The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861
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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – June 2024

- June 1, 2024 - (excerpt)

I am an avid reader of your magazine. I just finished reading the 2-part article that Kayla deJong wrote on the division of labor. Wow!! This was probably one of the most comprehensive articles I have ever read on this topic. The big thing that impressed me was how easy it was to read for every level of beekeeper. I am finishing up my master beekeeper certification and I absorbed every sentence of this article. It not only taught me the breakdown of the division of labor on a micro level, but it will allow me to make more informative decisions while doing hive inspections. I hope everyone reads these articles and really uses this information to make them a better beekeeper. Please thank her for the article and I hope to see more writing from her.
Regina Rhoa
Collegeville, PA

I have been keeping bees my entire life. While an incarcerated person, I have been keeping bees (from a distance) for over 20 years. Now that I am close to being released back into the wilds of society, I’m reflecting on my time here and how I can make this place better than I found it for the next generation of men and women who will be sent here. I am considering proposing a Master Beekeeper program within the Michigan Department of Corrections, and write today because I am looking for outside resources to help implement the program. I would like to invite you, yourself, or someone from your team to contribute. If you’re not able to help directly, could you please suggest someone else who might be able to facilitate my efforts? Any help and/or information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Kincheloe, Michigan

Hi Brian,
Congratulations on your impending release! I wish you well on your return to “the wilds.” I reached out to the Michigan Beekeepers Association, and was told that several people have been working for some time on trying to establish a program similar to what you envision. I suggest you get in touch with MBA once you get out, and offer to get involved. I’m sure your experience on the inside will be helpful to the cause.

What a disappointment Mr. Linder’s [April] article was [Charles Linder, “What the Bleep Are We Doing?”]. For someone who spent the entire first column of his article attempting to repaint himself as a person who “hates negativity,” he spent the rest of his article doing the very thing he disparaged: complaining. Despite that, let me start out by agreeing with his primary compliant that the industry needs a full-time professional board to work proactively for our interests as beekeepers. Anyone who has both run a beekeeping operation and served on an executive board knows this; we do not have enough time or money to fight every battle that needs to be fought. And anyone who continues to act as an actual voice of the industry by serving on these boards eventually comes to the realization that we have to pick our battles and fight the fights we can win with the money we have. As for Mr. Linder’s complaints, we’ll start with comparison of our industry’s two main organizations to the California Almond Board, who, with its huge, full-time staff has “done a masterful job of promoting its product and its interests.” Indeed it has; it’s because of the money their industry brings in that they’re able to do so. The beekeeping industry doesn’t have that kind of money, which is apparent every time we pass around the hat for our dumping suit. In light of this, AHPA prioritizes…