The Star's diverse readership displays an seemingly-inexhaustible supply of information on a wide variety of topics. I'm surprised almost every day at how closely people scrutinize everything in the paper and online.
A great example, concerning this morning's Local cover, which ran a wild photo where a "a bumblebee was busy pollinating."
Not so fast, wrote one emailer.
The insect depicted is actually a carpenter bee, "an invasive species which is doing 100 of thousands of dollars damage to area structures and is a very difficult and expensive creature to eradicate. The bumblebee by contrast is a very beneficial creature. Tell your photographer and editor to bone up on their bugs and don’t glorify the BAD ONES. :)"
I sent a copy of the photo to an entomologist with Kansas State University Research and Extension. It didn't take her long to confirm the emailer was correct.
She noted that they look for hairs on the bee's abdomen to identify them. This bee has no hairs, which makes it a carpenter bee. Their similarity in size makes them easy to confuse with bumblebees, she told me.
So there will be a correction in tomorrow's paper. Too pedantic? Not to me, especially in this context.