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Anti-bee letters to LA Times on Feb 16

Home Forums HoneyLove Forum Anti-bee letters to LA Times on Feb 16

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  susan rudnicki 5 months ago.

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  • #7846

    susan rudnicki
    Moderator

    Beeks—I don’t know if you saw these, but it is instructive to our impulses to shape the initiative for backyard beekeeping to note that the Times published no letters this day in support. These are the same well-worn tropes we always hear OR the same worries I have with beeks not being sensitive to neighbors comings and goings when doing manipulations. The first writer does not say if she is “allergic” in the medically recognized anaphylactic sense, but the public often says “allergic” to describe a normally expected swelling/itching site from a sting. Never-the-less, these results are not good for PR

    February 16, 2014

    Re “To bee, or not to bee?,” Feb. 13

    Like one of the bee-keepers in your article, I live in Mt. Washington. Several years ago, my former neighbor kept bees. I am allergic to bee stings and had told him so as soon as I saw the hive box in his yard.

    One day, as I was coming home from work, I got out of my car and threw some trash away. My trash cans are right across from my neighbor’s garage, where he was trying to extract the honey, unbeknown to me.

    The bees attacked me as soon as I reached my trash cans. They became entangled in my hair and stung me several times on my scalp and my neck. Fortunately, my husband was home and was able to pluck the bees out of my hair. All my neighbor and his friend could do was to stand there in shock.

    I have a yard growing with fruits and vegetables, so I need the bees to pollinate my plants. But I don’t need inexperienced beekeeping neighbors.

    Kai-Ti Wang

    Los Angeles

    ————————————————————–
    This urban beekeeping trend may have tragic results.

    Who can guarantee that a backyard apiary won’t make contact with an allergic child living next door? Will hobbyist beekeepers be required to carry liability insurance?

    Common sense suggests limiting beekeeping to agricultural and rural areas.

    Sandy Hack

    Valencia

    #7853

    Suzan Tailor
    Participant

    I think there should be proper awareness regarding urban beekeeping. The urban beekeepers should take more care.

    #7862

    susan rudnicki
    Moderator

    Ms Tailor—this is exactly what the discussions on this forum and in other sites are trying to establish. Do you have some more specific management ideas—related to keeping bees—that you would like to offer? We need to determine, for the eventual regulations, what those guidelines say

    #7873

    Cynthia Frederick
    Participant

    Hi! I’m a new-bee, no bees of my own and no knowledge of beekeeping yet . . . but as a concerned citizen, I wonder -
    Aren’t the odds of getting stung the same whether the bee is feral or “kept”? And aside from proper hive management, a beekeeper can’t exactly control the actions of her bees while they’re at work, so liability would have to be very limited . . . as long as the keeper has been properly trained about how to minimize the danger to others, and can prove that she is doing so, the code would have to make it clear that the average sting is an act of god, or something . . .
    I don’t know if my comments are useful or not – I’m asking questions as much as making statements. I’m trying to learn all I can . . .
    If I were stung by a bee, anywhere, my first thought would not be “Whose bee was THAT!” Perhaps, if any form of formalized bee code is adopted, it could include tracking by the health department of reported stings, to address whether or not the public is really any more at risk from legal hives as they would be from feral or under-the-radar hives. Maybe establish a two year trial period to determine whether or not the perceived risk of injury is real?

    #7874

    susan rudnicki
    Moderator

    Cynthia—I would imagine the odds are about the same, as the background population of feral hives has been measured by the Ag Comm. at a average of 9 per sq. mile in LA. In managed colonies, the keeper can exacerbate the chance of a run-in with mammals in the vicinity of the colony if the hive is poorly managed for SPACE. Michael Bush, our go-to expert and author of “The Practical Beekeeper–Beekeeping Naturally” says our most important role in keeping bees is as a space manager. Not too much when the colony is contracting in numbers and not too little when they are burgeoning. Some beeks make the mistake of locating hives in congested urban areas and ignoring regular inspections for space management. The bees can get crowded and under these conditions will sometimes get grumpy and/or swarm—which enrages non-beekeeping neighbors should they witness the event.

    #7875

    Cynthia Frederick
    Participant

    Thanks. So . . . if someone sees a swarm, how do they know that a neighboring keeper is responsible? I know, if someone has a hive they may get blamed, but how would they prove it wasn’t their hive responsible? Or how would the sting-ee prove that it WAS? I see feral swarms pretty frequently . . . but it would never occur to me that they had come from a neighbor’s managed hive.

    #7876

    susan rudnicki
    Moderator

    You can’t know unless you actually see the swarm issuing from a hive box. Same for stings.

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About susan rudnicki

Going into my 3rd year of beekeeping. Have 9 hives, work with the City of Manhattan Beach, re-homing bees in conflict with citizens. Allowed to keep bees at the Public Works yard (6 hives) in exchange for this work.

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