Home   |   Contact Us   |   Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join Now
ABF E-Buzz: November 2017
Share |

ABF E-Buzz — November 2017

In This Issue:






Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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

Winter Warmth

© Sam 

Published: October 2008
Piles of snow beneath my boots
chilly winds blowing everywhere
snow keeps mounting on the posts
on the windows and on the roads
shovels outside,
soups inside
hot and rich,
chicken and corn
coming back from all the work
this is what I look for
the warm chestnuts,
the cracking fire
this is my winter warmth


Welcome back!
I hope your Thanksgiving Day is a good one and that the coming holiday season will find you in good health and sharing time with family and friends. I had a great time this month to travel to the Texas Beekeepers Association (TBA) meeting in Temple, Texas. Several hundred beekeepers gathered at the convention center and had an opportunity to garner information from a speaker platform that was very impressive with Dr. Dewey Coron, Jennifer Berry, Dr. Deborah Delaney, Clint Walker, Dr. Juliana Rangel, Ann Harmon and myself! The topics covered during the two days were impressive and Blake Shook also gave an update on the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF). The meeting was one of the best beekeeper resources around state association meetings to say the least. I can’t imagine why anyone in Texas missed out on this meeting! The meeting held the first multi-category honey show that they have had. In the past there was only a black jar honey competition that was a public tasting of the honey entered and each person chose their favorite honey by taste. I think someone said there were around a hundred jars on the table to go through and sample. It was fun to see how different some of the honeys were. Of course there are many varietal honeys that are produced in Texas from Yaupon honey to Tallow to Mesquite. The flavors were all delightful!

I had a wonderful time the past few months working with a committee to set up the new honey show with Ann Harmon and the honey show coordinators Lance Wilson, Kevin and Dodie Stillman, Jimmie Oakley and Pamela Yeamans. There were categories for Dark Honey, Amber, Light Amber and Light Honey. There were also categories for Mead, Beekeeping Photos, Creamed Honey, Best Honey Gadget or useful device and beeswax, so the show was greatly expanded and included 89 entries. I think that next year there will be many more.
I had an opportunity to show a couple of participants who had questions about why I graded them the way I did. One asked why I mentioned that the honey was full of foam and bubbles, I asked her to show me her entry, it was very easy to see. It was cloudy with air bubbles like it had just been poured into the jar and there was no time for the honey to settle them out. She mentioned that she jarred the honey yesterday because she had just gotten the jar to put it in the day before. When I put her jar next to the jar that won first place in the category she could easily see what I was referring to. It was totally clear. I told her that I bottle my competition honey at least a month or sometimes three or four before the time they will be judged so that the honey can clear itself of any air bubbles and clear up.
There are many things that go into preparing an entry that will compete for a first-place blue ribbon:
Ensure the top is free from foam, bubbles or lint and that the bottom is free from any crystals that might have started to form in the honey. Another big consideration is that the jar itself must be clean and free from any signs of smearing from using a towel or rag to dry or clean the inside of the jar. One jar I judged had a smear across the one side that included lint which was probably from the paper towel. That makes for an entry that will not compete.
It is also very important to make sure that your entries are filled to the top of the fill ring. This ring which lies right under the lid when it is in place makes sure that you have a pound of honey in your jar, no matter what the moisture content of the honey is. Moisture content is also a big part of how your honey will compete. I saw a few entries that were over 18.6 % moisture and were disqualified. Honey shows will set a range for moisture such as 17 – 18% that will be judged with no deductions with perhaps a point or two deductions for honeys that are above or below these levels so check what your honey moisture should be to get a perfect score on that portion of the judging. It isn’t always just a matter of taste like a black jar competition.
I hope you to see you at the upcoming 2018 ABF Conference & Tradeshow in Reno, January 9-13, and that you bring your entries for the honey show!

This month, we again have some great articles. Our President Gene Brandi has news about the upcoming conference in Reno in January and the 75th anniversary banquet. Our Kids and Bees Director, Sarah Red-Laird has a great book review of the Beekeepers Lab by Kim Lehman, who was our previous Kids and Bees director for many years. I just got my copy from Kim in Texas at the TBA annual convention. Anna Kettlewell updates us on the activities of our Honey Queen and Princess and the promotions that they have been conducting on your behalf in the Honey Queen Buzz. As always, she invites you to contact her for promotions you might involve one of the young ladies in next year in 2018. You can reach Anna at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514 to put in your requests for visits.

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

President's Greeting 

by Gene Brandi, ABF President

The 75th Anniversary ABF Conference & Tradeshow is coming up quickly and will be here before we know it. The conference is in Reno, Nevada on January 9-13, 2018. We have endeavored to provide a varied program with something for beekeepers of all sizes and various areas of interest. The conference will highlight some ABF history over the past 75 years to remind us of where we started as an organization, and focus on the future of beekeeping in the 21st century to help the industry survive the next 75 years and beyond.

We have scheduled a series of beekeeper panels throughout the conference to cover a variety of topics as we have heard the message loud and clear that conference attendees love such panels. There will be panels discussing:

• Successful Packaged Bee and Queen Shipping (Packaged Bee and Queen SIG)
• Why Are My Bees Dying? (Small Scale Track)
• What’s New That’s Working for You? (Commercial Track)
• Successful Indoor Wintering of Bees (General Session)
• Current Issues Panel (Commercial Breakfast)

There is time scheduled for questions and answers to allow audience interaction with the panelists. The Current Issues Panel during the commercial breakfast will include the 2018 almond pollination outlook, trucking issues and H2A updates, condition of bees around the country, and other timely topics.

In honor of this ABF milestone year, a commemorative ABF 75th Anniversary rifle is now available for sale. This special edition rifle is engraved with a beautiful series of ABF logos and will be a family keepsake. Look for details about how you can obtain your very own ABF 75th Anniversary Henry 45-70 Special in the ABF E-Buzz, Facebook, ABF News, as well as the ABF website. Many thanks to Joan Gunter for suggesting this and for working with the folks at Henry Arms to have this special keepsake available! For ordering, please contact A&A Engraving at 605-343-7640 and have it shipped right to your door!

It is not too late to register for the 75th Anniversary Conference & Tradeshow and registration fees are lower now than if you register later or at the door. Hope to see you in Reno!

Bee Educated: ABF's Webinar Series "Conversation with a Beekeeper" Needs Your Help

ABF wants to hear from you

Let us know what webinar topics you would like to see in the future. You can submit your topics by emailing them to info@abfnet.org

Have a topic to present? You're welcome to present your webinar to our members. Submit your Topic, brief description and short bio to our Membership Coordinator, Sherrell Bailey at sbailey@abfnet.org.

Check the website for updates on upcoming webinars and to check all of our archived webinars.

Have you ever wanted to get involved with ABF on a Board Level?

Don't know where to start? Here are some tips.

First, you MUST attend the ABF Annual Conference. ABF bylaws require you to attend the conference to be considered and/or elected.

If you are a State Delegate, you will need to attend the State Delegates luncheon. This will be on January 10, 2018 at 12noon. Each year the election of two board officers are held during this luncheon. You can be nominated, or you can nominate yourself. You will need to be prepared to give a two-minute talk about yourself, what you have done for your state association and why you would be a great member of the ABF board.

If you are in a Special Interest Group, you will need to be in attendance of the SIG meeting. Elections are held in the breakout room. You just need the majority vote.

Can’t attend the annual conference and still want to be involved in ABF? Join a committee and get your feet wet! Here is a list of opportunities available:

• Conference (limited)
• Education
• Honey Queen Program
• Honey Show
• Marketing/Membership
• Research
• State Delegates

There is a commitment of monthly conference calls and some committee and board work beyond the calls. Majority of the calls are at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. We are looking for those who want to learn the ins and outs of ABF and want to make a clear difference.

You still have questions? Contact Regina Robuck, ABF Executive Director at reginarobuck@abfnet.org or 404.760.2887,.
Volunteer comes from the Latin word “volo” which means to freely offer to do something or commit to an undertaking. Be a great volunteer!


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


Proposals Due Friday, February 2, 2018

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 2018 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.
Effects of nutrition on pest, pathogen, and disease incidence.
Effects of pesticides on pest, pathogen, and disease incidence.
Effects of parasite and pathogen spillover between bee species.
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 field-ready diagnostics 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 2018 to May 2019).
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 2, 2018.

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 12, 2018.

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









Join the Michigan Beekeepers Association for their Annual Spring Conference


March 9-10, 2018
Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
East Lansing, MI


  For more information please visit www.michiganbees.org


contact Adam Ingrao at ingraoad@msu.edu.

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

Honey Producers, Packers and Importers Meet in Denver for Honey Industry Summit

The food and beverage industry is changing. Consumers are looking for more clean label products that deliver experiences, all-natural ingredients and indulgence. Food and beverage manufacturers are responding by launching new products that use honey for its flavor, functionality and marketing benefits.

These shifts in the food and beverage industry were on display at the National Honey Board’s (NHB) first ever Honey Industry Summit in Denver on October 25th. More than 25 honey producers, packers and importers attended the event at Blue Moon Brewery, which featured a full slate of sessions designed to highlight honey’s inclusion in a variety of food and beverage products.

The event was hosted by the NHB’s Food Ingredient Marketing team, which focuses their marketing and public relations efforts on food and beverage manufactures that have the potential to use honey as an ingredient.

The day kicked off with an in-depth look at consumer demographics, both overall and as it relates to purchasing habits of honey and made with honey products. Next, attendees experienced five immersive category breakdowns, which included product samplings of some of our favorite made with honey products. The categories analyzed included baking and snack foods, beverages, distilled spirits, breakfast foods and drinks, and beer.

The Honey Industry Summit also featured a Food Industry Panel with four leading innovators talking about their made with honey products and why they use the all-natural sweetener. We can’t thank enough the four industry members that participated in our panel:
• Koel Thomae, Co-Founder of noosa yoghurt
• Keith Villa, Founder of Blue Moon Brewing
• Mike Clark, National Sales Manager for Sprecher Brewing
• Chris Feuille, Founder of Ona Snacks

The Honey Industry Summit closed with a tour of Blue Moon Brewing Company’s brewery, and a tasting of some of their honey beers. Thank you to all of the members of the honey industry that attended the event, as well as our food panelists and Blue Moon Brewing for hosting us!


Kids and Bees

Book Review: Beekeeper's Lab: 52 Family-Friendly Activities and Experiments Exploring the Life of the Hive, By Kim Lehman

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

The name Kim Lehman should ring a bell for you as the benevolent beekeeper in the full-length bee dress who frequented ABF conferences for the last two decades. You may also remember her little potbellied pig; the one with bee wings! What I learned about Kim this year, is that not only is she a brilliant educator in person, she’s also a talented author!

Published in the spring of 2017, “Beekeeper's Lab: 52 Family-Friendly Activities and Experiments Exploring the Life of the Hive,” has a fantastic array of activities that are “all things bees.” I have been borrowing from Kim’s book all year long for my “Kids and Bees” programs.

The book begins with a few great tips for getting started with hives, and then evolves into “how-tos” for honey, beeswax, health & beauty, conservation practices, and everything in-between. Nearly every activity has added tips on how to introduce the concept on a “kid friendly” level. Welcome additions to my programs this year were the “Honey Density” experiment on page 102 (yes, this is an awesome way to teach 6 and 7 year olds about density), handmade beeswax crayons on page 116 (I’m never buying crayons again), and encaustic art on page 118 (I did this with almost 200 kids this summer, and no hot wax burns!).

If you teach kids about bees and beekeeping, this book is a “must have” in your education toolbox. It’s clearly written, easy to follow, and will be sure to inspire new ideas for your programs.

From the back cover: “The connection between honey bees and humans goes back thousands of years. Beekeeper’s Lab includes science explorations, art and craft projects, health and beauty recipes, and beekeeping activities-all celebrating the life of the hive.

Drawing on her experience as an educator, presenter, and beekeeper, Kim Lehman has complied a broad range of activities to inspire creativity and curiosity about beekeeping, honey, beeswax, pollination, and, of course, the honey bee – a tiny creature with immense importance to our own lives.”

Preview a few sample pages here. Purchase the book on Amazon, or make a suggestion to your local book retailer that they carry a few copies.

Also, don’t forget that the American Beekeeping Federation Conference & Tradeshow’s “Kids and Bees” event is fast approaching! For more information, visit: www.abfkidsbees.eventbrite.com.

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

Commemorative 75th Anniversary ABF Rifle


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



American Beekeeping Federation 75th Anniversary Rifle #49 of 75 FFSB11549 Henry H010B 45-70 Lever Rifle Oct. Barrel Large Loop Lever
Certificate of Authenticity

To Order: Contact A&A Engraving at 605-343-7640 and have it shipped right to your door!

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

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

Happy Thanksgiving! November brings many beekeeping conventions and educational promotions for our American Honey Queen and Princess this year.

The queens visited three state beekeeping conventions in November in Wisconsin, Texas, and Iowa. These events were filled with many activities, including school and community presentations, children’s educational programs, and working with state Honey Queens, new and seasoned. Both had the opportunity to reconnect with the beekeepers in their home states and witness new state honey queens selected to represent their state organizations in 2018. In addition to these activities, Maia and Hope gave presentations about the Honey Queen program and their experiences as national spokespersons to these organizations. There were also opportunities to reach the public in these promotions, including local school and civic group presentations along with media interviews.

Maia also made a stop in Florida with our 2014 American Honey Queen, Susannah Austin, currently serving as president of her local beekeeping organization. It is rewarding to see our former honey queens continue their involvement with our industry be it on the local, state, or national levels. Maia and Susannah made stops in the Orlando region to continue honeybee education opportunities for local residents along with speaking to the local beekeeping organization.

Maia rounded out her month with two presentations to local civic groups in her home town of Webster City, Iowa. Hope departed on the last day of October for her next state beekeeping conference in Louisiana. We will fill you in more on this exciting trip next month!

Contact me now if you have interest in developing a new promotion in 2018. Reach me at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514 to put in your requests for visits. Happy promoting!

Happy promoting!

75th Anniversary ABF Conference & Tradeshow:

Online Registrations Ends December 15, 2017


CELEBRATE the 75th Diamond Anniversary of the ABF at the 2018 American Beekeeping Federation Conference & Tradeshow and discover the many facets of the ABF with four days of spectacular educational sessions, networking and fun.


75-YEARS STRONG! Make your plans today to join us in Reno for a brilliant conference and a celebration of the association's 75 years of accomplishments.


  • Hear from experts, trendsetters & influencers
  • Learn best practices
  • Shop a tradeshow full of the latest beekeeping innovations.
  • Showcase your skills in the 2018 Honey Show
  • Have next-generations fun at the Kids and Bees program
  • network with 900+ fellow beekeepers


  • Auxiliary Luncheon/meeting on Thursday Afternoon.
  • Thursday Night Social- Bowling with Dinner
  • Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees Luncheon on Friday.
  • ABF Annual Banquet on Saturday evening.
  • Coronations of the 2018 American Honey Queen & Princess


*On-site Registration Available*

For additional information, please visit abfconference.com.

We look forward to seeing you in January!

Bee Thinking

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


Think you know the answer? The first to email Sherrell Bailey at sbailey@abfnet.org will lay claim to another fun ABF prize. it must be your first time to win. 

Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News

  • Positive Buzz About Honey Bees. Read More.
  • Catch the Buzz: Honey Production Down Across Ontario Following Cool, Wet Summer.  Read more.
  • Ohio Beekeepers Find Different Ways To Get Hives Through Winter. Read More.
  • Lack of water gives honey long shelf life Read More.
  • Drought means another tough year for honeybees Read More.

ABF Welcomes New Members -October 2017

  • Anita Bailor, Washington
  • Steve Bradhurst, Nevada
  • Stefan Braun, Nevada
  • Dennis Chandler, Arizona
  • Cordy Cooke, Washington
  • Ruth Danielsen, Washington
  • James Deas, Florida
  • Luis Fernandez, Hawaii
  • Cynthia Fite, Georgia
  • Pamela Fraser, California
  • Lindsay Gabriel, Texas
  • Janet Hancock, Texas
  • Amina Harris, California
  • Scott Ingles, Washington
  • Terry Ryan Kane, Michigan
  • Dennis Langlois, Florida
  • Michael O'Connell, Illinois
  • Laura Rogers; Kentucky
  • Paul Romero, Nevada
  • Jacquelyn Sandage, Nevada
  • Marry Anne Schiller, Wisconsin
  • Harmony Schlueter, Minnesota
  • Kenneth Schmidt, South Dakota
  • John Schmidt, South Dakota
  • Carson Seifert, Minnesota
  • Derrick Shields, Arizona
  • Barbara Sinclair, California
  • Garett Slater, Minnesota
  • Matt Stayer, California
  • Terese Vogts, Kansas
  • Hayley Welch, New York
  • Matt Winstead, Missouri


Recipe of the Month:

Chunky Apple Cranberry Sauce 

YIELD: Makes 4 Cups


  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 tart apples peeled, if desired, cut in 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Freshly ground black pepper


In a medium saucepan stir all ingredients. Heat to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes; stirring occasionally. Cool and refrigerate

Recipe By:National Honey Board (honey.com)

Community Search
Sign In


3525 Piedmont Road, Building 5, Suite 300
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
Phone: 404-760-2875    E-mail: info@abfnet.org
Copyright© 2017 American Beekeeping Federation - All Rights Reserved