Southerns Beekeeping Association

Southerns Beekeeping Association Forums Bee Keepers Witch hunt – #bluegumsmustfall – Beekeepers

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    Lantz Mattinson

    Hi Hugh

    I hope you are well. I wonder if I might trouble you to forward the tweets below to your Cape Bee contacts as a matter of interest. I have no idea who Michael Jordaan is, but he speaks with some authority to a large audience (166 000 followers) with the level of likes and re-tweets that celebrities get. His message, being forwarded multiple times is hitting thousands of people who understandably are very receptive to anything that will help the drought in Cape Town

    If the bee guys know anyone who is proficient on Twitter, it might be a good idea to try and stop this guy before he continues to escalate this campaign. He seems to think that human’s consumption of water is limited to what is metered in their homes. The amount of water used in the production of human consumables, plastics, metals, food production, etc is out of the ball park and could never be compared to the consumption of a tree.

    See if the bee society want to plop a little response onto some of this guys’ tweets. Maybe a word of wisdom might nip his environmentally reckless messages in the bud.


    Lantz Mattinson

    From: Hugh Glen
    Sent: Thursday, February 1, 2018 10:12 PM
    To: Heather; Pauline Sonley; Owen Williams

    Subject: Re: Witch hunt – #bluegumsmustfall

    Evening All

    A propos “this stuff”, I had a message the other day from James Armitage, who (among other things) is in the process of taking over the editorship of the Royal Horticultural Society’s (as in Chelsea Flower Show, no less) semi-scientific magazine The Plantsman. He wants to make this magazine “more international” than it is right now. I have just replied to the point of his message, and added the idea that would he like a story about how here in South Africa we need our bees, and our bees need Australian eucalypts. If he takes the bait, would any of you like to join me in writing this one?

    All best

    Lantz Mattinson

    From: “Heather”
    To: “Owen Williams”
    Cc: “Pauline Sonley”
    Sent: Monday, February 5, 2018 3:44:46 PM
    Subject: RE: Witch hunt – #bluegumsmustfall

    Hi Owen (cc Pauline)

    Your reply was only sent to me (you didn’t ‘reply all), so you’ll need to reply to Hugh again for him to see it. I decided to send you a note quickly in the meantime, which has turned into an essay, my apologies. I’m not sure who’s who in the bee society, so I’m not sure who would be the best to approach. Perhaps you can help me.

    I chatted to Hugh on the week-end after sending him all the good blue gum references I have. Hugh said he has an important ‘paying job’ that will consume his time between now and April. Thereafter he can look at this again.

    I have been leaning on Hugh for this cause which is close to my heart. It is a hobby for me. I have no qualifications or credentials. It occurred to me that I am doing to Hugh what so many friends and colleagues have done to me in my line of work. I do make-up for a living, and while I do many voluntary things for free, (like being the chairman of my complex, chasing dumpers in Joburg and saving our forest where I can). Friends and colleagues have had a constant string of weddings and other events they attend where they want to look great, and kids parties where they want me to have fun doing face painting for their kids, etc. I became exhausted from all the freebies a few years ago and drew the line to preserve my health and sanity.

    I absolutely squirmed when I realized I’m doing the exact same thing to Hugh and he has been so generous with his information and expertize. I mentioned it to Hugh and he said he has the same problem and really appreciates that I understand.

    My thoughts are the following:

    Because I wish to change perceptions about blue gums nation-wide and nobody takes me seriously without any credentials. I wish to contribute to funding this paper which I will be able to forward far and wide, to places like Carte Blanche, and wherever I see blue-gum-hate-speech on social media. When blue gums have come up on social media before, everybody knows that blue gums are the most evil alien tree we have. The negativity is ingrained and they are not receptive to new thinking. I have been completely shut down by angry-blue-gum-hating crowds who apparently know a lot better than I do.

    I have knocked on doors in our city parks department, only to find the environmental contacts xenophobic against alien vegetation, especially gums. So, appealing to those paid to take care of our environment hasn’t come to anything either.

    If we want to change perceptions, I think it’s going to be up to societies and individuals to fund this ourselves. I can put in R1500 or even R2000 if needs be. I don’t know if the Bee Society might have a use for a published pro-blue-gum article with excellent credentials, (something to debunk some old perceptions and highlight the value of these trees). If they do, maybe the bee society would also like to contribute to getting this article/paper done. I didn’t ask Hugh how many hours/days he thinks it will take him or how much he would consider fair exchange. I have no idea.

    I know that Hugh could do with an income while his daughter in-and-out of hospital, terminally ill with a particularly nasty strain of Myasthenia gravis. This is not by any means intended as a plea for charity, it is a suggestion of offering ‘fair exchange’ for his expertize. I don’t think he can afford to do it on any other basis, his spare time is better spent with his family right now.

    Do you think there is any chance the bee society, or any individuals within the bee society might want to back this? If more funding is needed from me, I’ll up my game, but I feel that the cost will be lighter if it is shared. I may be wrong, but, from my social media experiences, I think that having an internationally published article with fantastic credentials and references to all the studies Hugh has access to – might be just what is needed for the gums.

    Sleep on it, chat to your people, and let me know if there are any takers on that side (to pursue this in April)

    Sorry again for the essay
    Regards, Heather

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