The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861
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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – April 2018

- April 1, 2018 - (excerpts)

Frank Family beekeeping
Frank Family Girls

Dear Editor,

I’m a lucky father. Mary Frank is my now 13 year-old daughter. She is my right hand lady and business partner. We have 6 hives at present and hope to expand to 15 in the near future. I couldn’t keep bees without her and her sisters.

Mary can do anything from a simple changing of a sugar syrup jar to a full hive inspection. Her sisters help out in many ways too. Last year daughter number 2, Marcy (11 years old) started her very own hive. Daughter number 3, Mandy is starting her hive this spring.

Dan Frank

Editor’s Response

Dear Dan,

Congratulations on such avid beekeepers. Glad you are letting them each have their own hive. There is nothing quite like being fully in charge of a honey bee colony, watching it grow and develop. I’m sure all three are picking up useful skills of observation, planning, and critical thinking. May you and your hives keep thriving.

Warmest wishes,

Massachusetts Pollinator Protection

To the Editor,

I would like to clarify the comments Mr. Scott made in his letter published as a News Note item in the January 2018 issue.

I am the Chairperson of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Apiary Committee. We have members that are commercial beekeepers from all over the State.  We did have several meetings concerning the Pollinator Protection Plan.  In attendance at those meetings were several beekeepers, both commercial and hobbyists.  In addition, there were Farmers, Scientists, Landscapers, Mosquito Control, State Employees and MA Farm Bureau Staff.  The goal of these meetings was to develop a plan that would allow the Farmers and Beekeepers to work with each other in a harmonious manner.  Ultimately, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts developed a Pollinator Protection Plan that encompassed elements of both MA Farm Bureau’s Plan, and the one developed by several County Beekeeping Clubs in MA.  Our intention was to foster a working relationship with all those with a stake in pollinator health.

Bottom line, whether we raise bees or crops, we are farmers. Growers need bees for pollination, and beekeepers need farmers for forage. It works best when we work together.

Crystal Card Billerica, MA

Lithium Chloride Kills

Due to a  recent paper, some beekeepers are trying lithium salts to treat for Varroa. It is really upsetting that the authors “fail” to mention that lithium kills brood. They describe the use of lithium on adult bees but never directly address the brood issue. This is especially troubling due to the fact that their patent indicated that lithium kills brood. I’ve quoted directly from….