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ABF E-Buzz: June 2013
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ABF E-Buzz — June 2013

In This Issue:










Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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

But when June comes - Clear my th'oat
With wild honey! -- Rench my hair
In the dew! And hold my coat!
Whoop out loud! And th'ow my hat! --
June wants me, and I'm to spare!
Spread them shadders anywhere,
I'll get down and waller there,
And obleeged to you at that!

James Whitcomb Riley

Welcome back! It's amazing how fast this month is passing, and the bees are working hard here in the Midwest. There are a few reports that the bees are doing much better this year, and some have a box of honey on already. Here in the Midwest, the honey flow started late by several weeks or perhaps even a month. We have several yards doing quite well, and we are beginning to work in the second honey supe r we have on. If we  get another inch or two of rain here in the next week, we could have a good season. I've heard many places are almost too wet to do well, but things are beginning to dry out in the Dakotas. The national weather precipitation shows that much of the central part of the country received good rain throughout during the month of May. I hope all of us beekeepers  have a good year and many are able to recover from years of drought and shortages in honey production.

One of the things you can do to help your bees survive a little better is to think about shading them or moving them into shade so they don't have to spend too much energy working just to keep things cool. Many don't know that the harder the bees have to work to carry water in order to cool the hive, the less work they will do collecting nectar. As you can see here in the picture at the side, we have moved most of our small hives or nucs into areas that are shaded most of the day. I am always concerned when we do this as it can cut down on good ventilation of the colonies, which is very important. Trees and low lying limbs can cut down on air flow, so it's very important to make sure that there is good air flow through the hive as well. We often set the tops up and put in a stick to set the lids up so there is good air flow through the hive from top to bottom. This helps to prevent chalk brook, which can set in if you don't have good ventilation and if the bees are stressed by other factors that encourage the chalk brood to spread. So make sure your bees stay cool this next couple of months, and give them good ventilation. It always helps with your honey production and brood production, which is so important.

In our area the wild bergamot is blooming everywhere. I usually correlate this with the end of our regular spring honey flow, so it's important that we now find other sources for nectar. These "bee balm" blooms are usually covered with a host of bees and butterflies as they provide abundant nectar, but the nectaries are too deep for honey bees to utilize. This year, I have not seen many insects of any kind on our roadside stands of this bergamot and have only captured a few different large bees on the flowers. The Tewa Indians used the bergamot when cooking meat because of the flavor it imparted into it. The Iroquois used the plant in the making of a beverage. The plant also has a wide variety of medicinal uses and was often used by Native Americans and settlers to cure stomach ills and headaches. We will now have to hope for some July rains and a continuation of the white dutch clover in the pastures that we have bees around.
We have a lot in store for you in this issue! For the first time, we are introducing a brand new "Call for Papers" program for the upcoming ABF annual conference. Please make sure you check out the ABF website for more details. We know you will appreciate the contribution from our Honey Queen Chairperson, Anna Kettlewell. Once again the American Honey Queen and Princess have been busy buzzing around the country representing the industry and providing great information about honey and its values. There's also a report that we hope you enjoy about the Kids and Bees program from program chair, Sarah Red-Laird. You can also read updates from the National Honey Board. Let us know what you think, and if there's any news from your area, please let me know so we can get it into our next issue. Thanks again for stopping by, and we will see you soon!

Bee Informed: Register Today for ABF's Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar Two Sessions Scheduled for July

EPA's Framework for Assessing Risks to Bees from Pesticides
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. MT / 5:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. AKST / 2:00 p.m. HST
Dr. Tom Steeger, Senior Science Advisor, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs' Environmental Fate and Effects Division & Kris Garber, Senior Biologist, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs' Environmental Fate and Effects Division

Building a Hobbyist, Sideline and Commercial Honey House
Thursday, July 11, 2013
8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. MT / 5:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. AKST / 2:00 p.m. HST
Blake Shook, ABF director and Membership and Marketing Committee chair

Register today for two new sessions in the ABF's "Conversation with a Beekeeper" Webinar series - "EPA's Framework for Assessing Risks to Bees from Pesticides," Tuesday, July 9, with Dr. Tom Steeger and Kris Garber, and "Building a Hobbyist, Sideline and Commercial Honey House," Thursday, July 11, with Blake Shook. Both sessions will be held at 8:00 p.m. ET.

SESSION DETAILS: EPA's Framework for Assessing Risks to Bees from Pesticides

Join us as Dr. Steeger and Ms. Garber pick up from the preceding discussion of EPA generalized process for evaluating the ecological risks of pesticides and focus on bees. The presentation will describe the previous qualitative assessment and provide an overview of the recently developed quantitative risk assessment framework for bees. This discussion will include an overview of the new process that relies upon multiple lines of evidence to assess potential risks to bees.

Tom Steeger is a Senior Science Advisor in the Environmental Fate and Effects Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). He has worked as an ecological risk assessor at EPA for the past 16 years and is responsible to evaluating the effects of pesticides in a broad range of non-target organisms including insect pollinators. Over the past five years, Tom has served as the lead technical advisor to the OPP Pollinator Protection Team and more recently he has served as the lead technical advisor on OPP's proposed framework for quantifying risks to honey bees. Tom also served on the Steering Committee for the Pellston Workshop on Pollinator Risk Assessment hosted by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in 2011, and he co-chaired the risk assessment workgroup of the Pellston; he is a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expert group on pollinators and he is a member of the International Commission on Plant-Pollinator Relationships (ICPPR) workgroup on semi-field and full-field pollinator studies. Tom's doctoral research examined the effects of chemical pollutants on endocrine-mediated processes in fish, and he has nine years of experience as a research biologist conducting mammalian toxicity studies with pharmaceuticals.

SESSION DETAILS: Building a Hobbyist, Sideline and Commercial Honey House

Join us as Blake Shook presents on things to do and things not to do when building a honey house, as well as basic sanitation requirements for processing food.

Blake Shook
and his wife, Kathleen, are the owners of Desert Creek Honey Company. They operate over 2,000 hives in Texas, California and North Dakota. Blake began his business in 2004 at age 14, and still packages and markets a wide variety of honey and honey products online and throughout Texas. Blake is a director of the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF), as well as the Membership and Marketing Committee chair. He has served as president and vice president of a local beekeeping association in Texas and is currently the president for the Texas Beekeepers Association.

When he is not working bees, he has had the privilege of speaking at local, state, national and international beekeeping conventions promoting beekeeping. He has also written and contributed content for national beekeeping magazines.


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 clicking the links below for the session you are interested in joining. Upon approval of registration, 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.

Click here to register for the EPA's Session titled "EPA's Framework for Assessing Risks to Bees from Pesticides."

Click here to register for Blake Shook's session titled "Building a Hobbyist, Sideline and Commercial Honey House."

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.

Join the ABF Buzz Club and Bee $100 Richer!

Want to be a member of the ABF Buzz Club? It's easy and rewarding! Starting in July and running through the end of the year, the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) will hold an ABF Buzz Club membership drive, which will be open to all ABF active members. For every new member you bring to the ABF, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Visa gift card. The more new members you bring the more chances you have to win the gift card. (Please see Rules and Regulations below.)

Have a question or need membership applications? Contact Grayson Daniels, ABF membership coordinator, at 404.760.2875 or graysondaniels@abfnet.org.

Thank you for your participation and let's start buzzing!

ABF Buzz Club Rules and Regulations:

  • The completed membership application must have the current ABF sponsoring member's name written on the form.
  • All membership applications and payment are due no later than December 31, 2013, at 12:00 a.m. ET.*
  • Membership can be paid with cash, check, money order or credit card. Applications and payment can be mailed to:

American Beekeeping Federation
3525 Piedmont Road
Building 5, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30305

*Must arrive on or before December 31, 2013, to be eligible for the Visa gift card drawing.

Buzzworthy: Pollinators Protected, at least in the House

By Kim Flottum, Bee Culture Magazine

A pollinator protection amendment passed yesterday that was offered by Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) to the Farm Bill currently being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives, a fitting and positive development during National Pollinator Week.

“Honey bees and other pollinators have been suffering record-high population losses, and we all know pollinators are vitally important to agriculture and are an integral part of food production. These critical species are at the front lines of pesticide exposure and it is high time that the government do more to protect them.” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety.

The Hastings amendment, which passed 273-149 with 81 Republicans and 192 Democrats voting in favor, seeks to better improve federal coordination in addressing the dramatic decline of managed and native pollinators as well as direct the government to regularly monitor and report on the health of pollinators including bees, birds, bats and other beneficial insects.

In the United States, pollination contributes to $20-30 billion in agricultural production annually.  In North America, honey bees pollinate nearly 95 kinds of fruits, including many specialty crops like almonds, avocados, cranberries, oranges and apples.

“This year has shown the highest honey bee losses since colony collapse began; it is a clear message that we need to do more to protect pollinators.  The Hastings amendment is a much needed win for pollinators everywhere and we hope it compels the government to do more to protect these vital species,” added Kimbrell.

Earlier this month, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) filed a nearly identical amendment to the Senate Farm Bill but it was not voted on prior to the Senate passing its bill. The House has yet to vote on final passage of the bill, which is expected to come early next week.  The Center is confident that the Senate will support the pollinator protection language when the two bills go to conference.

Bee a Kid: Kids and Bees Program

By Sarah Red-Laird, Kids and Bees Program Chair

Sarah Red-Laird as Drone Girl

It has been a fantastically busy last couple of months for me. I buzzed up and down the West Coast spreading the seeds of honey bee stewardship while I visited schools and communities to teach about bees and beekeeping. In April and May I was booked to capacity with the Kids and Bees school program! My bees and I visited tiny school rooms on mountain tops with ten little faces, large auditoriums with hundreds, and every size in-between. My school program had a new edition this year of dressing kids up in ridiculous bee costumes that model the different jobs bees have in the hive (queen, drone, the workers: nurse bee, house bee, etc). I was a little worried that this wouldn't fly; what kind of a kid wants to stand up in front of her whole school wearing a boa, tiara, and carrying a carton of eggs? Well, all of them!  Even the boys!  We had SO much fun. 

Sophie Bee

Now that school has come to a close, it's summer camp season. Next Monday I'll be enjoying a daily double of Kids and Bees. I'll spend the morning with the "Kid's in the Kitchen: a Cooking and Gardening Experience for Young Chefs" at the Ashland Food Co-op, talking to our littlest chefs about the importance of bees in their gardens, and also giving them a few tips on how to cook with honey. Then I'll spend the afternoon with teenagers in the Southern Oregon University Bee Keeping Club's campus apiary with a SOU summer camp based on finding "Art in Agriculture." The club's hives are set in a student-run community garden, so I'll have no problem making the connection between the bees and the art of pollination! During the first week of July, I'll be up to my elbows in microscopes, bug nets, bee biology lessons, and flower dissections for the science-based summer camp "The Buzz About Bees" at the ScienceWorks Hands-On  Museum in Southern Oregon.

As summer camps begin to wind down, I'll be traveling to Pennsylvania to take part in the first Kids and Bees program at Eastern apicultural society conference (EAS)!  Rachel Bryson, former Pennsylvania Honey Queen, and American Honey Princess will be organizing the event. There will be beeswax candle rolling, honey tasting, and "be a beekeeper" stations (among many others) for the kids (and their parents) of West Chester, PA. I'll be serving as a trusty volunteer this year, but hope to continue to collaborate with the EAS crew to put on many more kids programs in the future! Rachel would LOVE your help on the evening of the event. If you could donate your time from 7-9 on Wednesday, August 7th, she would really appreciate an email, brysonrachel@yahoo.com

In next month's edition of the Kids and Bees column in the ABF E-Buzz, I'll fill you in on a collaboration I've been working on with the International Bee Research Association (IBRA) to connect kids in the US to kids overseas, using the wonder-provoking honey bee!

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

Bakers Reach Sweet Heights at Honey Baking Summit

Earlier this month, the National Honey Board (NHB) hosted 14 bakers from across the country for an annual Honey Summit at Johnson & Wales University. The Honey Summit is a semi-annual event that includes demonstrations, baking and educational sessions that show bakers how to make bakery foods better with honey.

The Honey Summit's objective is to gather the best bakers in the U.S., to share ideas and discuss honey's potential to be the cornerstone of innovative new products in the baking industry. The NHB encourages bakers to meet consumers' cravings for both clean-label foods and natural sweeteners by using honey in their products.

At the Honey Summit, bakers received technical, marketing and formulation tools to create and launch new bakery foods made with honey. As a natural sweetener, honey is an excellent tool for bakers to sweeten products with an ingredient consumers love. The invite-only event also featured taste testings of honey varieties, including eucalyptus, orange blossom and buckwheat.

This year, the NHB will be hosting a second Honey Summit in September, and they look forward to connecting with additional bakers who are interested in using honey.

Bee Informed: The Honey Connoisseur

From honey experts C. Marina Marchese, founder of Red Bee Honey and Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture Magazine comes this comprehensive introduction to the origin, flavor and culinary uses of more than 30 varietals of honey, from ubiquitous clover to tangy star thistle to rich, smoky buckwheat.

Like wine, cheese, coffee and chocolate, honey has emerged as an artisanal obsession. Its popularity at farmers' markets and specialty food stores has soared as retailers are capitalizing on the trend. The Honey Connoisseur teaches consumers everything they need to know about how to taste, select and use a diverse selection of honey.

After a brief explanation of how bees produce honey, the authors introduce the concept of terroir, the notion that soil, weather and other natural phenomena can affect the taste of honey. As with wines, knowing the terroir of a honey varietal helps to inform an understanding of its flavor.

The book goes on to give a thorough course in the origins of more than 30 different honeys as well as step-by-step instructions, how to taste honey, describe its flavor and determine what other flavors pair best with a particular honey. Also included are simple recipes such as dressings, marinades, quick-and-easy desserts and beverages.

Beautifully illustrated and designed, The Honey Connoisseur is the perfect book for foodies, beekeepers and locavores alike.

"Marina Marchese and Kim Flottum's knowledge of this fascinating and increasingly popular subject is unparalleled. Together, they have composed the preeminent book about honey and its regional culinary food pairings," saysNicholas Coleman, Chief Olive Oil Specialist, Eataly, NYC.

You can order the book at: http://www.amazon.com/The-Honey-Connoisseur-Selecting-Varietals/dp/1579129293.

Bee Ready: Save the Date for the 2014 ABF Annual Conference

Make your plans now for the 2014 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow, which will be held January 7-11, 2014, at the Baton Rouge River Center with guest room accommodations available at the Belle of Baton Rouge and the Hilton Baton Rouge Capital Center.

Baton Rouge is one of the fastest-growing cities in America. With so much to see and do, you’ll want to start planning your agenda now. There is never a dull moment in Baton Rouge! The River Center is centrally located in the downtown area, within walking distance of various attractions, cultural sites, hotels, restaurants and nightlife. With surroundings rich in Louisiana culture and entertainment, the River Center provides a unique environment for memorable experiences, including the 2014 ABF annual conference.

The 2014 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow is sure to offer top-notch education sessions from industry leaders, various networking opportunities, a variety of hands-on workshops and lots of fun. Conference details will be available along with registration on July 8th! Please check the ABF website for conference updates. 

Bee Active: 2014 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow Call for Papers

The ABF is currently seeking proposals for presentations for the 2014 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow. The conference will be held at the River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, January 7-11, 2014. All selected presenters will receive complimentary registration to the conference.

Please complete the "Call for Papers" form. The conference committee will review all submissions and advise of acceptance by early September. The deadline to submit a proposal is Friday, August 16, 2013. This is the first time the ABF has utilized a "Call for Papers" system for creating the conference agenda.

Should you have any questions regarding this request, please contact Tara Zeravsky, Conference Manager, at tzeravsky@meetingexpectations.com.

Honey Queen Buzz: Queen and Princess Visit Farmers' Markets and Civic Groups

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

Princess Emily speaks at the North Central Minnesota Beekeepers Meeting

June is traditionally a quiet month for the Honey Queen program, as most of us are preparing our bees for the full swing of summer during this time. Caroline and Emily spent this month making a variety of appearances in their home states and a few other locations.

June marks the start of farmers' markets throughout the country and smaller festivals. Caroline made a stop at farmers' market in Wichita, Kansas in mid-June, giving cooking demonstrations to the attendees. It was a great way to highlight the many uses for the local vendors' honey. Emily made a stop in Rochester, Minnesota at a Pollinator Party during National Pollinator Week. It gave our organization a great way to promote the importance of honeybees to the nation's pollination needs.

Queen Caroline visits the Old Town Farmer's Market in Wichita, Kansas

June also afforded the Queen and Princess time to make speeches to various civic groups. Caroline made stops in Houston, Texas and outside Chicago, Illinois, speaking to senior organizations, student groups, and deaf community organizations about honeybees and beekeeping. Emily continued her work to reach 4-H and FFA students through presentations to local 4-H organizations. These groups all tend to meet year round, so consider hosting the Queen or Princess for a time during these quieter months to speak to your local civic organizations, recreation programs, Boys and Girls Clubs, scouting groups, day camps, 4-H groups, FFA organizations, and similar groups. Free guest speakers with a topic as interesting as honey bees are a treat for such groups!

Emily and Caroline continue their work on the Program's social media outlets. Be sure to check out their Facebook Page, blog, or YouTube channel. These sites are reaching thousands of people worldwide!

The Queen Committee continues its work on the Queen and Princess's summer and fall travel schedules. As always, please contact me at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514 to schedule a visit from our representatives! Happy promoting!

Bee Thinking

No master from last month's riddle, so we've added another hint to help you out.

Riddle: It's not to be seen, not to be felt, cannot be heard, cannot be smelled. It's behind the stars and under hills, and in every empty hole it fills. The bees will fill it if they can, Langstroth was the wonderman! Eureka, he exclaimed with joy, the bees observe it, it's their ploy.

Think you know the answer?  The first to e-mail Tim Tucker at tuckerb@hit.net will lay claim to another fun ABF prize.

Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News

  • New Guidelines for Reporting Pesticide Incidents. Read more.
  • Busted!! Two Canadian beekeepers have been fined $35,200 (US$33,900) by Health Canada for using unregistered pest control products in their beehives in an attempt to kill invading mites. Read more.
  • New study shows colony health dependent on genetic diversity.
    Source: Reuters

  • The Beekeepers: How a Harvard scientist, a sixth-generation bee whisperer, and a retired entrepreneur joined forces to rescue an embattled insect and save the American food supply. Read more.
  • Theories abound on disappearance of bees. Since 2006, a phenomenon is causing honey bees to disappear from hives, and scientists are trying to understand the cause. Read more.
  • Foreign invaders part III: the honeybee? Read more.
  • The beekeeping industry in Hawaii received support from the Governor today.Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed into law Senate Bill 482 (Act 131) which allows beekeepers to sell honey out of their homes without a permit. Read more.
  • Promiscuity Helps Survivial of Honey Bees: New Study Shows Genetic Diversity Important to Health of the Colony. Read more.
  • Farm Bill's Good and Bad sides. As you know the Farm Bill is working its way through Congress. What is surprising are the number of amendments (there are now over 300). Read more.
  • Chinese honey smugglers, facing a crackdown in the U.S., are turning their attentions to Europe. Read more.
  • Children’s Museum exhibit explores secrets of bees. An Arroyo Grande resident has crafted a traveling exhibit dedicated entirely to bees that will be on display this summer at the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum. Read more.

ABF Welcomes New Members — May 2013

  • Hiram Bustamante, Florida
  • Roger Deacon, Indiana
  • Stewart Elliott Erickson, Wisconsin
  • Barbara Fitts, Oregon
  • Gerard Godville, New Hampshire
  • Leon Johnson, California
  • Carey Lynn Macpherson, District of Columbia
  • Tim Olsen, Minnesota
  • Daniel Kingsford Osabutey, Ghana
  • Thomas Gerald Rauch, Michigan
  • Ed Rowell, Colorado
  • Clarence Schnadt, Illinois

Recipe of the Month: Pork Salad with Summer Fruits & Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Source: The National Pork Board

by Grayson Daniels, ABF Membership Coordinator

A festive, colorful salad with the fresh flavors of summer fruits and sliced pork dressed with a spicy honey balsamic vinaigrette is a great way to enjoy the summer.


  • 4 cooked pork chops, sliced (cooked with any type of sauce you prefer)
  • 8 cups mixed greens
  • 2 nectarines, cut into 12-wedges each
  • 1 grapefruit, segmented
  • 2 avocados, cut into wedges
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. salad oil
  • 2 tbsp. toasted almonds, slivered
  • Salt and black pepper

Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/8 cup salad oil


For the Vinaigrette:

In a blender, combine all ingredients except oil. Blend at medium speed for one minute. Next, with blender at medium speed, pour oil very slowly into blender. Add salt and pepper.

For the Salad:

For each serving, toss 2 cups greens with 2 tablespoons dressing, top with 4 cherry tomatoes, 1 sliced pork chop, 1/2 avocado, sliced in wedges, 1/2 nectarine sliced in wedges, 1/4 grapefruit segments. Drizzle with more dressing and sprinkle with toasted almonds. Serve immediately. 

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