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ABF E-Buzz: June 2019

In This Issue:

Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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

Far up in the deep blue sky
Great white clouds are floating by
All the world is dressed in green
Many happy birds are seen
Roses bright and sunshine clear
Show that lovely June is here
- F.G. Sanders

Welcome back!

I hope your bees are working hard at putting away a honey crop. This year in Kansas, we have already had our annual total for rainfall, and the bees are not at their best. The flowers that have been blooming, such as our white clover, are not being visited because the sugar content of the nectar is likely too low for the bees to utilize efficiently. All this heavy rain is just too much.

Our lakes and reservoirs are all full to flood levels not seen since 1986. I was talking with Jim Belli from Chicago the other day, and he said his bees are not putting much in, in spite of them being in the best shape ever at the start of the Black Locust bloom. He had everything ready, then the cold and wet weather hit, and many of their days have been in the 50s for highs—not good honey production weather.

I am not sure why this year’s weather has been so crazy. I know it is as erratic as it gets. I woke up last night to the sound of thunder and had to run out quickly at 3:00 a.m. to cover a load of honey we were going to be delivering in the morning. I had checked the forecast at 10:00 p.m., and there was no chance for rain......right! I have heard good reports, however, from the Dakotas where the weather has been a little closer to normal and moisture levels are good.

This month, President Tim May has an update on the new ABF video that tells a story about what services and programs our members enjoy. Vice President Joan Gunter is back with a legislative update that the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee is set to look at H.R. 3055 soon. This budget consists of $383.3 billion in funding for important agricultural and food programs and services.

Anna Kettlewell, our Honey Queen Program Chair, keeps us up to date on the activities of the Honey Queen and Princess’s travels. Hannah and Nicole have stayed busy with activities in the Midwest and the Northeast throughout June. We also have a report from the National Honey Board on the Annual Honey Beer Summit in Austin, where thirty of the top craft brewers in the United States recently received a comprehensive education on brewing with honey. We can anticipate quite a few new honey beers hitting store shelves this summer!

There’s also a report from the Bee Informed Partnership Mobile Tech Team Training Program that introduces how you can be a part of the program. We have lots of new Buzzmakers and a great recipe to use with your freshly extracted honey. So again, we hope you enjoy your time here and find it useful to your beekeeping experience. If there’s anything you would like to add or see put in upcoming issues, please drop me an email at tuckerb@hit.net. We are always looking to improve our content and have relevant information for your benefit. Til next month, good luck with the bees and the weather in your area of the world!


President's Greeting

by Tim May, ABF President

The ABF has been hard at work putting together an informational video about the organization. This video has been in production for about eight months and is ready to be viewed! It gives a great overview of what the organization does for the beekeeping industry. There are interviews with members from all levels of beekeeping, explaining why it is important for all beekeepers to become ABF members.

Also included in the story is a summary of how the ABF works for the industry through legislation and research. The last part of the ten-minute video features the annual ABF Conference & Tradeshow. Some of the highlights from last January’s conference in Myrtle Beach are featured.

We decided to put this project together to inform all beekeepers, new and experienced, about what the ABF is and how membership will benefit them. It will be a great resource for the ABF to attract new members. The more members we have in our organization, the bigger the voice we have in Washington, DC. This is very important to all beekeepers, small and large, since legislation and agency policy will affect all of us involved in beekeeping.

I am encouraging members to present this video at their local bee clubs and to start the conversation about the importance of the ABF. We are currently working on the logistics for this campaign and will keep you updated.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone January 8-11, in Schaumburg at the 2020 ABF Conference & Tradeshow. Registration opens in just a few days!


Government Relations

by Joan Gunter, ABF Vice President

June in North Dakota has been nice indeed. We are receiving much-needed rain for our area in hopes of more to come. The Midwest has seen too much which has brought an end to most planting of crops. Soybean and corn markets are spiking upward as a result. There will be a shortage of good pollinator resources as well. Let’s hope for a better summer for these people.

Legislative News:

The House Appropriations Committee is set to look at H.R. 3055 soon. This budget consists of $383.3 billion. A per loan percentage of this is designated to Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA.

The bill funds important agricultural food programs and services, including food, medical product safety, animal and plant health programs, rural development, farm services, agricultural trade, financial marketplace oversight and nutrition programs, both domestic and international.

The FDA receives a total of $3.26 billion in discretionary funding in the bill.

The legislation provides $1.802 billion for farm programs, which is $32.1 million above the 2019 fiscal year level. This includes an increase of $30 million for 2018 farm bill implementation. This funding will continue support for various farm, conservation and emergency loan programs and help American farmers and ranchers. It will also meet estimates of demand for farm loan programs.

Another bill of importance to beekeepers is the Conservation Programs. The bill provides $3.28 billion for agriculture research programs, including the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). This funding will support research at all ARS facilities. Continued investment in ARS buildings and facilities is included for maintenance needs. The funding also includes research investments in U.S. land-grant colleges and universities, including a significant increase for the 1890 institutions and for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s premier competitive research program.

The bill increases the funding that will help protect and preserve public lands, build resilience to climate change, strengthen the environmental workforce and ensure access to safe drinking water.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is provided with a total of $9.53 billion.

The Transportation-Housing and Urban Development is provided with a total of $137.1 billion in budgetary resources with $86.6 billion in total for DOT.

This is just a small portion of this bill, but it is what is important to the beekeeping industry.


2020 ABF Conference & Tradeshow
Theme Announced: Vision of the Future

January 8-11, 2020

Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel
1551 N. Thoreau Drive
Schaumburg, Illinois 60173

Mark Your Calendar: Registration Opens in July!


Bee Informed Partnership
Mobile Tech Team Training Program

Want to work part time with the Bee Informed Partnership?

The Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) needs seasonal, trained beekeepers to provide assistance to its Tech Team members across the U.S. In BIP's new Mobile Tech Team Training Program, you will learn how to conduct comprehensive field assessments and sample honey bee colonies. To learn more about BIP's Technical Transfer Teams Program, click here.

When: Friday & Saturday, July 12 & 13, 2019
Where: University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Cost: $500 (check made out to BIP within two weeks acceptance to program) and mailed to:

Karen Rennich
4112 Plant Sciences Building
4291 Fieldhouse Drive
College Park, MD 20742

The course will include:
•  Hands-on training with current Tech Teams
•  Colony health inspection training
•  BIP sample collection protocol
•  Advanced disease identification
•  Tour of the University of Maryland diagnostic lab
•  Hygienic testing

How you benefit: After successfully completing the training, you will be BIP Ready Certified. Once certified, you will be eligible to lend a hand to BIP's Tech Team during short, seasonal, busy periods and get paid for it!

Sign up: To sign up or learn more about the program, please fill out the application forms here. The registration deadline is June 30, 2019. For any other information, email Tech Team Coordinator Anne Marie Fauvel at fauvelam@umd.edu.

Please note: This training will be commercial beekeeping-centric, focusing on assessing and sampling honey bee colonies for BIP. This is not a master beekeeping class and has been developed with the purpose to create a mobile, flexible work force for commercial operations and BIP. This program is meant to train Mobile Tech Team members who will work on a part-time basis, providing field support for BIP Tech Teams.

Lunch, snacks, and training manual provided. Accommodation, travel and dinner NOT provided. Number of participants is limited, registration will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis, and participating in the training does not guarantee future employment with BIP.

Click here to download the training program flyer.


Archived Webinar of the Month:
Beeswax & Honey: How It's Made

Presented by: Clay "Bear" Kelley, Certified Beekeeper and Senior Welsh Honey Judge

This presentation digs deep into what honey and beeswax is, where it comes from and how it's made. We all know that the bees make it, but how? We all know it comes from nectar, but how is it processed? This study will bring to light information that is assumed, but the details are not really understood. Everyone talks about Varroa mites, hive beetles, queens, overwintering bees, etc. Bear has put together great information about honey and beeswax that has always been in front of us but seldom discussed.

Bear Kelley is a Certified Beekeeper and Senior Welsh Honey Judge. He earned a Master’s Degree from Michigan State University and is a past president of the Georgia Beekeepers Association.

Click Here to Download the Webinar


NHB Hosts Top Craft Brewers:
Annual Honey Beer Summit

Thirty of the top craft brewers in the United States recently attended the National Honey Board’s (NHB) Honey Beer Summit in Austin, where they received a comprehensive education on brewing with honey. It was a successful event, and we anticipate quite a few new honey beers hitting store shelves this summer from our attending brewers.

This was the ninth Honey Beer Summit the NHB has conducted, and we’re always thrilled to teach brewers about honey and learn about their operations. Here’s a list of the top things we talked and learned about at our annual Austin Honey Beer Summit.

1. Honey beers are not always sweet! This is always the first thing we talk to brewers and consumers about when discussing honey’s use in beer. Because honey is 95%-99% fermentable, most honey beers will not be sweet at all. In fact, they will be crisp and refreshing with the aroma of a field of wildflowers. If a brewer does want a sweet flavor profile, they just add honey after fermentation, which will impact the trademark flavor of honey and give a beer a real depth of flavor.

2. If you’re in Austin, plan to spend a couple of hours at Jester King Brewery. We’ve been partnering with Jester King for the last three years, and it seems that every visit to their property gets bigger and more beautiful. Since our last visit, the farm brewery added a food program, closing the loop on the farm-to-table concept with both food and beer. They’ve also expanded their farming operations, and our attendees were able to take a tour with Farmer Peppy and walk through Jester King’s recently planted vineyard, check out their beehive and run around with goats.

3. In beer, old is new. We had the honor to welcome Dr. Patrick McGovern to this year’s Honey Beer Summit. Dr. McGovern is considered the Indiana Jones of beer. He travels the world and analyzes archaeological finds, such as serving vessels, then works with a brewery to recreate the alcoholic beverages people were drinking thousands of years ago. Dr. McGovern talked to our brewers about honey’s use in many of these early beverages, as well as his work with Dogfish Head Brewery to recreate and sell these beers. During his presentation, our brewers were able to sample Midas Touch, a beer that was created after analyzing a 2,700-year-old drinking vessel from the tomb of King Midas. This beer has found a following, and you can purchase it nationwide where Dogfish Head beers are sold.

4. Celebrating varietals. Tasting a honey flight is always one of our favorite sessions during a Honey Summit. For this event, we introduced brewers to honey from around the world, including chestnut, cranberry, radish and watermelon honey. While tasting, you could see the brewers already crafting recipes in their heads about how to maximize honey’s unique flavor in IPAs, lagers, sours and more.

The Honey Beer Summit has a proven track record of success in inspiring top influential brewers and leading to more honey beers hitting the market, and the NHB looks forward to continuing this trend in the months and years to come. Be sure to keep an eye out for new honey beers coming to a store near you.


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Honey Queen Buzz

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

June came quickly this year, and, in the Midwest, we’re eager for the temperatures to start rising so our bees start making honey! As we ready our bees throughout the country and start preparing for the busiest season of the year (fair season!), Hannah and Nicole stayed busy with activities in the Midwest and the Northeast throughout June.

Farmers’ markets are back on the docket throughout the country, and Nicole made her way to several in New Jersey. She touted using honey in recipes and taught consumers tips and tricks for using our wonderful products in their homes. Schools continued through mid-June in the Northeast, so Nicole also made her way to a few schools, teaching kids important lessons on how to respect honey bees during their summer breaks. She rounded out her month with presentations at a local library and an ecology center, teaching residents about honey bees and sharing tips and tricks for using honey through some product demonstrations.


Hannah’s stops in June included presentations to senior centers and local government bodies. She spoke about the importance of maintaining honey bee habitat in presentations to the government groups, encouraging leaders to allow ditches to contain pollinator-friendly plants and not to mow dandelions quite as fast. Hannah was also a guest presenter at the Wisconsin FFA convention in Madison, conducting two workshops about honey bees to eager middle and high school students, passionate about agriculture.

Hannah also made a trip out east to Connecticut, participating in an annual strawberry festival, making presentations throughout the greater Hartford region, and participating in media interviews. Thanks to Ted and Becky Jones, partnering with local farms and tourist attractions in the area have made the Honey Queen a draw for Lyman Farms’ annual event. Consider reaching out to your local farm festivals to see if the Honey Queen could add to the excitement and educational value of the event.

July is just around the corner, and the queens are gearing up for an exciting summer with promotions from California to Florida, North Dakota to Kentucky, and many states in between. We’re fleshing out the September, October and November schedules now, so contact me soon to arrange a visit from Queen Hannah or Princess Nicole. Consider having them participate in your fall farmers’ market promotion, visit area schools and civic organizations, participate in your fall fair or your fall beekeeping conference. Not sure what to do? Contact me, and we can brainstorm ideas! You can reach me at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414-545-5514. Happy promoting!


Buzzmakers: Beekeeping Industry News

Big data and innovations for healthy bees

Breeding a better honeybee

In Ohio, butterfly and bee habitats are springing up next to freeways

Beekeepers are now ‘farmers’ in Washington state

Insect pollinators contribute $29 billion to U.S. farm income

Diesel exhaust pollution may disrupt honeybee foraging

That big rig you’re passing might be full of bees


ABF Welcomes New Members: May 2019

Nick Castleberry, Arkansas
Tracey Dean, Texas
Lynne Dorsey-Smith, Georgia
Martin Eckert, Texas
Sue Falls, Colorado
Scott Farrell, Illinois
Lisa Gieser, West Virginia
Chris Lassak, Ohio
Pete Rekitzke, Indiana
Cynthia Thanos-Wade, Arkansas
Angela Tollerson, Montana
Stefanie Von Paleske-Bush, Florida
John Walters Jr., Texas
Lisa Michelle Willoughby, Georgia


Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon

Recipe by: Lena Abraham, delish.com
Photo of salmon provided by: Ethan Calabrese


•  1/3 Cup honey
•  1/4 Cup soy sauce
•  2 Tablespoons lemon juice
•  1 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
•  3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
•  4-6 Ounces salmon fillets, patted dry with a paper towel
•  Kosher salt
•  Freshly ground black pepper
•  3 Cloves garlic, minced
•  Lemon, sliced into rounds
•  Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish


Step 1
In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, lemon juice and red pepper flakes.

Step 2
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat two tablespoons oil. When oil is hot but not smoking, add salmon skin-side up and season with salt and pepper. Cook salmon until deeply golden, about 6 minutes, then flip over and add remaining tablespoon of oil.

Step 3
Add garlic to the skillet and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the honey mixture and sliced lemons and cook until sauce is reduced by about 1/3. Baste salmon with the sauce.

Step 4
Garnish with sliced lemon and parsley to serve.