As a writer first and editor second, sometimes it can be very hard to give away stories to other writers that I’d love to be able to write myself. That happens a lot with Biz — actually every month. I know it’s a good thing, that if I’m interested and excited enough about a topic, chances are others will be too. But somehow that doesn’t make it easier.
A few months ago, when we were looking at doing a feature on the status of bees in Louisiana, I started doing a little research into the subject and immediately found myself hooked. Just like hundreds of other Louisianans — 446 to be exact that are beekeepers in the state, as of the latest LSU Ag Summary — the more I learned about bees, the more I saw what fascinating creatures they are. At that point I knew: this was one story I couldn’t give away.
I’m so glad I didn’t. I got to speak with so many interesting and passionate people: from Glenn Gueho, owner of Busy Bee removal, who talked about how he’s used window washers to remove hives 31 stories up in the air, to Elizabeth Holloway of Bocage Bee and Honey Co., a 78-year-old Baton Rouge resident whose passion for the insects has her happily working with her hives six days a week, to David Young, who patiently explained to my 5-year-old daughter and I what it takes to be a beekeeper — and gave her a piece of honeycomb that now holds a sacred spot in her treasure drawer.
Of course the more I learned, the more I realized what a multifaceted story this is — one that could easily have filled every page of this magazine. If you’re interested in learning more, I encourage you to contact any of the people mentioned in the article or any of the more than a dozen beekeepers associations throughout Louisiana.
And for you gardeners out there who’d love to get some insect help, just a tip: Bees prefer blue, purple, white and yellow flowers. Apparently they can’t distinguish the color red from green, so red flowers don’t appeal to them.