ABF E-Buzz — April 2013
In This Issue:
Welcome to ABF E-Buzz
by Tim Tucker, ABF Vice President and ABF E-Buzz Editor
April showers bring May flowers,
Whose blossoms feed the bees,
The butterflies and the moth,
Birds are nesting in leafing trees,
And all is well for you and mees.
- Tim Tucker
There is so much here to talk about this month! It seems as though everything is happening all at once in the bee world. The weather here has been so erratic that I don't remember anything that even comes close to a fair comparison. One day last week we were at 78 degrees and two days later we were setting an all-time record low at 30 degrees. Good thing I didn't set out all my tomato and cucumbers. They'd have been hurt for sure. Most of our wild plum and pear trees are done blooming, but the dandelions are providing some nectar, and our oak trees, which are in abundance, are providing much needed pollen.
Unfortunately, we are seeing a big setback in the apparent health of our bees here in Kansas. Several of us have seen bees that were sitting on six to eight frames of brood on March 10 to the 15 that are now only rearing a frame or two and nothing is even close to swarming. This may be the first year in 23, since I started keeping bees, that I haven't seen a swarm cell by the 24th of April. I remember last year we had a few swarms and swarm calls in mid-March. Things can be so different from one year to the next. I wonder how far this setback is extending throughout the country and how deleterious this will be to our honey flow throughout the midwest. Still looking to try and answer the big question as to "what the heck happened?"
Earlier this month I was in San Diego at the National Honey Board (NHB) meeting and it was a tremendously informational meeting. The NHB had some great new promotional activities lined up to keep honey in the forefront of the mind of the consumer. It was the first NHB meeting that I have attended and I was pleased to know how much work they are doing to market our wonderful product. They are working with a nationally known chef to develop recipes using honey to showcase the benefit of honey in cooking. There is also a national media blitz coming up in September highlighting the use of honey as a natural energy booster. They are also working to feature events at minor league baseball games around the country in an attempt to deliver the honey message to over 2 million people who attend those baseball games. With two marketing firms working for the NHB they are coming up with some great ideas on creating new messages. For tons of great information and recipes don't forget to visit www.nhb.org for the real story on honey.
The meeting was followed up by the Standard of Identity meeting and much was accomplished in just an afternoon. The discussions resulted in a final draft for a standard that hopefully will be adopted on a national basis by the USDA for standardizing the issues surrounding providing protection for honey in all its forms. Once the legal aspects of the document are addressed and scrutinized, we think it will be ready to present again to the USDA. It is the hopes of those in attendance that this will provide uniformity in standards throughout the country, so that the confusion of differing state laws will be avoided. By the way, if you haven't been there, San Diego is a really beautiful city and the seafood is fantastic!
|A group visits a honey bee habitat enhancement project next to an almond orchard.
Longtime ABF member David Hackenberg sent me a copy of a letter regarding a lawsuit that has been filed in Illinois by domestic honey producers Adee Honey Farm, Bill Rhodes Honey Co. and Hackenberg Apiaries on behalf of the U.S. beekeepers seeking compensation for all domestic honey producers injured as a result of Groeb's and Honey Solution's conduct and actions. Even though you, as a beekeeper, may never have sold a pound of honey to Groeb or Honey Solutions, you and the rest of the U.S. beekeepers have been injured financially by those companies' actions, which depressed the U.S. honey market for many years. This letter is addressed to all domestic honey producers and gives the information necessary to become a party to the suit, which will result in some financial settlement. Click here to read the full letter.
|EPA Administrators participate in a tour through an almond orchard in California.
We also have a great deal of other information in the month's issue of ABF E-Buzz, including two important organizational announcements — we are welcoming a new executive director to the team, and we are making a change to the ABF dues structure. Peter Teal is back with another installment of "Science Buzz" to keep you on your toes in the information and education area. We also have a fantastic report from Sarah Red-Laird (Bee Girl) on the Kids and Bees events and happenings. This month she did a special event at the GloryBee Foods bee delivery day with her own booth. She had lots of fun with the kids there and met many future beekeepers. Anna Kettlewell provides us again with the update on where the Honey Queen and Princess have been and how they are working almost daily to promote our ABF and honey throughout the United States. They just keep adding up those frequent flier miles and burning up the roads. Support them on Facebook to stay updated.
We also have an article from Jeff Andersen and Steve Ellis on the EPA tour of the almond groves back in March. There were lots of problems with bees out there this year and many hives were collapsing after arrival to California. There were many losses across the country and some estimates predicted that there were over 100,000 hives that did not make it or were way below pollinator strength. Click here for the full article.
So, thanks to all our contributing editors this month who have provided a great deal of information. A very special thanks to Robin Lane, ABF Executive Director, for her help with the ABF E-Buzz since its inception. It has been a real joy to work with her putting together all of these issues that we have been bringing to you each month. It has been a lot of work and without her help, it would not have been as well put together and informative as it has been. We will have to work extra hard now in her absence, and I will sure miss her! We all hope that you enjoy your time here and that you send ABF E-Buzz on to your friends and fellow beekeepers. If you have anything you would like to see or contribute to the ABF E-Buzz, please feel free to send me any information that might be of interest to our visitors each month. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bee Informed: Register Today for ABF's Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar — Beekeeping 101: Swarming
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
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
Dr. Roger Hoopingarner, professor emeritus, Michigan State University
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 announce a special nine-part series within the "Conversation with a Beekeeper" Webinar series. This series will be titled "Beekeeping 101" and will feature Dr. Roger Hoopingarner, professor emeritus at Michigan State University. Whether you are brand new to the world of beekeeping or you just need to have a refresher course, this "Beekeeping 101" series will be a great educational experience with many topics focused on the biology and management of honey bees.
The final session within this series is titled "Swarming" and it will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at 8:00 p.m. ET. More details on Dr. Hoopingarner's presentation can be found below.
|Dr. Roger Hoopingarner
Join us as we learn more about queen pheromones and the queen's interactions with the bees in the hive, which can result in swarming.
Dr. Roger Hoopingarner got his start in beekeeping as a boy scout 65 years ago. With that interest he went on to receive his B.S. degree from Michigan State University in Entomology and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His doctoral research was on the genetics and environmental factors in queen rearing.
After a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, he joined the faculty at Michigan State University's Entomology Department where he remained doing research, teaching and extension in insect physiology and apiculture for 38 years. His research interests involved fruit pollination, disease transmission, population dynamics and insecticide interactions with insects and animals.
IMPORTANT SESSION FORMAT / REGISTRATION INFORMATION
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 e-mailing Grayson Daniels, ABF membership coordinator, at email@example.com or by calling the ABF offices at 404.760.2875. Registration will close 48 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. Questions for the speaker must be submitted 48 business hours in advance to Grayson Daniels.
If you are unable to make the session, don't fear! Each session will be recorded and available on the ABF Web site for member-only access.
THE "BEEKEEPING 101" SERIES IS SPONSORED BY: Nozevit — A Member of the CompleteBee.com Family
Nozevit is an all-natural plant polyphenol honey bee food supplement that is added to sugar syrup feed. Nozevit is produced from certified organic substances according to a decades old traditional European recipe. Healthy bee colonies build brood faster in the spring, and will winter extremely well when their intestinal integrity is intact. Exceptional colonies can be built using all-natural Nozevit as a food supplement for intestinal cleansing, thereby reducing the need of chemical treatments for internal ailments.
A Fond Farewell and a Warm Welcome
ABF Executive Director
by Robin D. Lane, ABF Executive Director
It is with much sadness that I am announcing that I will be leaving the post of executive director of the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF). I have recently accepted a promotion at Meeting Expectations (ME!), which is the association management company charged with the overall management of the ABF. I have really enjoyed the four years that I have spent in this role and have learned so very much about beekeeping...and made several really great friends along the way, too. Thank you all for allowing me to be a part of this incredible industry!
But, I am pleased to announce that Regina Robuck, who has been a staff member at ME! since June 2008, will be joining the team in the role of ABF executive director. Regina has held several positions with the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG), which is another ME! client. She led the OAUG Geo/SIG team for two years and then in April 2010 took over as OAUG education director. During her tenure with ME! she has been active in the Georgia Society of Association Executives Leadership Academy as an instructor and has completed specific training on strategic planning facilitation. Her over 20 years of association management experience both at ME! and with the Financial Planning Association and the Georgia Pharmaceutical Association will be well applied in the ABF universe.
Please join me in welcoming Regina, and be sure to keep an eye out for her at the ABF annual conference next January in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Or, feel free to give her a call at ABF headquarters to say, "Hello!" Regina is already immersing herself in the sweet world of beekeeping and is looking forward to getting to know all of you, as well. Regina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404.760.2887.
Bee Ready: ABF Dues Increase — Renew Now at Today's Rates!
During the recent ABF Annual Business Meeting in January at the 2013 ABF annual conference, those ABF members present voted on and approved a membership dues increase effective July 1, 2013, to the following: Small Scale — $60; Sideliner — $125; and Commercial — $300.
The cost of protecting beekeeping on a small, sideline and commercial scale continues to grow. The ABF is committed to fighting for YOUR ability to continue to maintain healthy bees and needs your support to do so. Since we last raised our dues in 2007 we have added many membership benefits and expanded the reach of services that are offered.
It is not without much thought and consideration that this increase was decided upon and we hope that you will find the many membership benefits far outweigh the small additional increase in the dues structure. Be assured that the ABF elected leaders and staff operate in a manner that is fiscally responsible while continuing to provide the membership benefits you have come to expect, including:
- North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow
- ABF Website at www.abfnet.org — The latest in industry news
- Government Relations — Your voice into Washington
- ABF Membership Directory
- "Conversation With a Beekeeper" Online Webinars
- ABF Honey Defense Fund — Ensuring the purity of honey
- ABF Newsletter — Published six times yearly
- ABF Research Initiative — Funding small-scale projects
- ABF E-Buzz Electronic Newsletter — Published monthly
- American Honey Queen Program
We are notifying members in advance of this dues change, such that you can take this opportunity NOW to pay your dues for the coming year at the current levels, which are $50 for Small Scale, $100 for Sideliner and $250 for Commercial. These savings will hopefully help you transition into the higher dues structure over the next year. We encourage you to consider taking advantage of this opportunity to renew at today's rates! Click here to download the renewal form or you can easily do so online at www.abfnet.org.
The ABF looks forward to continuing to serve the industry while expanding our services and benefits in the coming years. The new dues structure will provide for years of improving our ability to be an effective organization providing the highest level of commitment to you, our members, as possible. Thank you in advance for your continued support of the ABF.
by Peter Teal, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA-ARS
We are all aware that the biggest pest threats to honey bees, the Varroa mite and Small Hive Beetle, are invasive species that came into the country from other places and took off as pests because our bees have no ability to cope with these new invaders and no biological control agents. For a number of years the USDA Agricultural Research Service has been engaged in developing an understanding of what pests pose considerable risk of entering the United States and in developing and stopping the pests before they become established. Our research group here in Gainesville, Florida, has been focused on potential invaders that would have impact on honey bees and we partnered with scientists at the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi Kenya to do this because the last invader, the Small Hive Beetle came from Africa. Below is a press release from ICIPE, as we have just identified the sex pheromone for the Large Hive Beetle. This sucker is twice as big as the June beetles, so imagine what just a couple would do to your hives! In addition to the sex pheromone, we have also identified the chemicals from beehives that attract the beetle and are currently testing the chemicals as a monitoring tool. Our hope is that we can easily monitor for the pest in ports and intercept these "illegal aliens" before they become established!
Researchers from ICIPE and partners in the Chemistry Research Unit at the Center for Medical Agricultural and Medical Center, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS), Gainesville, Florida, have identified critical chemical signals in an African beetle that invades beehives in the East African region, which enable the pest to circumvent the barriers imposed by honey bees to prevent communication among nest invaders. The study, which was published as the cover article of the December 2012 issue of the Journal of Chemical Ecology, provides evidence that the beetle, which is known as the Large Hive Beetle, or by its scientific name, Oplostomus haroldi, utilizes a contact pheromone, rather than a volatile one, for mating.
"We identified contact cues on the bodies of the female beetles, which are perceived by the males through sensory cells on the palps of their mouth. In effect, all a male has to do is lick the body of another beetle to discern its sex within seconds," explained ICIPE scientist, Prof. Baldwyn Torto.
The contact cues place the beetle in an advantageous position, as they reduce the amount of energy it uses to dispense and perceive a volatile cue in a crowded and smelly hive environment. They also enable the beetle to easily find the opposite sex for mating in the crowded, hostile and dark beehive environment.
"The findings from the ICIPE research represent the first evidence of the existence of contact signaling in this family of beetles. The results also suggest the evolution of contact signaling as a survival strategy among nest invaders of social insects. Further, this suggests the divergence of smell and taste functions to different body organs, culminating in precise and fast processing of communication signals in insects, which can be exploited for control of the ones which are pests such as the large hive beetle," Prof. Torto further noted.
For further information, contact Prof. Baldwyn Torto, phone: +254 20 8632000, e-mail: email@example.com.
Buzzworthy: Inaugural ABF-Funded Research Project Taking Shape
In 2012, the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) Research Committee established a program to support small research projects conducted by beekeepers and members of the beekeeping industry. In its call for proposals, the ABF noted that: projects should focus on issues of concern to the beekeeping industry as a whole and to members of the ABF; projects need to result in a product, solution or method that directly benefits the apiculture industry; and projects should be geared toward problems for which answers to the question being addressed can be achieved in a single year and that can be conducted by individual beekeepers or a group of beekeepers wanting to address a community-wide project that can be accomplished with the funds available.
Several proposals were received and in its inaugural year, the ABF chose to fund the following project — A Pilot Apis Viral and Nosema Mapping Initiative: Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Spatial Analysis to Monitor Honey Bee Health. Dr. Heather Gamper, Department of Geography, Florida State University. Below is an overview of the project:
It has been clear for several years that two major problems affecting honey bee health are the increasing challenges posed by viruses that are vectored by the Asian bee mite (Varroa destructor) and variants of an intestinal organism, Nosema spp. The Apis Viral and Nosema Mapping initiative proposes to map viruses and correlated Nosema loads in a limited area of Florida using geographic information system (GIS) technology and spatial statistical analysis. A total of 60 honey bee samples from participating beekeepers surrounding Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida, will be collected at two points in time (Winter 2012 and Spring 2013).
Dr. Gamper and her team are already hard at work with this project. Click here for a brief update on their progress.
The next call for research proposals will begin on August 1, 2013. Keep an eye on the ABF E-Buzz for more details in the coming months.
Interested in supporting these important beekeeping industry research projects? Please consider donating to the ABF Research Fund. You can easily do so on the ABF website or send your contribution to ABF, 3525 Piedmont Road, Building Five, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30305. Please note on your check "ABF Research Fund." Thank you for your support!
Bee Updated: Latest and Greatest News from the National Honey Board
New National Honey Board Members Sworn in at April Board Meeting/Officers Elected
Several new Board members and alternates appointed by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last December attended the National Honey Board's (NHB) first meeting of the year on April 9-10 in San Diego, California. Pictured here (from left to right) are Kimberly Coy, marketing specialist, USDA/AMS; Jill Clark, first handler member; Nicholas Sargeantson, importer alternate; and George Hansen, producer member. Following a brief orientation of the duties and responsibilities for Board members, the new appointees were welcomed and sworn in by Coy. Sargeantson stood in for Board member Charles Kocot, who was unable to attend the meeting.
During the meeting, the Board reviewed and accepted the 2012 audited financial statements and report, reviewed marketing plans for 2013, and heard a report on the 2013 market research honey Use & Attitude study conducted by the research team at Ketchum public relations agency. By unanimous vote, the Board also re-elected the current officers to another one-year term. The returning officers include Brent Barkman, chairperson; Mark Mammen, vice-Chairperson; and Nancy J. Gamber-Olcott, secretary/treasurer.
Bee Ready: Save the Date for the 2014 ABF Annual Conference
Make your plans now for the 2014 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow, which will be held January 7-11, 2014, at the Baton Rouge River Center with guest room accommodations available at the Belle of Baton Rouge and the Hilton Baton Rouge Capital Center.
Baton Rouge is one of the fastest-growing cities in America. With so much to see and do, you’ll want to start planning your agenda now. There is never a dull moment in Baton Rouge! The River Center is centrally located in the downtown area, within walking distance of various attractions, cultural sites, hotels, restaurants and nightlife. With surroundings rich in Louisiana culture and entertainment, the River Center provides a unique environment for memorable experiences, including the 2014 ABF annual conference.
The 2014 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow is sure to offer top-notch education sessions from industry leaders, various networking opportunities, a variety of hands-on workshops and lots of fun. Conference details will be available on the ABF website soon!
Honey Queen Buzz: Summer Schedule Open for Queen and Princess Visits
by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair
|Queen Caroline recently gave two presentations at Dooley Elementary School in Plano, Texas, where she spoke to 155 first and second graders.
April showers bring May flowers and many springtime promotions for the Honey Queen and Princess. As we prepare our hives for spring and summer, there is an abundance of promotional opportunities in the spring.
Since Caroline and Emily are both college students, working diligently on their degrees in American Sign Language and Large Animal Veterinary Medicine, the American Honey Queen Committee works hard to accommodate their busy schedules during the spring. One of our key focuses during this time is to have them speak in local elementary, middle and high schools, and each had several presentations in their hometowns and school towns. Many schools are studying plants or insects this time of year, so their presentation can be a perfect addition to your school's curriculum.
|Princess Emily makes a presentation at the Puyallup Spring Fair in Washington. Although it was a bit rainy, there was still a great turn out for the fair!
Fairs and farmers' markets are opening throughout the country this month, and Emily took part in the Western Washington Spring Fair in Puyallup, Washington, in mid-April. This event included a variety of activities for her, including media interviews, educational presentations at the fair and school visits. Emily had the opportunity to visit high school home economics courses, speaking about incorporating honey easily into the diet.
Caroline had a unique experience visiting Oregon at the beginning of April to work with GloryBee Foods' annual Bee Weekend, when many established and new beekeepers come to take home their packages of honey bees and prepare for the season ahead. This unique event highlighted a local beekeeping company and was an attraction for beekeepers and the general public. It was a great opportunity to teach people about honey bees' importance to our food supply. Caroline's visit was highlighted with media interviews, as well!
School is beginning to wind down for Caroline and Emily, and we anticipate that their promotional work will really pick up once finals are done. We would love to fill their schedules with many new opportunities this summer, so please contact me to arrange your visit today. You may reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 414.545.5514. Happy promoting!
Kids and Bees Buzz: Sharing the Fun that is the Honey Bee
by Sarah Red-Laird, Kids and Bees Program Chair
|A third-grade class took a field trip to visit Bee Girl and GloryBee in Eugene, Oregon.
Spring has sprung in the western corner of the United States! The birds, the trees, the flowers and the bees have had an early start this year. With the arrival of spring has come honey bee package delivery days, seasonal celebrations and events, and classes highlighting our dear honey bees. I have had the great pleasure of traveling to many of these events in my home region to host Kids and Bees programs, reaching out to our littlest bee-enthusiastic citizens.
So far my spring has brought me to hundreds of kids by way of their classrooms, on a pollinator-hunting nature hike in partnership with the Nature Conservancy and the BLM, to the Rouge Valley's Earth Day Festival at ScienceWorks Hand-on Museum (where I will be leading a week-long Kids and Bees camp in July), and to GloryBee's "Bee Weekend." (Bonus: I got to hang with Queen Caroline at GloryBee.)
|First through third-grade students in Medford, Oregon, observe a queen laying an egg.
While newbees and veteran beekeepers came from far and near to GloryBee's headquarters in Eugene, Oregon, to pick up their bees, they were happy to see a new booth this year! GloryBee partnered with Bee Girl (that's me) to help engage beekeeper's kids and also the littlest members of the community in the beekeeping experience. Over 100 kids visited me in the booth to learn about how important bees are to our food supply, make bee finger puppets, check out real honey comb in frames, focus in on bee parts under microscopes, and leave with a good strong honey buzz from the tasting table.
Among the activities was beeswax candle rolling, where I experienced my favorite part of the day. Toward the end of the program, a mother and her three boys came to the table as they had heard that there would be beeswax candle rolling. The mother was through-the-roof excited to have her sons make candles, and whipped out her iPhone to document the experience about 20 times over. It all came together when she explained to me that she had rolled candles at an event when she was a kid. The aroma and feel of the wax, and the knowledge of where it had come from provided an experience that facilitated a life-long appreciation and fascination of honey bees. She was so happy to have her sons take part in the same experience.
And that, my friends, is why I do what I do — and love every second of it.
Last month's riddle master was ABF member Eloise Naylor. Below is the answer:
Riddle: Today you're going nowhere, even though I'm on the road. It's a fix I need and we'll be there, as happy as a toad.
Answer: Flat tire
So, here's another riddle for you to wrestle with. Think you know the answer? The first to e-mail Tim Tucker at email@example.com will lay claim to another fun ABF prize.
It's not to be seen, not to be felt, cannot be heard, cannot be smelled. It's behind the stars and under hills, and in every empty hole it fills.
Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News
- The European Commission will restrict the use of pesticides linked to bee deaths by researchers, despite a split among EU states on the issue. Read more.
- ABF Board member Jim Doan was recently featured on "CBS This Morning" during a segment highlighting the deepening honey bee crisis and the impact on our food supply. Watch the video here.
- While many questions remain, a new study by University of Pittsburgh researchers suggests contaminated soils as a possible culprit in bee colony collapse disorder. Learn more.
- The New York Times Editorial Board recently published a short editorial for its Sunday Review, criticizing the U.S. EPA for inadequate action investigating the potential of neonicotinoid insecticides to harm honey bees. Read the full editorial.
- With Earth Day 2012 as a backdrop, national environmental groups Beyond Pesticides and the Center for Food Safety have launched a campaign called BEE Protective to support nationwide local action aimed at protecting honey bees and other pollinators from pesticides. Learn more.
- Bayer CropScience has announced plans for conducting large-scale field studies this season to evaluate its new seed application technology, which is designed to reduce potential dust exposure to honey bees. Discover the details.
|Bee hives in Greece.
PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr
- Véto-pharma S.A., the French veterinary pharmaceutical company specializing in honey bee health, announced that Phillip Craft, former state apiarist for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, has been named to the new position of U.S. technical advisor for Véto-pharma's Apivar® honey bee miticide product line. Read more.
- While other countries are struggling with high bee mortality, that's one global crisis that has yet to touch Greece, where the golden nectar still flows abundantly, free of pesticides and genetic modification. Learn more.
- A student at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has discovered that honey bees can be trained to avoid herbicides. Read more about this research.
- ABF member Virginia Webb of Clarkesville, Georgia, has been awarded top honors at the 2012 Black Jar Honey Contest sponsored by the Center for Honeybee Research in Asheville, North Carolina. Voted "Best Tasting Honey in the USA," Webb's 2012 Sourwood Honey was selected from entries throughout the United States. Read more.
ABF Welcomes New Members — March 2013
- Edward R. Bartnicki, Illinois
- Sharon Bullard, Kansas
- Nancy Carr, Delaware
- Amy Cripps, California
- Ginger Davidson, Indiana
- Stan Dee, Illinois
- Robby Doll, Kentucky
- Thomas Edwards, Georgia
- John Eick, Virginia
- Anne P. Houck, North Carolina
- Elizabeth Lovelock, Oregon
- Tom A. Parnelle, North Carolina
- Mike Riness, Michigan
- Todd Shealy, South Carolina
Recipe of the Month: Honey Cupcakes with Marshmallow Icing
Source: PBS — Fresh Tastes
by Grayson Daniels, ABF Membership Coordinator
Happy spring! There's no better to way to celebrate the season with delightfully sweet and charming cupcakes. The honey flavor really stands out and will make you come back for more.
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 1/2 tbsp. water
- 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with liners and lightly mist the liners with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and water in a small pot and bring to a simmer, stirring so that the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon and salt. Add the eggs and vanilla, followed by the brown sugar honey mixture. Beat until well combined.
- Pour batter into prepared cupcake tins — filling the tins 3/4th of the way full. Bake for 25 minutes, until cupcakes are golden.
- While the cupcakes cool, make the icing. Combine the sugar and water in a small pot over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for three minutes.
- Place your egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a handheld mixer). Slowly stream in the hot sugar syrup WHILE the mixer is going on high. Do not stop beating. Keep the mixer going for at least 10 more minutes, until icing can hold stiff peaks. If it appears too runny, keep beating. It will get there.
- Spread the icing on the cupcakes. Icing will harden slightly as it continues to cool.