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ABF E-Buzz: April 2012
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ABF E-Buzz — April 2012

In This Issue:


Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

by Tim Tucker, ABF Vice President and ABF E-Buzz Editor

The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shaw and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
Calls once again.


Mathilde Blind

Welcome back! I hope that most of you are doing a better job of keeping up with the bees than I am.  We have more bees on the ground this year than ever and there are days when I wonder if we are going too fast.  It seems like April is the month for being behind and nights where I wake up with worries about how much I have to do in the upcoming day.  On the plus side,  it is still always a joy to see how bees can grow and produce when we give them what they need to thrive.  I think it's this amazing spring expansion in the bees that keeps our interest levels up and gives us the motivation to keep going throughout the year.

What I have seen, though, is that it takes a lot more effort to produce good bees on the whole.  This year we have had an opportunity to produce queens and a good number of nucs for sale to beginning beekeepers and those that have had heavy winter losses.  What we have been finding is that approximately one third of the young mated queens are absolutely fantastic laying brood from wall to wall in the frames.  For us old beekeepers there's nothing prettier.  One third seem to be good and, on average, very acceptable, but noticeably different from the top third and the bottom 20 to 30 percent are just not making it when you consider that you are offering them for sale to customers.  It is this one third that we have to overproduce for.  If we need 250 nucs to sell then we have to make up an extra 80 to 100 just to make the production model work and have enough good to great colonies to offer for sale.

As beekeepers we also have to learn that we need to expand a good percentage each year to allow for winter losses if we want to keep up with our production needs.  With shrinking forageable nectar, we need more bees just to keep our honey production up.  It is a lot to keep up with, but we must, and we need also seek to become more efficient and more informed in making our decisions in how we run our bees.  As surviving beekeepers, we have learned to overdo most everything that has to be done.

So, it is a good thing that we have so many people today working on our issues we are having with the bees.  I am really encouraged that we have so many research facilities on the governmental level, as well as the college and university level around the country that are working endlessly to help us.  The efforts that are going on today on behalf of our bees is very inspiring to me, as well as watching a new young starter colony expand by a frame in size every week during this month of April.  Because of our problems, it is likely that while the Weslaco Research facility is being closed, most of the bee research program will be relocated to the other USDA facilities and will continue on unaffected.
   
This past month has brought the release of a number of research articles that I believe put us a bit closer to solving the issue of what is affecting our bees.  Most of us who have been keeping bees for many years know that when we are in intensely farmed areas, our bees suffer. They do not overwinter well, do not experience the normal spring build up, and many perish.  That's all we have known for sure and after huge losses five years ago, we made the move back to areas where we are no longer sitting in the middle of 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans.  Those areas had traditionally been our production workhorses and our best producing areas, but the costs were too high.  In moving to areas less intensively farmed, we lost production, but our bees have been better at surviving.

While many of us have suspected the new systemic pesticides, there was no overwhelming science behind the relationship between them and our unhealthy bees.    It seems as though that is changing and we may be on the verge of real solutions to our problems somewhere on the horizon.  I had many conversations over the early years of this crisis with those that called CCD a simple case of PPB and I'll let you figure out that acronym's meaning.  We have all had to learn to become better beekeepers from the experiences of the past six or seven years or we are no longer keeping bees.  There are a lot of us who have given up and gone on to other things without an understanding of what the problems really were.  So, I am hopeful and optimistic that the near future will hold some improvements for our industry if we remain vigilant in looking for better health for our bees.

Peter Teal addresses a couple of these new studies and does a great job explaining them in this issue in "Science Buzz."  There are also some great "Buzzmakers" in this issue that will refer you to news articles about these new reports and others of interest to beekeeping issues.  Anna Kettlewell provides us with an update on the activities of our two honey sales representatives, Honey Queen Alyssa and Princes Danielle, in her monthly installment of "Honey Queen Buzz."  They have been on the road again and busy, busy, busy.  We also have a great report from Dr. Joe Carson on the the Apimondia Apiotech Symposium 2012 that was held in Belgrade, Serbia. Thanks, Joe, for a great article on beekeeping from around the world.

We hope that you enjoy this issue of ABF E-Buzz and find a few nuggets of gold for your beekeeping experience.  If you have anything you would like to explore in future articles or would like to contribute information from your state or local beekeeping clubs, just forward them to me at tuckerb@hit.net.   I look forward to hearing from you.  Have a great month of May and I wish you a great year with your bees!


Bee Informed: ABF Legislative Highlights April 2012

by George Hansen, ABF President

Below are a few updates from the ABF legislative front:

Weslaco Lab Closure

The ABF and the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA) jointly wrote a letter to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees asking that Congress stop the planned closure of the Weslaco Honey Bee Lab. The ARS plan would have the facility closed and the scientists reassigned to the remaining three honey bee labs by the fall.

Standard of Identity for Honey

The ABF is spearheading a roundtable of honey industry leaders to discuss possible changes to the language in the Revised Codex Standard for Honey. The current language has been used as the basis for at least 8 class action lawsuits in the US. The suits are claiming that filtered honey that no longer contains pollen is not honey, and that consumers are being misled. The roundtable will meet in Las Vegas in mid May.

Farm Bill

The Senate Agriculture Committee marked up their proposed Farm Bill in late April. The bill will contain proposed cuts in excess of 23 billion dollars over 10 years. The cuts do not appear to affect honey bee programs, although disaster relief (ELAP) funding is problematical.

CRP Seed Mixes

The ABF will be working with the USDA to make changes to the seed mixes available for CRP land, particularly to improve honey bee habitat. Changes to the program, and reduced acreage due to high prices for corn and soybeans, have dramatically reduced clean forage available for honey bees on CRP land.

Please keep an eye on upcoming issues of ABF E-Buzz for further updates.


Bee Proactive: Help Strengthen the ABF's Voice in Washington

By this time you are well into your 2012 beekeeping year. The American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) is well into its year, too, and is focusing on the legislative goals that were set during the Las Vegas conference. ABF President George Hansen and ABF Past President Zac Browning have already made one legislative trip to Washington since the conference in order to further the legislative priorities of the ABF, which include:

  • Funding for CCD Research
  • Maintaining ARS Lab Funding
  • Protecting our Honey Market
  • Disaster Programs and Crop Insurance and H-2A Labor Programs

Making these trips to Washington is expensive, but this is something we have to do several times a year as we endeavor to pursue the goals set by the ABF membership. Air travel is never cheap and Washington hotel rates are out-of-sight. Our Washington lobby firm has been working on discounted retainer fees. Now, we need to bump them back up to a reasonable level in light of the extra work load required as the new Farm Bill develops. We must have them working for us on the scene, alert to anything of importance to beekeepers, and especially educating the new crop of representatives of our needs and priorities.

The bottom line is that the ABF cannot achieve the goals set by the membership without the financial resources to get the job done and, at this time, we are approximately $36,000 behind budget in the ABF Legislative Fund. Do we want to see our goals reached badly enough to commit what it takes?  We can assure you that your contributions to the ABF Legislative Fund are spent carefully and with full consideration of how important this work is for you, the ABF members. Your legislative fund donations are very much appreciated and are an investment in the future of your business, as well as the bee industry as a whole. You can easily donate online at www.abfnet.org or send your contribution to ABF, 3525 Piedmont Road, Building Five, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30305.

Editor's Note: Special thanks to those individuals that have contributed to this effort to date. Your support is greatly appreciated!


Science Buzz

by Peter Teal, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA-ARS

What an interesting month! Why? A tremendous media blitz on sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees.  Just Google "New York Times and effects of pesticides on bees."  The excitement centers around two publications that appeared back to back in the prestigious journal, Science (April 20th, volume 336).  Here is what I gathered from the papers.

The first, titled "A Common Pesticide Decreases Foraging Success and Survival in Honey Bees," appeared on pages 348-350 and was authored by Henry and others.  The study, which was conducted in France, looked at the effect of treatment of forager bees with sub-lethal but realistic amounts of the neonicotinoide systemic pesticide, thiamathoxam, used widely throughout the world for many crops, including corn and rape. The neat thing about the study was that they attached microchips to the foragers and had a chip reader at the hive entrance to count the returning bees!

Bees were fed with either a pesticide-laced sugar solution or just sugar solution prior to release.  After treatment, bees were released 5/8th of a mile away from the hive.  They also conducted tests to see if there was a difference in the number of bees returning to the hives if they were familiar with the foraging site or not.  The number of pesticide-treated bees returning to the hive was clearly lower than the number of non-treated bees returning to the hive if the bees were familiar with the foraging site.  The differences were even more obvious for bees that had no experience with the foraging site.  The authors called this "death by homing failure" and suggest that bees fed the sub-lethal dose of pesticide were up to twice as likely to die because of this.

The next thing the authors did was to assess what the impact of the increased mortality would be on the whole hive using computer models.  They considered what would happen if the hives build up, remain static or stabilized at a lower population than the initial population in the hives during the season as a result of egg-laying rate by the queen.  In all cases, the colonies declined during the period in which they were exposed to sub-lethal amounts of the pesticide.  They conclude that exposure to commonly encountered sub-lethal levels of thiamathoxam has a definite affect on the ability of foragers to return to the hive and that forager survival depends on prior knowledge of the landscape by the bees.
 
The second study was conducted on bumble bees by Whitehorn and colleagues and titled "Neonicotinoid Pesticide Reduces Bumble Bee Colony Growth and Queen Production (Science, volume 336: pages 351-352).  They used the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, which is also a systemic pesticide widely used on cereals, oilseed rape cotton, corn and sunflower. In the experiment, they had control colonies fed pollen and sugar water, colonies fed a low dose of imidacloprid and colonies fed a high, but still not lethal, dose of the pesticide over 14 days.  Then they put the colonies in the field and looked at performance.

By the end of the study, the colonies fed a low dose of pesticide were on average 8 percent smaller and those fed the high dose were 12 percent smaller than the control colonies. Interestingly, there were no differences in the number of workers, males or pupae at the end of the study.  However, the numbers of new queens in both low and high pesticide dose treated colonies were significantly lower relative to the untreated colonies.  The authors suggest that the impact of imidacloprid on bumble bee reproduction may be important.


Warm Welcome to the Newest Member of the "Bee" Team: Grayson Daniels

by Robin D. Lane, ABF Executive Director

I am pleased to announce that Grayson Daniels has recently joined the ABF team in the role of membership coordinator. Grayson is your go-to contact for anything related to ABF membership, including membership renewals, new member information, member benefits, the ABF Web site, and registration for the ABF annual conference and tradeshow.  

Grayson relocated to Atlanta a very short time ago from Columbia, South Carolina.  Her most recent position was as assistant manager in a retail store Cupcake!  She holds a bachelor's in business administration from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina with concentrations in marketing and management. During school, she had several internships that gave her additional experience in event planning and fundraising.

Please join me in welcoming Grayson, and be sure to keep an eye out for her at the ABF annual conference next January in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Or, feel free to give her a call at ABF headquarters to say, "Hello!"  Grayson is already immersing herself in the sweet world of beekeeping and is looking forward to getting to know all of you, as well.


Bee International: Beekeeping in Serbia

by Dr. Joe Carson, ABF Board Member

The Apimondia Apiotech Symposium 2012 was held in Belgrade, Serbia, February 18-19, 2012, followed by cultural tours throughout the country side. Apimondia exists to promote scientific, technical, ecological, social and economic apicultural development in all countries and this year's theme was, "The Influence of beekeeping technologies and environment on the quality of bee products."

Serbia advertises themselves as the "Honey Kingdom of Southeast Europe," as well as the country with the least polluted soil in Europe. Politically, Serbia has been in the news for quite a number of years.  The local beekeepers I visited with seem to just want to be able to tend to their bees.  As with many Eastern European countries, government is not easily trusted and doing business, even as a beekeeper, is done quietly and cautiously.
 
The quality of the hive products and knowledge of the beekeeper in Serbia seems to be quite exceptional.  The beekeepers are very concerned with the health and cleanliness of their products and hives, as this constitutes their entire income.  Many, many, many chemicals are available to the beekeeper in Serbia.  Products from Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine and beyond are available everywhere for the beekeeper to use.  Extensive honey testing prevents most, if not all, chemicals from being used by commercial operations if they hope to export to the European Union.  As with any country, including America, chemicals have the potential for being used "off label," but the hive products testing is so intensive for export sales that the quality is very good.
 
The economy in Serbia is considered to be on the poor side.  Beekeepers receive about the same price per pound for their honey as in America, but the number of hives is very low per beekeeper. Seventy-five hives would be a pretty good sized operation.  This number of colonies would be expected to provide all income for the beekeeper's family for the year.  There are a few larger operations, but they are very rare.  Most woodenware is built by the beekeeper and a "standard Langstroth" is standard to only that particular beekeeper.  One wax foundation maker told me he makes about 52 "standard" sizes and dimensions each month.

Multi-queening is not unusual for the beekeepers in Central Europe.  I visited with one man that runs hives with 16 queens and it takes a mighty tall ladder to reach the top boxes.  His pictures and video were very interesting.
 
At an Apiotech Symposium one can expect approximately 6,000 visitors and 75 to 100 vendors from in and around the host country.  The vendors are typically companies that feel there is a market for their products in the host country.  So, Serbia is a very financially modest country and the vendors represented were from other countries of similar economic means.  Bulgaria, Bosnia, Hungary, Croatia, Turkey and Ukraine, along with host country Serbia, represented the bulk of the manufacturing countries.

Lectures were given throughout the day and scientific posters were displayed, as is normal with all Apimondia-sponsored symposia and congresses.  Many of the same speakers that we see at ABF or AHPA conferences are invited to speak at these international meetings.  There are also local scientists that present their region-specific research projects and, on occasion, there is some very interesting information presented.

As well, there is always the presenter that shows slides of the large hive migration to the almond fields in California.  It is interesting to watch the faces of attendees as they see for the first time pictures of large populations of colonies in the Central Valley of California.  One lecture by a very well-known figure in the international beekeeping world centered on the "winners and losers" in the American business of migratory pollination.  The speaker presented pictures of pallets of bees being loaded onto trucks in a snowy bee yard followed by pictures of the Central Valley holding yards, leaving no doubt as to whom the losers were in this operation.  He had the entire auditorium focused on him as he shook his head in a very negative manner concerning the "American" commercial beekeeping business model.

I thoroughly enjoy attending the Apimondia-sponsored symposiums.  There is always something to learn, new equipment to play with and great beekeepers with much experience to interact. There are many opportunities to visit a symposium this year and beyond.  It is generally considered a "coup" to host an Apimondia event.  It is an opportunity to invite the world beekeeping community to your home country and share with all your knowledge, innovation and technology, as well as your hive products.  I believe it would be very beneficial for America to host a future Apimondia Congress.  Click here to learn more about future Apimonida events.

*Serbia and, in fact, all of Central Eastern Europe was in the middle of a record breaking winter storm and pictures outside were out of the question, so I have included a couple of pictures from the summer months.

Editor's Note: The American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) is an Apimonida member. As such, the members-only section of the Apimonida Web site at http://www.apimondia.com/ is accessible using the credentials listed below.

Username
: Full Member
Password: Fu2011mE


Bee Involved: Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Needs Your Help Beekeeper Survey for Pesticide-Related Bee Kills

The Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) is asking for your help in protecting pollinators from pesticides by providing some information about your experience with pesticide effects on your bees. They are members of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Pesticide Program Dialog Committee, an advisory committee that provides input to EPA staff and decision-makers.
 
The PPDC Pollinator Protection Workgroup (which the committee is a part of) has been tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of the pesticide label in controlling pesticide damage to pollinators and suggesting improvements in label language to protect bees. As part of this effort, the workgroup is interested in finding out if there are crops or locations that you know to be particularly problematic for acute poisonings (an acute poisoning is one that happens quickly and is usually a result of exposure to a high dose of a pesticide, where the word pesticide includes not only insecticides, but also fungicides and herbicides). A few questions will also be asked about longer-term hive dwindling and hive loss, and the workgroup will be looking for any correlations between your observations and the types of crops your bees have foraged on. Your help in gathering this information is greatly appreciated.

The information you provide is anonymous and will be grouped with other beekeepers' data, so you will not specifically be identified. If you would like a copy of the survey results, there is a box at the end of the survey to enter your e-mail address. This information will be removed prior to submission of the data to U.S. EPA.

Click here to take the survey. Please forward this link along to your beekeeping friends and/or colleagues in the industry. Input from urban and hobby beekeepers is welcomed, as well.

Time is of the essence, as it would be good to generate as much data as possible before the PPDC meeting on May 3, 2012, although survey results will be accepted through the end of May.


Honey Queen Buzz: Summer Schedule Open for Queen and Princess Visits

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

Princess Danielle shares the veil part of her beekeeping suit with a curious student in Homen, Wisconsin.

Snow no longer seems to be in the forecast, and the public is starting to think of spring and summer, upcoming farmers' markets and the opportunity to purchase fresh honey.  Hopefully, the American Honey Queen and Princess will be in your state soon to help you with this endeavor!

April was a successful promotional month for Queen Alyssa and Princess Danielle.  As most of us are very busy preparing our bees for the summer and bringing bees home from pollination contracts throughout the country, most of Alyssa's and Danielle's promotions have been localized in nature.  Both Alyssa and Danielle spoke in area schools, reaching thousands of students from Kindergarten through 8th grade.  The interest in guest speakers about honey and beekeeping is diverse.  They spoke to elementary students who were studying plant growth, insects, pollination, ecology and environmental sciences!  Both were guest speakers to school-wide assemblies, giving PowerPoint presentations.  Both gave individual classroom presentations, which provided them an opportunity to answer students' individual questions.

Queen Alyssa gives a
presentation on honey bees
at the Puyallup Spring Fair.

In all presentations, they pointed students to their blog, www.buzzingacrossamerica.com, where kids can pose their questions to the Queen and Princess after the presentation.  Inevitably, after every presentation, students are asking questions as the Queen and Princess are packing up to leave.  This blog allows students to receive factual information as they prepare papers or school projects or simply to receive an answer to a question that they forgot to ask during the Queen and Princess's time with them. 

Fair season has officially started, and Alyssa made her way to Washington to work with the Pierce County Beekeepers in the Seattle area at the Western Washington Spring Fair in mid-April.  Early spring fairs and festivals are welcome promotions for the Honey Queen and Princess.  Since this time of year is quieter, these early fairs, festivals and farmers' markets offer great potential with the media and the public. 

June and July are slowly filling up with promotional opportunities for Alyssa and Danielle, and we are still looking for additional events to attend in your area during this time.  Both are especially eager to promote during National Pollinator Week in June and at your fairs, festivals, civic organizations and media outlets.  Contact me to set up a visit today (honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514).  Happy promoting!


Bee Updated: Latest and Greatest News from the National Honey Board

The following article was submitted to Food Safety News on behalf of the National Honey Board on April 23, 2012.

National Honey Board: Honey is Made from Nectar, Not Pollen

by Bruce Boynton, Chief Executive Officer

In the last several months various stories have resulted in misunderstanding and confusion about honey and honey filtration, leading some readers to believe that any honey without pollen is not real honey. This is not true. Honey without pollen is still honey nutritionally and in flavor, and that is why the U.S. Department of Agriculture identifies it as such.  This misunderstanding has also led to several class action lawsuits regarding purchases of honey without pollen.
 
The truth is that honey is made by honey bees from nectar of flowers and plants, not pollen.  Pollen grains may end up in the exposed honey in the hive through any number of incidental or accidental ways, but it is not used by honey bees to make honey.

Visit http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/04/national-honey-board-honey-is-made-from-nectar-not-pollen/ to read the full article.


Bee Connected: ABF Facebook Page Boasts Over 600 Fans!

by Grayson Daniels, ABF Membership Coordinator

It's been a little over a year since the ABF introduced the official ABF Facebook fan page. In this amount of time we have reached over 600 fans! To celebrate this milestone, we were able to give away a fun goodie package to a lucky fan. We have enjoyed staying updated with our fans and members with many pictures, news articles and recipes posted to our page.
 
If you are a member of Facebook, you can be a fan of the ABF Facebook page.  All you have to do is click here to view our page and click the "Like" button to become a fan, or simply search for "American Beekeeping Federation" to access the page. We look forward to adding new fans and letting people know about the wonderful world of beekeeping, so spread the word and keep checking in for ABF updates!


Bee Ready: Save the Date for the 2013 ABF Annual Conference

Make your plans now for the 2013 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow, which will be held January 8-12, 2013, at Hershey Lodge® in Hershey, Pennsylvania. There's no place like it and we know you won't want to miss this opportunity to meet with your fellow beekeepers.

When you're not busy learning about new beekeeping products and services in the tradeshow or discovering important information regarding your bees in the educational sessions, take some time to explore Hershey, which is a year-round destination with a variety of attractions. Hershey was rated a top family vacation spot by Smart Money and FamilyFun magazines.

So, bring your sweet tooth and we'll see you in Hershey next January. Conference details will be available on the ABF Web site soon!


Bee Thinking

Congratulations to ABF members Peter de Bruyn Kops of New Hampshire and Chappie McChesney of Florida for providing the correct answers to the two previous riddles published in the February and March issues of ABF E-Buzz.  Both Peter and Chappie received some cool ABF prizes for their superior problem solving skills.  Below are the answers:

Riddle: Last year I sent my hired man out with a load of bees containing 80 colonies to place in four yards that I had drawn maps out for easy locating. Since I had a dentist appointment I would not be able to help, but knew that he could set off a load and be back by noon by himself. At 8:00 a.m. he was loaded up and on his way to the first yard with instructions to make five rows of four hives each in each of the four yards. Easy enough, right? Well, at 9:30 a.m. he called and said we have a problem. "I have set up the first yard just as you said, with five rows with four hives in each row and I still have 70 hives on the truck," he said. I said that's impossible, but soon found out it was. How did he set up the yard using only 10 hives?

Answer: See photo at right.

Riddle: If to you I'm given you should thankfully receive, then look me over carefully, just don't look at my teeth. Show me to a cool stream and I'll follow willingly, though I might not do what you want, although parched I may be, but if you're really hungry and are looking for a bite, I don't think you could eat me even though you say you might. Decipher all these clues and then together they should tie, to help you solve the question which, of course, is "What am I?"

Answer:
Horse

So, here's another riddle to keep your brain working during May.  Think you know the answer?  The first to e-mail Tim Tucker at tuckerb@hit.net will lay claim to another great ABF prize.

Not born, but from a mother's body drawn, I hang until half of me is gone. I sleep in a cave until I grow old, then valued for my hardened gold. What am I?


Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News


ABF Welcomes New Members — March 2012

  • Bradley Richard Bechthold, Iowa
  • Michael Blanchard, Minnesota
  • John Vincent Brennan, Illinois
  • David Brugh, Virginia
  • Darren Cox, Utah
  • Clint Hibbs, Kansas
  • Peter MacDonald, Connecticut
  • Queston Lynn Newell, Texas
     
  • Michelle Peterson, Florida
  • David Rollay, Wisconsin
  • Genevieve Sanchez-Howard, Maryland
  • Tracy Sides, Minnesota
  • Richard Warren, Florida
  • Mary Rose Williams, Wisconsin
  • Stan Yeagley, Mississippi

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Recipe of the Month: Honey Strawberry Smoothie

by Tim Tucker, ABF Vice President and ABF E-Buzz Editor

With strawberries beginning to arrive from the great state of Florida, we have been using them in a variety of ways.  The following is a healthy way to make a great smoothie for breakfast or just a mid-afternoon refresher.  And strawberries are healthy for you, too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint vanilla frozen yogurt
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend on high for 30 seconds until rich and creamy. Pour into a chilled glass for serving with a strawberry or two sliced and placed on top of smoothie.


Bee-friend the Honey Bee: Support the ABF "Friends of the Bee" Fund

Looking for the perfect way to honor a friend or family member while helping to protect and preserve one of nature's finest?  Why not make a donation in his or her name to the Friends of the Bee fund?

The honey bee today faces it's largest challenge in its long history — its continued survival. Factors fighting against the honey bee include:

  • Parasitic varroa mites that not only affect colony numbers, but vector over a dozen viruses that affect honey bee health.
  • Continued loss of habitat due to urban expansion and the even larger problem of monocultural practices of modern agriculture.
  • Challenging weather extremes that can affect honey bee health due to drought and floral degradation.
  • Increased use of pesticides affecting all beneficial insects.

With your generous donation you can help protect the honey bee habitat, aid in the fight against Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), encourage government-sponsored research, assist in the battle against adulterated honey in the marketplace and help ensure the continued role of the honey bee in pollinating 1/3 of our food supply.

Support the world's most beneficial insect and become a friend of the bee with your donation of $25, $50 or $100. Donate today and receive a stylish Friends of the Bee bumper sticker…and help us tip the balance back in favor of the honey bee.  Click here to download the donation form or contact the ABF at 404.760.2875 for assistance.

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