from the editor

editors letter

I detest mosquitos and biting flies, and their fondness for my blood. And I loathe yellow jackets, particularly when they persistently buzz around the meat during backyard barbecues. While I find them beautiful as moths and fascinating as giant green caterpillars, I’m frustrated by the damage that hornworms do to our tomato plants. They can be irritating, but I don’t want to kill all insects.

Most Americans launch an all-out war on bugs, spending billions on pesticides, including pest control products for homes and gardens, chemical-laden bug sprays, and large-scale crop dusting of farms. As much as we may fear or despise bugs, they play an important role in our food system. For instance, bees (as well as other insects, birds, and bats) pollinate many of the foods we eat, including apples, almonds, melons, and pumpkins.

To honor the humble honey bee — as well as other bugs — we dedicate this issue to beneficial insects. In our cover story, meet local beekeepers and hear about the plight of the honey bee. We’ll introduce you to Nevada’s state entomologist, Jeff Knight, who has a passion for native bees. Next, learn about a treasure in our midst: the Reno nonprofit, Nevada Bugs & Butterflies. Visitors — mostly children — relish its Butterfly House filled with rare and native Nevada butterflies, as well as spots to view beetles, millipedes, bees, flies, ladybugs, and more.

Then, meet Brooke Salassi and Peyton Wilson, fifth graders from Mount Rose Elementary School in Reno, who propose building apiaries atop Reno’s tallest buildings. Speaking of homes for bees, discover how to attract them by building simple wooden bee hotels in your yard. DIYers: Discover how to make honey wine.

We also bring you a few ideal-for-fall stories. For one, pick the perfect pumpkin, roam through the corn maze, ride the hay wagon, and meet the animals at the 100-acre Andelin Family Farm in Spanish Springs. Just in time for the start of angling season, we highlight world-class fishing at Pyramid Lake. The colder temperatures make me yearn for heartier fare. So a feature on chef Jean-Pierre Doignon of Le Bistro Restaurant in Incline Village and his French country cuisine seems to fit right in.

Whether appreciating the bugs and bees of fall or relishing the bounty they help to produce, I hope you enjoy what is my favorite season of the year.

Amanda

P.S. Be sure to check out our second wedding guide, available in this issue. It’s packed with the area’s best venues, caterers, florists, and more. The printed piece is accompanied by a lavish digital component: a wedding section on our website that includes comprehensive coverage of each advertiser in an easy-to-use format. If you’re planning a wedding (or know someone who is), don’t miss this great guide.

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