Beekeeper defends need for Brazilian pepper trees

November 12, 2013 

A recent letter to the editor suggested that too many Brazilian pepper trees are crowding out the mangrove trees and therefore should be controlled for the sake of beauty within the environment and also to remove them from the prohibited plant list.

I would like to point out that it is well known among beekeepers that the Brazilian pepper tree has long been a considerable source of nectar and pollen, especially when the orange crop and other fruits and vegetables have been severely diminished by freezing and inclement weather. There is a current condition called a "colony collapse disorder" that is eroding the bee colony population. Many bee-keepers have lost half or more of their colonies to this condition.

It has been surmised that loss of habitat, insecticides and contaminated water have contributed greatly to this disorder.

Let's not forget that without bees and subsequent pollination, we could be setting the stage for our own demise through the lack of fruits and vegetables necessary to maintain life as we know it now.

Stewart Anderson,

retired beekeeper

Bradenton

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