Letters From OC Weekly Readers

‘A Mexican Is Completely Different Than a Chicano’

Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to letters@ocweekly.com, or mail to Letters to the Editor, c/o OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Ste. 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.


Beekeeping is my family business. I maintain several hundred colonies of European bees, but my bees are in the remote desert because the Africanized bees rule in city areas. As [Gustavo Arellano’s “Hive & Seek,” Feb. 27] stated, “the Africanized bee has been found in Southern California since the mid-1990s.” So what happens when the wrong bees are “rescued”? Africanized bees frequently invade European colonies and take them over. Given the right cues (sounds or odors), they sting in mass numbers to defend their nest. This happened in Long Beach [a few years ago], when an elderly man was stung to death while mowing by the Africanized bees that had taken over the beekeeper’s hive in his yard.

Because of massive media attention, the general public believes there is a shortage of honeybee colonies for crop pollination—which is not true. This year, there are surplus hives. And the reasoning is simple: The price per hive for pollination services was at an all-time high, so the beekeepers responded and split their hives to make more money. They overloaded the market. Now, in 2009, there is a surplus of honeybee hives.

Bee rescues are not needed to “save the bees.” The beekeepers are doing just fine on their own.

Steven Thoenes, Ph.D., Tucson, Arizona, via ocweekly.com


What are these people going to do when they come across a hive of not-so-friendly bees that run amok and not only harm them, but others as well? There was no mention of them having liability insurance, especially when they are slicing open structures. It’s one thing to remove a swarm from a tree or a hive from a fence, but it’s another thing to be physically opening wall voids, encountering wiring, plumbing, etc.

I grew up with David Marder driving around with hives of bees in the back of his beat-up Ford truck and going to fairs to see his booths. He taught us about bees, their life cycle and how they benefit us. His whole life has been committed to bees.

He was one of only a very few in Southern California to even handle the Africanized-bee situation when it first came here, and I know firsthand how hard it was for him to transition from a beekeeper to what most people now refer to him as: an exterminator.

Bees are his passion in life. In fact, I think he prefers bees to people.

Lydia, via ocweekly.com


How was the moniker “Africanized bees” ever deemed an acceptable name for feral bees in the 1980s? Certainly, there is probably some empirical evidence showing that certain bees from Africa made their way here and bred with local bees, resulting in bees with new, more aggressive traits. But come on, to name an entire genetic malfunction after one of the seven continents? What must the educated, hard-working people in Africa think about us naming an epidemic of nature after their homeland? Reminds me of when Joseph Conrad called it “the Dark Continent,” and the name stuck.

Why didn’t we start calling every married woman’s left hand her “Africanized hand,” as we all proudly wear “Africanized” diamonds to show our status in this world?

Linguistic Wonderings, via ocweekly.com


Approximately 50 percent of what you deemed unnecessary spending [R. Scott Moxley’s Moxley Confidential, “Times Are Tight,” Feb. 27] is very valid (i.e., marketing exercise and healthy eating habits, marketing the value of vegetables, hiring empowerment coaches for bad parents, buying new playground equipment, teaching the threat of alcohol to college students, and transporting corpses). What do you want, obese people who are a burden on our health-care system? And who’s going to drive the corpses around? I nominate you.

Niki, Newport Beach, via ocweekly.com


It is possible that William Lobdell never had faith [Gustavo Arellano’s “Bad Faith,” Feb. 27]. True believers in God know that He can never can be judged by the acts of men. Lobdell should know that. Our faith tells us to put all of our trust in Christ. He is forever faithful. I will pray for Lobdell that he finds true peace through a relationship with Jesus Christ, not through “religion.”

Larry Stevens, Costa Mesa, via ocweekly.com


I don’t understand why a Chicano is allowed to write a column representing Mexicans [Gustavo Arellano’s ¡Ask a Mexican! Feb. 20]. There is an enormous gap of culture, a completely different point of view over the issues, and a different sense of just about everything between a Chicano and a real Mexican. This is not discrimination or anything, but hello?! A Mexican is completely different than a Chicano. A Chicano tries to be a gringo and thinks he or she is better than normal Mexicans just by having papers. It’s depressing that a Chicano has to represent us Mexicans in a country like this. Sad. Just sad.

Stefany, Chicago, via ocweekly.com


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