The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861
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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – March 2018

- March 1, 2018 - (excerpts)

Tallow Tree Response

Good grief! when it is not the varroa, it is legislators who actually want to kill the tallow tree. Our fellow beeks in Louisiana and Texas are heavily dependent on the tallow tree [which, unfortunately does not grow here :-( ].

Apparently, the tallow tree is an invasive species introduced from China. It colonized marginal lands that had a lot of brackish water along the Gulf. It is very good for honey bees, providing a huge portion of the honey that is produced in Texas and Louisiana.

Adding another invasive species to deal with this one may not be the smartest thing to do. This Tallow tree is a pretty tough cookie, so what if the flea beetle they introduce to kill tallow trees gets to like some other tree? They have learned nothing from the rabbit invasion of Australia? And it is not the first time legislators have tried to “correct” a ‘problem’ by inviting another interloper.

Sometimes, it may make sense to interfere, but folks had better realize that there are a host of plants and critters that are non-native and that are very good. I’ll just mention 2 for us: The Honey Bee and Clover. If interested, you may want to read on:

I realize the problem of ‘invasives’ is going to be debated forever. We should probably deal with it species by species, and deal with it a whole lot sooner.


Comment in Response to “Tallow Under Threat”

Well, that’s how the libtards are, they get on a subject, and don’t let go until they destroy and get their way. Nothing is sacred anymore, not even the bees! One cause over the other. There is no trust in Maw Nature to take care of things, just human arrogance.

Individuals will take care of the bees, hopefully. That’s their only recourse, because really, does the government care? It’s all the money, where the money trail is, now they get their way.

Same as with Monsanto, etc., and bee people support Monsanto, the very people who destroy the bees. Go figure. The circle turns.

Debbie Fyda

Response to “H.2113 Must fly in Massachusetts”

by Howard Scott, January issue, American Bee Journal, page 15

I applaud the efforts of all who are concerned for honey bees and insects in general. There has been much research and discussion concerning pesticides and neonics. As an EAS master beekeeper and President of Westmoreland County Beekeepers Association I try to familiarize myself with these types of articles because I am routinely questioned on them at beekeeper meetings. I have no ties to either environmental groups or to chemical companies. I have only a desire to acquire knowledge and, in turn, share that knowledge.

In reading Howard Scott’s article, I found several interesting comments that made me, and hopefully others, question the validity of the entire article. Where Mr. Scott referenced Callahan’s comment “homeowners will dump 50 lbs. of the stuff (neonics) on their lawns” followed by “the science is settled”, my mind immediately red flagged the entire article. Fifty pounds of neonics would amount to an unreasonable amount for a lawn. Fifty pounds would be more than what a farmer would have on seed coated corn for over 5000 acres according to North Carolina University research report “Neonicotinoid Insecticide Seed Coatings for Protection of Planted Corn Kernels and Seedlings”, Gaucho imidacloprid would be applied at a rate of .0088 pounds per acre.

I found such irony in the comment that “the science is settled” when fifty pages later in the same journal where Adrian Horridge’s study on bee vision factually and scientifically disputed Karl von Frisch’s 100 year old settled science on bee vision. Agenda driven “science” has used the term “the science is settled” in many different causes.

Mr. Scott goes on to refute limited issues with neonics in Australia. Quoting a beekeeper who says that the center of Australia is where the farming is done and the beekeepers keep bees along the coast, therefore the bees are not in contact with the neonics, shows a lack of verification of the facts. The central area of Australia makes up 70% of Australia’s continent and is mostly arid or semi-arid land often referred to as the outback. Australian beekeepers move bees to the outback for Naunya (eucalyptus) trees and other scrub brush. However, the Australian wheat belt stretches for nearly 3000 miles along the temperate region on the southern coast. Almond, citrus, apples, melons, as well as other crops treated with neonics are all pollinated by Australian beekeepers.

Australian beekeepers keep bees amid neonic use and have no varroa. Neonics are not a problem in Australia. American and European beekeepers keep bees amid neonic use and have varroa. Why would we conclude neonics are the problem almost everywhere varroa are a problem when neonics do not cause the same problem in Australia?

The article goes on to say that beekeepers weren’t well represented on Mass, H731. According to “maleg
islature. gov/Bills/189 /House
”, the committee shall be comprised of representatives of 2 county beekeeper associations, a cranberry grower, an ….