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Carl Jurica Tribute

Carl Jurica Tribute
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I will miss Carl. He was such a generous human being and a font of knowledge about all manner of things. He was deeply committed to the care and welfare of bees and enthusiastically shared the knowledge he gleaned from a lifetime of beekeeping. I will miss his big smile and genuine pleasure whenever I stopped by to see him, whether to get a queen or to pick up a nuc, or just to say Hi!

He loved home baked desserts and I made it a point to bring him cookies, brownies or bread when I stopped by just to see his eyes light up with delight. He always made time to share what he knew and I was always greeted with a warm smile and hug. Usually there was someone else visiting and enjoying his company. He was an open-hearted, loving human being and we are all richer for having known him.

Carl Jurica     There are many stories that can be told      this was a person who did not realize how very intelligent he was


  I met Carl Jurica at the Dyce Laboratory for Honey Bee Studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in the spring of 1971 while there on sabbatical leave.

    Carl entered Grammar School not speaking a word of English.  His teachers sent a note home to his parents   saying Carl does not do what he is told.
His parents did not speak nor read the English language They gave the note to Carl's uncle who went to the school to explain the situation From there Carl began to process what he had to do

  In high school, Carl became a big volleyball player. He was going to go to a college in Florida where of course there was a volleyball team However and possibly his high school chemistry teacher said hey Carl they have volleyball at Cornell University that is where you should go. Obviously this teacher recognized Carl's intelligence and wanted him to go to a more challenging environment.

 He is admitted to Cornell where he majored in Chemistry. But he goes up to the sports complex as a young freshman and tells someone at the sports center that he  wants to join the volleyball team. They inform him there is no volleyball team at Cornell. But he can try to put a team together. He assembles a team and for the next four years, he is the Captain, Coach and Manager of the team. Wow for a young boy who could not speak a word of English!

    After graduating from Cornell University,he went to Michigan for his Master's degree and then returned to Cornell for his P.h.D. At Cornell he worked under Dr. Rodger A. Morse at the Dyce laboratory for Honey bee Studies. After obtaining his P.h.D. he returned to Johnstown where he taught science in either in a junior high or high school.

 I believe his teaching career was a short one. Then he embarked on keeping bees and rearing queens. Most beekeepers seeking queens for various reasons usually want them in the spring. Carl living in the north was confronted with a problem how can you rear queens and have them mated and ready to sell in the spring in up state New York. Well Carl solves the problem. Establish a colony with a drone laying queen, a queen who has run out of sperm or never gets mated. Keep the colony she is in with an apply supply of food and continue to supply it with brood from other colonies ( SOURCE OF WORKER BEES]. Given this arrangement as soon as bees can fly after the end of winter, there are drones flying off to Drone Congregating Areas. So the early queens you are rearing in the north can fly to drone congregating areas and there are drones waiting for them in early spring at a northern latitude..This was followed by his book entitled Practical Queen Rearing in the North.

  Carl was a humble person who never bragged about his accomplishments and practiced the art of beekeeping with a deep love for his honeybees. He never received the recognition he so richly deserved but in time his work with honeybees will received the recognition that is truly deserved. Also for years I made attempts for Cornell to recognize his initiatives with reference to the volleyball team he assembled to no avail however last I knew volleyball is still continuing at Cornell thanks to Carl Jurica..


Carl was a person of great, and kind spirit. I loved seeing him at SABA and Betterbee events, he was always friendly and eager to share his knowledge. Life seemed a great adventure for him. So pleased to have known him.

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