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ABF E-Buzz: August 2017
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ABF E-Buzz — August 2017

In This Issue:






Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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

 “August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”
― Sylvia Plath

Welcome back!

I hope this finds many of you extracting honey and lots of it! I have pulled some but not all of ours and I hope that the remaining is better. I am hoping for a good soybean flow this year. We have had over seven inches of rain and the soil is primed to pump lots of nectar if we can get the right conditions which is higher temps and now some days of sweltering humidity. We will see but most of my bees are within a short distance of soybean fields. I hope we can avoid any damage from the farmers using fungicides and I am in close contact with them so we will move bees if we get proper notice which I have suggested is 48 – 72 hours. That gives me plenty of time to get them out of danger. It's so important these days to have good relationships with the people that we are sitting on. We have to remember that they don't have to allow us the permission to place bees on their property at all.

One of the great things I remember about the month of August, when I was a kid, was ice cream,....home-made ice cream. While I don't think my parents ever owned an ice cream maker, it seemed like everyone else did and the big events of August were Ice Cream Socials. It seemed as if there were very few options for flavors but I loved the vanilla anyways. It seems like the only other choices I remember when young were chocolate and strawberry. But today there's as many recipes and flavors as Carter has pills! I was in a Goodwill store the other day and there were two Cuisinart Ice Cream makers and the price was only five dollars for one and four for the other. They seemed to work and were very clean. Someone had hardly used them. I had been thinking about doing honey ice cream to add to our event schedule. We have a Saturday farmer's market we do during May through October and we have several big shows coming up. I know that some of those days will be cold but I plan on having it for take home in frozen containers.


I scream.... You scream...... We all scream for Ice Cream! Author unknown (He was very popular)

So here is the recipe I used today and it came out great!


¾ Cup Raw Honey

½ Cup Cocoa powder

¼ Cup Butter

1 Pinch Sea Salt

½ tsp Vanilla Extract (I prefer the Mexican Variety)

1 Cup Heavy cream

2 Cups whole milk

1.Combine honey and cocoa powder in a medium sauce pan; stir to incorporate.

2.Add the butter, turn the heat to low on the pan, and continually stir to combine.

3.Turn off the heat once most of the butter has melted and continue stirring until the butter is fully incorporated.

4.Add the cream a little at a time, stirring after each addition, to fully incorporate the chocolate sauce.

5.Add the whole milk; stir to combine.

6.Refrigerate for 2+ hours.

7.Follow the instructions on your model of ice cream maker and enjoy!


Be sure to also check out our Recipe of the Month for an additional Homemade Honey Ice Cream Recipe! 

We have lots of exciting news this month and information for your beekeeping experience that we hope you will find useful. Our president Gene Brandi has a great government relations report on his recent attendance to testify on behalf of the ABF at a House Ag Committee Farm Bill listening session in Modesto, California. Gene has been active all year working on your behalf and I hope you drop him a line at gbrandi@sbcglobal.net and thank him for all his hard work and efforts on behalf of ABF and all beekeepers in the country. We also have an update from Anna Kettlewell, our chair for the Honey Queen Committee and she does a great job working every month keeping the girls booked and flying around the country and..... safe! Thank you. Anna for your hard work! This month, Queen Maia and Princess Hope will “bee” traveling to fairs in Ohio, New Jersey, Washington, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Between them, they will visit 10 different venues reaching millions of consumers! Thanks, you two for doing such a great job delivering the sweet message of honey and honey bees across the country!
Sarah Red-Laird has a great report on the recent EAS Kids and Bees event and we appreciate her works for this vital program educating kids all over the country about our honey bees and their benefits. Thank You! Please visit her Facebook page for more pictures of the day. She is currently looking for volunteers for the 2018 ABF Conference & Tradeshow Kids and Bees day! If you are interested, please contact her at Sarah@beegirl.org. There's lots of great information in the new buzzmakers and the NHB recent honey beer competition you might want to enter this event next year and add to the number of entries. Sounds like fun!
Once again, I hope you find your time spent here worth your while and if there's anything you would like to see or report on just contact me at tuckerb@hit.net. Thanks again for stopping by!


President's Greeting & Government Relations

by Gene Brandi, ABF President

While August is generally a busy time for beekeepers as we extract honey, perhaps move bees to late summer crop pollination, monitor and treat for mites, and generally wind down the season in advance preparation for autumn and winter, it is vacation time for many people in the US and throughout the world. August is also the month when Congressional representatives spend a great deal of time back in their home districts to attend local events and to hear directly from their constituents. If you have never contacted your local Congressional representative, it is a good idea to do so, even if you only convey the fact that you are a beekeeper and are concerned about the many health issues facing our bees. The health of our bees remains a top of mind topic with the public and politicians alike so you are likely to meet with sympathetic ears.

I took advantage of the Congressional August recess when I testified on behalf of the ABF at a House Ag Committee Farm Bill listening session in Modesto, California the first Saturday in August. There were five Congressmen in attendance including Ag Committee Chairman Conaway, and members Denham, La Malfa, Valadao, and Evans. Each person only had two minutes of time to testify so the messages needed to be concise and to the point as some people did get cut off for going over time. It is interesting that the majority of the testimony concerned the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program. It has baffled me for many years why this program, which used to be called food stamps, is part of the Farm Bill, but non- the less it does make up a substantial portion of each Farm Bill and has many supporters.

My testimony began with a reminder that our bees and bee industry are not as healthy as they used to be and that recent news proclaiming that the national bee colony numbers are increasing do not tell the whole story. It is only through the hard work and dedication of the nation’s beekeepers, who annually rebuild and restock the hives which continue to die at unsustainable rates, that our industry can stay afloat. Varroa mites, exposure to pesticides, inadequate nutrition, and certain diseases continue to take their toll on the nation’s honey bees.

I stressed the fact that we believe it is important for USDA and all Federal agencies to embrace the framework of the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators, and that honey bees should be allowed on all USDA conservation program lands. I asked that Conservation Reserve Program acreage be raised to at least 40 million acres, which could greatly help honey bees and all pollinators, especially if seed mixes can be made more affordable and include more pollinator friendly plant species.

Increased access for managed honey bees on Federal lands could provide some much needed clean, uncontaminated floral resources for our bees. ELAP, NAP, and Federal Crop Insurance are helpful programs that provide a safety net for beekeepers and I urged that they be continued or expanded. I stressed the importance of USDA research and the need to fully staff the new ARS facility in Davis, California. All in all, it was a great opportunity to convey our messages to the Congressmen, and it was convenient to have the listening session only an hour away from home!

Remember that Early Bird registration for the 75th Annual ABF Conference & Tradeshow in Reno is up and running. Check out the registration page on the ABF Conference website to take advantage of these discounted rates and save!

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

Upcoming Sessions:

Honey Bee Nutrition & The Importance of Feeding your Bees

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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 / 2:00 p.m. HST

Frank Licata, Operations Manager; Mann Lake Ltd

Click here to learn more and to register!


 The Mite-A-Thon: A Citizen Science Project

The first annual Mite-A-Thon will take place Saturday, September 9 to Saturday, September 16, 2017 and we invite you to participate!


The Mite-A-Thon is a national effort to collect mite infestation data and to visualize varroa infestations in honey bee colonies across North America within a one week window. All beekeepers will be asked to participate, creating a rich distribution of sampling sites in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Their varroa monitoring data will be uploaded to www.mitecheck.com.


1) Raise awareness about honey bee colony varroa infestations in North America through effective monitoring methods.

2) Management strategies will be made available for discussion within bee organizations utilizing Mite-A-Thon partner developed information and outreach materials.


All beekeepers are welcome to participate – we need bee associations to help lead this effort!


1. Participate in September, through meetings, newsletters, emails, social media etc. - http://www.pollinator.org/miteathon

2. Teach new beekeepers how to monitor for mites in August. http://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/varroa/

3. Prepare your monitoring materials

4. Monitor mites effectively and report the data.



Participants will monitor the level of mites (number of mites per 100 bees) using a standardized protocol utilizing two common methods of assessment (powdered sugar roll or alcohol wash) and then enter data, including location, total number of hives, number of hives tested, local habitat, and the number of varroa mites counted from each hive. The published information will not identify individual participants.


There is no cost. You can create your own test materials or kits can be purchased online. Some scholarships are available (js@pollinator.org).


CONTACT: Miteathon@pollinator.org or 415-362-1137
Learn more and stay up to date at www.pollinator.org/miteathon!

Call for 2017 Pollinator Award Nominations



Each year The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) presents awards to pollinator advocates and farmer ranchers who have worked for years to promote pollinators. These awardees understand just how important pollinators are to food, culture, and life. They have taken that extra step to help out the birds, bees, butterflies, moths, and bats that support agriculture and ecosystems everywhere. NAPPC, through its recognition and appreciation of these individuals, encourages their activities and hopes to catalyze future actions on behalf of pollinators.

Consider nominating someone for one of the following awards:

The Pollinator Advocate Award recognizes individuals or organizations that have contributed significantly to pollinator species protection and conservation and to public education, resulting in increased awareness of the importance of pollination. (US, CANADA, MEXICO)

The Farmer Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award recognizes the unique contributions that members of the agricultural community make to pollinator where they are needed most – supporting our food supply. (US and Canada)

Nominations are due – FRIDAY, AUGUST 31st, 2017

Visit http://www.pollinator.org/awards.htm for more information and to download nomination forms!

Past winners profiled on the site.  Here’s 2016:

Lakhy Sran - Sran Family Orchards


The winner of this year's U.S. Farmer-Rancher Award is Lakhy Sran. Lakhy is a partner and second-generation grower at Sran Family Orchards. Located in Kerman, California, Sran Family Orchards is the largest grower of organic almonds. Under Lakhy's direction, Sran Family Orchards has been a leader in sustainability and bee friendly farming practices. Here to accept the award on Lakhy's behalf is Jason Hickman, Grower Relations at Sran Family Orchards.

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

Honey Beer Competition Creates Quite the Buzz

Last month the National Honey Board (NHB) hosted its third annual Honey Beer Competition, and couldn’t be more thrilled with the buzz it has created amongst the craft brewing community.

When the NHB launched its annual Honey Beer Competition in 2015 just over 25 beers were submitted to be judged by three judges in just two categories – Ales and Lagers. The NHB was very excited to announce its very first Honey Beer Competition winner – Honey Kolsch by Rogue Ales, Best in Show Gold Medal.
One year later, more than 50 beers were submitted, resulting in the addition of six more judges and seven new categories.

Submitted beers would thus be categorized into the following groups:

 • General Lager
• General Ale
• Wheat Beer
• Belgian-Style Ale
• Fruit and Spiced Beer
• Braggot
• Stouts and Porters
• Other

Holding steady to its crown, Rogue Ales’ Honey Kolsch came out victorious for the second year in a row.

In 2017, the third year of the Honey Beer Competition, has continued to see success, interest and growth. This year more than 105 beers were submitted and judged by 14 judges representing the Beer Judge Certification Program. All of the buzz resulted in
the creation of yet another category – cider. The NHB couldn’t be prouder of the excitement that this program has incited within the brewing community and is pleased to announce the 2017 Best in Show Gold Medalist – Gossamer Wings by The Tap
Brewery in Bloomington, Indiana.

Gossamer Wings is a traditional German Kolsch with wildflower honey. The honey in the beer lightens the body and provides a soft floral honey note, making the beer easy to enjoy on a hot summer day. In addition to Best in Show, The Tap Brewery also
took home the Best Belgian-Style Ale for its Electric Stinger.

Find the full list of winners at www.honeybeercompetition.com.


Kids and Bees

Kids and Bees Beekeeping Academy at the Eastern Apicultural Society Conference

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

Our most successful “Beekeeping Academy” to-date was held during the first week of August at the 2017 Eastern Apicultural Society Conference! Success was due to the amazing facilities provided by Dr. Debbie Delaney, the University of Delaware, and EAS, as well as our amazing crew of volunteers.

This year, we could host fifteen students, ranging from 3rd to 7th grade. The time and talents of the volunteers made it possible to accommodate the sold-out summer day camp. We were lucky to have Ann Chilcott, all the way from Scotland, Rachel Bonoan, a next gen beekeeper and PhD student at Tufts University, Judith Stanton, a Maine beekeeper, local Delaware beekeeper, Krista Lauterwald, and next generation beekeeper, Brielle Hermstedt.

We started the day by gathering at the UD College of Agriculture and Natural Resources commons, where students got to know each other, and created an art piece with crayons that I made from my own beeswax. We then headed down to the lab, where I gave a lesson on who and what is in the hive (queen, workers, drones & honey, nectar, pollen, beeswax, etc.). I also gave a brief lesson on our native bees, and what an important role all bees play in our food system.

Next, we bounded up the steps to study honey bees in an observation hive, and check out some pollen samples. Late morning, we dove into the muggy air and took a walking field trip to the UD Botanical Garden. We were met by UD entomology undergrad, Lindsay, who helped the students ID bees we caught. Students had an awesome time getting an up-close look at their honey bees, bumble bees, wool carder bees, carpenter bees, and more. They worked hard on sketching the bees in their little journals, and creating species lists. It was not easy to pull the kids away from the flowers to head to lunch and then the apiary.

Dr. Debbie Delaney’s picturesque apiary is what a beekeeping educator’s dreams are made of! The bees are sweet, the hives are spaced far apart, the views are epic, and there is even a swing – where three of her hives are sat to enjoy the scenery. We delved into the hives with the students in small groups. Everyone who wanted to, got to hold a frame, puff the smoker, pet a drone, and of course, spot the queen.

We ended our day back in the lab with an array of activities, encaustic art, bee parts in microscopes, beeswax candle rolling, honey tasting, and the UV bee view box.

The end of the day was punctuated with a closing circle, where the students shared something they learned that they didn’t know before, as well as their favorite part of camp. I’m always surprised by the diversity of comments. Some resonate with the honey tasting, others loved sharpening their beekeeping skills (many of the kids’ parents have hives at home), and many couldn’t wait to go home to catch and ID more bees for their species lists.

I loved that they were rosy and exhausted from a long day of playing outside, and never once did I catch a student staring at their smartphone.

Thank you, again, to the volunteers who made this day amazing for the kids! A big thank you to EAS Delaware president, Bob Bauer, for being so enthusiastic about the kids’ program, and working so hard to spread the word. Thank you to Dewey Caron for your organization skills, and advocating for kids’ programs. Thank you to Tammy Horn, for coming to visit our camp. Thank you to UD’s Dr. Debbie Delany and Dan Borkoski. And thank you to the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, and the Eastern Apicultural Society for all of your support!

Please visit our Facebook page for more pictures of the day.

- Sarah Red-Laird, Kids and Bees Program Director, sarah@beegirl.org

Honey Queen Buzz

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

August means fair season for the American Honey Queen Program. This month, Queen Maia and Princess Hope will travel to fairs in Ohio, New Jersey, Washington, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Between them, they will visit 10 different venues reaching millions of consumers!

Fairs allow the Queen and Princess to reach a variety of audiences with diverse messages through a wide range of promotional and demonstration opportunities. It is a perfect way to celebrate the bounty of products and the variety of sweet honey that our bees provide us. You will find Maia and Hope this month teaching consumers different ways to use honey, be it in savory dishes, desserts, or beauty recipes. They will show the public how we collect honey through open hive demonstrations and extracting demonstrations. These opportunities allow the industry to connect with consumers who are always eager to learn exactly from where their foods come. They will also put their sales skills to work, selling countless jars of local honey, beeswax candles, and other products. It’s really a wonderful time to celebrate the honeybee!

Several of our fair and state beekeeping organization partners will schedule additional events for the Queen and Princess beyond their main promotions (the fairs!) For example, Queen Maia had the opportunity to promote honey at a local farmers’ market in 
addition to her appearances at the Ohio State Fair. Other fair venues will take promotions one step further and have the Queen and Princess participate 

in special events outside the beekeeping organization’s exhibit. Princess Hope will help make beeswax candles in the Pioneer Village of the Indiana State Fair, and Queen Maia will provide bee and honey facts to hundreds of fairgoers attending concerts on the grandstand at the Clark County Fair in Washington. Every additional promotion opportunity goes a long way to increase your organization’s sales and educational efforts.

2017 is taking off, but we are always preparing for our 2018 representatives. If you are starting to plan for your 2018 fair or event, contact me to schedule a visit now! Reach me at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514 to put in your requests for 2018 visits. Happy promoting!

Happy promoting!

Bee Thinking

No One Guessed Last Month's Riddle! Here it is again

I am taken from a mine, and shut up in a wooden case, from which I am never released, and yet I am used by almost everybody.

What am I?


Think you know the answer? The first to email Sherrell Bailey at sbailey@abfnet.org will lay claim to another fun ABF prize. it must be your first time to win. 

Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News

  • This common herb will keep bee pollinators buzzing in your garden. Read More.
  • Antisocial bees share genetic profile with people with autism. Read more.
  • Asheville Bee Charmer launches a honey-themed cookbook. Read More.
  • Help save bees in your landscape. Read More.
  • Pollination threatened by artificial lightRead More.

ABF Welcomes New Members - July 2017 

  • Chip Lee, Maryland
  • Jason White,California
  • Jenny Gross, Wisconsin
  • Delbert Barber, Nevada
  • Kwame Boakye-Gyan, Maryland
  • Samuel Furlow, Arkansas
  • Bahadar Rizwan, New York
  • Mollie Vrettas,Michigan
  • Chris Niewiarowski, California
  • Jennifer Cartwright, Ohio
  • John Sullivan, North Carolina
  • Jim White, North Carolina
  • Virginia Gilliam, North Carolina
  • Lynda Walsh, Tennessee
  • Jeff Couvillion, Texas
  • Steve Miller, North Carolina
  • Abdul Mahmoud, Mississippi
  • James Taylor, North Carolina
  • Todd Swanson, North Carolina
  • Harvey Bunch, Pennsylvania
  • Dave Guard, Oklahoma
  • Bill Ross

Recipe of the Month:Homemade Honey Ice Cream


4 large Egg Yolk
2/3 cup honey
1/8 teaspoon Salt
3 cups half-and-half or dairy mix*
Optional infusions, add-ins or swirls see below


 Whisk together eggs, honey, and salt in medium bowl. In medium saucepan, bring half-and-half to a full simmer with any infusions. Remove from heat. Refrigerate until completely cool.

Process custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions; add soft ingredients such as 1/2 cup sliced bananas or raspberries half way through freezing, or chunky ingredients like nuts or candy during the last 2 to 5 minutes.

Transfer to bowl or tub, add any desired swirls and serve, or cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.

Add-ins: Half way through the churning add up to 1 cup of fruit. Or, during the last 2 to 5 minutes add 1/2 cup nuts, bits of pure honey comb or chocolate bits.


Recipe By: National Honey Board (www.honey.com)


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