BayBuzz has taken aim at various notables and their pet projects or lapses over the past few years … sometimes generating a bit of controversy.
But who would have thought an article in the Sep/Oct Baybuzz magazine urging amateurs to take up beekeeping would have produced such a sting!
In her piece, The buzz of bees, backyard gardener and hobbyist beekeeper Janet Luke concludes: “I would love to see a network of educated and supported hobby beekeepers keeping healthy bees in a more sustainable, legal and small scale way.” Reasonable enough.
However, she also took commercial beekeepers to task a bit, and that stung local commercial beekeeper John Berry (Arataki Honey), who takes exception to some of Janet’s comments.
“As a commercial beekeeper with over 40 years beekeeping experience I was very disappointed to read Janet Luke’s article where she compares commercial beekeeping with battery hens and sow crates. There are a few beekeepers out there who don’t treat their hives with the care and respect that they deserve, but if anyone treated their hives as Janet describes they would very soon have no bees at all.”
“As a volunteer inspector I have overseen the destruction of hundreds of hives over the years, some belonging to commercial beekeepers who should have known better, and others belonging to a hobbyist with one or two hives who through no fault of their own have had to destroy their beloved hives. Last year, for the first time in four years, we discovered four infected hives of our own, all of which had been used in apple pollination. It is not only expensive and worrying to have to destroy hives, it also leaves a mark on your soul.”
John makes his case at length. You can read his POV in its entirety here.