Letter: Don’t try to ‘save the honeybees’

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I think it’s worth noting that honeybee experts worldwide are urging people to not adopt hives. It seems that widespread coverage of colony collapse disorder a decade ago spurred a widespread belief that honeybees were in trouble. In fact, they are not.

The bees that are in trouble are the hundreds of native bees, which are being outcompeted by the 26% increase in domestic bees over the last decade. Yes, colonies collapsed, but what wasn’t reported is that commercial beekeepers rapidly replace the failed hives.

Meanwhile, the “Save the Honeybees” movement brought a lot of well-intentioned new beekeepers into the practice, including in the Asheville area. Bee City USA, which certifies cities and universities as “pollinator-friendly” due to the establishment of native bee-friendly plantings, was founded here. That’s helping all pollinating species, not just honeybees.

Honeybees are best described as “livestock” and, like so many other animal husbandry practices, are supplanting native species. So please don’t try to “Save the Honeybees.”

— Cecil Bothwell


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

3 thoughts on “Letter: Don’t try to ‘save the honeybees’

  1. MV

    Also, I encourage residents to learn more about bumblebees. They pollinate tomatoes, winter squash and other flowers and crops.

  2. indy499

    I don’t know anything about bees, but on topics I do know about, I know that Bothwell is clueless. Would be surprised if this were different.

  3. SpareChange

    Might I suggest a different headline for the former Council-Member’s letter?
    “Bothwell Sings, ‘Let It Bee.'”

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.