The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – August 2018

- August 1, 2018 - (excerpt)

Skep bee hat - red lights ahead
How about a Skep hat

On YouTube is the 1936 movie Red Lights Ahead. In the last 5 minutes, one of the actors has joined the Lodge royal order of bees, and put on his Skep hat. I don’t know if anyone is collecting unusual skeps, and I thought this would qualify.

Michael Lowe

Zero vs. Nothing

Zero shouldn’t be confused with the concept of nothing.  Bees can figure out what nothing is: no nectar in flowers at certain times of the day, no danger in an unoccupied hollow tree, no rainfall under a leaf, etc. Zero on the other hand is significant only if it is seen as the gateway to the world of negative numbers: account balances “are in the red,” icy temperatures are recorded in degrees below zero, etc.  I wonder if a bee can actually figure out that -5 is less than -2, and that zero is more than -1?

Zero in my visual way of thinking is like the surface of a mirror. Positive lineal distances from the mirror’s surface are the things you actually see out in the room that can be physically measured closer or farther from the mirror, whereas negative lineal distances are the seemingly reversed reflections that are seen extending back into a mirror. We cannot use a tape measure and directly measure the distance of objects to the mirror we see reflected in the mirror like we can in the room, but if we could “go through the looking glass,” that is, pass through zero, the mirror’s surface, to be actually in the room that we see reflected in the mirror, we would be existing, visually speaking, in a negative, reversed reality of a room that we could walk around in and directly measure the distance of objects from the mirror using negative numbers.

Martin Pedersen

 How to clean frames and plastic foundation

If I have frames and foundation that needs cleaning , I’ll scrape off the wax first, then I will soak them in water for at least 24 hours. Then I’ll use a spray nozzle attached to a garden hose using hot water, the hotter the better. Everything comes off nice and easy and is clean again.

Till next time,

Jonathan Hofer

P.S. Plastic foundation will not warp if you wash it this way. 

AAPA – ABRC history

Dear Kirsten,

The article in the MAY 2018 issue of American Bee Journal on the ABRC and AAPA is most welcome.  The history of the origination of these two acronyms is worth examining in some detail.

The AAPA (American American Association of Professional Apiculturists) is the culmination of a number of discussions over many years concerning how the professional beekeeping community in the U.S., consisting principally of researchers and extension workers, could develop its own voice in beekeeping matters. Beekeepers themselves were represented at both the national and local level by numerous associations, while the regulatory community had its Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA).

For many years, beekeeping professionals and those who taught beekeeping had looked somewhat enviously at the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA), which encompasses teaching (extension), research and regulatory (bee inspection), and takes a direct leadership role in apicultural events in that country.

The Canadian Association of Apiculturists (CAA) was originally….