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ABF E-Buzz: August 2016
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ABF E-Buzz — August 2016

In This Issue:

Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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


August brings

The realization

That the season

Has fully fruited.




The crops of

The Garden

The Meadows

And the Hive

Are fully set.



The mood to

Preserve for

Us and the Bees

The year’s stocks

Is all that remains.

 - Tim Tucker


Welcome back! The kids are back to school here in S.E. Kansas and Oklahoma and the summer swimming pools are closing down. It's back to school for the kids and that's a truth for us beekeepers as well. The fall meetings will soon begin and of course the upcoming conference, the 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow, for the ABF, the American Honey Producers Association and the Canadian Honey Council will be January 10-14 in Galveston, Texas. We need to be sharpening our skills on what we know as well. It seems that beekeeping is an ever-evolving process for those who continue to keep bees and keep them alive. The conference schedule is really shaping up and we will be posting that on the NABC website at www.nabeekeepingconference.com in the next few weeks. While you are online, visit the archived webinars on the ABF website, www.abfnet.org, and listen to a session or two if you have some time in the evenings. There's lots of great information there for your educational enhancement no matter what your current level of experience is.

I am always kind of saddened by how much bad information there is flowing around the internet today.  Several years ago, I wrote a continuing article for the ABF News called “Sorting it all out” that was an attempt to inform our membership as well as possible in regard to what is legitimate information circling around online. Recently there has been a new round of the news that most of the honey in stores, from 60% to 80%, is not really honey but actually fake honey. The articles are regarding a new book that is out titled Real Food, Fake Food by Larry Olmsted. This new book quotes lots of past references to articles that were all generated by Food Safety News. Once misinformation gets repeated enough it becomes almost a fact and there is very little possibility that it ever gets cleared up. One of the things about this is that people want to believe the crux of the story, which is that most of the honey put on store shelves by large packers is not as good as the honey you can get from a local beekeeper. As much as I would like to promote that concept, as it would benefit me (because I am, in Kansas and Oklahoma, considered to be the local beekeeper), it just isn't true.

One of the things that really scares me is that we may be damaging the demand for honey when people just can't find a local beekeeper to buy honey from in most of our major metropolitan areas if they are not close to a farmer's market or if they just can't get honey because their small, local beekeeper is out of honey when they need it. The fact that honey consumption is not rising to any great degree lends credence to these concerns. One article quotes the American Beekeeping Federation without naming a source, and that is just not credible in the world of journalism. As far as I know, no one from the ABF ever talked to this author and yet he made the statement that we consider honey without pollen as being something less than honey. Honey and pollen are two different things. Bees even store them in two different cells when storing these essential parts of their diet. They usually even collect or gather them separately with foragers collecting pollen or mostly nectar based on their preferences. That pollen gets into honey that beekeepers extract is only an accident; some very small amounts of pollen that are still all over the hairs of the foraging bee get dispersed in the nectar that is stored. And it is in very “small” amounts.

The article does not make a distinction between “filtered” honey and “ultra-filtered” honey. No one in the U.S. is using “ultra-filtration,” which is very expensive and is designed to remove smaller particles that filtering through paper or diatomaceous earth might leave behind. The ultra-filtration process was designed by the Chinese to remove chemical contaminants that were usually illegal antibiotics. The article also states that Chinese honey has the antibiotic Chloramphenicol as “a common contaminant,” and I would like to know his source for this information. Yes, large packers do filter honey to remove impurities and this removes pollen particles from the honey as well. It is done for the purpose of reducing the speed of crystallization. The American public will not buy honey that is starting to get stringy with crystals, and it is a difficult process for large packers to take crystallized honey back or provide refunds to their stores or distribution centers. So, it is really consumers who drive the market once again by our purchasing choices.

There used to be a local beekeeper I knew who extracted his honey and bottled it in an old chicken coop with a dirt floor.  It was a practice that did not permit me to buy his honey once I knew about it. But for a lot of people he was the best person to buy honey from because he didn't filter his honey. There are lots of considerations when extracting and bottling honey, and we need to make sure that we use the best possible processes for maintaining a clean and safe product for human consumption. I would much rather consume honey that I knew was packaged under good practices without pollen and debris as opposed to unclean conditions. So know your beekeeper, and you might want to visit his facility to see where the local honey is extracted and bottled.

In the next few months, I will be exploring some further difficulties with this recent deluge of misinformation and the concept of “local” honey, health claims and a few other misconceptions as well as giving you some more ideas for marketing your honey. We will also talk about the Standard of Identity filings by the ABF and the industry over the years and other areas in which the ABF is working for you to protect the image of honey.

We have some great articles this month from our ABF President, Gene Brandi about the 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow in Galveston, Texas, in January and an update from Anna Kettlewell, queen committee chair, on our Honey Queen and Princess and their travels. We've also got some great Buzzmakers and another great recipe for you to use in consuming honey! There's also a new riddle for you to think about. So, once again, thank you for stopping by! We hope you find this and all issues of E-Buzz to be a help to your beekeeping experience. If you would like to see something else covered here, or contribute to the E-Buzz in any way, please drop me an email at tuckerb@hit.net. Till next month, have a great end of summer and I hope your harvest is a heavy one! 


President's Greeting

by Gene Brandi, ABF President 

With all the summer bee work that we are into up to our ears at this time, January might seem like it is a long way off, however in less than five months the 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow in Galveston, Texas, will be in full swing. This conference will be a joint meeting of the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF), the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA) and the Canadian Honey Council (CHC) and is shaping up to be one of the finest beekeeping conferences ever held in the USA.

The 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow will have something for everyone, from small scale beekeepers to the largest commercial operators. There will be presentations from scientists, beekeepers, government officials and others during the sessions over the course of the conference. There will be sessions specifically for Beginning Beekeepers, Serious Sideliners and Commercial Beekeepers, as well as general sessions for everyone. The American Bee Research Conference will be held in conjunction with the NABC, and registrants are welcome to attend their scientific presentations as well.

The tradeshow will have more vendors than ever before and is a great opportunity for attendees to see the latest in beekeeping technology and products from around the world. Visiting with the exhibitors and learning about their products is always a highlight of annual conferences as it is an opportunity to speak one-on-one with some of the most knowledgeable people in their field.

Meeting fellow beekeepers and discussing common problems, successes and challenges, seeing old friends and making new ones are all part of the experience. You will be able to meet the 2016 American Honey Queen and Princess as well as the candidates for 2017 Honey Queen and Princess. The American Honey Show will also take place and you will be able to bid on the blue ribbon winners. There will be receptions, the ABF and AHPA annual banquets, a social activity at a nearby special event center with food, live country-western music and trick roping one evening and much more that will make this conference a very special one indeed.

Check out the www.nabeekeepingconference.com website for details about conference registration. Early Bird registration rates are now in effect, so if you are thinking about attending the conference, now is a great time to register and save! Hope to see you in Galveston this coming January 10-14, 2017!


Legislative Buzz

by Tim May, ABF Vice President 

There are a couple of issues with the FDA that should be of interest to most if not all beekeepers. ABF President Gene Brandi and I met with the FDA/CVM (Center for Veterinary Medicine) during our June trip to Washington, D.C. The main reason for our meeting was to discuss the new “Veterinary Feed Directive” and how it will affect the beekeeping industry. The FDA is taking steps to reduce the use of antibiotics in the food industry. They would like to eliminate the use of these drugs for production purposes. This would include promoting growth and increasing feed efficiency through the use of antibiotics. FDA will also bring the other uses of antibiotics under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. 

As of December 31, 2016, you will need a valid prescription from a state-licensed veterinarian to purchase and administer all antibiotics to your bees. Unfortunately, there are few if any veterinarians that are knowledgeable about bee diseases. The CVM is planning to give a training course on bee diseases at their next national conference. 

Dr. William Flynn, DVM, MS, recommended that beekeepers have a valid client-patient relationship with a state-licensed veterinarian. This should allow beekeepers to explain their need for and methods of using antibiotics. The veterinarian could then write a prescription for a 6-month supply of the antibiotic needed. These prescriptions would be valid in other states if the bees are moved. The FDA/CVM is very interested in working with our industry to make this transition as easy as possible.

The other issue with the FDA may be a little more disturbing. This involves changing the nutrition label for honey. The new requirement is that we will have to include the term “added sugars” on the standard nutrition label. For example, the total sugars for a serving of honey would be 17 grams, and the added sugars declaration would also be 17 grams. This will cause much confusion for consumers as they will be under the impression that sugar is added to the honey causing adulteration. This is not what the industry wants consumers to perceive. It could possibly ruin the all-natural image of honey. The National Honey Board is leading the charge with our help to clarify or change this new requirement. 


Bee Educated: ABF's 2016 Webinar Series "Conversation with a Beekeeper" 

New sessions are coming up and newly archived sessions are available!

Click here to learn more and register!

Healthy Bees – The Key to Winter Survival

Thursday, August 25, 2016
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
Greg Hannaford, ABF Member; Owner, Ozark Bee Supply


In the ABF Archive ... Also recommended at this time of year:

Know Your Mite Load: The Key to Keeping Healthy Bees

Originally presented August 18, 2015
Greg Hannaford, ABF Member; Owner, Ozark Bee Supply

Click here to learn more and download the session. 

Register Today and Join us in “Building a Sweeter Future” in Galveston!

2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow, January 10-14, 2017

The 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow will be held January 10-14 at the San Luis Resorts and Galveston Island Convention Center in Galveston, Texas. This joint conference of The American Beekeeping Federation (ABF), The American Honey Producers Association (AHPA) and the Canadian Honey Council (CHC) promises to be filled with information from industry experts, researchers, specialists and fellow beekeepers. 
Registration is now open. We encourage you to register early for the best rate and to secure your place at this informative “meeting of the beekeeping minds.” 

Conference features include: 

  • Top-notch general session presentations all day on Wednesday and Friday

  • Vendor tradeshow with the latest and greatest products and services in the beekeeping industry

  • Keynote presentations led by industry experts

  • Track sessions on Thursday for Beginning Beekeepers, Serious Sideliners and Commercial Beekeepers

  • Association Business Meetings

  • 15 interactive workshops on Saturday

  • Breakfast/Meeting for Commercial Beekeepers on Thursday

  • 2017 Honey Show

  • Various silent and live auctions benefiting ABF, AHPA and the American Honey Queen program

  • Optional activities (requiring an additional registration fee) include:
  • Auxiliary Luncheon/Meeting on Thursday afternoon 

  • Thursday Night Social - Dinner and entertainment at the Moody Gardens Rainforest

  • Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees luncheon on Friday

  • AHPA Annual Banquet on Friday evening

  • ABF/CHC Annual Banquet on Saturday evening with the coronation of the 2017 American Honey Queen and Honey Princess

  • Conference Hotels:
    Attendees of the 2017 NABC will have three hotels to choose from:
  • The San Luis Resort & Spa

  • The Hilton Galveston Island Resort

  • The Holiday Inn Resort Galveston

  • All of these hotels offer the following concessions/policies:
  • Complimentary self-parking

  • Complimentary wireless internet in guest rooms

  • Complimentary shuttle service to/from the Galveston Island Convention Center

  • 10% discount on spa services at the San Luis Resort & Spa

  • Group rates will be offered until Monday, December 19, 2016, or until the room block is full.

  • Individual reservations may be canceled 72 hours in advance. Any deposits will be refunded.

  • Check-In time is 4:00 PM

  • Check-Out time is 11:00 AM

  • Guest Room Reservations Warning: It has been brought to our attention that a Housing Company is contacting potential conference attendees 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 must be made directly with the hotel via telephone or online link.

    Reservations for all three properties can be made by visiting the conference website at www.nabeekeepingconference.com.

    This joint conference is sure to be an exciting and enriching experience, and we can’t wait to share it with you. Please visit the conference website (www.nabeekeepingconference.com) for more information, including the schedule at a glance and additional activities. We look forward to celebrating 2017 and the future of beekeeping with you in Galveston!

    Honey Queen Buzz


    by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

    One of Princess Tabitha’s favorite things at the Wisconsin State Fair was helping people find the queen bee!

    August marks the time when fair season is in full swing, and the Queens have been buzzing across America stopping at multiple fairs this month. In 31 days, they will have promoted the honey industry at eleven fairs in nine states, including eight state fairs! The remaining fair stops were very large, highly-attended county fairs, several of which have the feel of a state fair. The Honey Queen Program appreciates all the efforts the state and county organizations put into making each event successful and rewarding for the Queen and Princess. Fairs offer a variety of promotional opportunities, and there was no shortage of media interviews, cooking with honey demonstrations, honey sales booth work, open hive demonstrations, bee beard demonstrations and meeting and speaking with legislative officials at these events. As this month is a flurry of activity, be sure to keep up with Kim’s and Tabitha’s latest stops by visiting the American Honey Queen Program’s Facebook page!

    Fair promotions extend year round throughout the country. Do you have a fall, winter or spring fair in your area? What about an event similar to a fair, like a farm exposition or livestock show? If your beekeeping organization has a promotional or educational booth at an event like this, consider hosting the American Honey Queen or Princess in the next year. Over the last several years, local beekeeping organizations have told me that their honey sales increase several fold when the Queen or Princess helps with the promotion. Our representatives are also a draw for the media at your booth or for interviews in general. Touting a national industry spokesperson visiting your event can make your exhibit more exciting as a media story. Hosting the Queen or Princess is a rewarding experience, and we’d love to have them participate in your fairs that happen during other times of the year, too!

    I have been contacted by many of you about 2017 promotional events! I look forward to hearing from more of you with your event dates so the committee can begin developing a promotional schedule for next year’s representatives! Contact me at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514 with your ideas and events. Happy promoting!



    Above: Queen Kim’s last day at the Ohio State Fair, where she demonstrated a honey garlic sauce in the Taste of Ohio Café. It was a huge hit!

    Right: She also visited with Toni from Boots to Bees, an organization that helps bees and creates business opportunities for veterans.


    Foundation Offering Five Graduate Student Scholarships
    Submission Deadline is September 21, 2016

    The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. (The Foundation) is offering five $2000 scholarships to apiculture graduate students in 2017. 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 five 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 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow at Galveston Island Convention Center at The San Luis Resort on January 10-14, 2017. 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, 2016. 

    Click here for more information and to download the scholarship application



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

    2016 Honey Food & Beverage Summit Was the Place to Bee!

    St. Helena was the place to “bee” for the 2016 Honey Food & Beverage Summit, targeting high-volume foodservice operations. Approximately one dozen participants enjoyed several days of immersive honey education and kitchen time at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Greystone campus, nestled in the beautiful Napa Valley. Designed to explore the versatility of honey, from sweet to savory and across various day parts, the summit inspired food and beverage professionals to find new and innovative ways to highlight this golden ingredient.

    The chef and mixologist attendees hailed from across the country and represented a variety of restaurant chains and other operations. From Rubio’s to Texas Roadhouse to Disney, participants had a crash course in everything from honey varietals to a honey and spirit pairing with cocktail demonstrations from Master Mixologist Kim Haasarud. Beekeeper, author, and honey sommelier Marina Marchese was on also hand to lead the group in a Honey 101 session followed by an eight varietal honey tasting, along with whipped honey and honeycomb.

    But it wasn’t just a hive of activity in the classroom. The participants were also able to take a field trip to Long Meadow Ranch for an apiary tour. In keeping with the “hive to table” theme, the food and beverage professionals also enjoyed a lunch at Farmstead Restaurant incorporating Long Meadow Ranch honey, which served to only inspire them more for when they would be able to take their newfound knowledge and start applying it in the kitchen.

    With a range of honey varietals from which to choose, the chefs and mixologists had two opportunities (one on the second evening and one the following morning) to let their creativity run wild in the kitchen. Guided by CIA Professor, Chef Almir Da Fonseca, the attendees both reimagined existing recipes incorporating honey as well as produced new dishes. From alfalfa to buckwheat honey and curries to cocktails, the dishes that came from those meals were tasty, inspiring, and certainly highlighted the nuances and flavor profiles of each honey and the participants’ newfound learnings.

    We look forward to seeing what other exciting recipes these chefs and mixologists come up with based on their 2016 Honey Summit experience! 


    Honey Stars in P.F. Chang's New "Garden to Glass" Menu and Promotion


    Fresh, quality ingredients are the hallmark of P.F. Chang's just-launched "Garden to Glass" cocktail menu.  No wonder P.F. Chang's chose to highlight honey in its new libations, along with hand-squeezed juices and premium spirits. "We agreed that honey was the ideal ingredient to unite our Garden to Glass cocktails," said Mary Melton, Beverage Director of P.F. Chang's. "It is made by bees from the nectar from flowers. What could be a more perfect, natural fit?"


    P.F. Chang's new, honey-inspired Garden to Glass menu features the following cocktails:

    * Cucumber Collins 

    * Twisted Whiskey Sour 

    * Honey Thyme G&T 

    * Anejo Buz

    P.F. Chang's worked with Master Mixologist Kim Haasarud of Liquid Architecture to create the new honey cocktail menu, and collaborated with the National Honey Board (NHB) to launch employee training (including honey sampling) and co-op marketing initiatives via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The Garden to Glass menu also is featured in in-store signage at all U.S. P.F. Chang's locations.  

    The NHB also consulted P.F. Chang's early on regarding the different honey varietals and regional options. "Ultimately, we chose Orange Blossom honey for our new cocktails because of its delicate citrus notes," said Melton, "and because of the floral feeling it lends to our Garden to Glass initiative." Orange Blossom honey is made by honey bees from the nectar of the blossoms of orange trees, and is therefore typically found in California, Florida and Texas.

    "Honey is increasingly tapped as an alternative sweetener for cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages," according to Haasarud, who also spearheads beverage innovation for the NHB. "Honey not only sweetens drinks, but can also add balance, complexity and mouthfeel, as well as flavor notes based on the honey varietal."  

    The honey-inspired cocktails are available at P.F. Chang's 211 locations nationwide. To find the P.F. Chang's location nearest you, visit: www.pfchangs.com.


    Bee Thinking

    No one guessed our last riddle, although several people came close. The answer was “A picture of a honey bee.” We needed the entire answer, not just “a photo.” Try again this month! 

    Think you know the answer? The first to email Susan Reu at susanreu@abfnet.org will lay claim to another fun ABF prize.

    What is cold when you find it,
    Red hot when you use it
    And grey when you throw it away?



    Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News

    ABF Welcomes New Members - July 2016

    • Christopher Noble
    • Rollin Hannan 

    Recipe of the Month: Summer Squash Fritters

    There's an old joke that if you leave your car unlocked in the summer, people will leave squash on your seat once they have had enough. I never get tired of summer squash, and all you have to do is find more creative ways to use them. They’re practically given away this time of year at our farmer's market. This is a recipe I've used every summer for a few years, and it's as variable as your limits of creativity. I have a seasoning that's called Johnny's Seasonal that I also add to the batter, but you can add whatever seasonings you like such as hot pepper or basil and dill.


    For squash patties

    2 good-sized yellow or zucchini squash

    ½ onion diced very finely

    2 eggs

    1 Cup flour

    ½ Cup cornmeal

    2 tsp. minced garlic

    Salt or seasonings to please

    For dressing

    6 Tbsp. of your favorite dressing such as Ranch, Thousand Island or Catalina

    2 Tbsp. Honey

    For frying

    Your favorite cooking oil  


    I have a hand-cranked food processor that strings potatoes, carrots or any vegetable, which I use to string up the squash. I usually cut the skin off of the yellow squash as it can be a little tough, but zucchini skin is usually not a problem so I leave that on. Once you prepare your squash, combine it with the eggs, salt and garlic and mix thoroughly. When mixed well, add the flour and cornmeal to the mixture. I like to have a mixture coating the squash that resembles a heavy pancake batter. It may take more or less flour depending upon the size of your squash and the moisture level of the squash, so mix it up to a consistency that is still pourable from the bowl like pancake batter.

    I like to deep-fat fry these in my wok or a pan with an inch or so of oil in it. It's best to use a pan that’s not too deep so there's a bottom to support the fritters as opposed to a regular deep-fat fryer. Once your oil is up to temperature for frying, drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture into the oil. You can build them larger by adding a couple of teaspoons if you want something the size of a burger. I like mine about half that size. Once they are cooked and dried, mix up your dressing and honey and serve piping hot with a side of fresh watermelon or cantaloupe or whatever fruit is available.  

    - Tim Tucker

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