Tuesday letters: hemp, unity – Glenwood Springs Post Independent

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Hemp is bad for bees

In her Christmas Day letter to the Post Independent, Jackie Chenoweth of Carbondale extols the virtues of industrial hemp. She writes that it can help to heal our planet by replacing “fossil fuel based plastics, toxic building materials, synthetic fibers, harmful chemicals, etc., etc.” She calls hemp “an integral part of the solution” to climate change.  So far, so good.

What she does not tell us is how hemp production impacts our pollinators. Poor or inadequate nutrition can be a major stress on pollinators — including honey bees and native bees. Wind-pollinated hemp flowers are rarely visited by bees or other pollinators. Alfalfa, on the other hand, is a rich and important nectar and pollen source for a host of bee species. It’s also one of the most common field crops in Western Colorado. That’s good for bees. Yet we are witnessing the relentless conversion of alfalfa ground to hemp, resulting in less food for pollinators. Look around you. Suddenly, hemp is everywhere.  

Hemp holds the potential to dramatically alter our agricultural landscape. The press so far has been largely positive. But let’s all be aware of unintended consequences.

Ed Colby 

president, Colorado State Beekeepers Association

New Castle

A bridge of unity

Recently I read a personal essay, written by a 52-year-old veteran and freshman at Yale University. In his essay, he talks about the use of the term snowflake, being willing to change one’s opinions, and building a bridge of knowledge and unity. You can find the link to this essay on my campaign Facebook page Colin Wilhelm For Colorado.

In this campaign, I am attempting to build a bridge of unity within Colorado so we may better work together and close the divide in this country.

In order to build that bridge, I feel I must be the first brick. In order to be that brick, I must confess that in the past I have used the term snowflake in a derogatory sense, directed at people who I didn’t agree with. I regret doing so, I regret that at the time I was not willing to listen, not willing to hear where they were coming from and to understand their beliefs, ideas and solutions to our common problems. I apologize to them and to everyone else for those actions.

I have grown as a human being, and I am willing to make change. I enjoy speaking with others who do not share my same beliefs, ideas and solutions to common problems — I believe this could make me a little better person.

So, that being said, I encourage you to read this essay, and if you are willing, to be a brick in our bridge of unity.

You can find the essay and more information about myself and my campaign for House District 57 on our Facebook page Colin Wilhelm For Colorado, Please check us out, and if you are interested follow the Act Blue link on our Facebook page and donate, and help us find common solutions to our common problems.

Colin Wilhelm

Glenwood Springs

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