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ABF E-Buzz: December 2017
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ABF E-Buzz — December 2017

In This Issue:


Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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

Winds of December
Sweeping clean
All that remains of
The year we’ve seen.

What grew and bloomed
Now gone,... now past
Leaving seeds of hope
That are sure to last

The bugs and birds
And bees and men
Shiver and await
Longer days when

The spirit lifts
And life restarts
When all will know
Hopeful hearts.

So howl you must
To set things right
New begins cold on a
Long winter night.


Welcome back!
All of us here at the ABF are hoping that your holiday season will be a good one with family and friends and of course your bees! We also hope that you are planning to be with us in Reno for the upcoming 2018 ABF Conference & Tradeshow. One of the things that will be my last duty of having served the Federation for the past ten years or more will be to help find those who will step up and replace those of us whose time of service is winding down. I would hope that if you feel inclined to be of service to a great group of people that you would let me know or our President Gene Brandi or our VP Tim May. There are many good people serving on our board. but some will be stepping down.
We need inspired people to carry on the work. There is much to be done. We need those who are willing to continue the fight for the health of our bees and all of life that is in decline. Fighting for bees is fighting for a better environment and a better life for all that will come behind us. There is nothing nobler than to work for improving the quality of life and being active and involved. You make acquaintances with so many wonderful people. I have become rich in friends and relationships in my years of working on our board and committees over the years. Beekeepers are wonderful people!!

Our board for the past ten years has made some wonderful strides and I can say that there have been many decisions made that have resulted in our being in the situation that we are in. I was happy to be on the board that made the decision to employ Meeting Expectations to manage our affairs. We were not in sound shape in the matter of our financials or planning for our future. It was a big move and it committed us to spending more for our management at a time when we didn’t have extra money. But it has resulted in so many benefits that most do not know about. We have had some great help in insuring that our conferences have come off as well as possible. I would have to say that most, were complete successes.

When I first became involved we didn’t have a membership and marketing committee, an active education committee, webinars or an E-buzz. We didn’t have a Facebook presence that gives us outreach to an audience of close to 25,000 people each day. We never had a joint conference with the American Honey Producers Association and we didn’t work with them on most issues of legislative or policy issues. I did have goals and hopes and they have been realized with the help of sound direction from our management team and our past presidents like George Hanson, Zac Browning, David Mendes and David Hackenberg and soon to be Past as well, my good friend Gene Brandi. It has been a privilege to work with such great leaders of our industry. I will always be proud of the decisions we made, and I am so pleased that I did what I could to bring our two national organizations together. With the help of Jerry Brown from the AHPA and Steve Park we wrote the resolution that was passed to begin planning for the first joint conference in Sacramento. So as a new year begins I hope that I have done enough sowing of seeds and that those of you who are interested will step up for the coming decade to enhance and grow our Federation. You will not regret it!

This month we again have some great articles. Our President Gene Brandi has news about news about his time as ABF President and “winter time” activities. Tim May brings us a great legislative update on the mandatory ELD (Electronic Logging Device) law which is scheduled to go into effect on December 18th, 2017., The Livestock Haulers Coalition have been granted a 90-day extension for compliance (March 18, 2018). ABF along with AHPA have been requesting a one-year extension for livestock haulers. The two organizations drafted a joint letter that can be read here. 
He also has a report on a meeting that was held Tuesday December 5th with members of ABF and AHPA and EPA regarding labeling changes and procedures.

We also have a wonderful letter from Project Apis m which details the service of our President Gene Brandi and his legacy of working to advance the industry in so many ways including being a founding member of Apis m as well as so many other accomplishments. Congratulations Gene on a wonderful tribute to a great guy! Anna Kettlewell updates us on the activities of our Honey Queen and Princess and the promotions that they have been conducting on your behalf in the Honey Queen Buzz. As always, she invites you to contact her for promotions you might involve one of the young ladies in next year in 2018. You can reach Anna at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514 to put in your requests for visits.

There’s lot of great additional information in our buzzmakers and a wonderful new recipe as well. I hope you enjoy your time here and as always, if you would like to share some news or information, please contact me at tuckerb@hit.net


President's Greeting 

by Gene Brandi, ABF President

It is difficult for me to believe this will be the last E-Buzz article I write as your American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) President. The ABF membership will elect a new President and Vice President next month at the 75th Anniversary ABF Conference & Tradeshow in Reno. I wish them both the best during their terms of office. Of course, I will continue serving the ABF as immediate Past President and chair of the nominations committee.

I appreciate the honor of serving as President of the ABF for the past two years. There have been many challenges but also many opportunities for the ABF and the beekeeping industry during my time as your President. The public, many in the agricultural community, and even some politicians and government regulators remain concerned about the health of our bees and want to know how they can help. The honey bees “15 minutes of fame” has lasted for more than 10 years since CCD became popularized by the media. The old adage about “striking while the iron is hot” has never been more appropriate as we must continue to take advantage of this increased awareness of the value of bees to the nation.

Tim May has done a great job as Vice President of the ABF for the past two years under some very trying circumstances, especially during the past months culminating with the passing of this father, Phil May, on Thanksgiving Day. Tim and his Mom, Jeannine, took care of Phil, even though it became increasingly difficult in recent months. My sincere condolences to Tim, Jeannine, and the entire May family for their loss. Phil was a “true blue” ABF member, always a fixture at ABF conferences for as long as I can remember, and he will most certainly be missed.

“Winter time” for beekeepers has always been a very busy time. We are fixing machinery or other things around the shop, making new bee equipment, delivering rent honey (and other goodies) to our many landowners, who allow us the privilege of placing bees on their properties. We often put off other activities during the year because we are so busy with our bees, so we try to catch up in the winter. I particularly like the “winter time” as there is more time for the activities, plus more time to spend with family, including my 5 grandchildren! When I started keeping bees in the 1970’s, “winter time” in Central California lasted nearly 3 months from early November until late January. In recent years, however, it generally only lasts from just after Thanksgiving to late December as there is just so much more bee work necessary, before and after that time, to make sure that our hives are ready for almonds in February. The fact that “winter time” in the bee business does not last if in the past makes it even more special.

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is also a special time of the year because we can reflect upon the previous season and look optimistically toward next year. It is the time of year to count our many blessings. 2017 has had its share of disasters; drought, hurricanes, floods, fires and more, but through it all there is much for which to be thankful. I certainly hope that 2017 was a good year for you and that 2018 will be even better!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Government Relations

by: Tim May, ABF Vice President

The mandatory ELD (Electronic Logging Device) law is scheduled to go into effect on December 18th, 2017., The Livestock Haulers Coalition have been granted a 90-day extension for compliance (March 18, 2018). American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) along with American Honey Producers Association (AHPA) have been requesting a one-year extension for livestock haulers. The two organizations drafted a joint letter to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) addressing our concerns for the new ELD ruling and the need for an extension to educate bee transporters on the changes. The letter can be viewed here.

On Tuesday December 5th members of ABF and AHPA had a meeting with EPA regarding labeling changes and procedures. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Acute Risk Mitigation Policy’s proposed label change of removing the “Do not apply this product or allow it to drift to blooming crops or weeds if bees are visiting the treatment area” and replaces it with advisory only language of “This product is (moderately/highly) toxic to bees and other pollinating insects exposed to direct treatment or to residues in/on blooming crops or weeds. Protect pollinating insects by following label directions intended to minimize drift and reduce pesticide risk to these organisms.” As beekeepers we feel that the new advisory language is a step back in pollinator protection. The new language is only advisory and cannot be enforced.

EPA stated that each pesticide will have “enforceable” language for pollinator protection in the “Directions for Use” portion of the label. They stated that there are too many different chemicals and applications to have one blanket enforceable hazard warning. EPA assured us that the “Directions for Use” will contain strong language to protect pollinators. A new registered chemical “Cyclaniliprole” contains the updated Environmental Hazzard Label as well a Directions for use label.

Under the “Environmental Hazards” portion of the label the language states: “This product is highly toxic to bees and other pollinating insects exposed to direct treatment or to residues in/on blooming crops or weeds. Protect pollinating insects by following label directions intended to minimize drift and to reduce risk to these organisms.” Unfortunately, under the “Directions for Use” section there is no mention of protecting pollinators. This is a step in the wrong direction for pollinator health. We will continue to petition EPA for strong enforceable label language on pesticides. This will be a difficult task during the current political climate.

Bee Educated: 2018 ABF Conference & Tradeshow

ABF Conference Attendees-Know Before You Go


 We are excited that you are coming to the 75th Anniversary ABF Conference & Tradeshow. Join us on a quick "Know Before You Go" webinar that will hit the highlights of the conference and any questions you have before we see each other in Reno.

Tuesday, December 21, 2017 at 6:30p.m. Eastern
Click here to learn more and register

Project Apis m. :

Gene Brandi's Legacy of Service

Most in the beekeeping world have heard of Gene Brandi, Commercial beekeeper, beekeeping industry leader and volunteer, Current President of the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF), and owner of Gene Brandi Apiaries from Los Banos, California. For a great many, Gene is a life-long friend and trusted colleague. 

Gene stepped down as a founding board member of Project Apis m. last December after 10 years with the research-based nonprofit organization. PAm Chair, Pat Heitkam, recognized Mr. Brandi’s service from the podium at last month’s California State Beekeeper’s Association convention with his high school sweetheart and wife Christine at his side, and a full house of applauding participants.

Mr. Brandi’s attention turned to honey bee research in the 1970s with an interest in bee biology, bee health, changes in agriculture, and the increased risk of pesticide exposure to honey bees. He became convinced that investment in research was needed to find answers to problems facing the honey bee industry. “Clearly”, Brandi says, “the need for research into the problems facing honey bees has grown substantially since I first became involved more than 40 years ago.”

“Good bee husbandry has evolved considerably since the 1970’s”, says Brandi. “Healthy bees and a healthy beekeeping industry are necessary to pollinate the nation’s crops and produce the domestic honey demanded in many markets throughout the country. Varroa and pesticides are the most serious health issues facing bees. Bees also need access to uncontaminated forage for as much of the year as possible.” Brandi adds, “PAm efforts to provide additional forage for bees is a great idea.”

Unlike many beekeepers today who enter the industry as the son and grandson of beekeepers, Mr. Brandi began working with bees as a part-time job while still in high school in the late 1960's. And, he never imagined that beekeeping would eventually become his career, which would be passed to his son.

Mr. Brandi graduated with a degree in Ag Business from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in 1974, and began working as a commercial beekeeper formally starting his business, Gene Brandi Apiaries, in 1978. Brandi currently operates 2,000 colonies of honey bees throughout central California with his son, Mike.

Gene’s long-term service to the Beekeeping Industry is almost unparalleled. Gene gave many years serving the National Honey Board for 2 terms and was Chairman for 3 years. He served as President of the California State Beekeepers Association in 1987 and as CSBA Legislative Chairman for 20 years,, as well as numerous other boards, positions, and posts. None who valued his time will miss him more than Project Apis m. Through his generous service, Gene has strengthened the industry, enhanced public understanding about honey bees, and continues to be a tireless advocate for honey bee health.



 In Memoriam :

Phil May 1934-2017

It is with heavy heart I have to say that one of our prominent beekeepers has passed away! Our very own Phil May passed on Thursday, November 23, 2017 in his home in Harvard, Illinois. Mr. May was a member at Grace Lutheran Church in Woodstock. He dedicated his life to being a Beekeeper, he was known for his expertise in the field. For 60 years he was a member of American Beekeeping Federation he was also a member of Northern Illinois Beekeepers Association. He was an award winning member of the HaHa Givers Club and the Regents Sports and athletic club. He spent his winters in Florida and enjoyed playing softball and Bocce ball there. He was a Chicago White Sox Fan. He was loved and will be missed.


Please keep the May family in your continuous thoughts and prayers especially our very own Vice President, son of Phil May, Tim May. 


For more information please click here

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

The National Honey Board and The Pollinator Partnership Team up on Caribbean Bee Rescue Campaign

The campaign will provide relief to beekeepers in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico impacted by Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

FIRESTONE, Colo. (November 14, 2017) –The National Honey Board and The Pollinator Partnership are partnering to save some of the planet’s most important pollinators through the Caribbean Bee Rescue Campaign. Caribbean beekeepers suffered grave colony losses as a direct result of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, which destroyed a majority of the wooden hives used to house the bees. Those beekeepers with surviving colonies have struggled to provide the insects with food since the islands have been stripped of the flora that has typically sustained the pollinators. These challenges have made it difficult to raise healthy colonies that are needed to pollinate the islands’ crops and create honey.

In order to mitigate the impact of the storms, The Pollinator Partnership and its 17 partner organizations, including the National Honey Board, have set a goal to raise $50,000 for this initiative. The $50,000 will go towards the delivery of supplemental protein for 3,000 hives as well as the delivery of 1,000 replacement hives over the next six months.
“Hurricanes Maria and Irma completely changed the landscape of beekeeping in the Caribbean,” said Margaret Lombard, CEO of the National Honey Board. “By working with The Pollinator Partnership, we can make a significant difference in the lives of beekeepers fighting to save these important pollinators and continue harvesting honey.”

"The self-initiative and determination of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Island beekeepers combined with the solidarity and generous support being shown by donors leads us to have a hopeful outlook,” says Tugrul Giray, professor and Coordinator of Apiculture Industry at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, in San Juan. “We believe that with this support we will be able to remedy the immediate critical situation being faced by beekeepers, bees and other pollinators as well as looking forward to building a healthy future for pollinators in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

For more information on the National Honey Board and The Pollinator Partnership, please visit www.honey.com and www.pollinator.org.

About National Honey Board
The National Honey Board (NHB) is an industry-funded agriculture promotion group that works to educate consumers about the benefits and uses for honey and honey products through research, marketing and promotional programs. The Board’s work, funded by an assessment on domestic and imported honey, is designed to increase the awareness and usage of honey by consumers, the foodservice industry and food manufacturers. The ten-member-Board, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, represents producers (beekeepers), packers, importers and a marketing cooperative. For more information, visit www.honey.com.

About The Pollinator Partnership (P2)
Established in 1997, P2, a 501(c)3 headquartered in San Francisco, California, was incorporated in 1997. P2’s mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. Visit www.pollinator.org for more information.

Jessica Schindler: Media@nhb.org , (303)776-2337
Kylie Banks: kylie.banks@porternovelli.com, (310)754-4126


Kids and Bees Resource Booklet 

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

For the last year, or so, I have been working hard to take all that I have learned about leading kids’ programs for the past few years, and put it down on paper. This “Kids and Bees Resource Booklet” will be a guide for both beekeepers that want to teach kids about bees, as well as for teachers that want to teach their students about bees. For a sneak preview, check out the lesson below!

Worker Bee Life Cycle Game

3-LS1-1 Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.

There are 4 stages to a worker bee’s life cycle:
● Egg: The queen lays the eggs that will eventually turn into adult worker bees.
● Larva: Once the eggs hatch they are little grub-like larvae that are fed by young adult worker bees.
● Pupa: After the larva have grown enough they pupate to change into an adult.
● Adult: Adult bees have many jobs including nurse bees, house bees, guard bees, forager bees and scout bees. They work to help the colony thrive.

To play the game:

Explain the different life stages to students, connecting a hand motion to each stage.
o Egg: Make a circle above your head with your hands.
o Larva: Make a point with your hands together over your head, arms and body bent into a “C” shape.
o Pupa: Arms crossed in front of you like a hug.
o Adult: Flap your hands like you are pretending to fly.

Every student starts out as an egg
Two eggs play rock-paper-scissors (with the normal motions) with each other, the winner becomes a larva while the loser remains an egg
● Each student must then find someone who is in their life stage (egg, larva, pupa, or adult) to play rock-paper-scissors with again, with the winner advancing to the next life stage and the loser remaining at their current life stage.

● The pattern continues until the student becomes an adult bee.

● There are a variety of ways to end the game. The student can pick their “ending” after they “win” by reaching adulthood.
Ending number 1: the adult bee flies away to find a flower
Ending number 2: the adult bee goes to help (cheer on) eggs, larva and pupa (like a nurse bee would do)
Ending number 3: the adult bee guards the “hive” where the students are playing

Take it a step further:

● Students break into four groups and research (library, internet, pre-printed material) one honey bee life cycle stage.

● Have small groups of students summarize the information they found to the rest of the class and create a motion for that life stage (instead of demonstrating it for them).
This gives students ownership of the material and explaining it to the class will help them remember the material.
● Play game as described above, however this time the game only lasts for 2-3 minutes so that not every student reaches adulthood

Concluding discussion:
○ Who made it to an adult bee?
○ Do you think every egg laid by the queen makes it to a nurse bee? A guard bee? A forager bee?
○ Why or why not?
○Reasons bees might not make it: disease, pesticides, pests (Varroa mite, wasp, bears, starving, freezing)
○ What do you think the biggest obstacles for bees are when they’re trying to make it to adulthood?
This lesson was developed by myself and Southern Oregon University Masters in Environmental Education student, India Bolding. If you would like a copy of the booklet, stop by the “Kids and Bees” program at the ABF conference on Friday, January 12th, in the Nevada room between 9:00am and noon.

We are still in need of a few good volunteers for Kids and Bees! Local elementary-aged classrooms and homeschool groups are welcomed to join us, and we will need about 25 volunteers for the 20 stations/exhibits. About 500 kids and their parents and teachers will come through the exhibits. The stations need 1-4 volunteers each and include face painting, honey tasting, pollination, habitat, microscopes, arts and crafts, and more. For more information, or to volunteer, please contact Program Director, Sarah Red-Laird at sarah@beegirl.org or Program Assistant, Phylicia Chandler at phylicia.chandler@gmail.com, or call us at 541-708-1127.


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

Speakers Confirmed for Heartland Apiculture Society's 2018 Missouri Conference


HAS Missouri 2018 Communications Chair
(573) 426-3510
(573)466-3750 cell



Speakers Confirmed for Heartland Apiculture Society’s 2018 Missouri Conference

Five speakers have been confirmed for Heartland Apicultural Society’s (HAS) annual conference to be held July 11-13, 2018 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Established in 2001 by several professional entomologists, the conference rotates through the Midwest to make it easier for local beekeepers to attend sessions focused on the latest beekeeping methods and research.
Among the speakers confirmed to date:

• Dr. Marla Spivak, a MacArthur Fellow at University of Minnesota’s Bee Lab;

• University of Minnesota Bee Squad, a beekeeping instructional and public outreach program to encourage collaboration and public education about bees;

• Dr. Keith Delaplane, director of the University of Georgia Honey Bee Program;

• Jennifer Berry, University of Georgia Honey Bee program lab manager.

• Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp, University of Maryland Honeybee Lab, who directs the Bee Informed Partnership, the Tech Transfer Program and the annual national beekeeping management surveys, and

• Samuel Ramsey, University of Maryland PhD candidate and researcher.

More details will be posted as they are finalized at http://www.heartlandbees.org

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

It’s hard to believe that December is upon us. On behalf of American Honey Queen Maia Jaycox, American Honey Princess Hope Pettibon, and the entire American Honey Queen Committee, I wish you a happy, safe, and blessed holiday season! 

Maia and Hope had a third opportunity to work together this year in Illinois the first week of December. They gave presentations to high school culinary students, demonstrating how easy and versatile honey can be in a variety of foods. We extend special thanks to Tim May and Sunny Hill Farms for donating the honey used in these demonstrations! High school culinary, foods, and agriculture courses are great speaking opportunities for our representatives. Consider contacting a local instructor when the Honey Queen or Princess is in your area next! 

The Queens’ final trip together in December afforded them the opportunity to prepare for the 2018 American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) Conference & Tradeshow. Together, they worked on presentations and reports that will be presented to members at the convention in Reno. They are excited to share with you the final results of their year of service to the ABF and the industry through presentations and meeting you face to face. Both have expressed their honor to serve the ABF this year and their amazement in what a diverse and productive year it has been!

As 2017 ends, the American Honey Queen Committee is beginning its preparations for a busy 2018, including a busy training session with the new representatives and scheduling a full promotional schedule. Thank you to all members who have touched base with me already about your 2018 promotional dates. Please contact me now if you have interest in developing a new promotion in 2018 or scheduling a visit for the Queen or Princess to your annual event at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514.


Happy promoting!

 75th Anniversary ABF Conference & Tradeshow:

75th Anniversary Commemorative Rifle 

Purchase your one-of-a-kind American Beekeeping Federation 75th Anniversary Rifle today. Call and select your commemorative number to be specifically made for you !


American Beekeeping Federation 75th Anniversary Rifle #49 of 75 FFSB11549 Henry H010B 45-70 Lever Rifle Oct. Barrel Large Loop Lever
Certificate of Authenticity
To Order: Contact A&A Engraving at 605-343-7640 and have it shipped right to your door!

Special thanks to Joan Gunter for all of her hard work on this!


Bee Thinking

A man leaves home makes for left turns arrives back home to find two masked men. Who are the masked men?


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

  • Strict tests announced for New Zealand manuka honey exports under new MPI rules. Read More.
  • Orlando's Signature Dish Revealed.  Read more.
  • 17 Types Of Honey And The Best Ways to Use Each Variety. Read More.
  • Honey bees fill 'saddlebags' with pollen. Here's how they keep them gripped tight. Read More.
  • Bees are champions of the food chain-and here's how to help themRead More.

ABF Welcomes New Members -November 2017

  • Rita Bennett, North Carolina
  • Ron DiGiacomo, Texas
  • Cheryl Dodgen, Texas
  • Lexi Gegare, Wisconsin
  • Alicia Halbert, Washington
  • Andrew Holcomb, West Virginia
  • Adam Ingrao, Michigan
  • George Luther, Georgia
  • Robert Michel, Texas
  • Steve Moyer, Virginia
  • Mark Olivo, Connecticut 

  • Guy Semmes, Maryland
  • Hannah Sjostrom


  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces


  • Whisk honey, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes in a bowl.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir chicken in hot oil until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Pour honey mixture into skillet and continue to cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink in the center and sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes more. 
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