RIP Susan Rudnicki

I’m saddened to report the passing of beekeeper Susan Rudnicki who was a guest on episode 102 of our podcast.

Susan was a tireless activist for local bees and for treatment-free beekeeping. She provided free bee removal services for the city of Manhattan Beach until, unfortunately, she was replaced by a pest control company. And it was Susan who tipped me off to the world of scam bee removal services and sent me regular updates on the story.

Like me, Susan promoted the benefits of robust and mite-resistant Africanized bee stock and worked to debunk the “killer” myths associated with them. For this activism she faced appalling sexism and condescension from the pseudo-scientific mainstream beekeeping establishment and journals. I spent the morning going through the emails she sent me over the past few years and I think I need to do a series of posts on them such as one that I missed which links the editor of a major bee magazine to pesticide manufacturers. I can hear her bold, uncompromising spirit in those emails.

Rob McFarland of HoneyLove says in Facebook,

I lost a good friend today who I loved dearly, and the world lost one of the finest beekeepers to ever wear the veil. Susan was the smartest, fiercest, and most passionate defenders of honeybees I’ve ever been blessed to know. I taught her to rescue bees, taking her on her cutout. I warned her how addictive bees are, and told her I could see her catching bee fever. She almost immediately surpassed me in every aspect of beekeeping, and soon became the person I turned to for mentorship, wisdom, and analysis. She taught me so much about bees and how to fight for what’s right and just. She was formidable in every respect, and she held us all to her incredibly high standards. I’ll miss you Susan Rudnicki, but I’ll never forget the impression you made on my life and the massive dent you made in the world. Now we must conduct the age old tradition of ‘the telling of the bees’ so they may be put into mourning and carry on her tremendous legacy. Love you Susan

Charles Napier, The Widow, 1895.

In Susan’s honor let us all tell the bees.

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8 Comments

  1. Thank you Rob. You know my S.O. Daryll Strauss of Crash Space Los Angeles. Remember when you and Chelsea gave a presentation there? Susan was one of my dearest friends.

  2. Hi Rob,

    Thank you for all your kind words, and inviting my mother to be involved in a podcast. It’s a beautiful memory I can always cherish.

    If you have interest in joining our memorial service for Susan, please let me know.

    Wishing you wellness and happiness in all days to come.

    Colin

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