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ABF E-Buzz: August 2015
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ABF E-Buzz — August 2015

In This Issue:

Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

by Tim Tucker, ABF President

"Trees are getting tired, Teasel standing brown, 

Birds gather on the wire, Corn ears lean to down. 

Searing days grow shorter, Black eyed Susans frown, 

August days give glimpses, Of long nights coming 'roun."  

- Tim Tucker

Welcome Back! I'm hearing some good reports from around the country of some colonies producing over 100 pounds of honey this year, and I've seen pictures of some very light, almost water white honey coming in from the Dakotas. I also got a report there's quite a bit of honey out there! A lot of Canadian honey from last year is still available, which is causing a bit of a pullback in the strong pricing that exceeded $2.15 per pound last year. I have been told white honey is moving at $1.85 a pound. There is also a rumor that dark honey is in high demand and may be bringing the same price as white, due to the fact that dark honey is needed to blend with white honey, in order to produce a color that appears more natural on the shelf. So, the honey market is holding up pretty good, but apparently the large packers are not buying, and that means they feel the market is soft and might be headed down.

I had a great time making a trip to St. Paul, Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota's Bee and Pollinator Research Lab groundbreaking celebration on August 2nd and 3rd. This event started out with a fund raising dinner at the Town and Country Club in St. Paul. The fund raising auction raised approximately $100,000.00 for the lab and was a tremendous event. Those funds will cover all of the landscaping needs and some of the other costs of finishing up the lab.

The fund raising dinner was a four course meal that included different kinds of honey beer provided by the Leinenkugel brewery. John Leinenkugel himself introduced each beer, defining the characteristics and explaining why each beer was suited to each course. Prior to the dinner, Honey Weiss was available. The salad was served with Summer Shandy or Crispin Pacific Pear Cider. I will have to admit that I wasn't feeling up to beer so I didn’t try any that night, but I have tried the Honey Weiss before and it was really good. I greatly enjoyed the main course, which included beer battered walleye served with Leinenkugel's Helles Yeah. I would have loved to have had another fillet. Desert was served with Berry Weiss, which I heard was a very good way to end the meal. I have to thank Liz Vaneowski for inviting me to be her guest at her table. It was a great evening and I enjoyed seeing my good friend Pat Heitkam and his wife Laura. At each plate was a copy of a poem I had written entitled “The Keeper of Bees.” I wrote it for the bee lab, and it has been etched in glass and will be inserted below the stained glass panel in a wall at the bee lab. I can't express how much it has meant to me to be a part of this wonderful facility, and I hope the words will be both meaningful and inspirational to those visiting the lab. Click here to see more pictures.

The next day was the groundbreaking event, and there were many university staff present; Gary Reuter and Jack and Betty Thomas were asked to participate in shoveling the first dirt to begin the construction process. The weather was just perfect for the event. After the groundbreaking, we moved to an area with several food trucks for dinner. The food was great, and many people were enjoying one another's company and talking about bees. The evening included a get-together at the student center and a silent auction. It was a great event managed by Becky Masterman, leader of the bee squad. I am sure it took months of planning to bring everything together. It was great to visit with so many friends and make new ones!

We have a great ABF E-Buzz for you this month, and there's much going on right now. We have great articles from Nathalie Steinhauer and Meghan McConnell for the Bee Informed Partnership and Sarah Red-Laird for the Kids and Bees Program, and information about the 2016 ABF Conference & Tradeshow. I hope you are making your plans to join us in sunny Florida in January. Thanks for stopping by, we hope that you enjoy your time spent here and that it is valuable to your beekeeping experience. Thank You!

Legislative Buzz

By Gene Brandi, ABF Vice President 

August is the month when the U.S. Congress recesses and most representatives spend a great deal of time back home in their districts. This is a great opportunity to meet with your local congressional representative and discuss pertinent issues. The fact that there continues to be considerable concern about bee health, especially as a result of the Presidential Task Force Report and the EPA proposal, makes it easier to gain the attention of your congressional representative. Due to the recess, there is not much activity on Capitol Hill, but it will pick up again in September.

The Environmental Protection Agency will be accepting comments on their proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees From Acutely Toxic Pesticides until August 28, 2015. The ABF and AHPA are in the final stage of preparing a joint response to this proposal. While we applaud EPA’s intention to mitigate pesticide damage to bees, our bees can be exposed to pesticide risks in many areas of the country throughout the year, not only when under contract to pollinate crops. As per ABF resolution, we believe that clear, enforceable language on pesticide labels is the best means of protecting bees from pesticides. This EPA proposal is not clear, and therefore would be difficult to enforce as currently written.

You are encouraged to submit a response to the docket (EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0818) as well, since this is such an important issue. You can read more about the proposal here and submit comments here.

Bee Educated: ABF's 2015 Series "Conversation with a Beekeeper" Webinars Continues 

Primetime with Honey Bees: Public Webinar Series on Beekeeping, Honey Bees and More!

“Bee educated” about honey bees and how you — yes, you — can help reverse their population decline. Join the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) for a free, public three-part webinar series about the basics of beekeeping and honey bees. Sessions are 90 minutes each and allow you to interact with expert beekeepers and ABF members!

Please visit our ABF website for more information and to sign up.

Primetime with Honey bees: Beekeeping, Honey Bees and More! - Part Two

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

9:00 p.m. ET / 8:00 p.m. CT / 7:00 p.m. MT / 6:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. AKST / 4:00 p.m. HST

Blake Shook, ABF Board Member and owner of Desert Creek Honey Inspection.



The second session is on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, at 9:00 PM ET. Blake Shook, ABF board member and a commercial beekeeper, speaks about the necessity of pollination to the honey industry specifically and the farming industry more broadly (we’re talking economic impact in the billions of dollars!). Pollination is one of the honey bee’s largest and most pressing tasks, so this is a session you won’t want to miss. Register Now!

Primetime with Honey bees: Beekeeping, Honey Bees and More! - Part Three

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

10:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 p.m. CT / 8:00 p.m. MT / 7:00 p.m. PT / 6:00 p.m. AKST / 5:00 p.m. HST

Gene Brandi, ABF Vice President and owner of Gene Brandi Apiaries Inspection.



This last session is on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, at 10:00 PM ET. ABF Vice President Gene Brandi shares challenges that beekeepers face and the effects of pesticides on the honey bee population. Beekeepers are losing 30-50% of their hives each year, so this is a pressing issue for all who are interested in the population. Gene will update us on everything that ABF board members and leaders are doing to help reverse the trend, and provides insight into how everyone can lend a helping hand. Register Now! 

Register Today and Join Us for Palm Trees & Healthy Bees in Sunny Florida!  


2016 American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) Conference & Tradeshow, January 5-9, 2016

Join us for a buzzworthy experience at the 2016 American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) Conference & Tradeshow, January 5-9, 2016. The conference will be held at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, in Ponte Vedra Beach (Jacksonville), Florida. Begin your New Year with mild temperatures and hundreds of fellow beekeepers sharing experiences, best practices and research while making like-minded friends.

Features of the conference include:

  • General session full of presentations by industry experts
  • Robust tradeshow to learn about the latest product and services available to beekeepers to nurture and grow their business or interest
  • Track sessions on Thursday specific to various stages of beekeeping
  • Over 15 hands-on workshops
  • 2016 Honey Show
  • Optional social activity on Thursday
  • Shared Interest Group meetings
  • ABF annual banquet
  • Coronation of the 2016 American Honey Queen and Honey Princess
  • And much, much more . . .

Registration is Open:

Registration is now open for the 2016 American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) Conference & Tradeshow. Register by October 14th to save $100 and secure your place at this all-important conference.

Conference Hotel:

The Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa is the host hotel for the 2016 American Beekeeping Federation Conference & Tradeshow. This hotel offers 65 acres of lush landscaping, a dazzling lagoon and sunshine galore and offers an array of amenities including:

  • Complimentary Internet in guest rooms
  • Complimentary self-parking
  • 100% non-smoking hotel
  • Private balconies overlooking lovely views
  • Fitness center and four pools
  • Pets allowed (with non-refundable deposit)
Guest Room Reservations Warning:

It has been brought to our attention that a Housing Company is contacting ABF members and advising that the conference hotel is almost sold out and that they need to make their reservations with them at that time. This is not accurate! No one should, or will be calling you to make your hotel reservations. All reservations can be made directly with the hotel via telephone or online reservation link. If you would like to secure your guest room for the conference, the room rate is $125.00 + tax.

Secure your guest room today for the conference at the negotiated rate of $125.00 per night, plus tax (currently 16%). This rate is available until Friday, December 11, 2015, or until the room block is sold out – whichever comes first. Don’t hesitate, make your reservations today!
This conference is sure to be an exciting and enriching experience that we can’t wait to share with you! Visit the conference website for more information, including schedule at a glance and hotel information. Please check back often as we continue to post new information. We look forward to celebrating Palm Trees & Healthy Bees with you!

A Mighty Coalition Takes on the Varroa Mite with New Management Guide  


News from the Honey Bee Health Coalition

As beekeepers all know, when it comes to the health of the honey bee, one of the biggest challenges our winged friend faces is, ironically, a very tiny parasite, the Varroa destructor mite. In response to this challenge, the Honey Bee Health Coalition has developed a guide, available to all beekeepers, to assist in the management and control of Varroa mites.

The Varroa mite, a pivotal player in recent honey bee population declines and the loss of entire hives, is no bigger than a pinhead. The eight-legged mite, whose entire life cycle is dedicated to draining honey bee larva and sapping the blood of colonies’ crucial workers and drones, poses a serious threat not only to honey bees, but also to vast swaths of our food supply.

In fact, the problem posed by this highly mobile and resilient parasite is one of the reasons the Honey Bee Health Coalition was formed last year. The Coalition’s mission, as a collaborative partnership of more than 30 different organizations and agencies, is to identify effective strategies to help achieve and support a healthy population of honey bees, while also supporting healthy populations of native and managed pollinators in productive agricultural systems and thriving ecosystems.

“Beekeepers don’t have the tools to control this situation on our own. The Honey Bee Health Coalition is a unique collaboration of diverse interests all working together to implement solutions focused on managing Varroa and achieving healthy populations of honey bees that benefit us all. Together we can accomplish a lot more than we can on our own”, said George Hansen, commercial beekeeper and past president, American Beekeeping Federation.

While there is a lot of work to do to strengthen honey bee health, one project of the Honey Bee Health Coalition is developing this playbook for beekeepers on how to tackle the Varroa mite. Dr. Dewey Caron, Emeritus Professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, Affiliate Professor at Oregon State University’s Department of Horticulture, and member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition, worked with the Coalition to produce Tools for Varroa Management, A Guide to Effective Sampling & Control.

This guide, developed with input and review from leading experts in the field, lays out straightforward, proactive monitoring methods and guidelines to help detect and control Varroa mites. Because beekeepers face a wide range of conditions, the guide has built-in flexibility for beekeepers to decide the treatment regime that is best for their situation and risk tolerance.

One of the important features of the guide is the focus on Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a strategy that combines proactive non-chemical methods and chemical treatments to minimize and manage Varroa mite infestations.

“The general principles of IPM are to discourage the development of pest problems through early detection of increases in pest numbers, and to correct pest problems before they become critical, by using diverse, safe, and effective tools,” according to Dr. Dewey Caron. “IPM tools include biological, physical and chemical techniques that, when used appropriately, should help decrease the levels of the target pest.”

The guide also lays out what’s at stake, not only for individual beekeepers, but also for their peers in the local community, if proactive measures are not taken to control Varroa infestations. Read More. 

The Honey Bee Health Coalition’s Tools for Varroa Management, A Guide to Effective Sampling & Control is available free to all and can be accessed here


photo credit: Dick Rogers

Foundation Offering Five Graduate Student Scholarships 


Submission Deadline September 21, 2015

The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. (The Foundation) is offering $2000 scholarships to apiculture graduate students in early 2016. This is the Foundation’s eleventh year to award these scholarships.

The Foundation is a charitable research and education foundation affiliated with the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF). The Foundation has benefited from a number of generous gifts, including the estates of Glenn and Gertrude Overturf and Margaret and Victor Thompson, and continues to be sustained by ongoing gifts from ABF members and other supportive individuals.

The Foundation Trustees have chosen to use a portion of these gifts to offer graduate student scholarships to foster professional development for emerging apicultural scientists. The scholarships are available to all currently enrolled graduate students studying any aspect of honey bees, bee husbandry and/or the apicultural industry. The purpose of the scholarships, in addition to providing modest financial support, is to allow the recipients to attend the 2016 American Beekeeping Federation Conference & Tradeshow at Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa on January 5-9, 2016. Each awardee will be given a $2000 scholarship check; in addition, the Foundation will cover all lodging expenses and up to $750 in travel expenses. Graduate students enrolled in a university, either within the United States or internationally, are eligible to apply. The recipients will have an opportunity to meet other researchers and beekeepers and to present their research at the meeting. The Board of Trustees always looks forward to interacting with recipients and hearing about their research during the conference.

Applications for the scholarships will be accepted until September 21, 2015.

Click here for more information and to download the application. 

Kids and Bees: Opportunities for Bee-Curious Kids Abound Across the US

by Sarah Red-Laird, a.k.a Bee Girl, ABF Kids and Bees Program Director


Over the next few months, there will be some very special ways to get your kids involved in the fun and imaginative parts of beekeeping! I just wrapped up an amazing kids’ academy at the Eastern Apicultural Society Conference in Guelph, Ontario. Twelve local kids joined Bee Girl and the UoG Honey Bee Research Centre staff to spend the whole day learning about honey bee and native bee biology and anatomy, beekeeping, bees' connection to our food, about products from the hive, and how they can help keep bees safe and happy. Check out our photo album for the day here.

Next on the agenda is the New York City Honey festival. There will be a Kids and Bees booth starting at 11am on Saturday, September 12th, at Rockaway Beach. Here is a blurb from the event website about the day:

“Returning to the Rockaway Boardwalk for its fifth year, NYC Honey Fest is a celebration of the amazing pollinators who make the five boroughs their home. This free, daylong festival features art, food, music, film, kids’ arts and crafts, and a bee-product marketplace. Fun for the whole family, Honey Fest is a perfect way to close out the summer. Gather ye buds and enjoy the sunshine before autumn arrives by spending the day at the beach sampling the very best of NYC's liquid gold.

All day kids can participate in fun and educational activities, including face painting by NYC Face paint, bee-hat making by City Growers, and an interactive booth by Arts In Parts about the honey bees' role in pollination. Bee Girl is joining us from Oregon this year, and will have lots of honey/bee education activities plus microscopes to view bees & pollen up close as well as a tie-dye station and an elaborate observation hive provided by BeeKind Farms. In addition, there will be honey extraction demos, the Honey-Tasting Contest, and raffle to keep your 'lil critters busy as bees. Oh… did we mention there's a beach too!”

Join our Facebook event here, and if you are local to New York City, I am looking for a few good volunteers to help out with the day! Email me at sarah@beegirl.org if you can lend some time and smiles.

Coming up shortly after this event is the Western Apicultural Society Conference, which features our Kids and Bees event on Saturday, October 3rd, from 1:30 to 4:00 at the Millennium Harvest House Hotel in Boulder, Colorado. For updated information, join our Facebook event page here, and RSVP (no cost) here

Participants will be treated to activity stations featuring a live observation bee hive, honey tasting, beeswax candle rolling, and other opportunities to engage in the art and science of beekeeping. The tables will be staffed with volunteer beekeepers, ready to enthusiastically share their knowledge and passion about the honey bee. This is also a great opportunity for conference attendees to become inspired to begin, or further develop, their own educational programs. Everything is open source!

Coming up before we know it is the American Beekeeping Federation 2016 Conference and Tradeshow. Mark your calendars for Friday, January 8th. Well invite hundreds of local kids to the event to explore the wonderful world of beekeeping, and would love to see you there, too!

Until next time, take care and bee in touch!

Science Buzz: Real-Time Disease Load Monitoring of Honey Bee Colonies in North Dakota

by Nathalie Steinhauer and Meghan McConnell for the Bee Informed Partnership


Over the last year, thanks to funding from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) followed 12 commercial migratory beekeepers (managing a total of 41,572 colonies in April) who spent most of their active season in North Dakota. Those beekeepers voluntarily participated in a real-time disease load monitoring program through which we documented the monthly progression of Nosema (Nosema spp) and varroa mites (Varroa destructor) in their apiaries in comparison to historic (composite of 5 years of data) national levels recorded through USDA APHIS National Honey Bee Disease Survey. A total of 460 samples were analyzed over the 2014 season.

North Dakota participants’ levels for varroa mites were generally lower than APHIS levels, with the exception of the months of August and September, in which the exponential growth of varroa mite populations is clearly illustrated (Fig.1). Interestingly, the drop of mite loads from September to October could be explained by the high proportion of participants having applied a control method for varroa. A majority (56% and 87% of the participants who answered our monthly management survey for September (n=9) and October (n=8)) indicated that they controlled for mites in those months. Also, 83% of the beekeepers surveyed in May (n=6) controlled for mites in that month, which could also explain the relatively low level of varroa mites in North Dakota apiaries compared to the rest of the participants. Over the entire season, almost all North Dakota beekeepers treated their colonies at least once for varroa (91.7%, n=12), about half of them treating a second time (n=5), and a few a third time (n=2).

North Dakota participants’ levels for Nosema were generally higher than APHIS levels, with the exception of the month of May (Fig.2). According to our questionnaires, only a few of the responding beekeepers used a control method for Nosema (May: 33%, n=6; June: 0%, n=9; July: 10%, n=10; August: 0%, n=10; September: 11%, n=9; October: 25%, n=8; November: 0%, n=2).

In conclusion, the North Dakota commercial beekeepers surveyed appeared to understand and manage their varroa treatments well and in a timely fashion, allowing them to bring their colonies into winter with relatively low levels of mites (less than 3 mites per 100 bees). While varroa levels are comparably low in the North Dakota beekeeper operations, levels in September are troubling, double our current treatment threshold of 3 mites per 100 bees. North Dakota beekeepers should consider mid-season treatment options - such as formic acid - to knock mite levels down while honey supers remain on colonies. Concerning Nosema, the North Dakota’s participating beekeepers exhibited generally higher loads than the other participants of the survey or the baseline levels from APHIS. More studies should investigate the relation between those high levels of Nosema and colony health.

Keepers of the Bees 


Indiana University Students, Faculty and Staff Have Joined in the Fight to Save the Honey Bee

By April Toler, News and Media Specialist, Indiana University

Indiana University Newsroom's latest long-form story project highlights the growing group of students, IU faculty and staff on the Bloomington campus who are committed to doing their part to address the global issue of dwindling honey bee populations.

Told through text, videos, photos and graphics, the project highlights IU student Ellie Symes, who has established bee hives on campus and recently formed the Beekeeping Club at IU; researcher Irene Newton who is studying the role that gut bacteria play in the honey bee's metabolism, how commercial practices may or may not affect honey bee health and what this might mean for the big picture of honey bee colony loss; and retired IU microbiology professor and longtime beekeeper George Hegeman, who has served as a mentor to area students and continues to educate others in the area. Read More. 

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


NHB at Flavor Experience

The National Honey Board showcased honey-inspired food and beverage innovations as one of a handful of top-level Pinnacle Sponsors at the August 2015 Flavor Experience conference in Newport Beach, California. Promoting honey’s status at 2015 Flavor of the Year, NHB worked with Master Mixologist Kim Haasarud and KOR Food Innovation to demonstrate honey's versatility in recipes ranging from a honey-inspired Michelada to an oven-fired honey-goat-cheese-herb-prosciutto pizza, to a Pan-Asian Honey Poutine (think French fries smothered in honey-sriracha sauce, for the perfect balance of sweet and heat).

You could say honey was the belle (er, bear) of the ball, as Flavor Experience attendees flocked to the NHB stations both Tuesday and Wednesday nights to get their hands on a honey cocktail served in a honey bear. The first night, the bears boasted a honey bee Mai Tai with festive straws; the second night, the NHB featured a honey-coffee-rum cocktail dubbed Brown Bear in the iconic vessels. Not only were conference participants wowed by the presentation, but the drinks and the food pairings brought many back for more. National Honey Board CEO Margaret Lombard was on hand throughout the two-day event, networking with operators and promoting the flavor and functional benefits of honey, along with the extended team. (Rumor has it that she mixed a few mean honey bear cocktails as well).

Flavor Experience is an annual conference hosted by BSI Inc. in concert with Flavor & The Menu magazine, drawing top menu decision makers from national and regional restaurant chains from around the country. The two-day event also includes high-profile industry speakers (including emcee/host Chef Jet Tila), workshops and learning sessions to help operators stay at the leading edge of food and beverage trends and innovations. You could say honey was at the "sweet spot" of many of the trends covered during the conference, including alternative sweeteners, all-natural ingredients and various Millennial-driven flavor trends (think spicy/heat, sour and more -- where honey provides the perfect balance).

On the heels of this exciting conference, we can expect to keep seeing honey on more menus nationwide as food and beverage pros continue to discover new reasons to love this golden ingredient.

Honey Queen Buzz 

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

Queen Gabrielle gives a demonstration at the New Jersey State Fair

The beginning of August marks several weeks of nonstop travel for Queen Gabrielle and Princess Hayden. Fairs and festivals this time of year really highlight the need for continued awareness about our gentle honey bee!

The Queens spent all of August participating in fairs throughout the country, including stops at the New Jersey State Fair, Ohio State Fair, Clark County (Washington) Fair, Indiana State Fair, Iowa State Fair, Hunderton County (New Jersey) 4-H Fair, Kentucky State Fair, and Minnesota State Fair. In addition to sampling the delicious, unique local honey varietals from each of these fantastic states, the Queen and Princess kept equally busy with a variety of activities. Every fair provides special opportunities to reach the public. At the New Jersey State Fair, Queen Gabrielle had television interviews and also judged the state honey show with a bevy of observers. Many outside our industry are unaware that honey has different levels of quality and is judged. An open honey show is a great opportunity to get the Queen involved, but also to highlight the many varieties and properties of honey. At the Ohio State Fair, Princess Hayden gave daily demonstrations – both cooking and how to use honey in alternate ways, such as in beauty recipes. 


Princess Hayden speaks with a local radio station at the Ohio State Fair

Teaching people through demonstrations how to use our products is a great way to help sell them and increase our organizations’ profitability! Fairs and festivals offer endless possibilities for media exposure, and this has been the case all month for the Queens. They have had television, radio, and newspaper coverage, in addition to much online exposure this month.

In addition to the fairs this month, Queen Gabrielle also participated in Alachua County Florida’s Honey Bee Awareness Day. She emceed this annual event, highlighting the importance of honey bees and their protection, and also participated in some community events and meetings to promote the popular event. This event (and many like it during Pollinator Week) offers great opportunities for the Queen and Princess to promote and teach the public with you. Consider inviting one of our representatives to help with your event next year! You can contact me now to discuss your 2016 promotions.

Please stay tuned to the American Honey Queen Program Facebook page (and, if you haven’t, please like the page to see what our representatives are doing for you each day!) for more details on the Queen and Princess’s busy travels over the next few months! Happy promoting!

Bee Thinking

Last month's riddle was: "Yell at me, talk to me, I don't care. I'll still go with you 'bout anywhere. I can get you to Bangor, Maine, Charlotte, Buffalo, Cleveland or maybe even Spain. There's absolutely nothing I can't do, I'll even sing a song, or take you to the zoo. I can help you with your math, figure answers quick. I will help with making dinner. Fix you if you're sick." David Hayes was the first to get the correct answer: "Your Cell Phone"!

Here is another one for you to ponder. Think you know the answer? The first to e-mail Valerie Lake at valerielake@abfnet.org will lay claim to another fun ABF prize.

Someone might tell you to put me on it.

Might be a coat, might be a bonnet.

Often I fly along with the breeze.

Sometimes short or flirting with your knees.

What am I? 

Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News

  • Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture are testing about a dozen flowering plants that dot the landscape in western Minnesota to see whether they can be used as critical food for bees and an additional source of income for farmers. Learn More.
  • Bees are born vaccinated: scientists have finally cracked the mystery of how queen bees vaccinate their offspring against diseases. Read more.
  • Some honeybee colonies adapt in wake of deadly mites: A new genetics study of wild honeybees offers clues to how a population has adapted to a mite that has devastated bee colonies worldwide. Learn more.
  • Flowers can serve as platforms for parasites that can harm bees, a University of California-Riverside study has found.  Read more.
  • A discovery by scientists at UWA that a widespread fungus that causes dysentery in honey bees can be sexually transmitted may impact bee breeding programs world-wide. Learn More
  • Solar farms could make fertile habitats for bees and butterflies: campaign encourages developers of utility-scale solar projects to plant their land with wildflowers, native grasses and other beneficial vegetation rather than gravel or dirt. Read more.

ABF Welcomes New Members — July 2015

  • Michael Barbera, North Carolina 
  • Kevin Burleigh, Louisiana 
  • Roy Crumrine, California
  • Sam Elrod, Georgia
  • Clay Frazier, Louisiana
  • Connor Haines, Massachusetts
  • Mike Halpin, Wyoming
  • James Maher, Washington 


  • Nicole Rielly, California
  • Dwight Ringdahl, Georgia
  • J. Kyle Smith, North Carolina
  • Scott Souders, Texas
  • John Sullivan, North Carolina
  • Shearer Turton, Georgia
  • Terry Wright, Texas 



Recipe of the Month: Slow Cooker Mozzarella Stuffed Honey BBQ Meatball Sliders 

Source (Recipe and Photo): www.jennsblahblahblog.com


2 pounds of ground beef

¼ to ½ cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)

½ cup bread crumbs

1 small onion (diced)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 egg

1 BBQ Sauce

¼ cup HONEY

Salt and pepper to liking


Combine meat, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, egg, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and combine. It’s easiest if you use your hands and work the bread crumbs into the meat. Grab enough meat for your meatball, push down, so it’s almost flat in your hand and lay the cheese in the middle of the meat patty. Now close it up into a ball and pack together tightly. Do your best to make sure there is no opening for the cheese to sneak out when it gets hot.

Place foil on a wire rack and set on top of a baking pan or the top of a baking pan covered with foil. Poke holes in the bottom so the grease can drain out into a pan. Place meatballs on foil and place in the oven for about 20 minutes. The goal is to cook out most of the grease.

Remove from oven, place in slow cooker. Add BBQ sauce, honey, and allow to cook on high for 1 hour, and then turn to low for 2 to 3 hours. Place on your favorite rolls and enjoy!

Science Buzz 

by Stephen Cutts and Dave Westervelt

With the feral population of honey bees in the southwestern states and Florida growing more and more Africanized, and the increasing number of “Backyard Beekeepers” wanting to manage European colonies, there is a need for African Honey Bee (AHB) education and preparedness. Education and preparedness are the key to proper response to potential stinging incidents, whether these incidents involve honey bees or other native pollinators easily found in Florida. There is also the increasing potential for vehicular accidents involving trucks or a semi loaded with honey bee colonies. For over a decade Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and UF/IFAS have been striving to educate consumers about AHB and the importance of training First Responders.

May 8, 2015: Judy Ludlow, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Calhoun County, the County’s ESF17 Coordinator, has arranged for First Responder Training in the panhandle to be held at UF/IFAS Extension Washington County at 1424 Jackson Avenue, Chipley, FL 32428. University of Florida IFAS Extension Beekeeping Specialist Dr. William (Bill) Kern, who has trained first responders throughout the southeast, will be teaching: Africanized Honeybee Biology and Behavior; Threat Triage, Personal Protective Equipment; Rescue Tactics, and Situation Outcomes; Field Demonstrations Using PPE and Foam-Equipped Engines.

This Event is Free, but Please Call to Register:

UF/IFAS Extension Calhoun County - 850-674-8323, or

UF/IFAS Extension Washington County - 850-638-6180

Register Today and Join Us for Palm Trees & Healthy Bees in Sunny Florida!  


2016 American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) Conference & Tradeshow, January 5-9, 2016

Join us for a buzzworthy experience at the 2016 American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) Conference & Tradeshow, January 5-9, 2016. The conference will be held at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, in Ponte Vedra Beach (Jacksonville), Florida. Begin your New Year with mild temperatures and hundreds of fellow beekeepers sharing experiences, best practices and research while making like-minded friends.

Features of the conference include:

  • General session full of presentations by industry experts
  • Robust tradeshow to learn about the latest product and services available to beekeepers to nurture and grow their business or interest
  • Track sessions on Thursday specific to various stages of beekeeping
  • Over 15 hands-on workshops
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3525 Piedmont Road, Building 5, Suite 300
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Phone: 404-760-2875    E-mail: info@abfnet.org
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