you know what a great job you are doing lining up articles. There is always a healthy mix of topic areas, including interviews and background information on commercial and sideline operations, marketing information, financial analysis, scientific and biological reviews, as well as beginner information. The more I read, the more excited I get when the ABJ makes it in the mail. I wish I could say the same about the other beekeeping publications I receive.

I just wanted to let you know you have one happy reader. I imagine you get a wide variety of responses, and I know quite often the happy people don’t speak up often enough.

Again, thanks!

Justin Kay
Greensboro, NC

Young Honey Bee Photographer

My 12-year-old granddaughter, Hannah Perucca, took an amazing picture on her front porch in Austin, Texas of a bee. We’d like to submit it for your consideration for publication, etc.

This was taken with her iPhone. They live in a suburb of Austin, Mountain City, Texas. Hannah is home schooled and a champion swimmer! Parents: Eric and Rebecca Perucca

Patsy T

Too Much Technology?

After reading March issues of the two Honey Bee related magazines it seems that some people are relying on technology to replace human observation and basic Honey Bee biology. I don’t have Smart phones, FLIR devices or satellite-monitored hive scales, yet I still manage to tell if my colonies are alive. What I would like to see for my $50.00 in subscription fees are articles about small and medium size apiaries and how they sustain themselves. Not every beekeeper gives a fig about Almonds!

Thank you

Dick’s Bee Yard
Jasper, NY

Isle of Man Varroa and Foulbrood Free Bees

In the past week the Isle of Man’s Senior Bee Inspector has announced that a colony of bees may have been brought in from outside the island. This could be a catastrophe for our Varroa and Foulbrood-free bees and we’re currently spreading the word to any and every person who might know of the colony(s) to get in touch. Most likely someone who wasn’t in the know decided to bring them in, but we need to track down the colony as swiftly as possible so that the situation can be contained.

We also need to better educate beekeepers both here and worldwide about the protected state of Manx bees. It took two years of Harry inspecting every hive on the island in order to get certification as a Varroa-free zone with protection from the European Union.

I interviewed Harry Owens on this yesterday (see link below), but all of us here on the Isle of Man would be extremely grateful if this issue were highlighted in your next publication. Though most used equipment and bees would likely be brought in from the UK, there is a danger from worldwide sources.

Harry Owens contact details are: and phone: 01624801315


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Smoker TIPS

After reading Howard Scott’s article on using a smoker (December 2015), it got me to thinking of ideas on the subject that I could share. I have used many different things for fuel in a smoker; my favorite is …