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ABF E-Buzz: August 2012
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ABF E-Buzz — August 2012

In This Issue:











Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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

August moon large, orange and bright
rising in the midst of summers lingering heat.
Morning comes later and days first light
casts shadows of cool on the North once again.
Evening comes earlier, a welcome sight
to the old bees wings worn and weary.

Tim Tucker

Welcome back! I hope many of you are in the midst of extracting good crops this year and I have heard some good reports here and there of exceptional production. Unfortunately, here in the Midwest, we experienced another poor year due to the extreme drought, which is affecting much of the country. It is our second year here with little or no honey production and I am afraid that next year will be much the same. There is no first-year clover to grow and bloom next year, and the trees, shrubs and blooming perennials are very stressed with many that appear to be dying due to the lack of moisture.  With the drought and heat it will be very likely that when the final numbers come in regarding total honey production, the totals will be low and will be very supportive of higher honey prices.  The August USDA report is out and prices appear to again be at record levels from $1.80 up to $1.95. I have even heard of prices that are topping $2.00 per pound. You can find the latest report at www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/fvmhoney.pdf. For those of you harvesting great crops, congratulations!
Instead of extracting this month I have been reading research reports and a new paper from the ARS Beltsville Bee Lab, North Carolina State University and the University of Maryland.  It is titled "Pathogen Webs in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies" and reveals that CCD affected colonies demonstrate different profiles depending upon where the bees are located. On the East Coast it seems to be viruses that are the main drivers or causative agents, and on the West Coast is is a combination of viruses and Nosema. While Nosema and acute bee paralysis virus (ABPV) were linked with CCD colonies from western states,  these species were extremely rare in eastern honey bee colonies regardless of the presence of CCD.  I am not really surprised by this finding, as it is easy to detail the differences between climate and conditions for the proliferation of Nosema.  The differences between East and West Coast weather during the past 10 years have been quite different with conditions in the valley and along the West Coast being cool and wet, promoting these species and their resultant proliferation. Since we've not gone to California in the spring, we have had almost no need to treat for Nosema apis like we used to do in the 1990s and we have not seen evidence of Nosema ceranae, at least that I am aware of. We seem to have weather that jumps from winter right into summer and we are very often below rainfall tending to drought. The synopsis of the report is that "interactions among multiple subclinical infections can lead to the rapid depletion of adult workers that characterizes CCD. Alternatively, CCD as operationally defined could conflate unrelated diseases that produce similar phenotypes, thereby confounding studies of the underlying causes. More extensive studies of biotic correlates with CCD have been needed to clarify these issues."

This summer we had nucs that abandoned their hives leaving two or more frames of brood. It was just too difficult to cool and they just left. We only had a half a dozen or so like this, but it looked very CCD like in that there were no bees anywhere and the brood was dead, so there were no bees emerging.   There were no queens to be found and occasionally there were a few dead bees in the bottom of the boxes, but not enough to say that the whole colony succumbed to the heat. I have always suspected that bees collective conscious causes them at times to switch into a different mode, which is simply related to survival. When stressors get to a certain level they just leave in a final effort aimed at survival at any cost. I saw this a lot when doing the many extractions that we used to do when I was in the exterminating business.  The bees would be very defensive when we started tearing into the hive and then all of the sudden when you got enough of the comb removed, their attitude changed and they just stopped or shut down. Rather than risk any more loss of numbers due to defending the hive they switch to a mode of self preservation.

So, here we are, still looking for the cause, except a few of us that is.  Two weeks ago I had a lady stop at my booth at the farmer's market and told me that she knew what was killing our bees...without any doubts. It is the contrails that are formed from the government spraying that is going on all over the country and even around the world. It's a U.N. conspiracy!

We have in store for you much good information in this month's installment of "Science Buzz" by Peter Teal on the importance of  queen insemination volume and its affects on worker behavior and physiology.  We also have a legislative update from our president, George Hansen, and another update on our American Honey Queen Program from Anna Kettlewell. There's some great new "Buzzmakers" for your exploration, a new riddle to tease your brain and another fantastic recipe to try out. So, once again, we hope that you enjoy your time spent here with the ABF E-Buzz and that you share the publication with your friends.  If you have anything you would like to contribute to the next issue, please do not hesitate to e-mail me at tuckerb@hit.net.

The Buzz on the Hill: ABF August Legislative Update

by George Hansen, ABF President

Congress went into recess without passing a Farm Bill, and without finalizing a stand-alone disaster relief bill, either one. The Senate version of the Farm Bill is not acceptable to the House, mostly because of the level of Food Stamp spending, and the House version of a disaster relief bill is not acceptable to the Senate, mostly because a stand-alone relief package would remove any incentive to pass a new Farm Bill. One can only assume that this impasse will carry into the pre-election session. All bets are off.
The Weslaco lab will be closed. That is final. Congress did not intercede in the timeframe allowed by rule, so the Weslaco honey bee scientists will be reassigned to the remaining three ARS labs, and the funding for their work will go with them. The intent is that there will be no loss of effort, even though the work will be taking place from a new home lab.

Beekeepers are getting caught in a squeeze from a perfect storm of food safety interests. Besides the usual state department of agriculture inspections of honey houses, the FDA has its own inspection, which in my state is carried out by the state inspector at the same time as the state inspection. FDA needs to carry out the directives in the Food Safety Act, which might cause beekeepers some problems with traceability and residue issues. Now, Homeland Security is getting involved in some areas, because of potential terrorism issues in food production. But, the most likely pressure for possible changes in the processing and handling of honey will come from consumers, by way of demands from distributors and ingredient buyers for certification of not only processing facilities, but the producers who supply them. Who knows where this will end up. It will take some patience and a calm demeanor to work through this.

Bee Heard: Comment Period for Petition Requesting EPA Suspend Registration of Clothianidin Ends September 25, 2012

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

U.S. Representative Edward Markey (D-MA) recently sent a letter to the EPA requesting the agency investigate a potential link between the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, such as clothianidin, and honey bee losses. The EPA is currently accepting comments on a legal petition filed by beekeepers and environmental groups who have asked the EPA to suspend the use of clothianidin, which has been linked to problems for bees both in an acutely toxic manner and also sublethal or chronic effects that it appears to have on honey bee health. The petition was filed March 21, 2012, seeking suspension of the registration for any and all pesticides containing clothianidin and contained over one million signatures from around the world. The legal petition establishes that EPA failed to follow its own regulations when it granted a conditional, or temporary, registration to clothianidin in 2003 without a required field study establishing that the pesticide would have no "unreasonable adverse effects" on pollinators. The granting of the conditional registration was contingent upon the subsequent submission of an acceptable field study, but this requirement has not been met. EPA continues to allow the use of clothianidin nine years after acknowledging that it had an insufficient legal basis for initially allowing its use.
In his letter to the EPA, Representative Markey asks the agency to respond to questions, including:

  • Has the EPA investigated the impacts of the class of pesticides on honey bees and other pollinators?
  • What steps has EPA taken, and what more can the agency do, to limit or restrict the use of these pesticides and reduce the impact on bee populations?
  • What steps is the EPA taking to ensure there is sufficient scientific evidence to make informed decisions about the impacts of neonicotinoids on bees and other pollinators?

"The proverb, 'No bees, no honey, no work, no money,' may become all too true if we don't investigate the impact of pesticides on our valuable honey bee population," said Representative Markey. "Bees are vital to our nation's economy and food security. I urge the EPA to look more closely at the impacts of these commonly used pesticides on the bee population, and I look forward to the agency's response."
On July 26, 2012, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, also asked the EPA to expedite its review of neonicotinoids.  The EPA is currently scheduled to complete its review by 2018, which is not fast enough considering the problems that honey bees are experiencing.  The senator stated that, "By expediting this review, we can help save our honey bee population and grow our agricultural economies. Honey bees are vital to the health of agricultural industries in New York as one in three bites of food is reliant on honey bee pollination."

In her letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Senator Gillibrand wrote, "Protecting honey bees and other pollinators is vital to American agriculture. In fact, one in three bites of food is reliant on honey bee pollination, and threats to pollinators concern the entire food system and could drive up the cost of food in this country. Highlighting the economic importance of pollinators, a recent study by Cornell University found that insect pollination results in a value of more than $15 billion annually." Senator Gillibrand asked that the agency complete its investigation by the end of 2013, speeding up the process by five years. She states that it would be far to risky to wait "given the seriousness of the concerns raised."

Despite the growing body of scientific evidence linking pesticide chemicals to serious pollinator health issues, EPA last month denied an initial request by the petitioners that the agency immediately suspend the use of clothianidin due to the "imminent hazard" faced by bees, beekeepers and the agricultural economy. EPA has announced that it is seeking public comment on the rest of the petition's requests and will accept comments until September 25, 2012. See Beyond Pesticides' Pollinators and Pesticides page for more information on how pollinators are affected by pesticides and what you can do to help.

Bee Aware: Farm Bill Now Coalition Unites Nation's Farm Groups in Push for New Farm Bill

The ABF has joined a coalition of 39 of the nation's foremost agricultural organizations in an effort to raise public awareness of the need for Congress to pass a new, comprehensive, five-year farm bill before current farm programs expire in September. The coalition, called Farm Bill Now, comprises associations and coalitions representing commodity crops, livestock, dairy, specialty crops, state and local governments, minor crops, energy and biobased product groups, farm cooperatives and financial groups, as well as the nation's two largest farm groups, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Farmers Union. Each organization has strong and distinct policy priorities, yet all 39 are committed to passing a new, comprehensive bill this year.

The group recently issued the following statement, titled "Why We Need a Farm Bill," on the importance of new farm legislation for America's farmers:

  • "Calling the farm bill the 'farm bill' suggests its impact is limited only to farms and to the rural areas to which they are so closely tied. It's really a jobs bill. A food bill. A conservation bill. A research bill. An energy bill. A trade bill. In other words, it's a bill that affects every American.
  • "The farm bill affects our nation's ability to provide the necessities of life for a global population projected to pass 9 billion by 2050. Here at home, it affects an industry that provides 23 million-or 1 in every 12-American jobs.
  • "The farm bill has broad impact on our citizens and our economy. It provides healthy foods to millions of schoolchildren and nutritious options to families in need. It develops and expands trade with valuable foreign markets. By reducing spending significantly compared to prior farm bills, the proposals pending right now in Congress address the need to get our nation's fiscal house in order.
  • "And yes, it benefits American farms-98 percent of which are owned and operated by families. It helps big farms and small farms, major crops and specialty crops, organic farmers and conventional farmers, cattle ranchers and cotton ginners, farmers markets and national suppliers, and the vast range of other pursuits that make up American agriculture. This year, it would help farmers tackle the challenges posed by the worst drought in a generation.
  • "While Congress waits to finish the farm bill, we are united in asking all Americans to encourage legislators-home for summer town hall meetings and speeches-to finish this vital legislation before the current farm and food law expires in September. After all, it's your bill too."

In addition to the statement, Farm Bill Now launched an interactive web portal at www.FarmBillNow.com, through which visitors to the site can connect to their members of Congress and show their support for a new five-year farm bill.  Using messages to Congress via social media, event locations and times, and an online petition, FarmBillNow.com gives both farmers and consumers the resources they need to make their voices heard, telling Congress that the farm bill needs to be completed before the current farm food law expires in September.

For more information on Farm Bill Now and to get involved in ensuring that American agriculture has the security and certainty that it needs, visit FarmBillNow.com.

Bee Informed: Register Today for ABF's Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar Beekeeping 101: Fall Hive Management

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. MT / 5:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. AKST / 3:00 p.m. HST
Dr. Roger Hoopingarner, professor emeritus, Michigan State University

The ABF Education Committee has been hard at work developing new ways to keep its members engaged and informed in between ABF annual conferences each year. To this end, the ABF is pleased to announce a special nine-part series within the "Conversation with a Beekeeper" Webinar series. This series will be titled "Beekeeping 101" and will feature Dr. Roger Hoopingarner, professor emeritus at Michigan State University. Whether you are brand new to the world of beekeeping or you just need to have a refresher course, this "Beekeeping 101" series will be a great educational experience with many topics focused on the biology and management of honey bees.

The second session within this series is titled "Fall Hive Management" and it will be held on Tuesday, September 11, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. ET. More details on Dr. Hoopingarner's presentation can be found below.

There will be nine sessions within the "Beekeeping 101" series. Other topics will include: winter biology, flight dynamics, population growth and pollination. Most sessions will take place on the second Tuesday of each month at 8:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to keep an eye on future issues of ABF E-Buzz, as well as the ABF website at www.abfnet.org, for more information and registration details for each session.


Dr. Roger Hoopingarner

Join us as we learn the ins and outs of getting your colonies ready for winter. This session will focus on a basic understanding of how a colony organizes itself to get through a long period of cold, and how you can aid the bees in that process.

Dr. Roger Hoopingarner got his start in beekeeping as a boy scout 65 years ago. With that interest he went on to receive his B.S. degree from Michigan State University in Entomology and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His doctoral research was on the genetics and environmental factors in queen rearing. 

After a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, he joined the faculty at Michigan State University's Entomology Department where he remained doing research, teaching and extension in insect physiology and apiculture for 38 years.  His research interests involved fruit pollination, disease transmission, population dynamics and insecticide interactions with insects and animals.


The sessions will be conducted via the GoToWebinar online meetings platform, which means the presenter will have a visual presentation, as well as an audio presentation. Upon entering the session online, you may choose whether to listen to the presentation through your computer's speakers or through your phone.

Reserve your spot today by e-mailing Grayson Daniels, ABF membership coordinator, at graysondaniels@abfnet.org or by calling the ABF offices at 404.760.2875. Registration will close 48 business hours before the scheduled session. Twenty-four hours before the session the registered participant will receive an e-mail confirming participation, along with the necessary information to join the session. If an e-mail address is not provided, the ABF will call the participant with the information. Questions for the speaker must be submitted 48 business hours in advance to Grayson Daniels.

If you are unable to make the session, don't fear! Each session will be recorded and available on the ABF Web site for member-only access.

THE "BEEKEEPING 101" SERIES IS SPONSORED BY: Nozevit A Member of the CompleteBee.com Family

Nozevit is an all-natural plant polyphenol honey bee food supplement that is added to sugar syrup feed. Nozevit is produced from certified organic substances according to a decades old traditional European recipe. Healthy bee colonies build brood faster in the spring, and will winter extremely well when their intestinal integrity is intact. Exceptional colonies can be built using all-natural Nozevit as a food supplement for intestinal cleansing, thereby reducing the need of chemical treatments for internal ailments.

Science Buzz

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

I am really excited about the initial response to last month's rolling out of the ABF Research Program (see article below for more details)!  We have received several inquiries and proposals.  Things are looking good, please keep the ideas flowing. Some questions that have come up are:

  • Is there funding for these projects? Yes, funding is available, but we don't that specific level of funding at this time.
  • Is there a specific date for submission of the proposal?  No, we have not set a cutoff date.
  • How long does the funding last?  We expect the research to be conducted within the year during which the funding was granted and that the results will be presented at the following ABF annual conference.

Now, on to our "buzz" for the month...

As we all know, the queen reigns supreme and controls the colony using a variety of pheromones, one of which, the Queen Pheromone (QP), is the best understood. In addition to causing the retinue response by workers, inhibiting workers from developing ovaries and regulating the transition of workers from nurse to foraging behavioral states, QP inhibits rearing of new queens.  There are essentially two situations when colonies engage in rearing new queens.  The first occurs when the colony becomes crowded to the point that the level of QP is so diluted that it cannot control all of the workers despite having a fully functional queen.  This is the normal "swarming situation," which results in workers building queen cells, rearing queens and preparation for swarming.  The second scenario occurs when the queen is failing due to age, ill health or other factors and results in replacement of the queen (supersedure).  This is of real concern to beekeepers because supersedure results in significant reductions in brood (up to 80 percent) and honey (up to 95 percent).  Over the past few years, supersedure seems to have become more prevalent, but what do we know about mating and QP and supersedure?
Studies performed using young queens (a couple of weeks old) have shown that workers are preferentially attracted to QP from mated queens than from virgins, and that mated queens produce a different QP pheromone than virgins (Kocher and others, 2009; Queen reproductive state modulates pheromone production and queen-worker interactions in honey bees; Behavioral Ecology volume 20, pages 1007-1014).  Additionally, young queens artificially inseminated with a larger amount of semen cause a stronger retinue response from workers than do queens inseminated with a low volume of semen and this was correlated with differences in the QP (Richard and others, 2007, Plos One, Effects of insemination quantity on honey bee queen physiology).  So, for young queens, mating is important for optimal production of QP and mating with several males is better mating with a single drone for young females. But what happens in the long term?

A recent study conducted over an 11-month period has provided some interesting information on the effect of queen insemination on worker behavior and physiology (Nino and others, 2012, Journal of Insect Physiology, Effects of honey bee (Apis meliphera L.) queen insemination volume on worker behavior and physiology.  Volume 58, pages 1082-1089). As in the other studies, they mixed semen from males and then artificially inseminated queens. Low-volume queens were inseminated with 1ul or and high volume queens got 8ul.  The mixed semen removed any genetic differences that might contribute to the results.  Then they conducted queen longevity, brood area measurements, worker behavior and physiological studies. The results from this study agreed with other studies because, even at two months of age, more workers performed retinue responses with high-volume queens than with low volume queens.  Although there were no differences in the amounts of capped or uncapped brood over a three-month period, there was a trend, although not great, for colonies with high volume to produce fewer queen cells.  Interestingly, Dufour's gland extracts from workers in low volume queen colonies contained greater amounts of queen-esters, chemicals normally found only in queenless workers beginning to produce and lay eggs that will become drones.  Although these workers didn't have activated ovaries, as might be expected if they were going to start laying drone eggs, the authors suggest that these workers might be anticipating the need to become reproductive in case the queen failed.

The most interesting and surprising finding from the paper was that all of the high-volume inseminated queens died over the winter, whereas only half of the low-volume queens died.  The reasons for this die-off are unknown, but clearly the physiology of the high-volume queens was different from the low-volume queens.  These queens were artificially inseminated and we know that in nature queens mate multiple times, often living several years, so this artificial insemination must be a contributing factor.  Clearly additional work needs to be done on the over-wintering survival.

In summary, all of these studies point to the fact that queens that store a high volume of semen as a result of multiple mating produce a more effective QP than do females that have lower volumes of semen stored.  As a result, these females have larger retinues, which probably translates to a improved fitness and better health of the queen and healthy queens can control the colony better.  Thus, the probability of supersedure during the season is significantly reduced.  However, this may be at the cost of overwintering survival and additional studies are clearly needed.

ABF Call for Research Project Proposals: Members of the Beekeeping Industry Encouraged to Apply

For the past several years there has been a "semi-formal" meeting of the ABF Research Committee at the ABF annual conference to discuss ways in which the ABF could promote and improve communication of research discoveries to the membership at large.  This led to the development of the monthly "Science Buzz" column in the ABF E-Buzz, which we hope has been useful in letting you know what is new.  However, it has been determined that the ABF should be doing more to get new ideas on bee management to the membership and in fostering research by members. Why let the scientists have all the fun when beekeepers and members of the beekeeping industry are always trying new things?

In light of this, the ABF Research Committee has kicked into high gear and has formally established a new research program aimed at supporting research conducted by beekeepers and those within the industry.  This program was initiated because members of the ABF leadership realize that beekeepers are doing their own research all of the time, although we sometimes think of it as just tinkering or tweaking things to improve bee management.  The new research program is aimed at providing some support to beekeepers and members of the beekeeping industry to conduct studies on their ideas to improve bee management in replicated studies using test and control groups so that results can be compared and presented to the ABF members as a whole.

This is really exciting because you can apply for funds to prove that your ideas work and present your findings at the ABF annual conference so others can use them! Results will also be presented in the monthly "Science Buzz" column.  In short, we all have tricks we think are great — now let's prove they're great and get the word out to our fellow beekeepers.

Click here to learn how you can submit a research proposal to the ABF Research Committee (PDF file). Please put your ideas together and let's improve bee management! Feel free to contact ABF Research Committee member Peter Teal at peter.teal@ars.usda.gov with any questions or comments.

Bee There: Register Today for the 2013 ABF Annual Conference

The American Beekeeping Federation is proud to partner with the Hershey® Lodge to bring to you the 2013 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow, January 8-12, 2013. In addition to all of the traditional conference activities, you'll have the opportunity to learn more about Milton and Catherine Hershey and their remarkable dedication to the Milton Hershey School.

Founded in 1909 with a portion of the wealth made from their chocolate business, Milton and Catherine Hershey opened their doors to four young boys, which began the school today known as the Milton Hershey School.  By 1914, there were 40 boys enrolled in the school.  Sadly, Catherine Hershey passed away in 1915 after a long illness and a few years later, Milton Hershey gave his entire personal fortune (thousands of acreage and controlling interest in the company, worth $60 million) to the school to provide for its continuation throughout all time.

The school is now managed and funded by the Milton Hershey School Trust, which owns controlling interest in The Hershey Company and owns the Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company (existing of many of the area hotels along with Hersheypark, an entertainment theme park). Today, the Milton Hershey School is the country's largest pre-kindergarten through 12th grade residential school for boys and girls from families of low income and social need.  All students attend free of charge and receive housing, education, clothing, meals, medical, dental, religious, psychological and other services as needed. The school currently serves over 1,800 students with plans to grow to 2,100 students by 2013.

Come be a part of this amazing story and join us in Hershey for the 2013 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow.  All guests of the Hershey® Lodge will receive a complimentary pass to the Hershey Story/Museum where you can experience first-hand the incredible contributions of Milton and Catherine Hershey.

By now you should have received your conference registation packet via postal mail. If you want to skip the stamp on sending back your paper registration form, you can also easily register now on the conference website. And while you're there be sure to discover the latest conference updates and information on hotel accommodations. You also don't want to miss out on the early registration ratesThe deadline for early registration is Wednesday, October 3, 2012.

There's a lot to see and do in Hershey, so plan to bring the family and join us for a spectacular start to 2013!

Bee Educated: Learn How to Grow Your Knowledge and Understanding of Bees and Beekeeping

by Robin Lane, ABF Executive Director


The American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) is pleased to announce a new online educational program available at a discounted rate for all ABF members the Beekeeper Education & Engagement System (BEES).  Under the direction of Dr. David Tarpy, associate professor and extension apiculturist, Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, the BEES network is an online resource for beekeepers at all levels.

The system is Internet based and promotes an online learning community among beekeepers.  The structure of the BEES network is broken into three levels of complexity (Beginner, Advanced and Ambassador) and three areas of content (honey bee biology, honey bee management and the honey bee industry). New courses and content areas are also in development and will be introduced soon. More information can be found at http://entomology.ncsu.edu/apiculture/BEES.html.

Through the end of the year, ABF members will be given the opportunity to participate in the program at a 20-percent discount (click here for coupon; coupon must be presented at time of registration). Dr. Tarpy also recently conducted an "ABF Conversation with a Beekeeper" webinar, where he introduced, in detail, the BEES Program. Click here to access the session.  Log on and learn more about this outstanding educational program today!

Honey Queen Buzz: Queen and Princess Use the Media to Get the Word Out

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

Queen Alyssa recently demonstrated her candle making skills at the Indiana State Fair.

August is one of the busiest months for the American Honey Queen program, and the American Honey Queen and Princess have visited fairs and festivals throughout the nation this last month!

Fair travel took Alyssa and Danielle to New Jersey, Washington, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York and Maryland.  One might think that after a while a fair is a fair, but every fair visit offered the Queen and Princess different activities and promotional opportunities.  Both gave stage presentations about the industry, cooking demonstrations, hive demonstrations and media interviews at the fairs.  Each exhibit offered something unique and special, including honey sampling, open hive demonstrations, children's activities, candle making, and the list goes on and on!  Every fair offered variety, which makes each fair experience unique for the queens.

During the Wisconsin State Fair, Princess Danielle sold several varieties of honey at the busy Wisconsin Honey Producers booth.

Several fairs offered media opportunities to the Queen and Princess before they even arrived in the state.  Alyssa and Danielle responded to reporters' questions for print and online media via e-mail and were available for radio interviews by phone before coming to a particular state.  Keep this in mind when you are arranging media for the Honey Queen and Princess.  They don't need to be in the state to conduct a media interview.  In fact, why not consider pitching a honey story to your local newspaper and include the Honey Queen or Princess?  They can participate in these types of interviews even if they aren't coming to your state to promote.  Offer reporters the opportunity to talk to the Honey Queen or Princess, who can provide interesting facts about using honey and recipes for the newspaper's readers.  I am happy to help arrange times for the Honey Queen and Princess to speak to your local newspaper in the next month or throughout the remainder of the year!

As we approach September and National Honey Month, honey festivals are now on the Queen and Princess's radars.  Alyssa spent a week in north central Florida promoting for and attending a National Honey Bee Awareness Celebration in the Gainesville area.  Danielle was a guest of the West Virginia Honey Festival.  Both events allow the area to highlight honey and honey bees and are signature events in the region.  Each event gave the Queen and Princess the opportunity to promote in the community prior to the event, heightening the awareness in the community and giving the media something to discuss.  Pre-festival events include things like school-group visits, store promotions and cooking demonstrations, civic organization speeches, media interviews and beekeeping organization meetings.  These types of visits always help increase attendance at your event!

Please keep up with Alyssa and Danielle's travels through their Facebook site and their blog the rest of summer and early fall.  Like their Facebook site and show your support as they continue their nonstop promotions!  Please contact me (414.545.5514 or honeyqueen99@hotmail.com) if you are interested in hosting Alyssa and Danielle for a December event, or if you are ready to start making plans for your 2013 events.  Happy promoting!

Bee Connected: ABF Facebook Page Reaches New Milestone

by Grayson Daniels, ABF Membership Coordinator

It's official...the ABF Facebook page has reached over 1,000 fans! It has been almost a year and a half since we launched our Facebook page and, since then, we have seen the page grow exponentially. Many of our Facebook fans aren't ABF members, so we have been able to use this social-media tool to help promote the beekeeping industry as a whole, as well as our organization. We have seen nothing but support for the ABF and we are excited to celebrate this big milestone!

There doesn't seem like a better way to celebrate than by giving away honey and other fun gifts to a lucky fan, as donated by ABF Board members, Tim Tucker and Blake Shook. Thanks for your generosity and never ending support for the ABF, Tim and Blake!

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. We look forward to adding new fans and letting people know about the wonderful world of beekeeping, so spread the word and keep checking in for ABF updates!

Foundation Update: Foundation to Offer Five Graduate Student Scholarships

by Troy Fore, Executive Director, Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees

The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees is again offering scholarships of $2,000 each to five graduate students in apiculture. This is the Foundation's eighth year to award such scholarships.

The Foundation is a charitable research and education foundation affiliated with the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF). The Foundation has benefited from a generous gift from the Glenn and Gertrude Overturf estate, and is sustained by ongoing gifts from ABF members and other supportive individuals.

The Foundation Trustees have chosen to use a portion of the grant to offer graduate student scholarships to foster professional development for young apicultural scientists. The purpose of the scholarships is to allow the recipients to attend the 2013 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow in Hershey, Pennsylvania, January 8-12. The recipients will have an opportunity to meet other researchers and beekeepers and to present their research at the meeting. The Board of Trustees looks forward to their contributions to the conference. The scholarships are available to all graduate students. Graduate students at universities outside the United States are invited to apply.

Applications for the scholarships will be accepted until October 30, 2012.

Applicants should submit to the Board for consideration:

  • A cover letter from their advisor outlining the student's progress toward their graduate degree, tentative graduation date, and any other information about the student and their research that would help the committee "get to know" the student.
  • A curriculum vitae, or resume, not to exceed two (2) pages.
  • A research proposal (not to exceed three (3) pages). This proposal should outline the specific research experiments the student is conducting for their degree. The proposal should clearly state how the research benefits bees and/or beekeeping. The proposal can describe research that the student is planning to perform, or the progress the student already has made toward that research. The proposal should begin with an introduction to the research problem, and should follow with clear goals and objectives that state the research questions and hypotheses. The student should then discuss the methods that will be used to answer their research questions, and the expected results or results to date. Recipients will be selected in November.

Applications must be submitted electronically to: Troy Fore, executive director, Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees; troyfore@honeybeepreservation.org.  If you have questions or need more information about the scholarship program, contact Marla Spivak, scholarship program coordinator, Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees; spiva001@umn.edu.

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

September is National Honey Month National Honey Board 2012 National Honey Month Press Kits Now Available

The National Honey Board (NHB) is pleased to announce that they will be providing 2012 press kits to industry members to help promote September as National Honey Month. September has been recognized as National Honey Month for more than 20 years.  The press kit, intended for delivery to local media, will be available at no cost to beekeepers throughout the United States.

The press kit features information on honey's benefits, recipes, and a CD with several high resolution images that will be perfect for use by editors and journalists preparing honey features and news stories.

The press kits are now available and may be requested by calling Andrea Brening at the NHB office (800.553.7162) or by sending an e-mail to Andrea@nhb.org.

National Honey Board Accepting Bee Research Proposals

The National Honey Board (NHB) is requesting proposals for research dealing with honey bee colony production.  The goal of this research is to help producers maintain colony health while assuring the maintenance of honey quality.  Areas of interest are: control of Varroa destructor, Acarapis woodi, Nosema Ceranae, and small hive beetle; the investigation into the causes and controls of Colony Collapse Disorder; and honey bee nutrition, immunology and longevity.
The NHB is open to both projects that find new methods of maintaining health, and ones that combine current methods to increase efficacy rates.  Other projects will be considered and research outside the U.S. is possible.  The amount of funds available for a particular proposal will depend on the number and merit of proposals finally accepted.  The funds will be available for approved projects for the duration of the calendar year 2013 and may be carried into early 2014 if necessary; the duration of projects being funded should generally not exceed 12 months.
Proposals must be received at the National Honey Board office by 5:00 p.m. MST, November 14, 2012.  Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered. Instructions on how to submit a research proposal may be found on the NHB website at www.honey.com.

Bee Thinking

Last month's riddle master was ABF member Tom Gillaspie.  Below is the answer:

Riddle:  A man who lives on the tenth floor takes the elevator down to the first floor every morning and goes to work. In the evening, when he comes back, on a rainy day, or if there are other people in the elevator, he goes to his floor directly. Otherwise, he goes to the seventh floor and walks up three flights of stairs to his apartment. Can you explain why?

Answer:  He is a dwarf, so on a rainy day he uses his umbrella to punch the 10th floor button or he has someone punch it for him.  When he is by himself, he only can reach the seventh floor button so he has to walk up the last three flights.

So, here's another riddle for you to wrestle with.  Think you know the answer?  The first to e-mail Tim Tucker at tuckerb@hit.net will lay claim to another fun ABF prize.

I am thinking of three secret words; they are all related and are in common use. You can find the secret words by solving the following.  Several words are given below (the secret words are NOT given). Your challenge is to determine in which one of three groups the given words belong. Each secret word is the basis for one group. Solve the groups, find the secret words!

adopt, darkest, eleventh, fiddle, fifteen, guess, happy, maid, nature, rice, rush, split, steak, wind, witching

Bonus: Name one body part that belongs in all three groups.

Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News

ABF Welcomes New Members — July 2012

  • Henry Campbell, South Carolina
  • Melissa G. Cook, Texas
  • Terry Fender, Texas
  • Gerald T. Fischer, Wisconsin
  • Charles V. Justus, Texas
  • Eli Kalke, Iowa
  • Debra Kruljac, South Carolina
  • Brian Marcy, Pennsylvania
  • Consuelo McFadden, Oklahoma
  • Molly J. Miller, Texas
  • Jerald Prelow, Texas
  • Belinda Rosas-Delgado, Texas
  • Bill Zimmer, Texas







Recipe of the Month: Sticky Chicken and Broccoli

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

Nothing better than broccoli stir fry. Just stir fry the cut-up stems with some onions in a lightly oiled wok. After five minutes, add florets and a little water, cover and steam for another five minutes. Top with a few tsps. of honey and salt to taste. This Sticky Chicken recipe is from The One Pan Gourmet by Dan Jacobson and is great with broccoli.


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbsps. honey
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsps. soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Rice, quinoa or couscous


Cut chicken into one-inch cubes or strips and mix with all ingredients in medium frying pan over medium heat cooking for 20 minutes until chicken is done and serve over a bed of your favorite rice, brown rice, quinoa or couscous. This is a keeper recipe!