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ABF E-Buzz: November 2016
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ABF E-Buzz — November 2016

In This Issue:








Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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


Besides the Autumn poets sing
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the haze

-- Emily Dickinson


Welcome back! I hope your bees are healthy and well prepared for winter with all of your entrance reducers in and winterizing done. We are still feeding a few bees that are light, but most are in good shape as far as winter stores go. This was an unusual fall in that we did have a good nectar flow to bulk up many of those hives that were healthy and able to manage the flow to their advantage. One of the things that I always look at in bees this time of year is to assess the quality of our hives and try to identify those that require a little more attention. These hives are usually lighter right now and will require some additional effort if they are to survive. It is also the time that we will be moving bees to winter locations where they will be sure to be out of most of the harsh North winds. I also want the hives located where they will receive maximum sunlight during the day. This is the time of year when they do not need shade of any kind.

It's amazing how much difference a few degrees will make in terms of survival. Colonies that begin rearing brood here in Kansas in mid to late January are the ones that become our best honey producers for the year. It may not be a big amount of brood and might be confined to small two- or three-inch circles initially, but the beginning of brood rearing stimulates the ongoing expansion of numbers of bees in the hive early on and greatly increases the chance of survival if there are plenty of food stores available. One of the things that I've noticed over the years is that the hives that can get going early are the ones that we can make a split from without impairing the ability of the hive to still be a good honey producer. With all the losses we currently experience, it's always a good idea to start the bees early in brood rearing with as much assistance as possible. 

I also overwinter a lot of six-frame nucs that will need extra attention, and I bring them together in a protected spot where they can be easily fed and tended to. Sitting them side by side reduces draft and, as you can see in the picture here, they will be easy to feed and monitor as to their weight and need for attention. For me it's all about reducing work load and making things as easy as possible. As I have stated here before, we all should be thinking about making summer nucs and getting them ready to survive the winter. Some people actually overwinter these nucs on top of other hives which is a great strategy as well. I used it extensively before working with these six-frame nuc boxes that do make it easy to manage and work a bit better. 

Here in most of the U.S. wrapping hives for winter is not always a necessity, but I employ it at times for hives that I want to get going a 
couple of weeks early to pull brood from for splits. So if you are thinking you need to increase your numbers or replace hives that don't make it through the winter, it is a good strategy to manage your number of colonies. Just make sure that you always have an upper entrance for ventilation so that the bees don't drown in condensation dropping from the inner 

cover onto the frames from the hive consuming honey and maintaining cluster temperature. The first winter I wrapped some hives, I actually forgot this and the bees were found in an early spring inspection to be all lying dead on the bottom board, a wet soaking mess that undid all of my work.   

This month in E-Buzz we have a great deal of information about what is going on in the world of bees and beekeeping. There's still time to make your reservations for our upcoming joint conference with the American Honey Producers Association and Canadian Honey Council in Galveston, so call the office at 404-760-2875 or go online and register today at nabeekeepingconference.com/. There's a special invitation from our President Gene Brandi. Tim May, ABF Vice president, updates us regarding legislative activities that are underway at ABF on your behalf protecting the valuable image of honey. We also have a great report from our Honey Queen Committee Chairperson Anna Kettlewell on what our Honey Queen and Princess have been doing the past month. These young ladies have been busy as bees this year representing you and the honey bee all over the country. There's also a report from Sarah Red-Laird on new bee-themed story books for kids that I know you will find interesting as well for your kids, grand kids or school programs. New Buzzmakers, a new riddle and a great new recipe will keep you busy for a time here and I hope you enjoy all of it! As always, if there's anything you would like to see added in the December E-Buzz, drop me an email at tuckerb@hit.net. Till next month, have a great Thanksgiving time with family and friends and start thinking about plans for 2017 ... it's coming soon! 

President's Greeting

by Gene Brandi, ABF President

It hardly seems possible that 2017 and the North American Beekeeping Conference are right around the corner. This joint convention of the American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association and the Canadian Honey Council is projected to be perhaps the largest national bee industry convention in history. There is still time to register for this great event now and save on registration fees, which will be more expensive “on site” at the conference. Whether you are a first-time attendee or a long-time ABF convention veteran, this conference will be a great experience for anyone interested in bees or the beekeeping industry.

December 31, 2016, will be the final day of ABF Complimentary Membership for those of you who took advantage of this special offer that allowed you to receive the monthly ABF E-Buzz electronic newsletter and to access the webinar series, including all the archived webinars, for free. I certainly hope that you have taken advantage of this unique opportunity to experience for yourself some of the benefits of ABF membership.  I urge you to consider upgrading your membership in 2017 by joining ABF as a dues-paying member. In addition to the benefits enjoyed as a complimentary member, dues-paying members are entitled to vote at the annual convention, and they also receive the bi-monthly ABF News, which will be mailed in hard copy to your address.

By joining ABF as a dues-paying member, you will also be helping to support the organization’s outreach efforts throughout the country as we endeavor to help the nation’s bees and beekeepers.

We hope that all complimentary members have found value in the ABF during the past year and will seriously consider upgrading their membership as a 2017 dues-paying member. Thanks to all members who have already paid 2017 dues. Hope to see you in Galveston!


Government Relations Buzz

by Tim May, ABF Vice President

Now that the election has taken place, a big concern for our industry will be the continuing resolution that will run out on December 9th. What will congress do on government funding is the big question. Will they issue a straight continuing resolution, or will they alter or rewrite the legislation? Continuing the Obama Administration’s task force on Pollinator Health is crucial. The administration’s excellent work on developing a national strategy on pollinator health is great for bees and beekeepers. Our industry is finally receiving some attention from the federal government through this program.

ABF, along with the American Honey Producers Association and several other agricultural organizations, has signed a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. The letter is a request for a Honey Bee Crop Protection Research Summit in 2017. The summit would explore such topics as the current state of science on crop protection tools and honey bee health; known gaps in research regarding the same; the basis upon which proposed crop protection-related regulatory and mitigation activities are based; and opportunities for public-private partnerships to address these issues in the future. We believe this summit will be a catalyst for collaborative efforts providing real improvements in bee health. We are also requesting that EPA participate in the summit.

We are still looking at acceptable alternative wording for the FDA’s new nutritional labeling ruling of “added sugars.”  So far everything presented to FDA by the National Honey Board has been rejected. This issue is very important to the industry and we will continue to work on an alternative to the ruling.

Here is another reminder that the Veterinary Feed Directive will start on January 1. Beekeepers using antibiotics will need a prescription for all antibiotics used on their bees. FDA recommends that beekeepers have a “valid client-patient relationship” with a state-licensed veterinarian to receive the needed prescriptions. There has been and still is some confusion regarding this issue. Dr. Mike Murphy, DVM, from the FDA CVM (Center for Veterinarian Medicine), has agreed to discuss this at the North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow in January.  Dr. Murphy’s presentation should clear up any confusion on this issue.

It is difficult to say what the new administration will provide for our industry. Let’s hope that we continue to get the attention and help we so desperately need. Hope to see everyone in Galveston. 

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

Bee Educated will be back in late January!



2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow: Celebrate the New Year with 1200+ of Your Closest Beekeeping Friends! 

Join us in Galveston, Texas, January 10-14, 2017


The 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow will be held in Galveston, Texas, at the San Luis Resort and Galveston Island Convention Center, January 10-14, 2017. We are excited that this will be a joint conference with the American Honey Producers Association and the Canadian Honey Council. As always, this conference promises to bring you the most up-to-date information within the beekeeping industry and the latest products and services offered by our many exhibitors and sponsors. BEE sure to check out the conference agenda for the latest updates on fantastic sessions and hands-on workshops. Make sure to register by December 16, 2016. After the 16th we will only have onsite registration. There’s something for everyone at the 2017 conference, from the beginner beekeeper to the experienced business owner. Not only can you participate in the many educational sessions, the conference is also a great place to network with speakers, vendors and researchers. Get up close and personal with hundreds of your fellow beekeepers when you engage in the several networking options. (Note: An additional registration fee may apply for each event.)


Be sure to join us Wednesday evening in the Tradeshow for the Welcome Reception. You can grab an appetizer or two and visit with vendors who are eager to share their products and services with you. On Thursday, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the 2017 Honey Queen candidates when you register to attend the Auxiliary Luncheon. On Thursday evening, we’ll be going to the very special Moody Gardens Rainforest for dinner and music. Our off-site socials are always fun and provide an opportunity to step away from the conference and get to know other beekeepers on a personal level. Don’t miss the Foundation Luncheon on Friday, where you can hear more from our scholars. Please be sure to attend the Business Meeting on Friday afternoon to learn more about the ABF and to help guide the direction for 2017. Then, join your friends in the AHPA banquet on Friday night. And of course, the ever-popular ABF banquet, which this year is also the Canadian Honey Council banquet, will be held on Saturday evening. Join us as we coronate the 2017 ABF Honey Queen and Princess and welcome the new ABF President.


For more information, please visit the conference website http://nabeekeepingconference.com/.

Click Here to view the full conference agenda.

Register Today!

As a member of the American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association, Canadian Honey Council, Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists or Texas Beekeepers Association, you should have received a member discount code to use when registering online. Please call 404-760-2875 if you do not have the discount code.


Special note about online registration: The member discount code should be entered on the third registration screen. That screen says Checkout (1 of 2). Look for a field called “Promo code.” Enter your member discount code and click on “Apply.” Your registration rate will change, reflecting the member rate.


We look forward to seeing you in January!


2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow: Call for Auction Donations

During the 2017 North American Conference & Tradeshow, attendees will have the opportunity to experience outstanding live and silent auctions. The American Beekeeping Federation is never at a loss for must-have auction items, including:

  • Beekeeping-related artwork, including paintings, stained glass and hand-carved pewter items
  • Honey and honey-related products
  • Unique clothing items
  • Beekeeping supplies and instructional books
  • Antique beekeeping items, such as smokers and hive tools
  • Household items in a bee motif, including coffee mugs, glasses, cheese trays and plates

The ABF is looking for auction items now. Do you have an item that you would like to donate? Your contribution will be instrumental in helping the ABF bolster its general fund, which enables us to carry out our programs to serve the U.S. beekeeping and honey industry, as well as work to preserve and protect honey bees to ensure a quality food supply and environment. Please make sure you keep a list of items donated.

If you are interested in donating an item to either the silent or live auction, please contact Regina K. Robuck at reginarobuck@abfnet.org or 404.760.2887 for additional information and to let us know the item(s) you will be donating.

We will accept donations into the office until December 10th. You can drop them off at the conference center in Galveston the day of the conference. If you plan to donate something it would be helpful to hear from you by Friday, December 16, 2016.

Thank you in advance for your support of the ABF. We look forward to hearing from you soon and to seeing you in Texas in January. And, if you haven't already done so, be sure to register now for the conference. Additional information, including all registration rates, guest room accommodations, the conference schedule, invited speakers, session topics and much more, can be found on the conference website at http://nabeekeepingconference.com. Be sure to check the website often, as additional conference details will be posted as soon as they are available.

2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow: Call for Entries for the 2017 American Honey Show

Gift Box Theme: "May the Force Be With You"

The ABF invites you to enter the 2017 American Honey Show, which will be held during the 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow in Galveston, Texas, on January 10-14. This is a prime opportunity to showcase your bees’ abilities to produce the purest honey, the best wax and the most goodies.

Also, the Honey Show Committee has announced that the theme for the Honey Gift Box class this year will be "May the Force Be With You."

The Honey Show will showcase the best examples of honey and beeswax. It includes eighteen (18) classes: twelve (12) for honey, five (5) for beeswax (including the category of Beeswax Art) and the gift box class. The gift box theme for 2017 is ""May the Force Be With You." After the entries are judged, they will be auctioned to benefit the American Honey Queen Program.

The entry form and appropriate fees must arrive at the ABF offices by Friday, December 16, 2016.

Additional information, including official show rules, regulations and entry form, can be found here on the 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow website  -- http://nabeekeepingconference.com/american-honey-show-2017 -- or by contacting the ABF office at 404.760.2875. Good luck!  


2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow: Call for ABF Resolutions

If you would like to submit a resolution for the 2017 American Beekeeping Federation Business meeting, please email Gene Brandi at gbrandi@sbcglobal.net or Regina Robuck at reginarobuck@abfnet.org.


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

Honey Shines During Holiday Season

With the holiday season in full swing, the National Honey Board (NHB) is reminding consumers of honey’s versatility across the holiday menu. By sharing fun facts about honey’s various uses (humectant in holiday baking, emulsifier in marinades, natural substitute in sweet treats, etc.) and inspirational honey recipes, the NHB is keeping honey at the forefront of consumers’ minds.


In addition to sharing sweet honey-inspired recipes and tips, the NHB will be running two holiday-themed giveaways via their social media channels throughout November and December. Fans are encouraged to share their favorite honey-inspired holiday recipes using the related hashtags (#HoneyInspiredFeast for November and #HoneyInspiredBaking for December) on their favorite social media channel (Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram). Five winners will be drawn at random at the end of each giveaway and sent a sweet honey prize package filled with all the goodies needed to prepare some of their favorite holiday dishes, including a serving platter and a set of mixing bowls. The official rules can be found at www.honey.com, keyword “Giveaway.”


Through these efforts the NHB is working to keep consumers’ eye on honey and encourage increased usage of the ingredient through inspiration and facts.


Are you on social media? Invite your followers to join in the fun! Share recipes from NHB social channels and encourage your fans to share their favorite honey recipes for a chance to win. 


Happy Holidays from your friends at the National Honey Board! 



Project Apis m. Update

Project Apis m. Forage Programs in California


by Danielle Downey, Executive Director, Project Apis m. 

The need for high-quality honey bee forage exists all over America. Project Apis m.’s Seeds for Bees program ensures better forage opportunities in a critical time and place: California’s almond orchards before and after bloom. Specifically designed to provide nutrition before almond bloom, the PAm Mustard Mix has been our enrollees most popular choice. When planted as a cover crop in the orchard, it will assist with water infiltration, mummy nut decomposition and erosion control. The ample pollen this mix provides is a great way to build brood before the almond bloom. The PAm Clover Mix and Lana vetch, the second and third options growers can choose from, fixes nitrogen into the soil thus fertilizing the trees. Orchards with this bee forage cover crop provide pollen and nectar to colonies after the almond bloom is over. 

Seeds for Bees is a program that puts forage on the landscape in the short term and serves as an example of how all California’s orchards can be more bee friendly, increasing the density, duration and diversity of honey bee nutrition. Through hard work and outreach the program has been expanding. Growers, being practically minded, view bee forage cover crops as dual purpose. These mixes increase the health of their soil and the health of the bees they purchased for pollination. These seed mixes are free through Project Apis m.

The 2014-2015 season had 3,082 acres of Seeds for Bees forage planted in or near California’s almond orchards. This year (2015-2016) we placed over 6,200 acres of bee forage cover crops! Seeds for Bees is a program that is liked by beekeepers and growers alike. Word of mouth travels quickly. Some of our best advocates have been growers that convince their neighbors to enroll.  Pollinator friendly hedgerows have also been adopted as a perennial installment by orchardists to boost the strength of bees. Some of these plants also serve has habitat for beneficial insects that control pests. By harnessing the value of increased bee health, increased soil health, and pest control with Integrated Pest Management strategies, Project Apis m. is helping change the landscape for the benefit of the nation’s honey bees and the crops they pollinate! 

NAPPC Call for Research Proposals

North American Pollinator Protection Campaign: Call for Research Proposals Related to Honey Bee Health

DEADLINE: February 3, 2017



The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) is seeking proposals for research related to improving the health of honey bees.  Proposals should focus on research to manage, suppress, and eradicate Varroa mites, small hive beetles, and other pests, pathogens, and diseases contributing to colony losses.  Summaries of previously funded projects can be found at http://pollinator.org/honeybee_health.htm. Review and selection of proposals will be conducted by members of the Honey Bee Health Task Force.

Research Needs

We anticipate supporting several proposals, for a maximum of $10,000 for each individual proposal.  Students and post-doctoral research fellows are encouraged to apply.  Funds must be used within a one-year period.  Focused, targeted projects with a high likelihood of providing tangible results that can be applied to improving bee health are preferred.  Proposals providing valuable extensions of previously funded projects will be considered. Principal investigators of funded projects will be expected to present the results at the 2016 NAPPC meeting.  Conference travel and registration costs may be taken from the grant award.

Priority Areas

The Honey Bee Health Task Force has identified seven priority areas for funding, though other areas will be considered as well.

  • Effects of pathogens and pests on honey bee behavior, physiology and/or colony health; including the development of novel methods to mitigate these effects, such as RNAi technology.
  • Effects of nutrition on pest, pathogen, and disease incidence.
  • Effects of pesticides on pest, pathogen, and disease incidence.
  • Effects of parasite and pathogen spillover from other bee species to honey bees.
  • Development of approaches for genetic stock improvement of honey bee populations to enhance resistance to pathogens and parasites.
  • Effects of climate or environmental variables on pest, pathogen, and disease incidence.
  • The development of diagnostics or indicators for the presence of pests, pathogens and diseases that affect honey bee health, particularly those that can be used by beekeepers. 

Proposal Requirements

  • Proposal title.
  • Priority area focus/focuses.
  • 3 page-project description (Arial, 12-pt font, single spaced, with page numbers, references are not included in this page limit) with sufficient background and description of methods to ascertain the importance and feasibility of the studies. 
  • Detailed budget.  As a non-profit organization the Pollinator Partnership/NAPPC does not pay overhead on funded research grants. 
  • Research timeline by month (approximately May 2017 to May 2018).
  • 2-page resume of the principal investigator(s). 
  • Contact information including email(s), physical mailing address, and telephone number(s).
  • Please include if the proposal is under consideration by other funding organizations.
  • If the PI has previously received funding from NAPPC, please include information about the outcomes of that funding, including publications, presentations, and/or leveraging to obtain additional funding (up to 1 additional page).


Email your proposal packets as a single PDF file to Kelly Rourke (kr@pollinator.org) by 3PM PST on Friday, February 3rd, 2017.  

Please contact Kelly Rourke (kr@pollinator.org).

Funding Decisions

The proposals will be evaluated by members of the Honey Bee Health Task Force and funding decisions will be made by Monday, March 13, 2017.

Kids and Bees

New Bee-Themed Story Books for Kids


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

One of my favorite parts of facilitating the “Kids and Bees” program for the American Beekeeping Federation is meeting the inspiring and creative people out there doing great work for bees through encouraging kids to respect, admire and not fear our bees. One lasting and special way to do this is through story books! Every time I visit a group of kids to talk about bees, I bring along a story book. While giving them a run-down of the activities we are going to have together, I always ask, “Who loves story books?!” They all enthusiastically shoot their hands into the air and do a little waggle where they sit. This warms my heart, especially in this age of screens. 


Over the year, I’ve received some fantastic new books to review. I would love to share my favorites with you, in hopes that you pick one (or all) up to share with your kids, grandkids and students, or buy them and donate them to a school!


Title: The Amazing Adventures of Sweet Sophia


Level: Beginning Reader


Author: Elsa and John Klapperich


Illustrator: Debbie J Hefke


Summary: Meet Sophia, a sweet little girl who travels through time meeting famous people from history and learning about the times in which they live. Along with her trusty stuffed bee, Bizzy, she also learns about and shares information about honey bees. These books are perfect for a beginning reader and are full of fun facts about history and the incredible honey bee. The full-page illustrations are bright and colorful, and your children will love them. Each book also contains a delicious child-friendly recipe, promoting family fun and skills in the kitchen.


Why I love it: This book series is sweet as can be! I have read Sweet Sophia goes to Mount Vernon and Sweet Sophia visits Florence Nightingale. Also available is Sweet Sophia Meets Cleopatra, and soon she will meet Pocahontas and Joan of Arc. I’ve got a soft spot for historical fiction and time travel, and I love that this is the creative junior version! On her adventures, Sophia visits remarkable women in history and learns how they use honey and keep bees. She shares her own knowledge and then brings back what she learned to the present. I found the books to be empowering, and I just know that they will be appreciated by little girls and boys. The kid-friendly recipes at the end of the book, which relate to the stories, are a very cool bonus.          


Where to buy: www.mysweetsophia.com



Title: Katie and the Bumblebee


Ages: Young Children


Author: Caitlin Elizabeth Dunion (she’s 10!)


Illustrator: Jennifer Gilroy Schmauk (Caitlin’s auntie)


Summary: This book was created based on a story Caitlin's grandmother told her dad as a child and then related to Caitlin and her brothers, Ryan and Aidan.


At only ten years old, Caitlin works to bring more awareness to childhood cancer in memory of her little brother Aidan, who passed away when he was only 4 years old from a rare brain tumor called DIPG.


Caitlin is always thinking of ways to raise money for research. She has organized and participated in bracelet sales at her school, bake sales and more, always with the same mission – increasing childhood cancer awareness!


Caitlin wanted to publish this book as part of fundraising and awareness efforts for childhood cancer. Through support from her grandparents and painter/illustrator Aunt Jenny, Caitlin’s wish to make a difference in the quest for finding a cure for DIPG continues.


She hopes to create more books about Katie in the future.


Why I love it: Not only is this book fun to read, and pops off the page with the lovely illustrations, the story behind the story is completely heart wrenching, yet wonderful. As beekeepers, we struggle with keeping our bees happy and healthy, against all odds. I think we all can relate to Caitlin in her struggle to bring awareness and raise funds for research for something that she feels deeply about, which has affected her and her family, childhood brain cancer. Read more about the foundation that she is raising funds for (through the sale of this book) here: www.aidansavengers.com. 


Where to buy: https://aidansavengers.com/katie-and-the-bumblebee/




Title: Beauty and the Bees


Ages: Intermediate reader, great for adults to read to kids.


Author: Aaron Burakoff


Illustrator: Izzy Bean


Summary: Evergreen Creations, with support from a network of family farmers and early childhood educators, publishes The Fairy Tale Trail, a series of timeless fairy tales adapted to the agriculture industry to help teach children about farming in a fun (and healthy!) manner. Each story along the Fairy Tale Trail can be presented as a magical and educational walk-through reading experience at the farm.


Join Beauty in this farm-friendly adaptation of a timeless fairy tale that reminds us of how sweetness can "bee" found in unexpected places.


Why I love it: This buzzy twist on a classic fairy tale is so fun! I must admit, I was a little bristled when I found out the “beast” was now the “beekeeper,” made scary by a swarm of bees around his head. However, the author navigates this in a very crafty way that integrates the bees and the beekeeper into the story in a kind and fear-free way. I think it’s a bee-utiful way to address kids’ fear of bees -- by shining our winged friends in a positive light in the end. I also love the idea behind this series, recreating some of our most loved and familiar fairy tales, with a farmy twist! Other titles are Jack and the Cornstalk, Ciderella and the Little Glass Sipper, Little Red Overalls, and The Three Little Racing Pigs. 


Bonus: There are ideas for how kids can help bees on the back page of Beauty and the Bees from yours truly, and a portion of the proceeds of this book support the “Kids and Bees” program.           


Ratings and links to buy: www.goodreads.com/book/show/26166397-beauty-and-the-bees




Now that you are jazzed up about Kids and Bees, and the upcoming 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow in Galveston, I am looking for a few good volunteers for the Friday morning kids’ event!


A few details about the event:


Local elementary-age classrooms and homeschool groups are coming to the Galveston Island Convention Center on Friday, January 13th, from 9:00 to noon, to participate in the “Kids and Bees” program. This no-charge event has been a tradition with the ABF conference for over 20 years.


Kids and their teachers or parents can expect a room full of hands-on exhibits under the themes of “The Art of Beekeeping,” “The Science of Beekeeping,” “The World of Beekeeping” and “The Future of Bees: It’s Up to You!” Favorites such as beeswax candle rolling, bee finger puppet making, and hive displays will be there. The highlights this year will be face painting, a photo booth with costumes and an ultraviolet “Bee View” demonstration. Students will make their way through each station, engaging with beekeepers and Honey Queens from around the United States, encountering activities that will harness their senses and imaginations. 


We will have about 20 stations/exhibits set up in a large room. About 300 kids, plus their parents and teachers, will come through the exhibits. I am looking for volunteers to host the stations. The stations need 1-4 volunteers each and include face painting, honey tasting, pollination, food, microscopes, arts and crafts and more.


Let me know if you'd like to lend some time and smiles, and I'll put you on our list! 


sarah@beegirl.org, 541-708-1127


Kids and Bees Call for Volunteers in January

Hello friends!

The “Kids and Bees” event at the 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow is fast approaching. I’m reaching out to you to ask if you could participate as a volunteer, or send this information along to someone who you think would be a great fit?

If you’d like to join us, please let me know (sarah@beegirl.org) and I will add you to our list!   

A few details about the event:

Local elementary-age classrooms and homeschool groups are welcomed to the Galveston Island Convention Center on Friday, January 13th, from 9:00 to noon, to participate in the “Kids and Bees” program. This no-charge event has been a tradition with the ABF conference for over 20 years, and is a “don’t miss” opportunity, as we travel to a different state each year.

Kids and their teachers or parents can expect a room full of hands-on exhibits under the themes of “The Art of Beekeeping,” “The Science of Beekeeping,” “The World of Beekeeping” and “The Future of Bees: It’s Up to You!” Favorites such as beeswax candle rolling, bee finger puppet making and hive displays will be there. The highlights this year will be face painting, a photo booth with costumes and an ultraviolet “Bee View” demonstration. Students will make their way through each station, engaging with beekeepers and Honey Queens from around the US, encountering activities that will harness their senses and imaginations. 

We will have about 20 stations/exhibits set up in a large room. About 500 kids and their parents and teachers will come through the exhibits. I am looking for volunteers to host the stations. The stations need 1-4 volunteers each and include face painting, honey tasting, pollination, food, microscopes, arts and crafts and more.

I ask that the volunteers arrive at 8:15 a.m. for training and to settle into whichever station they would like to host. Throughout the morning I'll be roving around to check on you to see if you'd like to switch stations, need water, snacks, etc. We close the doors at noon sharp and start cleaning up. The last folks usually leave at about 1:00, but you are free to head out any time after noon!

I'll have the exact room and directions for you closer to the conference. 

Let me know if you'd like to lend some time and smiles, and I'll put you on our list!

All my best, 

Sarah Red-Laird

Bee Girl, Executive Director

Honey Queen Buzz

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

October simply flew by this year, and now November weather seems delayed! The warm weather has provided much easier travel for the Queen and Princess this month! They have stayed busy traveling regionally and to places far away!

November promotions are typically dominated by beekeeping conferences and educational promotions, and this year was no different. Queen Kim and Princess Tabitha spoke at their respective state beekeeping conventions (Wisconsin and Texas) the first weekend of November. Both participated in the organizations’ children’s educational programs during these conventions. Both the Texas Beekeepers Association and the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association organize and execute excellent educational programs for the public. I thank each organization for keeping the American Honey Queen and Princess active in these educational and promotional events. 

School and community visits were on the docket all month. Kim promoted Wisconsin’s convention through a week of school presentations, reaching over 1,500 students in grades K-12 in five days. Kim also had the opportunity to speak in local Boys and Girls Clubs after school programs, reaching children who had no relationship with agriculture. Additionally, she spoke with business leaders in area civic organizations about our industry and ways that businesses and community leaders could aid the honey bee.

Tabitha spent a week in Oklahoma City, OK, speaking to about 1,500 students in this area that has not been visited by the American Honey Queen Program in many years. She had the opportunity to speak to science agricultural classes, along with students in STEM-specific schools or programs. These groups are thirsty for dynamic, knowledgeable educational speakers about our industry, and the Queens are a perfect match for these programs. I encourage you to reach out to your STEM, agriculture or charter schools to book these types of educational visits!  School visits continued throughout the month for Kim, as she made trips to Hawaii and Georgia, continuing to teach various groups about the beekeeping industry.

December is sure to come in the blink of an eye. At this point in time, Kim and Tabitha’s travel schedules are fully booked (though they are certainly still available through January 14 to participate in media interviews by phone!), but the Queen Committee is accepting promotional requests now for 2017 events. Dates and which representative will visit your event cannot be confirmed until early 2017, but we look forward to developing a promotional schedule early in 2017. Contact me at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514 with your ideas.  Happy promoting and I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving!

















Queen Kim on Nov. 4 with some very sharp students from Ripon Middle School and the STEM Academy in Fond du Lac. They had excellent questions about bee physiology, behavior, and colony collapse disorder. This was her last day of school presentations in conjunction with the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association convention. 












Princes Tabitha gave 6 presentations to the students at Ridgemoore Junior High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The kids were very interested in how bees make their beeswax. Lots of great questions!   

Chester County Beekeepers Association Annual Conference

The Chester County Beekeepers Association's Annual Conference will be March 11, 2017, at the West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383. This location is in southeastern Pennsylvania. Speakers include Dr. Dewey Caron, author of Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping, Phil Craft, columnist for Bee Culture Magazine, Dr. Meghan Milbrath, Michigan State University Department of Entomology, and Master Beekeeper Landi Simone, owner and operator of Gooserock Farm. Lunch will be provided. For registration and details, go to www.ChescoBees.org.


Bee Thinking

Congratulations to Eloise Naylor, who guessed the October riddle! The correct answer was a recipe. Not only was Eloise the first, she was the only person to submit an answer! 

Here's a new one for you to try:  

Riddles are challenges

There's no doubt
You have to figure

To figure them out.


To answer this one
Look around and inside

This monthly edition

Where I reside.


I'm always loved
On any ole day

My top runs wild

In the month of May.

Think you know the answer? The first to email Susan Reu at susanreu@abfnet.org will lay claim to another fun ABF prize.

Bee Thoughtful

Think Outside the Bee Box this Holiday Season!


Do you have a hard-to-buy-for beekeeper on your Christmas list? Do you have a friend or family member who loves bees and honey? Might we suggest making a donation in their name to the ABF Friends of the Bees fund?

For as little as $25, your loved one will have their name published in the ABF Newsletter and receive an FOB bumper sticker. Mention you saw this announcement in the ABF E-Buzz and receive a second sticker free! Please call our office at 404.760.2875 or e-mail us at info@abfnet.org to make your donation today.



Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News

  • Commitment to Sustainability Buzzes Across The Ritz-Carlton Portfolio. Read More.
  • Winter may not be honey bees’ biggest threat. Read more.
  • Honey bees preparing for the winter. Read More.
  • Kenyan farmers using honey bees to protect crops from elephants. Read More.
  • Will honey bees stay sweet on North Dakota? Read More.
  • Believe it or not, the bees are doing just fine. Read More.

ABF Welcomes New Members - October 2016

  • Steven Ainsworth
  • Neal Armstrong
  • Sabra Bederka
  • Brian Beeman
  • John M Benham
  • Paul Berry
  • Terri Bowman
  • Kathy Branstetter
  • Jim Bundgaard
  • Brigitte Burke
  • Jaydee Burns
  • Christel Cherrix
  • Jackie Collins
  • Mark Cousineau
  • Pat Criscito
  • Desi Crouther
  • Roy Crumrine
  • Tracy Dile
  • Betina Dodd
  • Brian Drebber
  • Jackie Eid
  • John Evans
  • Sierra Farris
  • Sandee Foust
  • Anne Fraser
  • Doug Galloway
  • Troy Gooding
  •  Bob Grant
  • Jolene Hallam
  • Lisa Hogue
  • Jeff Hoopes
  • Tim Hyde
  • Donnie Infinger
  • Louse Johnson
  • Sam Jowers
  • Chester Juck
  • Jeff Kaestner
  • Day Karol
  • Charles Kinzel
  • Bob Kloss
  • David Koester
  • Michael Lange
  • Philip Lauf
  • Genji Leclair
  • Ray Lott
  • Michael Manship
  • David Martin
  • Zelda Matthews
  • Monte McDonald
  • Drue Miller
  • David Monson
  • Tim Murray
  • Steven S. Myrick
  • Blaine Nay
  • Kimberly Nesteruk
  • Jean Newcombe
  • Christina Norton
  • Sheri Page
  • Christie Pettibon
  • Tanya Phillips
  • Lynda Reuter
  • John Rice
  • Fredrique Ripet
  • Kaveeta Santchurn
  • Frank Self
  • A.C. Shelton
  • Tammy Shook
  • Howard Shoup
  • Andrea Shuffield
  • Pam Sim
  • Joan Spiegel
  • Peter Staniec
  • Kristol Stenstrom
  • Ryan Stern
  • D. Tellinghuisen
  • Cheney Tye
  • Dwight Wells
  • Lynn Williams
  • James Willingham
  • John Wynn



Recipe of the Month: Cinnamon Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This recipe is great for your upcoming holiday meals whether Thanksgiving or Christmas! I love sweet potatoes and they are great for us with lots of valuable vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus.


Directions and Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).   

Toss two cups of cut sweet potatoes, 1/2 cup honey, ½ tsp. cinnamon and ½ cup olive oil together in a bowl until potatoes are completely coated. Place sweet potatoes in a baking dish 4X6 inches deep and top with a few pats of butter here and there covering the top of the sweet potatoes. I usually use about a half a stick of butter, but if you like it use a bit more. 

Bake uncovered in the preheated oven until tender, 45 minutes, stirring twice during that time.

-- Tim Tucker


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