Killer bee corrections

 

Killer bee corrections

Dear HCN,


As a commercial, sideline and hobbyist beekeeper (at different times in my life) for 30 years, it was interesting to see HCN cover the Africanized bee story (HCN, 6/24/02). Unfortunately, you did not cover it well. Let me try to indicate why I say this with quotes from your story and responses concerning bees.


"In a half whisper, trying not to trigger the bees." This was a dramatic picture, but certainly your bee exterminator should have known that bees are totally stone-deaf. You could have a rock band with you and the bees wouldn't hear you.


"They are a tremendously intelligent animal." This is a quote from your exterminator. I am sure it makes him feel much more intelligent. I love bees dearly but they work exclusively on instinct and not anything resembling intelligence.


"... the venom attacks nerves and blood cells, flooding your bloodstream with crud." What exactly is "crud"? In fact, the quantity of venom is so small that these effects are insignificant.


"It's been predicted that killer bees will eventually spread through much of the temperate habitat in the nation, including up the West Coast to Portland and Seattle." The most reliable and informed predictions at the present do not include Portland or Seattle as areas for Africanized bees and certainly do not include most of the temperate habitat in the nation.


"I watch one stinging my black leather camera strap ... and listen to its high-pitched song, until it gives up the stinger and falls into the dirt." This was so dramatic I felt it tug at my heartstrings. However, in 30 years of beekeeping, I have never seen a bee die immediately after stinging. Bees live for literally hours after they sting (although they die eventually after stinging). Was Mr. Ring giving us an imaginary but dramatic ending? How much of the rest of his article is imaginary?


This story, filled with misinformation and mythology, was a disappointment. Mr. Ring should have learned something about bees before writing it. There were snippets of important information such as the effect on pollination and native pollinators, changes in the bee industry, tourism, etc. But they were hard to find in the "crud."

Chuck HuntEugene, Oregon




High Country News Classifieds
  • NEWS DIRECTOR
    Based in the state capitol, Boise State Public Radio is the premier NPR affiliate in Idaho. With 18 transmitters and translators, it reaches 2/3rds of...
  • INTERNET-BASED BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Dream of owning your own business, being your own boss, working from home... this is the one.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR MOJAVE DESERT LAND TRUST
    Organization Background: The Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) is a non-profit 501(3)(c) organization, founded in 2006. Our mission is to protect the ecosystems of the...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    If you are deeply committed to public service and would like to become part of our high performing, passionate and diverse team, NCAT is looking...
  • TRIPLEX .8 ACRE KANAB, UT
    Create a base in the center of Southern Utah's Grand Circle of National Parks. Multiple residential property with three established rental units and zoning latitude...
  • FORGE & FAB SHOP
    with home on one beautiful acre in Pocatello, ID. Blackrock Forge - retiring after 43 years! Fully equipped 5,500 sf shop including office, gallery and...
  • SMALL FARM AT THE BASE OF MOUNT SHASTA
    Certified organic fruit/berry/veggie/flower farm. Home, barns, garage, separate apt, more. Just under 2 ac, edge of town. Famously pure air and water. Skiing, mountaineering, bike,...
  • FOREST STEWARDSHIP PROJECT DIRECTOR
    Become a force for nature and a healthy planet by joining the Arizona Chapter as Forest Stewardship Project Director. You will play a key role...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Ranchers Stewardship Alliance is accepting applications for an Executive Director. This position will provide leadership to RSA, develop a fund raising plan, and effectively communicate...
  • WRITING PLACE: THE ANIMAS RIVER REGION WRITING WORKSHOP
    REGISTER ONLINE BY: Friday, June 15 WHERE: Durango, CO (location TBD) WHEN: Monday, July 16 Youth workshop: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. (18 and under,...
  • EQUITY IN THE OUTDOORS COORDINATOR
    The Equity in the Outdoors Coordinator will lead community engagement, program implementation and development, and data collection for the Eagle Valley Outdoor Movement (EVOM). EVOM...
  • COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT ASSISTANT
    The Idaho Conservation League is seeking a personable individual who is passionate about conservation to join our Sandpoint Field Office. The Community Engagement Assistant will...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT FLY ROD CASES
    4 standard or custom lengths. Rugged protection for backpacking. Affordable pricing.
  • EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION INTERN/ASSISTANT
    Actively introduce students to Experiential Education, Outdoor Recreation, and Sustainability while engaging and challenging them to learn and participate in these diverse opportunities. Room, board,...
  • ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATIVE MEDIA SERVICES
    In-depth investigations of polluters, lobbyists, regulators, elected officials and others focused on environmentally damaging projects in the U.S. and internationally. We specialize in mining projects,...
  • UNDEVELOPED 40 ACRES - SOUTHWEST COLORADO
    in beautiful Montezuma County.
  • TRUCK DRIVER
    Class A & B drivers, pass all DOT requirements and clean driving record
  • MARIA'S BOOKSHOP FOR SALE
    - Thriving Indie bookstore in the heart of Durango, Colorado. General bookstore with 34-year history as a community hub for Southwest region of CO. 1800...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    HawkWatch International seeks an experienced fundraiser to join our awesome team! This position will provide support in all aspects of the department. We are looking...
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    will develop and execute Wild Utah Projects fundraising plan. Call, email or check full description of job online for more details: