The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861
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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – November 2015

- November 1, 2015 - - (excerpt)

More Research Needed on Herbicide Effects on Bees

I would very much like to see more research on the effect of herbicides on honey bee brood development. Currently there is next to none, so far as I can tell. True, most herbicides are considered to be relatively safe to use around ADULT honey bees. But as we all know, animals (including both humans and insects) in their embryonic stages are much more susceptible to environmental toxins.

My interest in this subject arose after losing 2 of my 3 hives last summer. The only thing “different” was that I had contracted with a lawn chemical company to treat our Mexican Sandburr-infested lawn every two or three weeks. The bees seemed to love gathering that tainted water from the puddles left daily after lawn irrigation. Soon, the brood patterns were all out of whack, and before long two of them dwindled down to wax-moth fodder (the other hive remained strong, but may have been watering at our bird feeder). Maybe it was just a coincidence, but I STRONGLY urge other beekeepers to, as I did, email the Environmental Protection Agency at if they should notice a similar “coincidence” with their hives.

Sincerely, a now Ex-Beekeeper,
Clinton D. Stucky
Wichita, KS

Honey Bee Poem

I am a big fan of your magazine and of the practice of beekeeping. I also love bees and promote their health and conservation locally. I wrote the attached poem about my love for bees and hoped to submit it for possible publication consideration. My Grandmother and Grandfather used to be beekeepers in Colorado and this poem reflects the passion they ignited in me as a young child. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Amy Pinney
Juneau, AK

Love for the Honey Bee
Oh may I live in a chalet
With straw skeps within the cladding
Hosting harmonious, fuzzy honey bees
Who give perpetual bloom to my gardens
I’d befriend Ms. Queen
In gratitude for her oblations
And touring her to wildflower meadows
Observing the colony’s charming social brilliance
As the hive fills with liquid gold
As they huddle in the cold winter
Like families around a fire
Soaring with the drones in my dreams
I’d practice apiculture
And glorify the folklore
With painted bees in my kitchen décor
And cached jars of honey in variegated colors
Reminiscent of summers’ efflorescence
And save the darkest sapid jars for bosom friends
Flavors and aromas of nectars gathered
With bouquets of huckleberry and fireweed
Stirring sweet teas
And spread on steaming cornbread
Corking bottles of fermented mead
Toasting a summers day
And chewing the wax like gum
With snacks of seeping, candied honeycomb
My energy and health then boosted
My cuts and sores then healed
Using apitherapy of the ages
Twine hanging dipped beeswax candles
That honors their humming and their sting
For a livelihood they’ve bestowed upon mankind
For millennia and millennia to come.

Amy Pinney

Wants Commercial Honey Marketing Articles

I was rather excited to see “Successful Honey Marketing” as one of the articles announced on the cover of the the latest ABJ. I extremely disappointed in the content of the article. The headline of “Successful Honey Marketing” and content like …