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Two entrances to the small college where I teach were blocked this morning; I thought they were being repaired. Later, I heard a custodian nervously & loudly telling someone about the swarm of bees by the door. I asked for details & he said there was a swarm of "killer" bees by the doors and they were waiting for pest control to come kill them. (In my mind I was thinking, "AGGGGGGHHHH! You dumb---!")

So, of course, I excitedly went through the doors to look for the swarm, already planning to go home and get my bee stuff. It was merely row of hollies that were blooming and had some honey bees buzzing around. I plan to walk the grounds later and look for a feral hive in the trees.

This gave me the opportunity to educate a few co-workers. I also told them to never use "bees" and "pest control" in the same sentence. It frustrates me that everyone is so out of touch with the natural world that their first reaction is to kill things. Still, I'm old enough to no longer be surprised but always am anyway.
 

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You hit the nail right on the head.
We can't blame those who are not educated on a certain subject such as honey bees. I am glad though that you took the time to pass on a little knowledge.
My motto is that I'd rather know a little about everything than know everything about one thing.
 

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I teach at a small college, too. Last year, someone sent out an email asking for advice on who to call to kill off a large swarm of bees. Like you, I was mentally set to get into my suit and grab a new batch of bees. To make a long story short, a lengthy phone conversation indicated it was a half dollar-sized paper wasp nest. They had no idea of the differences between wasps, yellow jackets, bumblebees or honeybees. I was flabbergasted that one of my colleagues, highly educated in a small sliver of human experience, had no idea that they were different from each other.

Now, perhaps I am being too harsh. Not everyone has the same experiences in life and although I knew the differences long before I kept bees, we're not all cut from the same cloth. However, I now have an example of the saying "the more you learn, the less you know."
 

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I was helping a friend of mine who couldn't have honeybees in her yard, get some solitary bees for her garden. I knew about Knox Cellars from several years ago so I sent her that direction. I did some reading on their website and found this little statement: http://www.knoxcellars.com/about_knox.php

"Please note: we are not bee keepers and we do not deal with wasps. We will not come remove bees from your residence. If you are having bee problems, please call your local exterminator"

I sent them an email on March 6th.

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I have often referred people to your site for an alternative when zoning prohibited keeping honeybees. I must say, for a site that promotes and sells bees and equipment, I find the above note to be at odds with your purpose ("to spread a safer (less stinger filled) way to pollinate", "promoting native pollinators"), offensive to the beekeeping community at large, and spreading misinformation (joining 'beekeeping', 'wasps' and 'exterminator' in the same note).

Have you given thought to what your note conveys to the average person who has little to no experience with bees, except for what they read and hear in the media? Your statement blurs the line between bees and hornets/wasps and groups them together as the same. This is confirmed by suggesting people call an exterminator for "bee" problems. You have a captive audience when one visits your site. Why do you not use this opportunity to educate and explain the value of "bees" and the difference between bees and wasps?

May I suggest an option for you is to provide a link to one of the many sites that provide lists of beekeepers that are willing to remove and save honeybees, not exterminate them. I understand this is a business for you and applaud making this native pollinator bee available to the public, but working with the larger beekeeping and pollinator community in educating the public would sure be great.

Thank you for your time.
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I guess they're not interested in what I had to say! :)
 

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To some people, more than 1 bee in sight at any given time, is a swarm.
When I was "chasing bees", as the wife called it, and was on the list of swarm responders everywhere, made it a practice to be aware of holly bloom times.

Many motels and apartment complexes plant holly around ground floor windows. I suppose to discourage would-be peeping Toms. Would get several calls at holly bloom time. Learned to quiz and educate them.

Walt
 
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