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New Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinars and Archived Sessions Available


It is a new year and the ABF Education Committee has been hard at work developing new ways to keep its members engaged and informed in between ABF annual conferences each year. To this end, the ABF is pleased to offer new sessions with many more to come.
Why Join a Local Club- From the Georgia Beekeepers Association's President
Thursday, February 12, 2015
8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. MT / 5:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. AKST / 3:00 p.m. HST
Clay "Bear" Kelley, Georgia Beekeeper of the Year- 2014-2015 and current President of GA Beekeepers Association

Come listen to Georgia Beekeepers Association President Bear Kelley as he gives you a bird's eye view of how to get people to join a local club. Bear has traveled throughout Georgia presenting this program to local clubs in an effort to bring to their attention the Importance of supporting our state and National organizations. Most folks don’t know about the networking, experience sharing, educational opportunities and support that are available to them. GBA and ABF support them throughout the year by controlling legislation at the state and national level, protecting natural resources, the honey market and the entire industry. Since beginning this program, we have almost doubled our membership base. 

About the presenter: 

Clay “Bear” Kelley is retired from the US Army after 28 years of travelling the world as a logistics Management officer working with numerous foreign governments in developing the logistics systems in the armies. He holds a Master’s degree from Michigan State University in Curriculum and Instruction and BA in Social Science and Business from Coker College in South Carolina.  Bear is a Certified Beekeeper, a Welch Honey Judge and is currently maintaining a small apiary he began 9 years ago and sells the honey locally. His passion is Bee education and has been working on a project to place bee hives on every state park in Georgia, while educating the park staff to be able to operate on their own.  He recently began a “Prison Project” to educate and certify inmates in beekeeping and establish bee hives in state prisons throughout Georgia. Bear was selected as the Georgia Beekeeper of the year for 2014/2015, and is currently serving his 2nd term as the State Beekeeping Association President. He is a proud member of American Bee Federation and Georgia Beekeeping Association. 


Effective Varroa Management Through IPM
Thursday, March 5, 2015
8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. MT / 5:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. AKST / 3:00 p.m. HST
Lance Wilson, Certified Master Beekeeper from University of Georgia and Young Harris College
Learn  effective Varroa management techniques through the use of Integrated Pest Management. We will discuss Varroa destructor’s distribution, life history and population dynamics. You will learn how to recognize the symptoms of infection, a common technique to monitor mite levels and the importance of economic thresholds.  We will follow with effective cultural ,biotechnical and organic bipesticidal controls. 


About the presenter: 

Lance is a certified Master Beekeeper from the University of Georgia and Young Harris College.  He is a small scale beekeeper managing hives in Llano and Travis counties in central Texas. He  promotes natural beekeeping practices and personally avoids synthetic chemicals and antibiotics. He advocates Integrated Pest Management, including organic biopesticides. Lance is a co-organizer of the Austin Area Beekeepers Association . He has presented lectures on honey bee biology, management, behavior, nutrition, Africanized honey bees and Varroa and brood disease management to The Texas Beekeepers Association’s annual convention and clinic, annually at the North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow and at local beekeeping clubs all over  Texas. Lance serves on the new Texas Master Beekeeping Program board and was recently appointed advisor to the Board of the Texas Beekeeper’s Association.


The sessions will be conducted via the GoToWebinar online meetings platform, which means the presenter will have a visual presentation, as well as an audio presentation. Upon entering the session online, you may choose whether to listen to the presentation through your computer's speakers or through your phone.
Reserve your spot today by going to our Education & Events Page/Conversation with A Beekeeper Webinar Series. You must log into your ABF membership account to register. Registration will close 24 business hours before the scheduled session. Twenty-four hours before the session the registered participant will receive an e-mail confirming participation, along with the necessary information to join the session. If an e-mail address is not provided, the ABF will call the participant with the information. 
If you are unable to make the session, don't fear! Each session will be recorded and available on the ABF Web site for ABF member-only access.
Have you missed out on any or all of the great webinars we have hosted over the past year?  Good news!  All of the ABF's "Conversation with a Beekeeper" webinars are archived on the ABF website and you can easily access them at your convenience.
You will need to log into your account to access the sessions.  If you don't remember your username or password, please contact Valerie Lake at

 Have you missed out on any or all of the great webinars we have hosted over the past year?  Good news!  All of the ABF's "Conversation with a Beekeeper" webinars are archived on the ABF website and you can easily access them at your convenience.  You can catch up on the following sessions: 

  • Dr. Marion Ellis – Diseases of Honey Bee Part Two
  • Dr. Roger Hoopingarner – Beekeeping 101 Series
  • Blake Shook – Beginning Beekeeper Six part Series
  • Environmental Protection Agency Series

Most sessions are uploaded to the website within the next day or two after the live presentation, so the page is updated at least one a month with new sessions.  Click here to access the sessions.  Scroll down to the "Archived Sessions" section and choose the session you would like to listen to.  


A BIG thank you for everyone who attended and supported the 2015 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow. It was a huge success this year with over 900 beekeepers!  

We would like to thank the 2014 American Honey Queen, Susannah Austin and Honey Princess, Elena Hoffman for their commitment and dedication to the Honey Queen program and the ABF.  Congratulations to the 2015 American Honey Queen, Gabrielle Hemesath from Iowa and Honey Princess, Hayden Wolf from Texas. 

Congratulations also goes out to the winners of the 2015 American Honey Show. Tim Tucker from Kansas received Best in Show - Honey for his dark honey and Judy Schmaltz received Best in Show - Related Products for her artistic beeswax. Click here for a list of all the winners in each category

We would also like to thank our wonderful sponsors for their support and commitment to the American Beekeeping Federation and the 2015 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow. 

Platinum Sponsors: 

  • Dadant
  • Mann Lake

Bronze Sponsors:

  • Beekeeping Insurance Services
  • Brushy Mountain
  • Global Patties
  • Hummerbee
  • Kona Queen Hawaii
  • Pierco

Lanyard Sponsor:

  • Beekeeping Insurance Services

General Session Sponsor:

  • Bayer Bee Care

Bag Sponsor:

  • in tandem

Welcome Reception Sponsors:

  • California Almonds
  • Solutionbee

Break Sponsors:

  • Burleson's Honey 
  • Dadant
  • California State Beekeepers Association 
  • Jzs BZs Originals
  • Kelley Beekeeping
  • Medivet
  • Veto-pharma


USDA News & Notes

USDA to Launch New Farm Bill Program to Help Provide Relief to Farmers Affected by Severe Weather

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the implementation of a new Farm Bill initiative that will provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought. The Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion, available nationwide for farmers of select crops starting next spring, allows eligible producers who have been hit with severe weather to receive a higher approved yield on their insurance policies through the federal crop insurance program. Spring crops eligible for APH Yield Exclusion include corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, barley, canola, sunflowers, peanuts, and popcorn. Nearly three-fourths of all acres and liability in the federal crop insurance program will be covered under APH Yield Exclusion.The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Risk Management Agency and Farm Service Agency staff worked hard to implement several 2014 Farm Bill programs ahead of schedule, such as the Agricultural Risk Coverage, the Price Loss Coverage, Supplemental Coverage Option and Stacked Income Protection Plan. USDA is now able to leverage data from the Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage to extract the information needed to implement APH Yield Exclusion earlier than expected. Read More

Beekeepers Speak Up at the Forage and Nutrition Summit

The Honey Bee Forage and Nutrition Summit, sponsored by USDA, was held October 20-21, in Alexandria, VA.  The Summit was postured to seek input from stakeholder groups on issues concerning the interaction of nutrition and available forage on honey bee health.  The Summit was organized and hosted by a true friend of the honey bee, Dr. David Epstein of USDA’s Office of Pest Management Policy. Day 1 consisted of a series of presentations aimed at honey bee forage and nutrition, and to provide background for Day 2, when participants provided input by participating in one of four assigned work groups. Zac Browning, American Beekeeping Federation and Project Apis m board member, provided a dire view of honey bee habitat in the US. The impact of habitat loss is seen in decreased honey production, with US honey crops the lowest in history.  Browning emphasized bees require 200 lb of honey and 40 lb of pollen per colony per year just to survive and factors such as increased soy and corn acreage, the decreased quantity and quality of Conservation Reserve Programs (CRP) lands, increased herbicide use, more efficient farming practices, and limitations imposed by pesticide use, all serve to decrease available flowers and forage for honey bees.  Honey bees, the very backbone of agriculture, are in trouble.  The unique delivery system for bees to agricultural crops - the beekeeper - is also in trouble. Read More




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