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ABF E-Buzz: November 2013
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ABF E-Buzz — November 2013

In This Issue:









Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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

November brings her cold days now
Blackbirds gather in flight,
Bees are clustered,
Out of sight.
Season of holidays almost nigh,
Thoughts of a year,
nearly past,
Oh dear! 

– Tim Tucker

Welcome back!  It seems these shorter days make it more difficult to get things done. I miss the longer, lighter evenings, especially now that we have flipped back to daylight savings time. It seems I have a better chance to get caught up on work that is inside, but work just seems to slow down altogether, and perhaps that's a good thing. Now, if I focus, I can get my entries ready for the upcoming honey show in January. We hope you are making plans to travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for the 2014 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow.  The line-up of speakers is amazing and there will be so much to learn and enjoy and many new folks to meet.

Last month, I had a great opportunity to attend the North American Pollinator Protection Council (NAAPC) in Washington, D.C., and it was a worthwhile trip. I hadn't been to D.C. since I was 18.  It was an interesting and very inspiring trip. I think we should all take time to visit D.C. to get back in touch with the history of our country. Standing in the Lincoln memorial and viewing the national mall with the Washington monument framed by its portals is a moving experience. The life and words of Lincoln resound today with as much meaning as when they were first spoken. His purpose was to rebuild a broken country which was strained by war and so much loss. It was a time to heal and refocus and on new paradigms and strategies. 

Virginia Webb received an award during
the NAPPC conference for supporting
honey bee awareness.

With the recent government shutdown and the current level of dysfunction, it may be time to focus on our history, a time when things moved forward on a cooperative level. The present mood in Washington is not allowing things to happen at all in some cases, and as a result, we have no farm bill, budget or any focus on things that have needed to be done for several years. We need to start taking a larger role in our government and spending more time communicating with our people on the hill, especially in regard to our needs in the areas of protecting honey bees and beekeepers. It's our fault if we allow things to continue on as they have been.

It was amazing, during the NAPPC conference, to see how many researchers and scientists are working on problems dealing with all types of pollinators and species that are in decline today. It spans everything from different types of  insects to birds to bats. So many species are in decline and they all are reaching critical levels. Some are very close to not surviving. I certainly didn't agree with all of the results some researchers were proposing, but it's always good to be asking questions no matter where they may lead. Sometimes answers surprise us, and they always lead to more questions which are good. Virginia and Carl Webb were in attendance, as Virginia received an award for her work in supporting honey bee awareness and the plight of the honey bee in her many travels. It is really nice to see they are recognizing people's efforts.

We've got lots of new "Buzzmakers" for you this month and a great recipe. Anna has an update on the activities of the Honey Queen and Princess, Peter Teal is back with another great "Science Buzz" on population dynamics, and our Kids and Bees Director, Sarah Red-Laird, has a fantastic report on bee books for kids.  I hope you enjoyed your visit here once again. Please send me anything you think would be a great addition to the ABF E-Buzz content. You can e-mail me at: tuckerb@hit.net.

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

EPA - Risk Management for Pesticides
Tuesday, December 10, 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.

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


Please note: This EPA session is 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. 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 website for member-only access.

Bee Present: Celebrate the New Year with 600+ of Your Closest Beekeeping Friends!

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. BEE sure to check out the conference agenda for the latest updates on fantastic sessions and hands-on workshops. Make sure you secure your registration by December 13, 2013. After the 13th we will only be doing onsite registration. 

There's something for everyone at the 2014 annual conference, from the beginning beekeeper to the experienced business owner. Here are just a few highlights to pique your interest, and we are introducing many new features this year!

Beginning Beekeeping:

  • Year Calendar for a Beginning Beekeeper presented by Debbie Seib
  • Bee Biology presented by Dr. Marion Ellis
  • Beekeeping Challenges: Pests, Parasites and Diseases presented by John Talbert
  • Nutrition

Serious Sideliner:

  • Queens and Nucs presented by Jon Zawislak
  • Non-Grafting Queen Rearing – Raising Queens Using the Jenter Queen System presented by John Speckman
  • Nutrition presented by Dave Mendes
  • Treatments presented by Dr. Jeff Harris
  • Diagnosis and Discovery in Microscopy for the Beekeeper presented by Don Coats
  • Sustainable Practices for Beekeeping presented by Dr. Larry Connor
  • Beekeeping Business Practices presented by Dr. Larry Connor
  • Marketing for the Serious Sideliner presented by Tim Tucker

Business Owners:

  • The Challenges and Rewards of Almond Pollination presented by Dr. Gordon Wardell
  • Update on Pollinator Protection: Engaging Stakeholders in a Coordinated Federal Response presented by Dr. Tom Steeger
  • Re-Queening presented by George Hansen


  • Updates for National Bee Labs
  • A Pilot Apis Viral and Nosema Mapping Initiative: Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Spatial Analysis to Monitor Honey Bee Health presented by Heather Gamper, ABF research funding recipient
  • Research with Practical Applications presented by a panel of experts

Click here to view the full conference agenda.

If you are planning to join us, be sure to secure your hotel accommodations soon. The deadline to make your reservation and receive the group rate is Monday, December 16, 2013, or until the group block is full, whichever comes first. As we anticipate filling our block early, we encourage you to make your reservations as soon as possible. So, register today to ensure your spot at the 2014 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow. We can't wait to see you in Baton Rouge!

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.

Science Buzz

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

First, I want to apologize for not contributing anything for the October ABF E-Buzz. Unfortunately, we were on furlough because of the government shutdown and I was not allowed to contribute anything.  Not even the bees were allowed to work (but it didn't stop them). So I went fishing, looking for wild bees and re-caulking the tub in our bathroom. Believe me, I would much rather have been able to write the "Science Buzz" than re-caulk the bathroom tub! Fishing – well, it's a toss-up.  

I came across an interesting article in the journal Plos One that is pertinent to us now that the weather is getting colder. You are currently either getting your hives ready for a winter sleep or moving them south for a month or two to get ready to send them to California for the almond bloom. The article is titled "Modeling Food and Population Dynamics in Honey Bee Colonies" by David S. Khoury, Andrew B. Barron, and Mary R. Myerscough. I'm not a fan of theoretical papers but this one caught my eye and made sense, even though there is no real world bee data to support the ideas. The basic premise is that food availability and bee (primarily foragers) death rates interact to control colony growth and development.  The authors considered that food availability influences the number of brood reared to adults and the rate at which hive bees transition to forager bees and that this regulates colony fate.

For example, when a colony has a low death rate and there is abundant forage, there is a stable equilibrium and as such population size is strongly dependent on forager death rate.  So when foragers live longer, the colony increases in size. When there is a high death rate of foragers there is a finite equilibrium which reflects food collection and use so the colony does not increase. However, when forager death rate exceeds a critical level, the colony fails even though food remains in the hive!

Why is this important for bee keepers? Well the amount of honey we can extract depends on nectar flow and what is in excess to the needs of the hive. We rely on being able to manipulate food flux to maximize excess so we can collect honey. However, we cannot only consider the nectar flow. A critical component of bee nutrition is pollen availability. Bees use nectar to provide sugars for energy. But pollen gives the bees lipids, protein, vitamins and minerals and without pollen nurse bees cannot make brood food and without food the brood dies. Also, at this time of the year, bees' primary source of nutrition are pollen and honey stores made during the summer.

Remember that bees do not usually have large amounts of stored pollen. Even in summer, if not enough food is coming in to the hive then we get hive bees becoming foragers much earlier in their lives than they would normally so fewer bees are available to maintain brood and to make brood food. The interruption in pollen availability can lead to cannibalism of brood by hive bees because the bees realize that they cannot successfully rear all of the brood. Does this sound familiar? No bees in a colony, no dead bees in the vicinity of the colony and a small amount of food in the hive? If you answered yes, then you probably have had or have heard of colony collapse disorder. The authors suggest that in some cases this could simply be due to really high mortality rates of foragers due to an insufficient amount of available food. Is this the answer to CCD? No, and the authors say this.  Nonetheless, it could explain some situations.

The authors suggest that understanding the relationship between food availability in the field and colony growth can improve our management practices.  Beekeepers need to try to maintain healthy colonies in areas of abundant forage and if they do, food stores will accumulate until they become space limited. Additionally, bees should be managed to maximize forager longevity and capitalize on food availability. Moving hives is really tough on the forager bee population because in new territory foragers have a terrible time navigating the new environment and it can take weeks to restore performance after a move. The authors suggest that colony weight is not a good predictor of strength because there is a real lag in overall brood weight and stored food when a large number of forager bees die. Additionally, brood cover is not a good predictor of colony health because brood responds very slowly to forager death because of food stores.  So the authors support the idea that we should monitor both changes in mass of the colony along with the rate of loss of foragers.

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

MadeWithHoney.com Interactive Websites

In an effort to provide food manufactures with information about the use of honey as an ingredient in products, the National Honey Board created the MadeWithHoney.com interactive websites. These five websites were launched to provide manufacturers with industry-specific technical, marketing and formulation assistance in the areas of baking, beverage, confectionery, dairy and snacking. The National Honey Board encourages industry members to utilize the information and content found on these websites to stay up-to-date on the latest food product trends and innovation, as well as the most recent technical data available. To find out more about these sites, the National Honey Board encourages you to visit MadeWithHoney.com.
  • Baking with Honey: This informative website contains information on baking with honey, including retail and wholesale baking formulas and technical specifications.  Some of the newer technical materials include frequently asked questions from the retail and wholesale baking industries, and information on honey substitution.
  • Beverages with Honey: This website offers insight into the expanding beverage industry as manufactures realize the value of using an all-natural sweetener with exceptional flavor and marketing impact.
  • Candy with Honey: This website provides confectionery manufacturers with new product ideas and stories about the latest candy industry trends.
  • Dairy with Honey: From ice cream to yogurt, this website offers dairy food and beverage manufacturers the latest information on honey and dairy products made with honey.
  • Snacking with Honey: An online guide to snack food products made with honey, as well as technical and marketing information for using honey in savory and salty snacks.

Bee Proud: Call for Entries for the 2014 American Honey Show

The American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) invites you to enter the 2014 American Honey Show, which will be held during the 2014 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  This is a prime opportunity to showcase your bees' abilities to produce the purest honey, the best wax and the most goodies.

The Honey Show will showcase the best examples of honey and beeswax. It includes 12 classes for honey, four for beeswax and the gift box class.  Also, the Honey Show Committee has announced that the theme for the Honey Gift Box class this year will be "Cajun Country."

After the entries are judged, they will be auctioned to benefit the American Honey Queen Program.

Click here for the official show rules/regulations and entry form. NOTE: If at all possible, please send the entry form and appropriate fees to the ABF offices by Friday, December 13, 2013. If you are unable to meet this deadline, you can bring your form, entry fees and honey submissions to the annual conference.

Questions? Contact the ABF office at 404.760.2875 or via e-mail at info@abfnet.org.  You can also download some helpful Honey Show hints and tips by clicking here.  Good luck!

Honey Queen Buzz: Program Sends Representatives to Hawaii and Canada

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

Queen Caroline at the
Island Health Food Store in Hawaii.

Early November promotions kept the Queen and Princess as busy as ever, and they finally saw a break in their busy travel periods in mid-November. We are thankful for the fruitful promotions both had throughout the year, and both Caroline and Emily are appreciative of time off at home to enjoy the holidays with their families!

Princess Emily visits with students
at a school in Canada.

November took the Queen and Princess to state beekeeping conventions, schools and civic organizations. Princess Emily attended the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association Convention and Queen Caroline participated in the Texas Beekeepers Association Convention. Both conferences hosted interactive children's events for the general public. This allowed our representatives the opportunity to teach children and adults about the industry with the aid of beekeeping equipment, tools and products of the hive. These events create a real experience for people to learn about the industry much more in-depth than any school presentation could achieve. The American Honey Queen or Princess promotes these events in advance through school presentations and civic meetings. Civic organization members are also community promoters, and they are typically eager to help out individuals who speak before their groups.

In addition to the convention promotion, Emily kept busy with school presentations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ontario, Canada throughout November. Caroline was also busy with school visits in Hawaii, Texas and Illinois. For the first time since 1997, the American Honey Queen Program ventured off the mainland to Hawaii and there Caroline had a variety of visits, including school promotions, meetings with beekeeping organizations, governmental meetings, and media interviews. We are grateful for the opportunities to expand our promotional reach into Canada and Hawaii this year!   

December is traditionally a quiet month for the American Honey Queen Program, but we are always interested in helping out with your holiday promotions. If you are interested in arranging a promotion with one of our representatives, please contact me at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414.545.5514.  Happy promoting!

ABF 2014 Annual Conference: Call for Auction Donations!

Each year during the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) annual conference, attendees are given the opportunity to experience outstanding live and silent auctions. The ABF is never at a loss for must-have auction items, including:

  • Beekeeping-related artwork, including paintings, stained glass and hand-carved pewter items
  • Honey and honey-related products
  • Unique clothing items
  • Beekeeping supplies and instructional books
  • Antique beekeeping items, such as smokers and hive tools
  • Household items in a bee motif, including coffee mugs, glasses, cheese trays and plates

The ABF is already on the lookout for items for the 2014 annual conference, January 7-11, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Do you have an item that you would like to donate? Your contribution will be instrumental in helping the ABF bolster its general fund, which enables us to carry out our programs to serve the U.S. beekeeping and honey industry, as well as work to preserve and protect honey bees to ensure a quality food supply and environment.

If you are interested in donating an item to either the silent or live auction, please contact Regina Robuck at reginarobuck@abfnet.org or 404.760.2875 for additional information and to let us know the item(s) you will be donating. We will accept donations up until the conference, but for planning purposes it would be helpful to hear from you by Friday, December 13, 2013.

Thank you in advance for your support of the ABF. We look forward to hearing from you soon and to seeing you in Baton Rouge in January. And, if you haven't already done so, be sure to register now for the conference. Additional information, including all registration rates, guest room accommodations, the conference schedule, invited speakers, session topics and much more, can be found on the conference website.  Be sure to check the website often, as additional conference details will be posted as soon as they are made available.

Bee Thoughtful: Think Outside the Bee Box This Holiday Season!

Do you have a hard-to-buy-for beekeeper on your Christmas list? Do you have a friend or family member who loves bees and honey? Might we suggest making a donation in their honor to the ABF Friends of the Bee fund? For as little as $25, your loved one will have their name published in the ABF Newsletter and receive an FOB bumper sticker. Mention you saw this announcement in the ABF E-Buzz and receive a second sticker free! Please call our offices at 404.760.2875 or e-mail us at info@abfnet.org to make your donation today.

Bee a Kid: Bee Books for All Ages

by Sara Red-Laird, Bee Girl

Our next generation is interacting with the world on a different scale, one that is measured in pixels and viewed on screens!  Big, small and everything in-between are becoming a norm in our culture. I even saw a 16-month-old scrolling through an iPhone on a plane the other day.  I have to admit that I am a holdout.  I love my books. Love to hold them, smell them, love the sound of the page turning, love the snap of the pages, dotted with honey, un-sticking themselves, and I love being able to let my imagination run on with the fictional voices of the characters.  Do you know who else still loves books?  KIDS!  

The zombie apocalypse seems to be upon us (think teenagers walking down the street in a group, skin pale, eyes bulging and focused on their "smart" phone, zero interaction between each other, or with the world at large).  However, I swear, nothing will grab a room of squirrelly kiddos like a great book.  Books have vivid colors, a snappy story line, comical voices, and of course, bees. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, or beekeeper who visits classrooms, I hope you find the reviews of some of my favorite bee-themed books helpful in selecting the next addition to your truly interactive library. 


  • The Book: Little Bee Finger Puppet Book, Chronicle Books.  An adorable finger puppet peeks through a die cut hole on each page making her way through her day pollinating and taking care of "bee babies."
  • Why I Love It: This one is obviously not 100% scientifically accurate, but it's really cute and fun, and kids make a "beeline" to this book when it is out on a table.  They love to play with the little puppet, and the little ones really get a kick out of the puppet show-type story when I read it aloud to a small group. 
  • Where to Get It: Glory Bee  

Primary Elementary:

  • The Book: Bee & Me, written by Elle J. McGuninness and illustrated by Heather Brown.  When a young boy discovers a bee trapped in his bedroom, he hides for fear of being stung. But when the amiable bee frantically explains all that bees do, the boy comes to understand how good things come in different packages: "Bees make honey. That much we know. Bees also spread pollen, which makes all things grow."  
  • Why I Love It: There's a dancing bee! The pages have "animation," which the kids really get a kick out of.  It's a quick book to read aloud, and it gives great segues for chats about pollination, and why bees don't really want to sting them.   
  • Where to Get It:  Mann Lake     

Secondary Elementary:

  • The Book: In the Tree, Honey Bees, by Lori Mortenson, illustrated by Cris Arbo.  Here is the ideal introduction for elementary children to insects that are not only amazing, but also critically important to humans. Inside-the-hive views of a wild colony of honey bees offer close-ups of the queen, the cells, even bee eggs. Simple verse will engage a young child, while sidebars with fascinating information satisfy the somewhat older child. Parents, teachers, and interested children will enjoy much more information about both wild and domestic hives in the back of the book. The artist's detailed style shimmers with life, highlighting each hair or grain of pollen on the bees. A wild hive in a tree in the artist's own backyard served as a model!
  • Why I Love It: Thank you to Kim Lehman for recommending this book to me!  It's wonderful!  This book actually doubles as a story for younger kids as well.  One page has verbiage for the younger and one for the older kids.  There are three reasons I love this book.  Number one, the pictures are fabulous.  Number two, the science in the book is 95-percent accurate.  And number three, there is a fantastic companion website with all sorts of learning activities here!       
  • Where to Get It: Dawn Publications       

Middle School:

  • The Book: The Bee Tree, by Patricia Polacco. Mary Ellen is a little girl who tells her grandpa that she is tired of reading and that she would rather play outdoors.  Mary Ellen's grandpa suggests that they find a bee tree.  After collecting some bees in a jar, Grandpa lets one out, and he and Mary Ellen follow that bee.  Along the way, they meet other members of the town who want to join them on their quest for the bee tree.  After a long chase, the bee tree is found.  The bees are then smoked out and the honey is gathered.  After a honey party, Grandpa places some of the honey on a book.  He tells Mary Ellen to taste it.  She discovers that there is sweetness inside of books and that knowledge, like honey, must be pursued.     
  • Why I Love It: This book works well for older elementary students and younger middle schoolers.  They can read it themselves, or if you have time, you can read it to them.  I love that the premise of this book is a whole community of people chasing after a single bee (which really damps down the fear factor).  The illustrations and language are marvelous, and the moral is right up my alley.   
  • Where to Get It: Amazon       

High School:

  • The Book: The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd.  The Secret Life of Bees is the story of Lily Owens, a girl who has shaped her life around one devastating memory-the afternoon her mother was killed, when Lily was four. Besides her harsh and unyielding father, Lily's only real companion is Rosaleen, a tender, but fierce-hearted black woman who cooks, cleans and acts as her "stand-in mother." Set in 1964 in South Carolina, a place and time of seething racial divides, violence explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten. Lily is desperate; not only to save Rosaleen, but to flee from a life she can no longer endure. Calling upon her colorful wits and youthful daring, she breaks Rosaleen out of jail and the two escape, into what quickly becomes Lily's quest for the truth about her mother's life. They are taken in by three black, bee-keeping sisters, May, June, and August, and Lily is consumed by their secret world of bees and honey, and by the Black Madonna who presides over this household of strong, wise women. Lily's journey is one of painful secrets and shattering betrayals but  ultimately helps her find the thing her heart longs for most.  The Secret Life Of Bees allows us into a world apart-in a novel whose strong, irresistible voice catches us up and doesn't let go. The Secret Life Of Bees is a mesmerizing novel about women with extraordinary gifts coping with loss and finding forgiveness and, especially, learning to forgive themselves.
  • Why I Love It: This book is obviously about so much more then bees and beekeeping, but the way the bees are woven into this book is pure magic.  I loaned a copy to my university intern this fall, in a stack of beekeeping books, and this is the one she gravitated to and couldn't put down.  The dramatic story is sure to engage most any teenager, and the beekeeping basics that ooze through the storyline are tangible conversation starters.   
  • Where to Get It: Indie Bound     

I know that I barely scraped the surface of all the wonderful bee-themed books out there.  If you have a favorite that I should know about, let me know at sarah@beegirl.org.  Also, the ABF annual conference is going to be here before we know it.  Kids of Baton Rouge…here we come.  If you would like to volunteer on the morning of Friday, January 10, please let me know.  This event wouldn't be possible without the volunteer service of ABF members. Thank you and happy reading!  

Bee Thinking

Last month's riddle master was ABF member Chappie McChesney. Below is the answer: 

Riddle: I have two arms, but fingers none. I have two feet, but cannot run. I carry well, but I have found I carry best with my feet off the ground. What am I? 

Answer: Wheelbarrow

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.

Look at me. I can bring a smile to your face, a tear to your eye, or even a thought to your mind. But, I can't be seen. What am I?

Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News

  • At first, it’s just a faint rumble, and you strain to discern the source of the low-pitched hum. But, as you walk closer to some of the innocuous looking wooden boxes in the side yard of Dick Counts’ home in Arp, the hum becomes a buzz and you can see the honey bees darting in and out of the boxes, which house their hives. Read more about ABF member Dick Counts.
  • Honey bees, bumble bees, mason bees and other pollinating insects pollinate your fruit and vegetable gardens, native plants, and are critical for our environment and our economy. Learn more.
  • A parasitic fly is creating what San Francisco State University researchers are calling zombie bees – and the details of infection are straight out of a horror movie. Read more.
  • Sue Cobey sums up the local dating scene in a single word: brutal. The entomologist is speaking of honey bees, bee mating being her specialty, and she knows the dauntingly steep odds drones, the males, face in fulfilling their urge to spawn. Learn more.
  • A team of scientists in Italy believe they have found the molecular mechanism through which neonicotinoid pesticides adversely impacts the immune system of honey bees. The team's experiments suggest that exposure to neonicotinoids results in increased levels of a particular protein in bees that inhibits a key molecule involved in the immune response, making the insects more susceptible to attack by harmful viruses. Read more.
  • A new study on the metacognitive ability of honey bees suggests that they, like humans, avoid difficult decisions when they lack sufficient information to solve a problem. Read more.
  • Honey bees have a powerful sense of smell and can be trained to detect symptoms of disease on human breath.  Harnessing such sensitivity, the designer Susana Soares recently created a buzz at Dutch design week with a series of dual-chamber glass diagnostic tools that incorporate specially trained honey bees to sniff out signs of tuberculosis, diabetes or even certain cancers on a patient's breath. Learn more.
  • The healing powers of honey have been around for centuries, but you might be surprised how many health benefits you can get from this kitchen staple. This golden liquid has been shown to help fix ailments ranging from a pesky cough to a painful wound. Read more.

ABF Welcomes New Members — October 2013

  • Lynn Danzer, Iowa
  • Ingrid Minette Drummer, Nevada
  • Samantha Gordon, Ohio
  • Craig Hainsworth, California
  • Wes Hindes, Texas
  • Nick Lissaman, California
  • David McManus, Utah
  • Cheryl Nelson, Mississippi
  • Robert Nelson, Mississippi
  • Richard Parker, Nevada
  • Janet Rowe, Texas
  • Foote R. Singleton, Mississippi
  • Joseph Singleton, Mississippi
  • Jeffery Lyle Solinsky, Louisiana
  • Berrien Loyd Sutton, Georgia
  • Quinn Wardell, California
  • Erik Lee Wray, Iowa


Recipe of the Month: Homemade Corn Dogs

Source: Tim Tucker


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (regular milk works, too)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 (10 count) package hot dogs
  • 10 wooden skewers or chopsticks
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil (for frying)








  • In a medium or large pot, add the oil. Turn heat to medium and heat oil to 350 degrees F. 
  • In a large bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir together. Then add the beaten egg, buttermilk, oil and honey. Stir until combined. Batter should be a little thicker than pancake batter. Remove hot dogs from package. Wipe them all dry with a paper towel (this will help the batter stick to them better).
  • Insert one skewer or wooden stick into each hot dog. Pour the batter into a tall drinking glass. Holding by the skewer, take one hot dog and dunk it into the batter, coating all of the hot dog. Slowly remove from batter and let a little excess batter drip back into the cup. 
  • Immediately place it into the hot oil, while still holding the stick. Turn as necessary to brown all sides. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until all sides are a deep golden brown. 
  • Remove from hot oil and place on paper towels to drain grease. Repeat with all hot dogs.
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