Dr. Gene Kritsky on Honey Bees and Cicadas (S4, E5)


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In this episode we talk with Dr. Gene Kritsky, who has authored or edited 10 books and over 250 papers on subjects as diverse as entomology, Egyptology, evolution, history of science, dinosaur biology, insect poetry and insect mythology. The Tears of Re: Beekeeping in Ancient Egypt is one of his Egyptology stories in a book, and Periodical Cicadas: The Brood X Edition was released this spring, just before Brood X began singing their mating songs (at up to 90 decibels at their peak) in the Eastern US this spring.

He is the Dean, and a Professor in the department of Behavioral and Natural Sciences in Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In this incredible interview, he weaves all of these things together and ties them all into his love of bees and beekeeping.

We start with a discussion of the Brood X cicadas this spring, and his new book about them, but wander in and through the history of developing the timing of all of the Broods of cicadas that exist, how are they related, and do they harm bees in anyway.

Long ago he read Eva Crane’s book on the history of hives, and that started his exploration of, and a book about, In Search of the Perfect Hive. As a Fulbright Scholar, he traveled to Egypt to teach entomology, and there he really got involved in their beekeeping styles, government’s role and organization. He relates stories on Egypt’s history of bees and beekeeping, hive styles, and yes, there has been honey found in Pyramids that is thousands of years old that is still edible. His definition of “beekeeping” is the intentional prevision of an artificial container in which bees can produce.

Have you ever thought you would use the words “Insects” and “Mythology” in the same sentence? Gene does. He knows museums and can direct you to the sections that cover all of these subjects.

Dr. Gene Kritsky is one of the most interesting stories we’ve told. Come along for the ride.

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:


We welcome Betterbee as sponsor of today's episode. BetterBee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, continued education and quality equipment. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, BetterBee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at www.betterbee.com

Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website: https://www.strongmicrobials.com

This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at http://globalpatties.com and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode!

We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.


We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments: questions@beekeepingtodaypodcast.com

Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at www.beeculture.com

Thank you for listening!

Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong"; Musicalman, "Epilogue". Original guitar background instrumental by Jeff Ott

Beekeeping Today Podcast is an audio production of Growing Planet Media, LLC

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