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Beneficial honeybees need protection

Published: August 19, 2013

“Beware of the ‘killer bees'” (News, Aug. 12) unnecessarily creates fear in the general public of the usually gentle honeybee. No evidence was provided of any “killer bee” attacks in Oklahoma, where their presence is negligible and to date limited. While “‘Killer bee' reports have Oklahoma keepers abuzz” makes for a good headline, it's inaccurate. The subject hasn't even come up at the monthly meetings of the Central Oklahoma Bee Association. Articles such as this can only lead to the unnecessary destruction of honeybees, at a time when their population is greatly endangered from various causes. Approximately one-third of our food supply depends on honeybees for pollination. Without honeybees, many fruits and vegetables would no longer be available.

Instead of fearing bees, let's make a positive contribution to a threat to our environment and food supply by encouraging the public to protect bee swarms, which are almost invariably gentle. Those who care to maintain a colony or two of these gentle creatures in their yards will reap the benefits of increased fruit and vegetable production.

Ron Burkard, Oklahoma City

Burkard is a beekeeper. The Central Oklahoma Bee Association meets monthly at the Oklahoma County Extension Office, 930 N Portland.


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