April 1st, 2015

Bee Drawing

Unsolicited Crazy

I received the following crazy email today:

To Whom It May Concern:

I called Bee Busters today and the receptionist gave me your email. Apparently you are responsible for writing this on your website http://beebusters.com/resurging-bees. I think it my duty to tell you that first of all, WHAT YOU SAY IS CATEGORICALLY UNTRUE. You are spreading lies and it is going to affect our ecosystem FOREVER with an attitude like yours. BLINDNESS AND LIES.

Bees are dying, how can you live with yourself saying otherwise? How can you live with the knowledge that what you are saying is going to exacerbate global warming AND kill our food supply? But you don't care. I've read your Yelp reviews, and I know that you guys just want all bees to die! You are against animals! You should be ashamed!

Just note that I plan to do everything in my power to fight the lies that you and your industry are spreading, please be prepared for further phone calls in the future.

No Regards,

Sally Kate Kartouche

The following is my response:


Thank you for taking an active interest in the welfare of our bee population.

I regret that you would like the bees to be endangered, but I for one am very glad they are generally doing quite well. I will take your opinion that they are disappearing into due consideration, but as with all my opinions, I will weight it against other evidence such as the USDA and UN statistics, which I believe draw from a more rigorous survey of the bee population than you do.

Everything on the website you mention has a source citation. If you believe it is categorically untrue, I urge you to take it up with the US Department of Agriculture and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, from which the statistics originate. One graph is also based on the information from a PhD student in ecology, and many of the graphs were made by the highly respected bee expert Randy Oliver over at scientificbeekeeping.com.

I always love to digest absolutely any research I can find about bees, if you have sources that I'm not aware of that support your claims I would love to see them. Keeping in mind though that "just because it's written on the internet doesn't make it true," I would prefer to read primary sources from a national level survey or peer reviewed scientific journal.

As to your belief that we are "against animals" and "want all bees to die," could you please indicate which yelp reviews gave you this impression? I was not aware there were such insinuations among our yelp reviews.

I hope you'll please allow me to share some various facts which may not be evident from yelp that may contraindicate that impresson. Bee Busters president David Marder was a founding member of the Orange County Beekeepers Association (OCBA) over thirty years ago, has been president twice, and has always been very involved. He doesn't publicize the fact because he doesn't do it for publicity but he's donated thousands of dollars to the club to get it through hard times. Additionally he makes many presentations to school groups and other organizations every year, during which he wears an OCBA shirt and if they insist on compensating him for it he has them write a donation check to the OCBA. Every year he drives up to northern california in his truck to pick up bees from the bee breeders up there and bring them down here for members of the club, and stages them in the bee busters garage for the club members to come pick up. Last year he didn't do it personally but still lent his truck and paid for hotel rooms for the two people who did go.

I personally use all my vacation days and more to teach beekeeping in Africa. Last year I spent 61 days in Africa, in Guinea (in April at the height of the ebola epidemic), Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. Bee Busters additionally donates bee suits and other equipment to the African beekeepers I help.

At the present moment we are very concerned because the vector control has been spraying sumithrin all over the county killing bees in this local area. We've been doing our best to contact environmental agencies and the local news media, but unfortunately the news media think this current acute and alarming loss is one and the same as the "disappearing bees" they falsely believe has been going on. So you can see how "crying wolf" has led to our current environmental disaster. We urge you to take your passion for the bee population to the vector control and demand that they stop applying sumithrin all over the county, killing bees. They can be reached at (714) 971-2421

Additionally we welcome you to come to the Orange County Beekeeper's Association monthly meeting this upcoming Tuesday (7pm, centenial farm of the OC Fairgrounds) where Bee Busters president David Marder will be making a short presentation about the OC Vector Control's bee killing activities, and the main speaker, Devin, a former employee of ours, will be making a presentation on how to install bees in a hive (using the experience, skills, and not to mention pictures he developed while working for us). I believe former OCBA president and former Bee Busters employee Amy will also speak. I won't be speaking this month (I spoke last month on basic beekeeping) but I'll be there with a visiting director of a development NGO based in Nicaragua with whom I'll be working this year.

Kris Fricke