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ABF E-Buzz: September 2013
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ABF E-Buzz — September 2013

In This Issue:









Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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

Honey Month

It's here, it's here, I love you so,
summers end just can't be beat!
September nights begin to cool whilst, 
earth lays cracked from summers heat.
Bees sip dew drops that wet my shoes,
time to spin out bee's golden sweet.   

–Tim Tucker

Welcome back again!  Football season has started and it is the time so many things have to happen to make sure that next year our bees will be ready.  Just like the farmer who is working ground to plant wheat for a June harvest, we must make our preparations for preparing the bees for the coming winter.  We've made a few more summer splits in the past few weeks and most of our earlier splits are really heavy with stores for winter already.  The early August rains made forage in our area unusually good but it has stopped now.  My nectar barometer is a bowl of honey comb salvaged from a hive where I usually don't get all the frames in and they hang one from the inner cover or top.  For weeks they hadn't touched it, but on September 12 they were all over it and consumed the honey very quickly.  They are also at the doors of the honey house now wanting to get in due to the smell of honey being bottled.  It is such a wonderful odor! September is also National Honey Month, so visit the National Honey Board's website, nhb.org, to make use of all the promotional ideas they are providing. Our local CBS station had Mitzi Dulan on the other day with some great honey recipes.  I'm sure this was a national feed that hit a lot of other stations across the country.  She had some great suggestions for how honey can help recharge you throughout the day especially around that sluggish 3:00 p.m. hour.  Since honey is such a good source of carbohydrates, it can help bring energy levels back up quickly which can get you going again.

Swarm in the trees

"Honey is composed of a unique carbohydrate composition of natural sugars and trace amounts of antioxidants, enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids, making it a smart, natural, energy-filled afternoon snack," says Mitzi.  "In fact, for years, sports dietitians have recommended that athletes include pure honey in their pre-exercise meal or snack for that very reason."

Honey can be used in many easy-to-make afternoon snacks, whether you're at school, work, home or the gym. Combining honey with fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and other healthful foods, can add to your total nutrition and give you a great natural energy boost. Whether you're looking for a surge of energy or just a sweet reward after a long workout, honey is a quick, easy and delicious all-natural energy source.  Mitzi recommends a whole wheat sandwich thin with nut butter, sliced banana and honey. "It is a delicious way to power through the rest of your day." Or try a honey and light cream cheese, as a dip for fresh fruits or vegetables for a wholesome energy snack.  The National Honey Board has nine campaigns underway, which features "The Great Honey Hunt," "Honey Recipe Redux" and the video series "The Seven Wonders of Honey."  This tremendous series includes the following, so be sure to take advantage of all of the great marketing tools that the National Honey Board has worked so hard to develop.





A chef at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta tends to their rooftop residents

I found some interesting news recently coming out from Australia's University of Queensland. Researchers have found a natural component of Australian tarantula venom that is more potent against certain insect pests than existing chemical insecticides.  Professor Glenn King and Dr. Maggie Hardy, from UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience, identified a toxin known, as OAIP-1.  It is lethal if eaten by the cotton bollworm or termites.  Professor King said OAIP-1 could be developed into an environmentally friendly insecticide. "There is an urgent need for new insecticides due to insects becoming resistant to existing products and others being deregistered due to perceived ecological and human health risks," Professor King said. "Cotton bollworms cause major economic damage to crops and the toxin we have isolated is more potent against these insects than existing chemical insecticides. "OAIP-1 is also orally active, meaning insects just have to eat the toxin in order for it to work." Dr Hardy said numerous insecticidal toxins have already been isolated from spider venom but very few of these have been tested to determine whether they are orally active, a vital property for an effective insecticide.  The team screened toxins from spider venom for oral activity and isolated OAIP-1, which shows the highest oral activity reported to date for an insecticidal venom toxin.  This could be a very interesting development in the approach we use for pest control and I am very interested in getting more information on how toxic this might be to honey bees and if there are long term implications.  There's no doubt the world cannot live without new advances in pesticides and crop protection. 

Also, Mother Nature Network has just published a great story on rooftop beekeeping authored by Tom Oder who provides articles for them and CNN.  It was a real pleasure working with him to get the story out and it is a really informative article that is well written.  There is so much more for you to peruse in this issue.  Anna has a great report from the Honey Queen and Princess detailing their travels during the past month. We've got lots of other new "Buzzmakers" and newsworthy items, another new recipe for you to try and other just plain good stuff. We love hearing your comments each month and hope that you continue to send us information that you feel is good news for all of us. Please drop me a note at tuckerb@hit.net if you have anything to comment on. Look forward to seeing you again next month in October, when things will be a buzzin' once again.

Bee Informed: Register Today for ABF's Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar

EPA - Risk Management for Pesticides
Tuesday, October 8, 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
Tom Moriarty, Team Leader, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs' Pesticide Re-evaluation Division & Meredith Laws, Branch Chief, Registration Division

SESSION DETAILS: EPA: Risk Management for Pesticides

Join us as Mr. Moriarty and Ms. Laws provide participants with an understanding of the EPA risk management process for pesticides. They will discuss the factors considered by risk managers in making regulatory decisions. Participants will learn the difference between risk management and risk assessment and how one process informs the needs of the other. Topics will include management and protection goals and options available to risk managers for mitigating potential risks. The EPA Reduced Risk process will also be described.

Click here to register for the EPA's session titled "Risk Management for Pesticides."


Please note: The remainder of the EPA sessions are open to the public.

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.

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 Regina Robuck, ABF executive director, at 404.760.2875 or reginarobuck@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.

Bee Present: 2014 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow — Early Registration Deadline Fast Approaching

The 2014 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow will be held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the Baton Rouge River Center, January 7-11, 2014. As always, this conference promises to bring you the most up-to-date information within the beekeeping industry and the latest products and services offered by our many exhibitors and sponsors.

We are introducing many new features this year! The conference committee has reviewed the responses from the latest conference survey extensively and made some changes to the 2014 conference agenda to better accommodate your needs. The new agenda will feature:

  • Optional field trip to the Baton Rouge Bee Lab on Tuesday
  • General Session followed by SIG meetings on Wednesday
  • Welcome reception on Wednesday night
  • General Session and Auxiliary Meeting on Thursday followed by an optional social activity that night
  • Track sessions on Friday morning specific to each stage of beekeeping, followed by the Foundation luncheon, a keynote presentation and ABF Business meeting and the Honey Show Live Auction.
  • Saturday will feature more workshops than ever with presentations running from 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM, followed by the ABF annual banquet.
  • Not to mention, the tradeshow will be open Wednesday – Saturday and will feature the latest and greatest products and services in the beekeeping industry.

Early registration is available through October 4, 2013. Don't delay – reserve your spot to meet us in Baton Rouge in January!

Science Buzz

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

The Varroa mite is the scourge of the honey bee business! But what do we know about it's physiology?  Well, not much really. We know the life and reproductive sequence.  We know that it feeds by being a parasite on bees.  But, how does it process the food it gets from sucking bee blood?  Many things like sugars will dissolve in water and the blood of insects and mites.  But, we all know that oils and fats (lipids), which are required for life, do not mix with water and so how does any living thing get the lipids to the places that need them?  An important part of this puzzle was recently revealed in some research published in Insect Molecular Biology (volume 22; pages 505-522).  The paper "Genomic organization and reproductive regulation of a large lipid transfer protein in varroa mite, Varroa destructor" is by Ana Cabrera and co-workers.  They found a gene that makes a large protein which is responsible for carrying lipids in the mite.  The protein is rather unique because it is only 25% similar to lipid transfer proteins used ticks and spider mites, those nasty things that get me when I'm in the woods and are the scourge of my roses!  None-the-less, the protein carries lipids including common fatty acids, mono-, di- and triglycerides as well as steroids like cholesterol and sitosterol and steroids bound to fatty acids.  Therefore, this transport protein does it all for lipids!  The carrier protein is present in large amounts in mites that are feeding on adult bees.  However, after mites move into larval bee cells and begin reproducing the levels drop more than 300 fold!  This occurs at the same time as another group of proteins, the vitellogenis, increases significantly. This is cool because the vitelloginins are responsible for carrying lipids into the eggs.  Thus, there is a switch from carrying lipids to all body parts to carrying lipids to the ovaries in order to make eggs.  

So what is the importance of this discovery?  The authors suggest this gene would be an excellent target for control of the mite because if you could knock it out, the mites would starve to death.  How would you do it? That's a tough one.  You could make a chemical pesticide that blocked the lipid transport protein but it would have to be specific only for the mite and we all know that finding a varroa specific pesticide that does not affect bees is really tough.  Perhaps an effective alternative route, as suggested by the authors, would be development of a so called "molecular pesticide" in which you interfere with gene functioning and stop production of the lipid transport protein.  This technique is called RNAi interference, or RNAi.  Simply put, in order for any living cell to function genes on a chromosome code for specific proteins but to make these proteins the information must be translated and carried by messenger RNA (mRNA) to ribosomes where it is acted upon by ribosomal and transfer RNAs to produce proteins.  The key to developing RNAi lies in the ability to alter mRNA, silencing the signal that results in building a protein.   This is called Post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) and is done by a process by which man made double stranded RNA (dsRNA) is chopped up into small pieces (siRNA) by a DICER protein.  siRNA is then separated into two strands by RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC).  The small single strands bind with RISC and when a sequence of natural protein complementary to the small single strand is found the complex binds to the natural sequence causing a sequence-specific degradation of the natural mRNA. The overall result is no production of the protein in question.  

If this protein is key to, for example, lipid transport in the Varroa mite, then the mites starve.  RNAi has several remarkable qualities.  RNAi is highly gene-specific. dsRNA is stable and appears to move freely across cell boundaries. RNAi works in microbes (viruses etc.), vertebrates (mice etc.), invertebrates (flies), and plants. These qualities have been used to develop: ways 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.  In theory, the beauty of molecular pesticides lies in their highly specific activity with no impact on non-target organisms. Thus, there should be no environmental or health concerns and they may overcome pesticide resistance problems.  On the downside, there is still no effective way to deliver RNAi to mites.  When an effective method is developed this technology may effectively starve the mites to death.

ABF Call for Research Project Proposals: Submission Deadline September 30, 2013

The ABF Research Committee is excited to announce that it is reintroducing the Call for Research Project Proposals this year. This program is aimed at supporting research conducted by beekeepers and those within the industry. It was initiated because members of the ABF leadership realize that beekeepers are doing their own research all the time, although we sometimes think of it as just tinkering or tweaking things to improve bee management. This 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! 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.

Scope of Research:
Proposals for funding should focus on issues of concern to the beekeeping industry as a whole and to members of the ABF.  Projects need to result in a product, solution or method that directly benefits the apiculture industry.  Projects should be geared toward problems for which answers to the question being addressed can be achieved in a single year and that can be conducted by individual beekeepers or a group of beekeepers wanting to address a community-wide project that can be accomplished with the funds available.  While preliminary studies may be considered, these studies must have deliverables (results or products) that will have an impact on beekeeping at the termination of the project.  It is not our intention to support long-term research projects or to provide funding for studies intended to supply only results that will provide preliminary data to be used in broader studies funded by sponsors having significantly more resources.  

Timeline for 2013 Research Proposals:
The ABF Research Committee has established the following timeline for the 2013 call for research proposals:

  • August 1, 2013: Call for research proposals announced
  • September 30, 2013: Submission deadline for written research proposals
  • October/November 2013: ABF Research Committee review of research proposals
  • December 2, 2013: Research funding recipient notified

Click here for the Call for Proposals form. Feel free to contact Peter Teal at peter.teal@ars.usda.gov with any questions or comments.

Buzzworthy: Marla Spivak — Why Bees are Disappearing

Marla Spivak gave a talk on why bees are disappearing at the TED Global gathering in June. Honey bees have thrived for 50 million years, each colony 40 to 50,000 individuals coordinated in amazing harmony. So why, seven years ago, did colonies start dying en masse? Marla Spivak reveals four reasons which are interacting with tragic consequences. This is not simply a problem because bees pollinate a third of the world’s crops. Could this incredible species be holding up a mirror for us? Her underlying message is one of hope and she offers two pieces of advice that we can all follow: plant bee-friendly flowers and avoid pesticides. The video of her talk is now available. 

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

Inaugual "Battle of the Bees"

"Battle of the Bees" judges and participating chefs

The National Honey Board had the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural "Battle of the Bees" event in New York City.  In celebration of National Honey Month (September), the Waldorf Astoria New York and its sister property, the Grand Wailea on Maui, created this event to determine which property's house-grown honey reigns supreme. The inaugural event was also created to help draw awareness to the plight of the bee population through a playful throw down between each one-of-a-kind honey. 

Both hotels are home to a set of beehives and use the produced honey in a variety of ways throughout each property.  The Waldorf Astoria New York's hives are housed on a 20th floor rooftop space with sweeping views of the Chrysler Building and produce Top of the Waldorf Rooftop Honey, which is incorporated in culinary dishes, cocktails and the Guerlain Spa treatments.  The Grand Wailea's apiaries reside on the rooftop of the Haleakala Ballroom in line of sight to kiawe trees that bloom with white, sweet-scented flowers.  The property's rooftop honey is used in its seven restaurants, bars, lounges and consistently ranked top resort spa, Spa Grande.

Judging followed a blind taste test by an array of judges including the National Honey Board's chairman, Brent Barkman (also chairman of Barkman Honey), Tim Zagat, co-founder and publisher of Zagat Survey and Restaurant Guide, Izabela Wojcik, Director of House Programming for the James Beard Foundation, Zeke Freeman, founder of Bee Raw and Save the Bees Foundation, and Danielle Dotzenrod, host of Tennis Channel's new travel show, "Tour Guide." It was a tough call, but the Waldorf New York won the competition by a vote of 3-2. The Grand Wailea won in the media's vote category. 

Guests of the hotels will be able to taste honey-exchanged dishes throughout the month of September.  Waldorf Astoria New York diners can order the Grand Wailea's Roof Top Honey and Macadamia Nut Nuts Baklava in Oscar's Brassiere and Bull & Bear Steakhouse while sipping on "Beehave" cocktail in Peacock Alley.  Grand Wailea guests will enjoy the Waldorf Astoria New York's Oxtail Crostini with caramelized onion, shallot honey, heirloom tomato and rooftop herbs at signature restaurant Humuhumunukunukuapua'a and the "Wax Poetic" cocktail at Botero Bar.

Honey Queen Buzz: Celebrating National Honey Month

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

Princess Emily with students in Ohio

Happy National Honey Month!  September is always among the American Honey Queen Program's busiest months and 2013 was no exception.  Caroline and Emily have literally been traveling coast to coast and throughout the heartland this month.

Queen Caroline in California with an observation hive

For many states, September marks fair season, so appearances at fairs and festivals continued.  Emily finished up her visit at the Minnesota State Fair and also visited the Kansas State Fair.  Caroline's visits took her to the Maryland State Fair and the Central Washington State Fair in Yakima.  These fairs allowed the queens to share the many flavors of honey and the versatility of honey with attendees through honey sampling, honey sales, and cooking demonstrations, not to mention numerous media interviews.  September also features two wonderful honey bee festivals in Ohio and California. Both Caroline and Emily demonstrated the gentle disposition of honey bees by donning bee beards at both these festivals with great success!  

September also means that school is in full swing, and the queens visited schools in California, Ohio, North Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Washington, Iowa, and Arizona reaching thousands of students in all grades.  This gave Caroline the opportunity to use her skills in sign language for additional presentations and for Emily to reach FFA students and 4-H members through presentations.  Please consider scheduling such appearances for Caroline and Emily when they visit your state, as they are passionate about these individual groups!

While October's schedule is full, there are still some openings for appearances from the Queen and Princess in November and December. If you are interested in arranging a promotion with one of our representatives, please contact me at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514 to schedule a visit from the American Honey Queen or Princess for later this year or in 2014! Happy promoting!

Bee Thinking

We have a winner! Charles and Maxine Walter answered correctly with the letter "N." So, here's another riddle for you to wrestle with.

What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a head but never weeps?

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

  • The Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab is pleased to announce the Fall Master Beekeeper Program (MBP) Training and Exams, on October 31, 2013, at the Washington County Extension Office in Chipley, Florida. New beekeepers are welcome to register and test at the Apprentice Level; a passing score grants entry the MBP (please see link below for additional requirements).  MBP Participants are welcome to register and test for program advancement and additional training. Read more.
  • Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research hosted the 2nd International Conference on Pollinator Biology Health and Policy from August 14-17, 2013. The goal of the conference was to highlight the diversity of issues facing pollinators, and to bring together multiple interest groups to engage in a dialog about the best approaches to mitigating these issues and supporting conservation. Learn more
  • Thousands of Minneapolis honey bees began dying off recently due to apparent pesticide poisoning.  The University of Minnesota Bee Lab and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture are conducting tests to verify whether pesticides were the actual cause. Read more.
  • Cummings Almond Report from Project apis M: The objective estimate was released July 1 with a surprisingly low estimate of 1.85 billion pounds. Discover more
  • Pioneer offers neonicotinoid-free corn, soybean seed in Canada: Pioneer, the world's largest producer of hybrid seeds, is offering a neonicotinoid-free option for corn and soybean seed – but only in Canada. Read more.

ABF Welcomes New Members — August 2013

  • Jess Alford, Texas
  • Dee Lynn Braman, Texas
  • Michael Cenerini, Arizona
  • Richard Coffman, Texas
  • Jim Cotten, Georgia
  • Michael David, Florida
  • Jenny Everett, Kentucky
  • Janice Girard, Vermont
  • Terri Griffith, Washington
  • Jay Hendrix, Georgia
  • Nancy Houk, New York
  • Wilder Leavitt, Maryland
  • Lloyd Lietz, North Carolina
  • Jim Lohmeyer, Texas
  • Shari Long, Connecticut
  • Ray McAllister, Maryland
  • Celeste Nadworny, Rhode Island


Recipe of the Month: Peanut Butter and Honey Silly Sushi Roll-Ups

Source: The National Honey Board

Honey is natural energy for the new school year! It's back-to-school time and honey is the perfect go-to ingredient to help get the kids excited about lunch. These Peanut Butter and Honey Silly Sushi Roll-ups are the perfect item to include in their lunch-box, as well as an easy recipe to have the kids help with. 


  • 4 slices wheat bread
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup pure honey
  • 2 tablespoons nuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup strawberries, finely diced
  • 4 skewers (optional)
  • Additional fresh fruit, such as kiwi, strawberries, grapes or pineapple (optional)


Trim crusts from bread. Gently press bread or flatten with a rolling pin. Spread each slice with 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 2 tablespoons honey. Sprinkle two bread slices with 1 tablespoon nuts each. Sprinkle remaining slices with strawberries. Cut each slice in half. Firmly roll up each slice and serve, or thread the roll-ups and fruit onto skewers and serve as kabobs.

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