A letter to the editor, from Rachel Culotto

I am writing to pitch a stirring story about local beekeepers, Pamela Vosbein and Phil Villarubia of Bush, Louisiana. As you know, our honey bee population is declining, and they are so essential to our ecosystem. Honey bees are wonderful creatures and it would be a shame to see them go extinct. It is important to share local stories of beekeepers starting out so that others may be influenced to partake in keeping our honey bee population alive.

Pamela and Phil started out with a bare minimum of knowledge on beekeeping.  Pamela, over the last year, has become a mentor to several newer beekeepers, while Phil has been successfully ending his first year of harvesting honey.  They both, daily, share their experiences with co-workers and friends in the New Orleans area with hopes of encouraging more locals to take part in rejuvenating our honey bee population.

My story shares how both Pamela and Phil became interested in beekeeping, how Pamela handles being a mentor for those interested in this hobby, ways to make beekeeping affordable and fun, as well as, the importance of getting our community to participate in keeping honey bees alive and well.  Because both Pamela and Phil have been invested in beekeeping locally, each for over a year now, they both are impressionable people for our community to read about.  Their experiences are easily relatable to our community – those who are interested in this hobby, as well as, those who know nothing about beekeeping.

I firmly believe publishing this story will not only encourage those in our community to educate themselves on the importance of honey bees, but also inspire ordinary people in our community to step up, get involved, and start their own hives.  Pamela and Phil have both done their part in our community.  Let’s honor their hard work and dedication to our honey bee population in return!

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From the editor:  Thank you Rachel.  I rarely receive any comments and rarely a letter.  Yours is heartwarming and definitely worth posting.  Pamela and Phil, I hope you are able to read this and thence know that your devotion and efforts are being recognized!  I hope 2018 and the following years are filled with enlightenment and enjoyment, not only with beekeeping but also with the friends you are interacting with.   — Tim Haley

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