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Self-reliance, with help from the bees

Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I read with interest,about the bee problem in Kenai (Peninsula Clarion Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011). As a fellow beekeeper on the Peninsula, it saddened me to see the attack on the Apis Mellifera (honey bee). If a neighbor gets stung it must be one of my bees. I have some advice for Sarah Souders and thoughts for the politicians.

First, to my friend Sarah -- do as I do, explain to the bees the importance of pollinating only the flowers and vegetables on your own property. Those that do not listen I use a very tiny, almost invisible leash, just long enough to reach my property line.

Occasionally they break their leash and escape. I take those bees and place then into bee jail and fine them significantly. Instead of money I take an increase of their personal honey. After all, it is my corporate colony and they are only the workers. They better start listening or else.

To those politicians -- what is your point? To keep people from being stung? Good luck with that. Let's get rid of the honey bee from the entire state. After all they are an invasive insect. In fact, there was no Apis Mellifera in North America until man imported them from Europe.

The honey bee is the best pollinator on the globe and has been transported everywhere. They have helped to increase food production. According to the USDA, "Bee pollination is responsible for $15 billion in added crop value." Approximately 1/3 of our food production is the result from honey bee pollination.

We can always do what the politicians in Kenai and Juneau want us to do. Just import what we need. Food, no problem, just import it from somewhere. Natural gas, no problem, just import it from somewhere. Jobs, no problem, the state will take good care of us.

Politicians from the Peninsula to Juneau down to D.C. just do not get it. What makes a successful economy/state? Self reliance, not dependence. Honey bees improve self reliance; I have seen the results in my garden.

Ray Southwell, Nikiski



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