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ABF E-Buzz: July 2017
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ABF E-Buzz — July 2017

In This Issue:








Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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


The dandelions and buttercups gild all the lawn: the drowsy bee stumbles among the clover tops, and summer sweetens all to me."
- James Russell Lowell

Welcome Back!

I hope this time finds you extracting tons of honey. I am hearing reports that there are good crops coming in here and there which is always the case it seems. It would be so nice if we could have some consistent weather to produce good crops for beekeepers across the country for a few years and help restore some of the viable financial status of our industry. I have heard that the crop from the southern hemisphere was poor and that has helped stabilize honey prices. Much of the large excess of honey stores from last year have been bought up so we likely have seen the worst of the low honey prices for a while.
Here in Kansas I am finding some locations that are doing very well again this year and some are needing fed. It's very hard to get a good average across the board. But some of these poor yards are struggling with European Foul Brood. As most of you know, you cannot walk into your local feed store and buy Terramyacin for treating your bees. It isn't that difficult however and what most beekeepers need to know is that you never treat while your honey supers are on! It is for use in the spring and fall and we need to follow directions for use. Some of our yards we should have pulled supers and treated the minute we saw signs of EFB. It is now too late for some of these hives that are actually dying. It can just devastate them if treatment is not timely.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has amended the new animal drug regulations to implement the veterinary feed directive (VFD) drugs section of the Animal Drug Availability Act of 1996. It is now necessary to obtain a Veterinary Feed Directive and have it filled out and signed by your Veterinarian to obtain TM from your local supplier. You can download a VFD at:http://bqa.unl.edu/documents/VFD%20Form.pdf

It really didn't take long to fill out the form once I got one and informed my vet on how I was going to use it. I usually do a couple applications with powdered sugar. I obtained my TM 25 from my local feed store where I have always gotten it. They just needed the form that I had obtained from my vet.
The 25 stands for 25 grams of TM per pound of mixture.
To produce dust containing approximately 267 mg of a. i. per ounce, combine an entire 6.4 oz. packet with 2 lbs. powdered sugar to produce enough dust to treat 36 colonies using approximately 1 oz. per colony of the finished mix.

If you are using as a preventative usually one treatment in the fall after honey supers have been removed is enough but if you are seeing issues it will be necessary to treat three times about four days apart to rid the colony of the EFB. Some beekeepers are suggesting we not treat at all but that is a sure method for losing your bees. I have already picked up or dumped almost 40 hives because I didn't do a preventative treatment this spring. I will not do that again. It is a very expensive cost for not doing a couple of spring treatments that would have prevented the situation I am looking at now. Starting in mid- August our bees start raising the three cycles of winter bees that will insure their survival throughout the winter. You need to make sure you do everything possible to keep your bees healthy during this fall production of bees.

Our ABF President, Gene Brandi has an article about an upcoming even that was the idea of the Pollinator Partnership. This meeting is being referred to a “Mite-A-Thon” and will be held September 16th.
There will be more publicity about the “Mite-A-Thon” during the coming weeks which will also promote the use of the Bee Informed Partnership/Mite Check programs.

There's also a Legislative Report from our Vice-President Tim May on a new bill by
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte who is planning to introduce a Bill for “Agriculture guest workers” It would create an “H-2C” visa for ag guest workers. There is a comment period through the end of July so please support these efforts.

We also have a report from our Honey Queen Committee chair Anna Kettlewell and she has updates on our honey queen and princess and their travels around the country to county fairs and events to promote the great image of honey. They have been buzzing around the country and have been keeping busy as worker bees! If you would like to book them into an event in your area you can contact Anna at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514 soon to reserve your autumn promotions with the Queens or to put in your requests for 2018 visits.
We also have a report from Sarah Red-Laird on the Kids and Bees program.

We also have some great new Buzzmakers for your information and another wonderful recipe. I hope that you find your time spent here valuable and that if there is something that you would like to see in an upcoming issue, please let me know and contact me at tuckerb@hit.net.
Have a great summer and stay cool!

President's Greeting

by Gene Brandi, ABF President

Mid-summer is honey making time and there certainly is a mixed bag of reports from around the country. Portions of the upper Mid-West are extremely dry while just a bit further east in parts of Wisconsin and Illinois there has been recent flooding. There are reports of some bees already being shipped out of the upper Mid- West due to the dry conditions and lack of forage. It appears that it will be very difficult for many beekeepers in the Mid-West to produce an average honey crop this year if conditions don’t change quickly.

The welcome winter rains we received in California and other parts for the western U.S. last winter, which brought us a very good spring honey flow, also brought on a proliferation of grasses and other vegetation which is now dry and burning in many areas of California and the west. There have been dozens of major fires throughout California already this year. A large fire which has now burned more than 76,000 acres is burning between Los Banos, where I live, and Yosemite National Park. Another fire in Montana has burned more than 200,000 acres and is far from being contained. These and other large fires in the Mid-West earlier this year have taken away potential bee forage and hopefully not too many bee hives. Bee careful when placing bees in dry areas and make a firebreak, where possible, to keep your bees safer from the ravages of fire.

By now you have probably treated your hives for varroa mites one or more times this year. There is a new initiative this year called “Mite-A-Thon” which is scheduled to take place from September 9-16, 2017. The idea was spawned by the Pollinator Partnership, is supported by the ABF and other organizations, and all beekeepers throughout the country are urged to monitor their hives for mites during that week and treat if necessary. Obviously, most beekeepers act to control varroa mites throughout the year as necessary there is no question that late summer and autumn are a critical time for varroa control. There are many new beekeepers throughout the country who may not be aware of the need to control varroa and this initiative can be helpful in getting them up to speed. There will be more publicity about the “Mite-A-Thon” during the coming weeks which will also promote the use of the Bee Informed Partnership/Mite Check programs.

It is not too early to register for the 75th Anniversary American Beekeeping Federation Conference & Tradeshow in Reno. Registration and hotel information is currently available on the ABF conference website . Take advantage of Early Bird rates and register now! Don’t forget to sign up for 2018 American Honey Show and the Thursday night bowling event! Hope to see you there!





Government Relations Buzz

by Tim May, ABF Vice President

House Judiciary Chairman, Bob Goodlatte is planning to introduce a Bill for “Agriculture guest workers” It would create an “H-2C” visa for ag guest workers. On Wednesday July 19th, the House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee held a hearing on “Agriculture guest workers”.

According to Bloomberg Government, “The Legislation would alter the H-2A program to allow employers to attest that they can’t find U.S. workers rather than going through a labor certification process. It would also eliminate current H2-A requirements that U.S. workers be hired even after foreign guest workers have started work, that free housing and transportation be provided to workers, and employers pay an “unrealistic and uncompetitive wage” determined by the labor department.”

On Tuesday July 18th, an amendment to the Homeland Security Funding Bill was added by Representative Dan Newhouse (R – WA). The amendment would allow employers to use H2-A workers on a year-round basis and aloe non-seasonal businesses to use the program when they have traditionally been excluded. In the past Democrats have always rejected legislation that only focusses on a guest worker program rather than a program that provides some type of permanent status to ag workers.
A draft for the “Commercial Item Description” for honey has been prepared by the AMS Specialty Crops Inspection Division and has not been approved and is currently subject to modification.
The draft has received comments and suggested modifications by members of the National Honey Packers and Dealers Association, as well as the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) and the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA). A second conference call between Fran Boyd, Eric Silva, ABF and AHPA was held on July 20th. We reviewed the comments and modifications made on the CID and are still in the process of evaluating parts of the draft. So far there is a consensus that this CID will be good for our industry. The deadline for comments is set for July 31st , although we will be requesting an extension to continue to discuss the wording of this important document.

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

Upcoming Sessions:

Physiological Foundations for Undestanding bee Response to Insecticides

Wednesday, August 9, 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 Rinkevich, Baton Rouge USDA Lab

Click here to learn more and to register!

Mann Lake Ltd.

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

 More Details coming soon!

 Honey Bee Health Coalition Needs Your Help

 This summer, the Honey Bee Health Coalition will launch a competition to find the most innovative ideas to tackle honey bee nutrition challenges. Anyone with an idea for a creative new solution to advance, disrupt, or pioneer the field of honey bee nutrition is invited to apply.

Finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to leaders in the beekeeping industry, and a chance to win prize money to implement their projects. The competition will open for applications in August – stay tuned for more information!

Kids and Bees

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

"Now I want to be a bull rider AND a beekeeper!! But I'll have to miss some rodeos to take care of my bees." This was music to my ears last week here at the Montana Farmers Union Summer Youth Camp. I’m in the middle of a two-week stint in rural Montana, teaching local farm kids all about bees. The camp sits about an hour east of Great Falls, in the Highwood mountains. Last fall, while giving a talk to adult farmers at the Northwest Farmers Union annual convention, I was approached by MFU President, Alan Merrill. Impressed with my enthusiasm for kids, bees, and farming, and the fact that I’m a University of Montana graduate, Alan thought this youth camp would be a great fit.

I have been searching for a farming organization to link Kids and Bees with for the last few years, and I feel that I have found the perfect fit. Why farmers, and why kids? Because, kids are our future, and it’s never too early to start working with them to understand the importance of bees and the beekeeping industry. The present upcoming generation of young farmers have huge hearts, and a deep understanding of ecological systems. They are open to talking about sustainable agriculture, and are eager to learn all about bees, and how they can be part of the solution in preserving them.

Sustainable agriculture is defined by Wendell Berry simply as an agriculture that “depletes neither soil nor people.” William Lockeretz defines it as a food system that is “capable of enduring.” Fred Kirschenmann suggests making sustainable agriculture endure for our people, we need to gather in groups to support each other by fostering “information and imagination.”

Last week, I worked with 70 students, aged eight through twelve. This week, I have thirteen students, aged fifteen to eighteen. I’m posted up in a cabin with a car stuffed full of bee suits, honey, wax for candles and art, teaching posters, microscopes with bee parts, seed bomb supplies, and a host of other bee-centric materials. Montana beekeeper, Greg Fullerton, set up a teaching apiary for my students on-site. I also have two classrooms, and a captive audience. I’m able to weave through the week, dotting beekeeping lessons, native bee ID, bee crafts, and farming for bee tips, between archery, fly tying lessons, water games, birdhouse making, flag ceremonies, mandatory push-ups and all the other stuff a good summer camp boasts.



Spending day after day with these kids not only gives me the opportunity to answer all the questions they can think up, and encourage them to work for their beekeeper neighbors, but to also forge a personal relationship with the campers. My hope is that my love for bees will shine bright, imprint on their memories, and help to create a future with more flowers and beekeepers.

Camp Director, Violet Green, had this to share, “Knowing how important bees are is one thing, but seeing the impact that bee education has on youth has been a huge eye opener. In the past two weeks I have had the privilege to experience the impact that bee education has had on the campers at Montana Farmers Union. Getting to see all the campers get excited to see an actual beehive and taste fresh honey has been heart-warming in knowing that beekeeping will not be an ending agricultural career.”

I am so thankful for su
pport from the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees for helping to make this camp possible! Your dollars are hard at work, making real change!

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

Honey Queen Buzz

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

Bees are bustling in my neck of the woods and I hope you are experiencing the same in your part of the country! July begins the American Honey Queen Program’s busiest season.

July began with a midyear review for both Maia and Hope, with some additional media and presentation practice. We extend a special thank you to Louann Hausner for hosting us to conduct this year’s review session and for helping our representatives sharpen their skills so they are even better promoters in your states.

Fairs and festivals and local promotions rounded out the month. Hope made stops at the Maricopa County Home and Garden Show in Arizona, the Minneapolis Pollinator Party in Minnesota, and the Warren County Fair in New Jersey. Maia’s stops included visits to the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa for some local promotions, including media interviews and a presentation to employees at the John Deere World headquarters about our industry. Her fair stops included the Ohio State Fair.

All these promotions allowed the Queen and Princess to speak to the public not only about the agricultural impact of the honeybee, but also about its sweetest product – Honey! Fairs and festivals allow the Queens to demonstrate the use of our hive products, and each had the opportunity to do so at their various stops this month. Product promotion is a critical component of their roles for our industry and the next several months will bring this to the forefront of their promotional work for us!

Stay tuned to the details of their promotional stops by visiting and liking the American Honey Queen Program’s Facebook page. Contact me at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514 soon to reserve your autumn promotions with the Queens or to put in your requests for 2018 visits.

Happy promoting! 

Good Food Awards: Entry Period is Open

For a long time, certifications for responsible food production and awards for superior taste have remained distinct—one honors social and environmental responsibility, while the other celebrates flavor. The Good Food Awards recognize that truly good food—the kind that brings people together and builds strong, healthy communities—contains all of these ingredients. We take a comprehensive view, honoring people who make food that is delicious, respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions.

The entry period for the 2018 Good Food Awards has begun, and will be open until July 31, 2017! Entries will be judged at our annual blind tasting on September 17, 2017.

We invite you to fill out our quick online entry form, and then sit tight for more information in August about shipping your entries for judging!


 For Entry information visit their site here.

Celebrating 100 years- Educating for Another 100

The North Carolina State Beekeepers Association celebrated their 100th year of organized beekeeping July 13-15, 2017 in Winston Salem NC. This centennial event; “Celebrating 100 Years – Educating for Another 100”, was attended by 825 members, speakers and guests. The celebration and educational program was part of the annual NCSBA Summer Conference.

The first statewide meeting of the NCSBA was held in Winston Salem, January 11, 1917. Undaunted by a severe snow storm, the group; which included A.I. Root, was able to lay the ground work for today’s association. Naturally it was thought to be an important sentiment to hold the centennial anniversary in the same city.
Since those inaugural efforts, the association has grown to a current membership of over 4500 members with 77 local chapters and has not missed an annual conference during any of those one hundred years. 
Education is the primary mission of the NCSBA and its conferences and that was exemplified by the number of featured speakers and multiple breakout sessions made available to attending members. Vendors were well represented with about fifty showing, including ABF’s own Executive Director, Regina Robuck! She faithfully hosted her kiosk and generously shared information regarding the ABF with may attendees.

The NCSBA also supports many other state-wide programs to promote, educate encourage our beekeepers. Some of the major programs are the very successful Master Beekeeping Program, Born and Bred in North Carolina queen rearing program and the Certified Honey Program.
North Carolina hosts two statewide conferences each year, joining South Carolina on alternate years for the Spring Conference.

Bee Thinking

Congrats to our last Bee Thinking Riddle winner: Frederick Smith!!

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

  • South Carolinia 4-H'ers excited about new honey bee project. Read More.
  • Second Lady Karen Pence brings buzz to VP residence . Read more.
  • Honey bee's create all the "buzz" on HCC campus. Read More.
  • Studies mixed on pesticide's effect on bees. Read More.
  • Honey 101 . Read More.

ABF Welcomes New Members - June 2017 


  • Andrew Bayless, Utah
  • Bradford Leaser, California
  • Cathy Jo Rufer,  Minnesota
  • Charles Adams, Texas
  • Claudia Richards,  Massachusetts
  • David Stroud,  South Carolina
  • Devin House, Pennsylvania
  • Edward McNeeley, Tennessee
  • James Howard, New York
  • Jeff Stachnik, Pennsylvania
  • Joel Hardy, Texas
  • John Turpin, Maryland
  • Keith Lehmann, Florida
  • Kelley Hinton, Texas
  • Paolina Amadio, California
  • Robert Aspinwall, Florida
  • Ruth Ramos, Texas
  • Susan Harry, Florida
  • Tyler & Kent Boss, Missouri
  • Wayne Simmons, New York

Recipe of the Month: Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken & Veggies

The easiest one pot recipe ever. Simply throw everything in and that’s it! No cooking, no sautéing. 


Yield: 4 Servings

Prep Time: 10 mins. Cook Time: 8hrs. 5mins.


  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 16 ounces baby red potatoes, halved
  • 16 ounces baby carrots
  • 16 ounces green beans, trimmed
  •  2 tbs chopped fresh parsley leaves

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper



In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, ketchup, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and pepper.
Place chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots and soy sauce mixture into a 6-qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, basting every hour. Add green beans during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
OPTIONAL: Preheat oven to broil. Place chicken thighs onto a baking sheet, skin side up, and broil until crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
Serve chicken immediately with potatoes, carrots and green beans, garnished with parsley, if desired.


Recipe By: Damn Delicious


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