Wild Burros

In Memoriam: Susan Rudnicki, wild horse & burro advocate

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. & Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Yesterday, I found out that wild horse & burro advocate, and friend, Susan Rudnicki, recently passed away.  Susan will be missed as a fierce voice to save America’s wild horses & burros.

I met Susan at a rally for wild horses & burros many years ago.  In 2012, Susan was at the Irvine, CA meeting of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Wild Horse and Burro Review Committee, in it’s evaluation of the BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro program.

Over the years, we stayed in touch with emails and phone calls.  In 2017, I had an appointment at Sen. Feinstein’s Los Angeles office to present Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s White Paper and to discuss wild horse & burro issues.  When I woke up that morning, I wasn’t feeling very well, so I called Susan to ask if she could meet me at Sen. Feinstein’s office.  It was short notice and a long drive in traffic, but Susan didn’t hesitate to join me in the meeting.  When I faltered, Susan jumped in to “save the day” and convey important information.

Everyone who knew Susan knew that she was extremely intelligent, energetic, knowledgeable and articulate.  And passionate about animals and the environment.

Many of you may not have known that Susan was also concerned about the bee die-off crisis, so she became a beekeeper.  She would rescue hives and take them to farms in other cities and even other states.

This past January, Susan let me know that she had been hospitalized and had received a medical diagnosis with a grave prognosis.

I’ll always remember Susan as a strong voice for the voiceless.  It was an honor to know Susan and to work on this great cause with her.  I feel like the best way I can honor Susan today is to share a part of what Susan shared with all of us:

You can also listen to this podcast:

102 Beekeeping Controversies With Susan Rudnicki




9 replies »

  1. I remember seeing Susan’s name many times. Just listened to the podcast about beekeeping – having no knowledge of it at all – sounds just as complicated as taking care of horses (the RIGHT way)! She must have been such a great caring person – certainly is going to be missed. I wish I could have known her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful tribute to a life will-lived. That is really what it’s all about isn’t it. I have been reading Susan’s comments ever since I started this journey. You can feel as though you know someone that you’ve never met in person. I guess it’s because we are all Kindred Spirits.
    She will be missed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. RIP Susan Rudnicki

    I’m saddened to report the passing of beekeeper Susan Rudnicki who was a guest on episode 102 of our podcast.
    Susan was a tireless activist for local bees and for treatment-free beekeeping. She provided free bee removal services for the city of Manhattan Beach until, unfortunately, she was replaced by a pest control company. And it was Susan who tipped me off to the world of scam bee removal services and sent me regular updates on the story.
    Like me, Susan promoted the benefits of robust and mite-resistant Africanized bee stock and worked to debunk the “killer” myths associated with them. For this activism she faced appalling sexism and condescension from the pseudo-scientific mainstream beekeeping establishment and journals. I spent the morning going through the emails she sent me over the past few years and I think I need to do a series of posts on them such as one that I missed which links the editor of a major bee magazine to pesticide manufacturers. I can hear her bold, uncompromising spirit in those emails.

    Rob McFarland of HoneyLove says in Facebook,
    I lost a good friend today who I loved dearly, and the world lost one of the finest beekeepers to ever wear the veil. Susan was the smartest, fiercest, and most passionate defenders of honeybees I’ve ever been blessed to know. I taught her to rescue bees, taking her on her cutout. I warned her how addictive bees are, and told her I could see her catching bee fever. She almost immediately surpassed me in every aspect of beekeeping, and soon became the person I turned to for mentorship, wisdom, and analysis. She taught me so much about bees and how to fight for what’s right and just. She was formidable in every respect, and she held us all to her incredibly high standards. I’ll miss you Susan Rudnicki, but I’ll never forget the impression you made on my life and the massive dent you made in the world. Now we must conduct the age old tradition of ‘the telling of the bees’ so they may be put into mourning and carry on her tremendous legacy. Love you Susan



    Behind the headlines about bee die-offs is an untold story about the methods of conventional beekeeping. There is a sharp divide between mainstream beekeepers and natural beekeepers. In this episode we delve deep into the controversies over how bees are managed with beekeeper Susan Rudnicki. We recorded this episode in front of a live audience at one of Honey Love’s monthly symposiums. We get into a lot of detail on beekeeping methods, so consider this episode a kind of natural beekeeping 101. During the podcast Susan discusses:

    102 Beekeeping Controversies With Susan Rudnicki


  5. I am so sorry to hear that Susan is no longer tending to the creatures God provided for their sake, but also to ensure the survival of all species of flora and fauna. It is almost painful to hear her talk of the genetically healthy African bees as compared to the more placid European honey bees. African(ized) bees were targeted as an invasive species for eradication in thr same 376+ 93 OTA Report on Harmful, Nonindigenous Species of the US. This sub-species of honey bee was targeted by the same collection of IUCN, IUCS that falsely labeled our wild horses and burros as non-native to US. This is why we can not tolerate the political propagandizing of US science. Susan was passionate, knowledgrable and articulate on issues related to the enviro. She had interests. Looks like she found an issue where she could make a difference. She was a real fighter. I am grateful to have known her.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sad to hear about the passing on of my friend, Susan! She was — and remains — such a keen and intelligent, compassionate spirit. Godspeed, Susan! Until we meet again …

    Liked by 1 person

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