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Flying Under the Radar

December 23, 2009

Can it really bee possible that there are people who still do not realize the importance of pollinating insects to our food supply.  Sadly enough, I can answer my own question.  Approximately 1/3 of our food supply is directly dependent on pollinators, but as a group Americans don’t seem to really understand the need to keep them healthy and producing.

In its misguided mission the media has been responsible for causing rampant fear and confusion about bees. I will bet that makes them happy.  They drool and twitch uncontrollably at the opportunity to use a headline that has the words “Killer Bees”.  Actually there is no such critter as a killer bee. It is a fantasy character that I believe to be a first cousin to the Chupacabras.  At this point I must admit that the Killer Bees from an old SNL skit were pretty funny. Weren’t they just people dressed up like bees?

It is inevitable that the Africanized Honey Bee (AB) will set up shop full time in Florida at some point.  The mission is not to eradicate them, (like we could), but to learn to live with them.  One of the most important activities to help control the AB is to have as many managed honey bee colonies as possible.  This helps to control the AB by eliminating habitat for them.  It is alarming how few people know this and think all bees are the same, and dangerous.

Recently in Hillsborough County a beekeeping operation was being forced out of a more populated area because of the media induced fear.   Uninformed people think all bees are dangerous and in their fear they are ready to strike and destroy, unnecessarily.  It was eventually ruled that the beekeeper was within their rights to maintain their locations and the local government had to concede.  How sad that this local government was ready to eliminate something that could help protect them from dangerous bees, due solely to ignorance and their insistence on flying under the radar of information about their own way of life.

Liquid Honey Sizes

8 ounces = 2/3 cup

12 ounces = 1 cup

1 pound = 1-1/3 cups

2 pound = 2-2/3 cups

Visit the Florida Beekeepers Site:

Honey Bee Awareness:

Checkout the Master Beekeeper Program at the University of Florida:

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 23, 2009 1:41 pm

    Thanks for the reminder about how much we need bees. Not only for our crops in Florida but we produce some of the best honey around.

  2. December 23, 2009 3:15 pm

    Thanks for spreading awareness about this important topic. As farmers, we’re keenly tuned in to the importance of pollinators to our food supply. You can learn what we’re doing about it at

  3. June 10, 2010 1:35 am

    Wonderful article! You are correct folks don’t know how important our pollinating insects are agriculturally. I pick-up swarms and unwanted feral colonies, in my neck of the woods here in central Florida. I watch the ones I bring to my apiary for any overly aggressive behavior, I haven’t had to replace any of the queens yet. I have found so many wonderful colonies with such wonderful dispositions and they add a bit of genetic diversity that I welcome quite readily. I agree that the Africanized honey bees will eventually set-up permanent residence here in Florida. With the ever increasing difficulty in keeping honey bee colonies alive, we do need to just learn to live with them, and yes learn from them as well. Thank you for the wonderfully written post, and keep up the good work.
    Santiago Wallace
    Wallace Family Apiary

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