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ABF E-Buzz: January 2016
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ABF E-Buzz — January 2016

In This Issue:

Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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

In January it's so nice,

While slipping on the sliding ice,

To sip hot chicken soup with rice.

Sipping once, sipping twice,

Sipping chicken soup with rice.

In January.

-Maurice Sendak

Welcome back! Winter has finally caught us here is Southeast Kansas, and the upper Midwest has some really cold temperatures way below zero gripping the area. I'm sure it was a rough trip home for those living in the northern part of the country returning from the 2016 ABF Conference & Tradeshow in Ponte Vedra Beach (Jacksonville), Florida. While the weather wasn't what it had been the week before, with highs in the 80's, it was much warmer there than in other parts of the country, and especially Canada. We had quite a number of Canadian friends there as well who are going to join us officially in next year’s joint conference in Galveston, Texas.

At this year’s ABF Conference & Tradeshow, we had over 850 in attendance. There were people from all over the country meeting new folks and visiting with old friends. There's just never enough time to spend with everyone. The Thursday evening trip to the Jacksonville Zoo was a real treat, and many had a chance to view the Jaguars there. I heard the reptile house was very enjoyable as well. The best thing was an opportunity to visit for a few hours and share some great food and drink in the beautiful zoo setting. It had threatened to rain, but only a few sprinkles were present at the beginning and fortunately never really dampened the spirit. We are hoping for the biggest turnout ever in 2017, with the American Honey Producers Association and the ABF hosting a joint conference.

The ABF membership elected new ABF President Gene Brandi, who has served well as vice president during the past two years, and I have so appreciated his help and advice during my term as president. ABF will is in good hands with Gene at the helm, along with new ABF Vice President Tim May. Tim is a third generation beekeeper from Illinois and supplies lots of stores in the Chicago area with honey. Tim has served on the board the past couple of years and has a good appreciation for board-level operations.

One of the many other highlights of the conference was having an opportunity to talk again with my friend Gene Killion, who was there with his son Mark. I hadn't seen Gene in quite a while, but it was nice that he could be there in Jacksonville. Gene wrote the book on competing in honey shows, and I don't think there will be anyone who ever surpasses the number of ribbons he won over the decades that he was actively competing in the American Honey Show. He holds the record for producing comb honey, and his presentation on producing comb honey was standing room only. Gene is 92 and still gets around very well. I think he was moving better than I was during the meeting, as I was hobbling around on a pair of new knees. The most wonderful thing about these meetings is seeing old friends and again making new ones, so don't miss a chance to be involved in our conferences when you can.

During the past few months, you may have seen some articles in the media regarding Dr. Jonathan Lundgren. Dr. Jonathan Lundgren is one of the scientists looking into the challenges faced by bees. He received the USDA's Herbert L. Rothbart Outstanding Early Career Research Scientist Award in 2011, and spent 11 years with the agency based in Brookings, South Dakota. Jonathan has said that retaliation and harassment from inside USDA started in April 2014, following interviews he gave in March of that year regarding some of his research findings. He has been an outspoken critic of the prophylactic use of neonicotinoid compounds because of his research indicating that very low levels of exposure are detrimental to honey bees’ ability to navigate. Dr. Lundgren published a study on monarch butterflies and their developmental abnormalities when exposed to these compounds as well. Over the course of the last two years, he was put on leave and reprimanded for some of his administrative functions. When he was relieved of his team leadership, I wrote a letter of concern to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and to President Obama expressing our concern over Dr. Lundgren’s treatment for simply stating the results of his work. We feel that USDA scientists should be able to freely publish and support their findings without intimidation.

Recently, Dr. Lundgren has filed a whistle blower suit against USDA and has left the agency. He has founded his own company to do research in a sustainable environment called Blue Dasher Farm. We are supporting his efforts with a donation to help him get started. We are also suggesting that if you have a few dollars to spare you might consider donating to this cause right now. It doesn't have to be but just a few dollars, and if all beekeepers would help out these small donations would add up to big numbers (a recent fund raising effort raised over ten million dollars for the flow hive). This effort is important because Jonathan does some great work in the area of how pesticides are affecting our bees. If you would like to contribute to support Blue Dasher Farm, click here. I am sure he will greatly appreciate it. ABF is hosting a webinar with Dr. Lundgren on February 2nd at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. This will be a special webinar that is open to the public too. To register go to: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2929838220367717633

Once again, there are a lot of things to view here and I hope that all of our information is beneficial to your beekeeping experience. If there's something you would like to add, such as an article about bees or your beekeeping story, please send it to me at tuckerb@hit.netand we will get it in an upcoming issue. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you visit our website www.abfnet.org to view past issues of ABF E-Buzz as well.

Legislative Buzz

by Gene Brandi, ABF President 

On January 6, 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced its preliminary risk assessment for the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid, which indicates a threat to some pollinators. EPA’s assessment, prepared in collaboration with California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation and Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency, indicates that imidacloprid potentially poses risk to honey bees when the pesticide comes in contact with certain crops that attract pollinators.

This announcement is welcome news for beekeepers whose bees have been negatively impacted by imidacloprid under many scenarios, since this pesticide was initially registered for use by EPA in the early 1990’s. This most recent risk assessment was conducted using an enhanced risk assessment procedure which analyzed various effects of imidacloprid on the entire colony in addition to adult bee mortality.

This new risk assessment indicates that imidacloprid residues in cotton and citrus may pose a risk to honey bee colonies since they were detected in amounts greater 25 parts per billion, the level of concern EPA has set for this product.

EPA has announced a 60-day period, beginning January 15, 2016, for interested parties to submit comments on this preliminary risk assessment. Additional details pertaining to the submission of comments are included in a separate article in this issue of ABF E-Buzz. The ABF will be preparing comments for the docket and interested ABF members are urged to do the same.

This re-evaluation began in 2009 and is the first of four preliminary risk assessments on the neonicotinoid products most toxic to bees. The other products being reevaluated, whose revised risk assessments will be released in December 2016, include clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran.

EPA Update

EPA Opens Public Comment Period on the First of Four Preliminary Risk Assessments for Insecticides Potentially Harmful to Bees

From the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs - January 15, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened the 60-day public comment period for its preliminary pollinator risk assessment for imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, in a Federal Register notice published today. After the comment period ends, the EPA may revise the pollinator assessment based on comments received and, if necessary, take action to reduce risks from the insecticide.


The preliminary risk assessment identified a residue level for imidacloprid of 25 ppb, above which effects on pollinator hives are likely to be seen and below which effects are unlikely. These effects may include reduction in numbers of pollinators as well as the amount of honey produced.


The imidacloprid assessment is the first of four preliminary pollinator risk assessments for the neonicotinoid insecticides. Preliminary pollinator risk assessments for three other neonicotinoids, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, are scheduled to be released for public comment in December 2016.


A preliminary risk assessment for all ecological effects for imidacloprid, including a revised pollinator assessment and impacts on other species such as aquatic and terrestrial animals and plants will also be released in December 2016.


EPA encourages stakeholders and interested members of the public to visit the imidacloprid docket, review the risk assessment and related documents, and submit comments. All comments submitted will be accounted for in our final risk assessment. The risk assessment and other supporting documents are available in the docket at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketBrowser;rpp=25;so=DESC;sb=postedDate;po=0;dct=SR;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0844.


EPA is also planning to hold a webinar on the imidacloprid assessment in early February. The times and details will be posted at: http://www.epa.gov/pollinator-protection/how-we-assess-risks-pollinators

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

New sessions are coming up and new archived sessions are now available!

Click here to register!

Blue Dasher Farm Initiative - This Webinar is Free and Open to the Public! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2015

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

Jonathan Lundgren, PhD



Dr. Jonathan Lundgren has decided to work harder than ever to help the beekeepers, farmers, and ranchers instead of giving up. He is starting an independent research, education, and demonstration initiative to help train the next generation of scientists and farmers in how to produce crops using ecological principles. Rather than taking a piecemeal approach to solving the bee problem, Dr. Lundgren is working to solve the root of the bee problem “we need to transform agriculture to make an environment where bees and farmers can thrive” This research laboratory and demonstration farm will be Blue Dasher Farm, and he is fundraising to get the facility up and off the ground.


www.indiegogo.com/projects/blue-dasher-farm (check out the additional videos in the “gallery” tab too on that website)


Join Dr. Jonathan Lundgren on this informational webinar and see how you too might be able to help the bee problem. Click Here to Register! 

Palm Trees & Healthy Bees


Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, Welcomes the 2016 American Beekeeping Federation Conference & Tradeshow

By Regina K. Robuck, ABF Executive Director 

The 2016 American Beekeeping Federation Conference & Tradeshow celebrated its 73rd annual conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa. This five-day conference featured an abundance of educational sessions from industry leaders, research updates from the USDA-ARS labs, interactive hands-on workshops, a sold-out tradeshow and lots of networking opportunities.

We kicked off this year’s conference on Wednesday, January 6th, to over 850 attendees with the presentation of colors by the Terry Parker High School ROTC. We continued the day with industry lectures and a keynote presentation by Marla Spivak, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, on “The Remarkable Natural Defenses of Honey Bees”. The evening concluded with the welcome reception in the tradeshow with entertainment provided by the 2016 American Honey Queen candidates.

Thursday morning featured our Shared Interest Group (SIG) meetings with additional educational sessions and the election of the new ABF Board. The Auxiliary lunch/meeting featured presentations from the Honey Queen candidates and the opportunity to learn more about the Auxiliary. Additional track sessions were offered for our Beginning Beekeepers, Serious Sideliners and Commercial Beekeepers. Thursday evening, close to 200 attendees participated in the social activity at the Jacksonville Zoo, where they enjoyed dinner and dancing and a visit with several zoo animals in the Range of the Jaguar.

We continued our general sessions on Friday with research updates and a keynote presentation by Dr. Geraldine Wright, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, on “Ambrosia and Royal Jelly: How Bees Meet Their Nutritional Needs”. Close to 90 people participated in the Foundation Luncheon where they met the 2016 Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees Scholars:

  • Adrian Fisher II, a fourth year Ph.D. student at Texan A&M University
  • Meghan McConnell, a current Masters student at the University of Maryland
  • Carlos J. Vega Melendez, a third year graduate student at the University of North Carolina
  • Ashley Mortensen, a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab
  • Doug Sponsler, a fifth year Ph.D. student at the Ohio State University
  • James Withrow, a second year graduate student at North Carolina State University

Congratulations to these scholars who each received a $2,000 scholarship grant from the Foundation to continue with their course of study.

The Annual ABF Business Meeting was held on Friday where Gene Brandi, Los Banos, CA, was confirmed as President for 2016 and Tim May, Harvard, IL, was elected as Vice President. The members also approved a new membership campaign which is sure to draw many new members to the ABF. Watch for more information on this to follow.

The 2016 Honey Show live auction rounded-out our Friday night with proceeds benefiting the American Honey Queen Program. With over 85 entries, judging proved to be quite a task. Special thanks to Mary Kettlewell and all the judges for the time and energy involved in this year’s show. Congratulations to Norbert Neal, Elk City, KS, for Best of Show - Honey for his Extra Light Amber Honey and to Carmen Conrad, Canal Winchester, OH, for Best of Show- Related Products for her Honey Gift Box. For a complete list of the winners click here!

Saturday morning, over 80 commercial beekeepers gathered for breakfast and knowledge sharing. A new feature to the conference, this meeting proved quite successful and garnered great discussions. Additionally, 15 hands-on, interactive workshops were offered throughout the day.

The conference concluded with the ever-popular annual ABF banquet. Close to 300 participants joined for an evening featuring award presentations, Sweepstakes drawings, a live and silent auction, and the coronation of the 2016 American Honey Queen and Princess. The ABF President’s Award went to Zac Browning, Idaho Falls, ID, in recognition of his outstanding and significant contributions to the American Beekeeping Federation and the US beekeeping and honey industry. Dr. Geraldine Wright, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, was the recipient of this year’s Hoopingarner Award for the best scientific presentation of the conference. Congratulations to both Zac and Geraldine!

Of course the conference would not be complete without the coronation of the new American Honey Queen and Princess. This year’s American Honey Princess is Tabitha Mansker from Nevada, Texas. Our 2016 American Honey Queen is Kim Kester from Nekoosa, Wisconsin. Congratulation to both Tabitha and Kim and Thank you for all the amazing work you will do for the ABF and the beekeeping industry in 2016.

Save the Date: Please make your calendars and make your plans to attend the 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow, January 10-14, 2017 in Galveston, Texas. This will be a joint conference with ABF and AHPA. It’s sure to be packed with lots of fellow beekeepers so we know you won’t want to miss it.

Florida Families Were Abuzz at ABF’s Kids and Bees Event 

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


The American Beekeeping Federation had its busiest Kids and Bees event to date with approximately 700 attendees coming from far and near to learn all about honey bees and beekeeping. Kids and their families and teachers worked their way through over twenty exhibits at four main stations: the art of beekeeping, the science of beekeeping, the world of beekeeping, and the future of bees, it’s up to you.

The attendees surveyed reported the favorite stations being the observation hive, beeswax candle rolling, face painting, and honey tasting. The most educational impact came from the observation hive, the UV light / nectar guides exhibit, the pollination exhibit, and the anatomy station, featuring an anatomical diagram of a bee as well as a stinger, wing, and bee’s knee under microscopes. The majority of the kids were pre-k through third grade, and the majority of homeschool parents and teachers felt that the event was relevant to their current curriculum, gave participants the opportunity to think critically about the connection between bees, food, and people, and gave reasonable action items to help kids and their families play an active role in honey bee survival.

We also invited families to explore the tradeshow this year. About one third of the attendees poled visited the tradeshow, and one even bid on (and won) a silent auction item! Another family felt so inspired they also registered to attend the rest of the conference on Friday!

Our volunteers were surveyed as well, and also had some great feedback for the event. They really loved talking with the kids about bees, meeting the little cuties themselves, and meeting other beekeepers. Volunteers also enjoyed getting ideas for their own Kids and Bees programs, and appreciated that the ABF event grows and changes a little each year. Next year, we will work hard to have even more volunteers to handle the popularity of the event!

Thank you to our event sponsors, donors, and partners: the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Mann Lake, Glory Bee, Dadant, Emily Hilton from the University of Florida for bringing the observation hive and beekeeping equipment, Tim Tucker and others for donating honey, and Gordy Wardell for bringing almonds in the shell from Paramount Farms. So many thank yous to all of the new and returning volunteers and the Honey Queen candidates, and also the volunteers who spent dozens of hours prepping supplies in the weeks before here at Bee Girl World Headquarters in Oregon. The Kids and Bees event is a product of dozens of beekeepers reaching thousands of hearts and minds; thank you, all, for making this year a grand success!

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


A Look Back on One Sweet Year!

2015 was such an exciting year for the National Honey Board (NHB). We were able to spread the word about honey and its many benefits through our on-going programs in addition to taking on some new projects and partners.

In 2015 we continued work with many great spokespeople like Chef David Guas, Nurse Barb Dehn, cookbook author Marie Simmons and three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerry Walsh Jennings. We also continued, and in some cases even built upon, our partnerships with the likes of Minor League Baseball, Big City Moms and the Taste of Home. This year we attended some of our favorite shows and conferences like the Craft Brewers Conference, Flavor Experience and IFEC to connect with even more honey enthusiasts. We even hosted an event or two on our own like our Honey Educational Events and various Honey Summits. But 2015 was so much more than “just another year” for the NHB.

In light of honey being named the 2015 Flavor of the Year by Firmenich, a Swiss-based fragrance and flavor company, the NHB took on a number of new programs and partnerships in order to spread the good news.

We kicked off the year with our inaugural “Sweet & Savory” Scholarship Contest, specifically designed to support U.S. Latino culinary students with their studies. The winner of which was Monica Miranda of Los Angeles.

This year we had the great honor of presenting the very first Laurey Masterson Golden Amulet Award at the 22nd annual Women Chefs & Restaurateurs’ (WCR) “Women Who Inspire” awards gala and dinner in New York City. This award, in honor of Laurey Masterson, who lost her battle with cancer in 2014, recognizes women entrepreneurs in the foodservice industry. Congratulations to Kerry Diamond & Claudia Wu, Owners, Cherry Bombe Magazine, New York, New York on their win.

In 2015 we had many great opportunities to team up with some great companies and spokespeople on fun new programs:

  • Omni Hotels & Resorts
  • Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
  • Sizzler Restaurant
  • Mary Helen Leonard, Beauty Expert
  • Hilda Gabriela Hernandez, Quinceañera Expert
  • The Motherhood, blogging network
  • Chef Michell Sanchez, Latin House Grill
  • Dad bloggers Mike Adamick and Beau Coffron (Lunchbox Dad)
  • Christy Wilson, RD
  • Tasting Spoon Media, Food Blogger Network

We had the pleasure of joining Bump Club and Beyond at their first Gearapalooza event held in Denver, Colorado, where we had the chance to connect with new and expectant parents.

On the heels of National Honey Month, the NHB took our Flavor of the Year announcement to the Music City Food & Wine event in Nashville, Tennessee. A first time appearance by the NHB, this event gave us a great opportunity to branch out to a new sector of the general public, which we see as a real win for honey, and we look forward to participating in more Food and Wine events in 2016.

This year also marked the return of the NHB to the 2015 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo™ (FNCE®), an annual event organized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Staff at the NHB booth spoke with some of the more than 9,000 attendees about the versatility of honey and its variety of uses, both inside and outside of the kitchen. Armed with informative brochures and unique recipes, visitors walked away with new found knowledge on honey’s many benefits.

It was our great honor to name Rogue Farms Honey Kolsch the Best in Show winner of our very first Honey Beer Competition. More than 25 beers were submitted and tasted by three certified judges from the Beer Judge Certification Program. Submitted ales and lagers were judged on their aroma, appearance, flavor, mouthfeel and contribution of honey to the overall flavor of the beer. Overall, this was a very fun event and a great way to encourage more brewers to consider using honey in their beers.

We rounded out our 2015 events at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). After learning about a special Honey Day the university was planning within its residential dining program, the NHB thought we’d sweeten the pot and give the students an opportunity to taste a range of honey varietals and learn more about this golden ingredient. In addition to many tasty honey recipes created by the Penn State dining services team, students enjoyed a honey varietal tasting, taking photos with the honey bear and even received NHB giveaways.

To finish out the year we spent a week in Nashville with the wonderful Mark Boughton working on some shiny new photography that we can’t wait to showcase in 2016.

Looking back on a very busy year, we can’t help but think of how lucky we are to get to work with so many great organizations and personalities. Thank you to all who made our 2015 a year for the books, and here’s to a sweet 2016.

Honey Queen Buzz  

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

2016 Honey Queen Kim Kester of Wisconsin and 2016 Honey Princess Tabitha Mansker of Texas

Greetings friends! 2016 is off with a blast and the American Honey Queen Committee is excited for the potential in this new year!

On behalf of the American Honey Queen Committee, I extend our deep appreciation for 2015 American Honey Queen Gabrielle Hemesath and Princess Hayden Wolf. Each brought unique talents and passion for the industry into everything they accomplished for ABF. They were tireless product promoters, teachers, and spokespersons this year. They generated over $380,000 in free media publicity for our industry and aren’t leaving us. Each will return to their states to be active in their respective beekeeping organizations and businesses.

We are proud of their efforts and wish them much success as they continue their college studies in marketing and dietetics respectively!



Queen Kim and Princess Tabitha tour Henry's Honey Farm in Redgranite, Wisconsin 

Gabrielle and Hayden were very active at the 2016 ABF Conference & Tradeshow in Ponte Vedra Beach (Jacksonville), Florida, speaking about their work as industry representatives. If you couldn’t make it to the conference, check out the videos that they made about their years on the American Honey Queen Program’s YouTube Channel. Both Gabrielle and Hayden outline their unique experiences in two separate videos. Our Queen and Princess were also busy teaching area children about the industry at the successful Kids N Bees program with Sarah Red-Laird. They were joined by our 2016 American Honey Queen candidates: Rebecca Eldridge (Indiana), Jessica Onstead (Pennsylvania), Tabitha Mansker (Texas), and Kim Kester (Wisconsin). We thank these finalists for joining us at the conference to represent their state associations. The positions of 2016 American Honey Queen and Princess were bestowed upon Kim Kester and Tabitha Mansker, respectively. Kim and Tabitha have deep roots in agriculture and will be assets to our industry.

Kim and Tabitha hit the ground running ten days after the conference ended with their official American Honey Queen Program orientation and training in Redgranite, Wisconsin, for a five-day intensive session, consisting of learning the program’s policies and procedures, giving effective media interviews with on-camera practice, and beginning the 2016 social media efforts of the program. Check out the program’s Facebook page, blog, and YouTube channel to learn more about their training session. I thank our many trainers who assisted in polishing our representatives’ skills.

With training behind us, the Queen and Princess will start promoting the ABF, honey, and the industry in early February. Thank you to all members who contacted me before and during the conference with your promotion dates and requests. The Queen Committee is working on a schedule now, and we look forward to hearing from more of you about your promotion ideas for the Queen and Princess. Please contact me as soon as possible to arrange a visit! Happy promoting!

Bee Thinking


Last month's riddle was: "Sometimes we're together inside of a book. If you can scratch my back, we'll take a look." Robert Lamothe was the first to get the correct answer: Matches! 

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

What flies when it is born,

Lies when it's alive,

And runs when it is dead?

Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News

  • In PLOS One, an international team led by investigators at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign describes variant differences between scout and recruit bees in the forager caste of honeybees, Apis mellifera Learn More.
  • From modest farms to millions: Peshawar's neglected honey industry Read more.
  • TASMANIAN honey has been described as some of the cleanest in the world as producers hit back at allegations made in an Irish report published on Thursday Learn More.
  • Bees: The Tips Of A Busy Trade Read More.
  • Province drafts plan to save pollinators Learn More.
  • Beekeepers worry about impact of warm December weather Read More.

ABF Welcomes New Members - December 2015

  • Jerimiah Barnes, Michigan 
  • Janice Britz, Missouri
  • Zack Handley, Georgia
  • Keith Johnson, Minnesota
  • Deborah Klughers, New York
  • Dale Kuehn, Michigan
  • Lachelle Meir, Arkansas
  • Wesley Newman, Tennessee
  • Richard Robbins, South Carolina


  • Robert Bell Same, Florida
  • Michael Shen, California
  • Philip Strachan-Russell, California
  • Steven Stuhr, California 
  • Jacob Turner, Florida
  • Chris Turner, Virginia
  • Fred Voosen, Washington
  • Douglas Way, Indiana 



Recipe of the Month: Chunky Butternut Squash and Apple with Honey

Source: National Honey Board, courtesy of Taste of Honey by Marie Simmons/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC


1 (1½ to 2 pounds) - butternut squash , halved, seeded, and cut into 2- or 3-inch chunks

2 - crisp apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into ½-inch chunks

2 tablespoons - unsalted butter

2 tablespoons - honey 

½ teaspoon - coarse salt

1 teaspoon - minced fresh herb leaves, to match the honey (optional)



Place the squash in a steamer set over an inch or more of boiling water. Cover and steam for 15 minutes, until almost tender. Add the apples to the squash, cover, and steam for about 15 minutes longer, or until the squash and apples are fork tender.

Let cool slightly. Select the chunks of squash from the steamer. Scoop the squash flesh from the skins, or if preferred cut the skin from the flesh with a paring knife. Transfer the peeled squash and the apples to a large saucepan.

Add the butter and honey, and with a potato masher or a big wooden spoon, roughly mash the squash and apples, leaving some chunks of each. Add the salt. Sprinkle with the fresh herb of choice.

This is a great place to show off your most fragrant, interesting honey varieties. I love it with sage, rosemary, or oregano honey, but star thistle, wildflower, and many others will come through loud and clear as well.

Click here to read the full recipe online.

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