Save the Bees, and Lose the Bee Catchers

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When I moved to Utah, I began noticing this strange thing in people's yards: weird plastic containers hung from tree limbs, and full of dead bees. I found them gruesome and strange, never having seen such a thing before, but soon I began noticing them for sale in stores: bee catchers! Yes! For around fifteen bucks, you too can help destroy one of the world's most invaluable AND threatened species, putting all life on this planet at risk!

I don't know why I never saw these dreadful objects before; I'm guessing they can be found elsewhere; perhaps I just never noticed. But they're EVERYWHERE in Utah, particularly in Salt Lake City's (less enlightened and more Mormon) suburbs--one of which is called Fruit Heights. That's right: northern Utah is flush with orchards, producing apples and peaches and plums and pears and god know what all.

And WHY are there all these orchards in Utah? Well, one reason is because there are BEES to pollinate the trees.

If you want peaches every fall, put up with some bees the rest of the year. DO NOT CATCH OR KILL BEES. THEY ARE THREATENED, AND WE NEED THEM. WE REALLY NEED THEM.

In fact, bees were recently named the planet's single most invaluable species. They pollinate a third of the things we eat--including chocolate and coffee--and they are also one of the main polllinators of cotton. In fact, one scientist argues that "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

So I don't care how afraid of bees you are; suck it up and get over it, because the planets needs them.

7 Comments

That is simply unbelievable. I just don't know what to say about this.

Makes one wonder about what happened to the bee as an important symbol in Mormonism. Wasn't that true, at least in the past? I mean, what's the symbol for Utah? Isn't it a beehive?

What gives with these people? Errr.

We have such a contraption hanging from one of the trees near our deck--but it's full of dead hornets/yellow jackets. Not bees. It's not catching any more because the pheremone bait has long since worn off.

I don't know how much pollinating hornets and yellow jackets do, but they are a nuisance at every outdoor activity. We have a couple of nests in our yard and I've been stung, as was a contractor we had come to make a repair estimate.

I'm with you on wanting to save and preserve the bees. It's the hornets and yellow jackets that bug me.

Mary Ellen, you can use meat as bait for the yellow jackets without hurting pollinating bees.

Good to see you still blogging, Holly, and congrats on the move.

I've seen the yellow jacket ones but not the ones for bees, it seems so wrong with all the concern about their dwindling numbers. The Royal York Hotel here now has beekeeping going on on the rooftop. Now that I think about it, what happens in winter I wonder? Making me think this early is something only you could do Holly.

Hi Everyone--

Juti, I completely forgot the whole Mormon-honeybee connection--don't know how. Yes, the symbol of Utah is the hive, Utah is the beehive state, and a word Mormons use for Mormondom is deseret, which Joseph Smith claimed is Hebrew for honeybee. (I don't know if that's true.) So the irony of a state full of bee catchers is indeed profound.

Mary Ellen, I did a little on-line research, and while there are contraptions called hornet or wasp catchers, the ones I've seen for sale in places like Bountiful were called bee catchers, and the attracting agent was often just supposed to be sugar water. I understand wanting to get rid of the nastier non-honey-making bugs, but I worry that too many people don't notice the distinction.

Chris, thanks for the advice on how to bait the bad bugs and not the good ones.

Dale, I'm glad to make you think any time of day, as long as I don't give you a headache.

If what you've been seeing is a bright yellow cylindrical contraption, that is our product, the RESCUE! Yellowjacket Trap. Please rest assured that this trap does not catch any beneficial bees, only yellowjackets. The bees are not attracted to the bait we manufacture for this trap. Yellowjackets are a dangerous insect because they can sting and bite numerous times, and many people are allergic to their venom. I hope this puts your mind at ease about our product.

Thank you so much, Stephanie. I'm glad to know that at least some of the contraptions I've been seeing do not harm valuable bees, killing only the nasty bugs we don't want around.

I hope people choose your product over some of the more indiscriminate bug killers I saw. If I get a chance, I will recommend it.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on November 22, 2008 7:51 AM.

Will Someone Please Explain This to Me? was the previous entry in this blog.

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