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Action Line investigates a not-so-sticky situation

Honeyville owner Danny Culhane inspects rows of products in the shipping area of the plant north of Durango. (Durango Herald file)

Dear Action Line: I have lived in Durango for over four years now and have always been a purchaser of Honeyville honey. It just came to my attention that this honey is NOT all local. Only some of their honey is local and they “fill in missing gaps” with honey from their California hives. Please investigate this yourself and get a clear answer out to our community. – What’s the Buzz

Dear Buzz: People love to sniff out a conspiracy, don’t they.

Action Line’s “sting” operation turned out this answer: The honey is all local or Rocky Mountain grown. Most of the beekeepers who supply Honeyville take their bees to California in the winter to pollinate crops, usually almonds. But those bees do not produce honey for Honeyville while away.

“They come back with a suntan,” joked Danny Culhane, co-owner of Honeyville along with his wife, Sheree, and their son, Kevin.

“They get a vacation, we don’t,” Sheree said.

Honeyville honey comes from bees in La Plata County, some on-site at Honeyville itself, but the Four Corners just isn’t big enough to supply the business’ full needs. The Culhanes stay as local as possible for honey. All the bees making honey for Honeyville have a “similar profile,” the Culhanes said. That means they’re in the Rocky Mountains at a similar elevation, pollinating similar flowers.

“We’re very particular about where we get our honey,” they said.

Bottom line: There are no California beekeepers providing honey to Honeyville. And the bees that travel to California do not return with honey. “That’d be impossible,” Sheree said.

Danny said he hears similar claims every few years. “Rumors just come out of the blue and you just don’t know where they start.”

Sheree said the business is very open and loves to show people around.

“We think it’s the best honey in the world,” she said. “Come on out and take a tour.”

Honeyville has been under the same ownership at its present location, north of Durango on U.S. Highway 550, for 37 years. The Culhane family honey business was founded in 1918 in Durango, and Action Line’s rapid math shows this was 105 years ago.

Action Line is now checking into another rumor, that Honeyville bees were used as extras in “Bee Movie,” which came out in 2007. Barry the Bee could not be reached for comment, possibly because the life span of bees is much shorter than 16 years.

More vanishing signs

Action Line recently wrote about a missing “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” sign that the Colorado Department of Transportation has been replaced. Then Action Line declared there would be no more sign questions for a month. Well, this is not a question. It’s a statement from a reader who lives in the vicinity of Bakers Bridge:

“Signs at either end of Bakers Bridge pointing out that jumping from said bridge is illegal last less than 24 hours! I suspect some of them can be found as dorm décor at Fort Lewis College. (Signed): From someone who lives not too far away.”

Action Line suspects that some high schoolers might be capable of these shenanigans as well. Stay safe everyone.

Another P.O. complaint

Last week, Action Line responded to a concern about the U.S. Postal Service not delivering mail because of road construction on Colorado Highway 172.

“The same thing happened to a lot of us out County Road 240 when the bridge over the Florida River was being repaired,” Skip Vaughan told Action Line. “As you noted, there is no reason to call the Durango post office since calls are never answered – and no reason to harass the clerks because they are hardworking and busy. The reason I was told for our mail non-deliveries was that the (Postal Service) would have to drive through Bayfield – weren’t we all so inconvenienced? – and that our mail person then was on vacation for a couple of days.

“Totally unacceptable and I am still irritated.”

Where to possibly turn for an answer?

You can try this site: www.usa.gov/postal-service-complaints. The site gives two addresses to try:

Consumer Affairs, United States Postal Service, 7500 E 53rd Place, Room 2214, Denver, CO 80266-9631. Phone: (800) ASK-USPS. Fax: (303) 853-6794.

United States Postal Service, Office of the Consumer Advocate, 475 L’ Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C. 20260-0004

Action Line is secretly hoping to create enough of a stir that the local postmaster or station manager will respond and make a suggestion on how to get an ear at the Durango office. Nothing yet.

Email questions and suggestions to actionline@durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. Hey, the “Bee Movie” thing was a stupid joke. That movie was a cartoon, produced strictly by humans.