Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 14:09:01 -0500
Subject: Passing of Andy Nachbaur
I, too, was shocked at the precipitous passing of Andy Nachbaur. Only last April on a jaunt to see relatives in California, my mother and I stopped by to see him on a fine spring morning. He bought us lunch at the Chinese restaurant he frequented just at the top of Paradise Lane in Los Banos. He seemed in rare form that day. Not much hint that the Four Horsemen would soon descend upon him as he reported in one of his last posts. I believe I first met Andy in San Diego in the late 1970s at the AmericanBeekeeping Federation. Later, he wrote and distributed what I still think is a classic in bee literature though not formally published, his case for SAD and BAD bees in California . The information on bee nutrition presented in his treatise had great influence on me, and to some extent, was the reason I undertook my Florida feeding study (Sanford, M.T. & W.B. Johnson. 1991. “A Florida Honey-Bee Feeding Study Using the Beltsville Bee Diet,” BeeScience, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 72-76.).
Andy and I got into the Information Age at almost the same time. He and I often referred to each other’s work. While I plugged away on a mainframe and then one of the first Zenith desktops at the University of Florida, he went to computer shows and developed his Wildbees BBS. Gradually he shifted to the World Wide Web, continuing his penchant for keeping up with new things. This brings to mind a question. What will happen to his Web presence? It continues to some extent at Beesource.com. In all probability it will still be there for some time in the future, perhaps the first example of a virtual beekeeper whose body is no longer with us, but whose writings are, which can be read today as this is being written.
Like others, I appreciated Andy’s wit and straight forward comments, though I didn’t always agree with what he said. He was able to provoke further, careful thought on matters, which to me is most important. I was perhaps never so proud than when he, not much of a fan of bee researchers/extensionists alike, wrote the following:
Subject: 1st PRIZE Beekeeper Page
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Andy Nachbaur)
Oh my gosh with so many very good Beekeepers sites on the internet how can anyone judge them all and come back with a winner without hurting everyone’s feeling. Well I have not judged them as it is really an impossible job, but for content I have a WINNER for you all to check out. If you don’t want to read more on why set your browser to the Apis Newsletter.
Surprise, no fancy graphics, but a diary or series of letters from Dr. TOM SANFORD, from the University of Florida, Beekeeping Extension, father of the internet for beekeepers and a teacher, Doctor of Beekeeping Extension via the Internet for sure.
Why you ask do I suggest its worth the time to read these 19 letters, because its is a fast way, (maybe an hour for a careful reader) to get a look into what others, beekeepers, educators, bee regulators, and bee scientist’s are doing and thinking TODAY in the Mediterranean region. After a few minutes of reading you will be able to relate to what is or has gone on in the US and how other’s are dealing with it. All this is from Dr. Sanford’s perspective which I believe to be an open minded one, and slanted maybe toward what Florida’s beekeepers or southern states beekeepers could be interested in. Read it because you will find reading them a totally enjoyable experience today that may not repeat itself for many years to come in quality or content, but I believe will be read in the future as classic history for beekeepers interested in beekeepers.
ttul, the OLd Drone
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We will all be left much poorer with Andy Nachbaur’s departure. Nevertheless, some of us can take comfort in the fact that at least for now his spirit is still with us on the World Wide Web, able to continue issuing his opinions from the grave using information technology. If you can’t get enough of his musings at beesource.com, try this selection of his posts.