Letter to the editor: A bee follow-up

To the editor:

As a hobbyist beekeeper, aka “beek,” I enjoyed reading the recent article on the subject in the Journal-World. I am writing to follow up on a couple of points.

First, although there are some startup and ongoing costs associated with beekeeping, keeping a hive or two is not ridiculously expensive, especially when compared with many other hobbies (e.g., boating, skiing, golf, etc.).

Second, it is true that beekeeping can be challenging, but there are also substantial benefits. Bees are endlessly fascinating, and you will come to know that the 50,000 or so bees in a hive act as if they are a single, highly synchronized organism, with the queen serving as their “brain” (for Trekkies, think of The Borg in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”). An important benefit of beekeeping is the knowledge that you are playing an important role in helping these precious pollinators. A particularly sweet benefit is having your own source of the nectar of the gods: honey!

One last point: In addition to the Lawrence-based bee store mentioned in the article, another great resource is the Northeast Kansas Beekeeping Association, a volunteer organization dedicated to helping the broader beekeeping community. If you are considering “being a beek,” joining NEKBA will help ensure success with your new fuzzy (bee) friends.

James P. Guthrie,



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