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ABF E-Buzz: May 2011
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ABF E-Buzz — May 2011

In This Issue:

Welcome Back to E-Buzz

by Tim Tucker, ABF Membership and Marketing Committee Member and ABF E-Buzz Editor

March has left us sighing
In cold and chilly blast,
April's tears have fallen,
May has come at last!

— Anon

Welcome back to ABF E-Buzz.  I hope your gardens and country side are beginning to bloom and gather the hungry pollinators that are searching out their sweet breakfasts.  I do love the month of May, as it is the start of the nectar flow for us here in Kansas and throughout much of the country.  It is the time of year when all is well with the bees that will be this year's honey producers.  They seem able to do all we ask of them now and many will grow exponentially.

It is always fun to watch those hives that have the best of queens that are unstoppable in May and June.  We are a couple of weeks behind in our nectar flow here, but there are scattered warm days when the bees are working hard and some hives are beginning to put on some weight.  I have heard lots of reports that people are expanding their numbers this year with honey prices continuing to hold on to strong levels.  This month's honey report indicates that honey prices are maintaining the $1.60 to $1.70 per pound price range with little reason for dropping.  The report shows that throughout the northern tier of the country moisture levels are good this spring.  Some areas are, of course, way above average.  When the flooding subsides and planting continues, there should be good moisture for this year's production.  It has been an unusually cool spring, but the reports are that bee colonies are healthy and we might expect a better overall crop. Who knows?  We might even see a year with some profits!
In this issue, you will read about a beekeeper from Overland Park, Kansas, who is our Beekeeper of the Month.  Bob Burns has been involved in both the Kansas Honey Producers Association, serving as treasurer, and has been active in the ABF as well for a number of years.  He has been a speaker at past ABF conferences and has a good story to tell about his bees.

GloryBee Foods is featured as the Beekeeping Vendor of the Month and for those of you who haven't purchased from them, this introduction will hopefully get you acquainted with the company and their special services for our industry.  Our vendor of month is chosen from our group of vendors who have so graciously contributed to our "Membership Pays" program, which provides special discounts to those of you who have become new members.  Some vendors make the discounts available to all.  We certainly appreciate them for all that they do for our industry.  Last year we had a good group offering discount coupons that would more than pay for the cost of an ABF membership if just a few of the coupons were used.  If any of our vendors would like to be involved in the Membership Pays program, you can contact me or Amanda Hammerli, ABF membership coordinator, at the ABF office at 404.760.2875.    

Don't forget about the upcoming deadline for the ABF Photo Contest!  Wednesday, June 1, 2011, is the cut-off date for entries in this first contest.  We have some great entries, but we still need more to stiffen the competition.  For rules and additional information, be sure to check out the article listed below.

Peter Teal returns this month with a great article on genetics and RNAi interference with gene expression and how important that may be to our future control of honey bee pests.  I know you will find his article educational and one you will want to study well.  There's also a great new recipe for using honey that I hope you will enjoy, as well as some interesting new "Buzzmakers."

We hope that you find the ABF E-Buzz a valuable tool in your information index and that you will provide us with anything that you would like to see in upcoming issues by dropping me an e-mail at tuckerb@hit.net.  Again, thanks for stopping by and let's all keep on buzzin'! 

Science Buzz

by Peter Teal, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA-ARS

Peter Teal

Last month's "Science Buzz" was devoted to an article called "Unraveling the Genome of a Mite Pest that Threatens Honeybees," which focused on efforts to sequence and identify the genetic code of this most important pest of the apiculture industry.  Why was this important?  Well, all living things rely on nucleic acids, the building blocks of DNA and RNA, for life. Differences in how nucleic acids are attached together to form genes (the genetic code) are the reasons that Varroa mites are Varroa mites and honey bees are honey bees!  These differences even explain the differences between you and me.  For example, the reason that I am "hair challenged," while my brother is not, comes down to minor changes in nucleic acids that make up a gene on our X chromosome (I still think I should be charged less at the barber than he is).  Understanding "genetic codes" and how they function is the basis of molecular biology and has led to the development of RNA interference or RNAi. 

Basically, RNAi interferes with the production of proteins.  Simply put, in order for any living cell to function, the genes on a chromosome that code for not only building an organism's many parts, but also signaling how to react to current stimuli, must be translated from this DNA into RNA and then proteins.  The key to developing RNAi lies in the ability to alter mRNA, the messengers that carry the genetic information to the ribosomes where the translation takes place.  This action silences the signal for protein construction.  This is called post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) and is done using a synthetic double stranded RNA (dsRNA) to degrade a specific piece of the natural mRNA. The overall result is the protein in question is not produced.  If this protein, for example, is key to Varroa mite reproduction, then no reproduction occurs.  A good cartoon representation of what happens is available at http://www.rnaiweb.com.

RNAi has several remarkable qualities.  RNAi is highly gene-specific. dsRNA is stable and appears to move freely across cell boundaries. RNAi is broadly applicable and works in microbes (viruses, etc.), vertebrates (mice, etc.), invertebrates (flies) and plants.  These qualities have been used to develop: ways to fight disease like cancer, polio, hepatitis and HIV; used effectively to control plant and insect viruses; and to control insect pests like termites and western corn rootworms.  When RNAi is used to control agricultural pests, the term "molecular pesticide" is used.  In theory, the beauty of molecular pesticides lies in their highly specific activity with no impact on non-target organisms; it could kill herbivores feeding on a crop plant but not hurt the honey bees pollinating that plant.  Thus, there should be no environmental or health concerns and this type of pesticide could overcome pesticide resistance problems.  On the down side is the critical and expensive process of finding species specific target genes.

So, is there anything in the molecular pesticide pipeline for the apiculture industry?  Yes, Beeologics (http://beeologics.com), a company with offices in Miami and Israel, has focused its research and development efforts on RNAi technologies for control of diseases and pests of the honey bee.  Beeologics is currently conducting large-scale FDA trials of a molecular pesticide product called Remebee™ for control of Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, which has been associated with CCD.  The product is delivered in food to colonies and promises to maintain bee health in the presence of Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus.  While I have not worked with the product, presentations made by members of the company are very encouraging and it would be worth reviewing the information on the company's Web site.  The successful development of Remebee™ is a considerable boost to many of us working on the molecular biology of honey bee pests because it demonstrates that RNAi technologies can be applied directly to honey bees and that a simple, effective system for product delivery is available.  It is my belief that soon there will be other molecular pesticides available for both diseases and pests of bees, including the Varroa mite.  We'll see what happens.

Finally, thanks to punky3612@aol.com for asking about lures to attract Varroa mites.  We and many others have been looking at this and it will be the subject of next month's "Science Buzz."

Beekeeper of the Month: Robert Burns

by Tim Tucker, ABF Membership and Marketing Committee Member and ABF E-Buzz Editor

"Never underestimate the power of an elementary school field trip experience," says Robert Burns.  During one such trip to a museum at the end of elementary school, Robert found an observation hive with live honey bees and the rest is now part of his history of 38 years in beekeeping.

Robert and a classmate took away from that field trip the idea of getting involved with honey bees. As a 10 year old, he spent the summer before junior high school catching bees in clover fields.  He later discovered that bees could be ordered via the Montgomery Ward Farm catalog.  He started his first hives with the crossed hybrid Starlines back in he early 1970s, buying his first hive and package bees with money earned from delivering newspapers.

Robert Burns

Robert kept his bees through his high school and college years. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a major in foreign languages. He didn't find out until during his last semester of college that he was only three credits away from earning a minor in biology after having taken such courses as zoology, botany, human anatomy and physiology, and even plant geography (besides the requisites). Although he knew of Dr. Chip Taylor at the University of Kansas, he did not have the opportunity to take a beekeeping course under Dr. Taylor.

Robert had some pretty good contacts in the beekeeping world in his locale of suburban Kansas City, Overland Park, Kansas. Joli Winer and Cecil Sweeney, owners of Mid-Con Beekeeping Supply Store, were the primary source of local beekeeping equipment for many years. He was a passive member of the local Northeastern Kansas Beekeeper's and the Kansas Honey Producer's associations until the mid 1990s when he began attending the monthly and semi-annual meetings on a regular basis.

In 1999, he began selling his honey at a start-up farmer's market in Merriam, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. The market was close to his home. A couple of years later, the suburban city of Merriam built a great market facility that included cover and electrical outlets. This was before the local farmer's markets became hip. His sales also included a local brew supply store where customers bought honey to use in home-brew mead and beer making.  This year marks his 12th year selling honey during market season. He describes himself as a bucket beekeeper, a term he gleaned from Dr. Larry Connor.

In 2002, Robert was elected as secretary of the local beekeeping association with 300-plus members, the Northeastern Kansas Beekeepers. He was elected treasurer in 2003 and remains so today. Robert was also elected as treasurer of the Kansas Honey Producers in 2004.  "As an officer, you are inspired to learn. It's part of attending the meetings and making contact with all the knowledgeable speakers who come and share their valuable insight and experiences with us."

In 2003 and 2004, as well as 2005, he attended Dr. Marion Ellis' Midwest Master Beekeeping courses.  He took the queen-rearing course taught by Dr. Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter while in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 2005. He has been rearing queens by grafting larvae from his own stock ever since. "It's the best way to replace my winter losses and expand my operation," he notes.  Robert is currently running over 80 colonies for honey production and increase colonies. "I can't remember that last time I bought a package, but I do buy a queen now and then for the variety," he says.

The American Beekeeping Federation held their national meeting in Kansas City in January 2003, where Robert attended his first national conference and became a member of the ABF.  He attended several other ABF meetings and has given several talks at ABF conferences, including Louisville, Kentucky, Sacramento, California, Reno, Nevada, and, most recently, in Galveston, Texas. His topics included beeswax soap making and queen rearing and also mead making.  "Attending the national meetings puts things in a bigger-world perspective. I come away with better ideas. I also love running into the authors of all those great articles in both Bee Culture and the American Bee Journal," he says.

In the last five years, Robert has become involved with the urban agricultural farm movement in Kansas City, taking care of hives as a volunteer at a local nonprofit organization dedicated to community gardening and teaching people about growing food in the city. This involvement has given him contacts and ways to expand the locations of several of his bee yards in suburban and urban settings.

Beekeeping Vendor of the Month: GloryBee Foods

by Dick Turanski, Founder and President, GloryBee Foods

History of GloryBee Beekeeping

I was first introduced to beekeeping when I was about 10 years old and lived in Ohio.  My uncle had me help him smoke hives while he took off the honey.  I was reintroduced to beekeeping in 1971 by Warren Ausland.  He invited me and my friend, Karl Dennison, to his house one afternoon.  We helped take honey off one of his hives, took it to his garage and we had the opportunity to taste this honey right from the comb.  His hives were at Bald Butte in South Eugene, Oregon, and it was poison oak honey.  At my first tasting of this sweet, buttery flavored honey, I knew I wanted to be a beekeeper.

Dick Turanski educates GloryBee
customers about beekeeping

I proceeded to get one hive and was somewhat disappointed.  The bees were very mean.  It turned out that the native species of this hive were German bees and they are known for being mean.  The following year, I decided I would start catching swarms and build into a number of hives at Bald Butte.  By the summer of 1973, I had 25 hives that were producing a substantial amount of honey.  I started selling the honey out of my house.

I learned beekeeping from two individuals in the area that were master beekeepers, Orville Bassett, from Pleasant Hill, and Herman Larson, from Alvadore.  Orville was an expert at raising cornelian queens, so, every summer, he would take part of his aviary to the high Cascades and he would raise a few hundred queens that were selected for honey production.  From my experience, he was probably the best honey producer in the Willamette Valley.  Herman was an amazing beekeeper who only had one leg.  He had to use a crutch to get around and he was running about 1,500 colonies, very successfully, but more on a commercial scale.  He was like a commercial beekeeper.  He was amazingly successful in the Willamette Valley during the 1970s and 80s.  

Beginning in the fall of 1974, I made the decision to start a new business and become a full-time beekeeper.  One of the first decisions I made as a full-time beekeeper was to purchase 100 hives from Bob Ramsey in Salem, which brought my total hive count to 150.  I started to build more equipment so I would have enough extracting supers.  At the same time, I was starting to discontinue my business of silver coin trading.  I needed to purchase equipment and the local hardware store, Quackenbush, was too expensive.  They had been selling beekeeping supplies for several decades.  So, I started to drive to Portland for my supplies.  I found out that the company there would give me a dealership and I could buy all my beekeeping supplies from them for 25 percent off their list price.  This is how I got the idea to start selling beekeeping supplies.  I would be able to buy supplies and build my own equipment to compete against Quackenbush.  Quackenbush bought beekeeping supplies also, but I thought I could be more competitive.  

The name of my business was Dick's Bee Supplies.  About January or February 1975, a friend of mine said that he had the name of my business.  He introduced me to the new name GloryBee.  I rejected the name originally because it sounded too similar to some words I heard in the bible, Glory Be to God, although it was spelled differently.   So, I thought about it as a religious name and I realized that the name had a dual meaning not only a spiritual meaning, but a reference to the amazing bee.  

A guy named Slim Barrett, who was tall and lanky, from Greenleaf, Oregon, approached me and said he could build boxes, tops and bottoms and sell them to me at really good prices.  He was my wooden-ware supplier for a few years.  The beekeeping supply business expanded greatly after I got into it because I found where I could buy supplies more directly and at reasonable prices to be competitive.  

We set up a small store in our garage in the fall of 1974, located at 1635 River Road.  We talked to our landlord to get permission to knock out a wall in our house to put in a man door.  We put a free standing sign out on River Road saying, "Beekeeping Supplies Sold Here."  We sold honey out of the garage out of bulk honey tanks.  We had a total of two acres, the house on one end and a shed, where we kept the beekeeping supplies, on the other.  We were not in a "neighborhood," so what neighbors we did have didn't complain with all the foot traffic on and off of our property.  

In January or February 1975, my friend, John Crowder, called me and told me I should to teach beekeeping over at the community college.  This sounded interesting to me, so I called the college and told them about my idea about teaching beekeeping, starting in April.  Before I got off the phone we had a verbal contract for me to teach beekeeping.  The room they had for me held about 40 people.  I had never taught beekeeping before, so I was quite nervous to stand in front of 40 people and teach.  Well, the first Monday night of my beekeeping class, over 85 people showed up.  There was no way to have the class that night, so it was cancelled.  The next week, I came back and they registered 75 people and I was teaching in the auditorium for three hours a night every Monday night for 10 weeks.  At the end of the year, I sold $20,000 in beekeeping supplies and $16,000 in honey.  I taught beekeeping for the next 15 years.

My next endeavor was to try to help the students that took my beekeeping class have their own bees.  I called a company that advertised in The Bee Journal, and contracted the purchase of packaged bees to sell to the students that were interested in starting their own hives.  We planned a weekend early in April for the students and other customers to pick up the bees, but the beekeeper in California wasn't able to provide them.  We called everyone that had ordered bees and had to reschedule for later in the month.  In the end, I believe we sold 250 packages of bees that first year.  

I got to be busier and busier, from taking care of the bees to the burden of running the store. Selling honey and beekeeping supplies was all handled by my wife, Pat, during the busy season.  We had two young children also, so I guess you could say she was a working mom from home.  In 1977, we began to print a full catalog and mail it throughout the Pacific Northwest.  By 1977, I was known as a regional beekeeping supplier and this started our mail-order business.  We kept the store in our home for almost three years, and then we moved the store to 1015 Arrowsmith Street in July, just after our son Alan was born.  We kept the store at this location for 10 years.  

During this time, there were some major changes happening in our business.  In or around 1980, my friend Larry and his brother told me that they would supply bee boxes.  I told them I would take everything they could produce.  This was a big decision that lead me to advertise nationally.

Shortly after one of my trips to the largest factory in the United States, Western Bee Supply, I began to buy truckloads of secondary frames.  Western Bee Supply would not sell these frames to the public due to a small imperfection, but they we happy to sell them to me.  I would buy them, cull the boxes of any bad top bars or bottom bars, and I would provide additional parts when I sold an order for 250 frames or more, knowing that some of the parts in some of the frames were not of the highest quality.  I was able to make a market for these.  Beekeepers were more than happy to pay $0.05 a frame less for a lower grade and with the boxes that I was having made here locally, it grew the business to where I could actually advertise nationally.  Soon I was putting ads in the American Bee Journal and Gleening's Journal.  

Then, Larry and his brother wanted to expand their manufacturing of the beekeeping supply business.  At that time, there was a manufacturer in Salem, Ken Ramsey Beekeeping Supply, that ran into some financial trouble.  I was able to purchase all his manufacturing equipment and the plan was for them to make lease payments after it got set up.  They rented a building and spent about $7,000 to get things set up in that building. Within 30 to 60 days, they went bankrupt.  Here I was with a loan for all this equipment and it was back on my lap.  This was about 1983 when I decided I would set up the equipment and develop my own factory to manufacture beekeeping supplies.  This was right across the street from the store at 1006 Arrowsmith, so we now had two locations.  This was all happening during a deep recession.  I ended up with 12 to 18 people working for me (depending on the time of the year and the season).  People were ready and willing and wanted to work for me.  I ran the manufacturing  and Jim Davis was the manager.  We made boxes, frames, tops and bottoms, pollen traps and slatted racks.  The remaining supplies were bundled up as kindling and sold to Safeway.   

Midway through that period of running the factory, we were able to purchase a good box making machine, which elevated us to selling nationally and even internationally, shipping to Germany and a few other countries around the world.  

GloryBee beekeeper
hard at work

In the fall of 1987, we moved the honey packing and the food part of the business to our current location at 120 N. Seneca.  We bought the building with 10 percent down that was borrowed.  Shortly after moving in, we built a 5,000-square-foot building that we stored the beekeeping supplies that were made for us to sell in the store.  

We closed the manufacturing plant in June 1988.  I made a deal with Glen Miller, in Medford, to purchase all the equipment from us in trade for supplying us bee boxes.  His business was called Millers Beekeeping Supply.  I would make weekly trips to Medford to make deliveries, as well as pick up beekeeping supplies and stock pile them in the storage building.  After five to six years, Glen had paid me back in full and we continued to get our beekeeping supplies from him for several years after that. We work hard to find beekeeping supplies by various manufacturers from around the world. We are currently one of the top 10 suppliers of beekeeping supplies in the United States.

I kept expanding personally in my beekeeping from the 150 hives I started with in 1975 to up to 350 colonies from 1975 to 1983.  Beginning in 1982 to 1983, I was starting to sell off the beekeeping supplies.  There was a transition period where I felt like I could no longer run a three-ring circus.  I was keeping bees, being a competitive regional honey packer and delivering honey throughout the Pacific Northwest, and manufacturing beekeeping supplies.  Beekeeping took me away from the two locations, so I decided I had to give it up.  I was only producing between 18,000 to 30,000 pounds of honey per year.  This was a small portion of my sales.  After 15 years of teaching beekeeping, I was ready to pass on the torch to others. I turned it over to the Lane County Beekeeping Association, which I helped found and where I served as president in the beginning.  I had sold all but a few of my hives by the end of 1983.  

We feel like we want to stay true to our roots.  Beekeeping is part of the root of our business and we want to maintain that.  It keeps us connected with the beekeepers.  We understand and have a great compassion for the beekeeping industry.  Why, because the beekeeping industry, if it wasn't for the men and women that go out and maintain these hives, we wouldn't have the honey.  We know how challenging it is to be a beekeeper.  They are some of the hardest working people on the planet.  It is more challenging today, than when I was beekeeping, because of the mites and colony collapse disorder.  By continuing to sell beekeeping supplies we are supporting the local and regional beekeepers, who are the foundation of our honey industry.

In Memoriam: Bennie Lou Weaver

ABF member Bennie Lou Weaver passed away May 16, 2011, at home in Lynn Grove, Texas, with Binford Weaver, her husband of 52 years and nine months, by her side.  Weaver was a strong supporter of the ABF since joining the organization in 1979.

Bennie Lou Franks Weaver was born January 9, 1923, to Dovey Lucille Barnett Franks and Robert Ingram Franks in Del Rio, Texas.

Bennie Lou Weaver and her husband, Binford, attended every ABF conference from 1969 to 2009

Bennie Lou spent her early years ranching in West Texas, losing her father, Bob, to an auto accident in 1930.  Bennie Lou and Dovey persevered, ranching a 26 section place between Fort Stockton and Iraan until moving to another large ranch outside McCamey, where Bennie Lou graduated as salutatorian of the 1941 class.  Bennie Lou entered Baylor University on a scholarship in the fall of 1941, taking a leave of absence during the first years of World War II to help her mother on the ranch.  Bennie Lou returned to Baylor and graduated in 1946, majoring in English with a minor in Music.  After graduation, she married Phillip Renstrom, moved to California and taught high school in the San Francisco Bay area, and later at Kearney, Nebraska.  Her first marriage ended in divorce, and she returned to Waco, Texas, teaching English while earning her Master's degree in guidance and counseling at Baylor.

Bennie Lou remained close to her former roommate at Baylor, Reba Lou Weaver Campbell, and Reba's family, especially Reba's brother, Binford.  Bennie Lou and Binford were married on August 9, 1958, and afterward she made a loving home in Lynn Grove.

Bennie Lou served as a guidance counselor and teacher at Navasota High School in the late 1960s and early 1970s, where she joyfully influenced the development and success of many young people.  Bennie was also a certified Red Cross swimming and lifeguard instructor, and for many years shared responsibilities for the summer swimming program at the Navasota pool with her good friends, Jackie Baker, Carol Coleman, Anne Largent, Diane Moore and others.

She supported her husband as an active member and leader of the ABF, attending every meeting of the ABF from 1969 until 2009.  She was active in the Navasota Music Study club and the Navasota Garden club, serving as president of each, and an avid bridge player.  Bennie Lou was a founding member of the Grimes County Republican Party and an early supporter of George H. W. Bush in his campaigns for Congress and the Senate in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Bennie Lou grew up in the Baptist Church, became a member of the Lynn Grove Methodist Church after marriage, and subsequently, the First Presbyterian Church in Navasota, where she remained a faithful attendee until failing health intervened.

Bennie Lou was preceded in death by her father, Robert (August 30, 1930); her mother, Dovey (March 28, 1972); her adopted sister, Barbara Robinson, and Bennie Lou's beloved son, Robert Roy Weaver (January 15, 1995).  She is survived by her husband, Binford, of Lynn Grove, a son, Daniel Binford Weaver and daughter-in-law, Laura Gregory Weaver, and three grandsons, Travis Binford Weaver, Dylan Gregory Weaver and Stone Barnett Weaver, all of Austin, Texas.

Bennie Lou never met a stranger, regardless of origin; could find a fellow Texan in the dark on a new moon anywhere she roamed, but folks from west of the Nueces were her favorites; she was always quick with a smile but ready to speak her mind. Bennie Lou was a master of Southwestern cooking and a lover of classical, big band and jazz music; a fierce protector of right over might, and compassionate to those in need.  Mostly, she was one of a kind.

Bee Informed: Are You Having Problems with H-2A?

Several American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) members have reported having problems obtaining visas for returning H-2A workers. If your returning foreign workers are unable to obtain their visas, you should contact your Congressmen about this problem. Click here for more information on how to contact Congress.

A paper explaining the importance of H-2A workers for beekeepers can be found by clicking here. You can provide this to your employees and send it along with your personal letter or message to Congress. You should include a cover letter summarizing your own need for experienced H-2A workers.

Should you need assistance or have any questions, contact Troy Fore, ABF director of government relations, at 912.427.4018 or via e-mail at troyfore@abfnet.org.

Example of Products of the Hive
Example of Landscapes and Bees

Moments in Beekeeping: ABF Announces Photo Contest

There are four categories for entries in the photo contest:

  • Bees at Work — This will involve a great picture of a honey bee on a flower in the process of gathering nectar or pollen. It would also entail pictures of bees in the hive performing functions such as cooling, transfer of nectar or attending the queen. It could also be great frames of colorful pollen or brood.
  • Kids and Bees — This will include children working bees or in the classroom demonstrating any educational activities involving the honey bee. Costumes and recreations of bee hives are great subjects.
  • Products of the Hive — This category will show off great displays of honey, pollen or beeswax. It could be food made with honey or demonstrations of the different color of varietals. It could involve vehicles used to deliver honey or honey gift baskets. Show how you use and market the wonderful products of the hive.
  • Landscapes and Bees — Show us your favorite yard of bees and how beautiful the surrounding landscape is at your apiary sites.

Rules for photo contest are as follows:

  • Photo will be limited to 2 MB or under in size and will be displayed in a 1500 x 1200 pixel format.
  • Entrants will submit a release form for each photo stating the originality of the photo and possession of submission.
    Release forms will be sent via e-mail upon photo submission.
  • Photos and release forms must be submitted to the ABF via e-mail by June 1, 2011, for final judging. Please send photo to Robin Dahlen, ABF executive director, at robindahlen@abfnet.org.

The winner of each category will be awarded the following items courtesy of EKOBeekeeping.com (total value of $55): One 50ml bottle of Nozevit Plus; One 100ml bottle of OPIMA (essential oil, plant polyphenols, vitamins, minerals and amino acids food supplement); and One European Beekeepers Veil.

One grand prize winner will receive a Master Beekeepers Suit from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm.


Bee Connected: Become a "Fan" of the ABF on Facebook

by Amanda Hammerli, ABF Membership Coordinator

The ABF Facebook page is off to an excellent start!  We have enjoyed hearing from our members and hopefully future members through the page.  Again, If you are a member of Facebook, you can be a fan of the ABF Facebook page.  All you have to do is click here to view our page and click the "Like" button to become a fan, or simply search for "American Beekeeping Federation" to access the page.If you have a Facebook fan page for you business or local beekeeping association let us know and we'll add you to our line up.  Please feel free to post your beekeeping photos on our page, write on our wall and keep sending your friends to our page.  We have already reached 100 "likes" and will soon be giving away a wonderfully stocked goodie package to one of our lucky fans!  We would like to personally thank ABF's own Joan Gunter, Tim Tucker and Virginia Webb for their generous donations to the goodie package, as well as their unwavering support of growing the ABF membership.  

Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News

  • Total losses from managed honey bee colonies nationwide were 30 percent from all causes for the 2010/2011 winter, according to the annual survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Apiary Inspectors of America. This is roughly similar to total losses reported in similar surveys done in the four previous years: 34 percent for the 2009/2010 winter, 29 percent for 2008/2009; 36 percent for 2007/2008, and 32 percent for 2006/2007. A complete analysis of the survey data will be published later this year. The abstract can be found at http://www.extension.org/pages/58013/honey-bee-winter-loss-survey.
  • Honey prices are at historic levels as consumer demand continues to grow for the natural sweetener. Retail prices for honey have never been higher and ripples in the worldwide supply chain have those in the industry buzzing. Total U.S. honey consumption rose to 410 million pounds in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Of that total, 61 percent of honey consumed in the U.S. was imported. Read more at http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/203143/.
  • Unlike humans, bees have a dorsal visual field that enables them to avoid obstacles above their heads. Until now, it was not known whether this helped them to control their flight speed. Learn more from the ScienceDaily at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110513112525.htm.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently announced a grant to Pennsylvania State University and several collaborators to develop a nationwide network to monitor and maintain honey bee health.  The overall goal of the $5 million, five-year project is to focus on extension efforts while expanding upon previous USDA-funded research. Read more at http://www.nifa.usda.gov/newsroom/news/2011news/05171_pollinator.html.
  • An international group of scientists have been employing tiny passive RFID tags to track how long it takes foraging honey bees to return to their hive from a variety of release locations. Learn more about this newly published study at http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/8466/1/1/.
  • ABF member Randy Fair, of Mansfield, Louisiana, also known as "The Bee Bumbler," was recently featured on the A&E original program "Billy the Exterminator." Click here to see Randy's star turn on the small screen.

ABF Welcomes New Members — April 2011

  • Kimberly Bennett, Florida
  • Robert Finney, New Hampshire
  • Glen Kirkpatrick, Texas
  • Klaus Koepfli, California
  • Stewart Lundy, Virginia
  • Diane Marion, Maine
  • Mark Ross, Oregon
  • John Sansom, Alabama
  • Thomas Stefanik, Massachusettes

Recipe of the Month: Strawberry Honey Ice Cream

Recipe from Tim Tucker, ABF Membership and Marketing Committee Member and ABF E-Buzz Editor

Photo courtesy of dreamstime.com


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups honey
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2 cups crushed strawberries
  • A few whole strawberries for dressing at serving


In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until uniform and gradually add honey mixing well.  Add milk, cream, evaporated milk, salt and vanilla.  Mix all ingredients together.  Put in ice cream freezer and when cream is firm, or after about 15 minutes, add crushed strawberries.  Continue to freeze ice cream until firm.  Put in container and set in freezer for three or four hours. Serve with a fresh strawberry and a sprig of mint to finish.