Last month, I picked up a copy of Virginia Gardener Magazine (Jul/Aug 2012) at my local bookstore. To my dismay, there was an article in the magazine titled “Bee Afraid, Bee Very Afraid,” which contained a lot of bad information about honeybees, lumping bees into the same class of stinging insects as wasps and yellowjackets (they are NOT!). Well, let me tell you, as a future beekeeper, this made me mad as a hornet!!
I quickly sent off a letter to the magazine complaining about the load of misinformation contained in the article, the bad rap that the article gave to our pollinators, and the fear inducing title of “Bee Afraid, Bee Very Afraid.” In addition, I forwarded a copy of the article to the members of my beekeeping clubs and asked them to do the same.
Today, I was back in the bookstore, and there sat the September 2012 edition of Virginia Gardener Magazine. I thumbed through it, and guess what??? There was an “humble bumble apology” given by the author who confessed that she “made the mistake of referring to [ground nesting insects] with the blanket term of “bees,” when in reality, true bees are rarely a problem insect.” The author concluded her apology by stating “Please don’t teach your children to be morbidly afraid of bees.” Quite a change in tone and position from her previous statement of “bee afraid, bee very afraid.”
So, glad I took the time to write the letter to the magazine. Even more glad that the author recognized the error and posted the much needed apology. The bees are dancing the dance of joy!!