British Columbia beekeepers may remember Jim Bach, once the state apiculturist for Washington. I received word Friday from Paul van Westendorp, B.C.’s provincial apiculturist, that Bach died suddenly this week.
Paul reminded me that Jim, for too long a bachelor, had found a common bond with Fran Kay, the B.C. beekeeper dynamo who for a long time single-handedly operated, edited and put out the B.C. Honey Producers’ Association magazine BeeScene.
Bach, who had moved to Selah in Yakima County after his retirement, had been a long-time member of the Western Apiculture Society and was a regular contributor to regional dialogues on beekeeping. I found this interesting piece on his views on sustainable beekeeping, which he published on the Washington State Beekeepers Association website.
Here’s the note Paul forwarded regarding Jim, which he received from Jerry Bromenshenk at Bee Alert:
Subject: Jim Bach, retired State Apiculturist, Washington, State
Behalf Of Jerry Bromenshenk
Sent: August 30, 2013 3:26 PM
I have very sad news today. Jim Bach died at home this morning. He had been under the weather, had a fit full night, finally fell asleep, Fran found him this morning.
Many of us know Jim as person who not only was exceedingly good at his job, but an advocate for all beekeepers. He’s the only person I’ve ever seen always use two hive tools so he didn’t have to pass his hands over the frames, which he felt increased frequency of bee stings. I know well that his superiors always wanted him to spend more time at a desk, but he was only truly happy when in a beeyard, particularly if he could teach someone a bit about bees.
I for one will miss him as a colleague and a friend.