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ABF E-Buzz: July 2014
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ABF E-Buzz — July 2014

In This Issue:


Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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

 July sounds louder than
any other month, and smells hotter too.
Warm winds parch;
Not much you can do.
Days get a bit shorter,
Bees change their tune,
Keep your gloves handy,
It's no longer June.

Drink lots of water,
or fresh lemonade.
Pace your work wisely,
Take breaks in the shade. - Tim Tucker

Welcome back! July is always a month of picnics, fireworks, the first 100 degree day here in Kansas, as well as the beginning of my longing for October. A week ago, we had a day that required three changes of clothes to get through it. I hate humidity. We had some good rain in June that provided for nectar flow but it started way too late for us to have the opportunity for a great honey harvest; unless we continue with summer storms that keep the white clover blooming and bring the sunflowers to bloom. We always look for forgeable flowers and hope for rain, which makes for humidity. It's a crazy life, this life of a beekeeper.

  Well, it is official. ABF has decided to pursue a bid for hosting Apimondia in 2019. In case you are unaware of what Apimondia is, it is the world conference of beekeeping, which meets every two years in different countries around the world. 

 During the past year and a half, the Apimondia committee of ABF has explored six different cities that could hold an event of this size and we have selected Minneapolis as the host city for our bid. Now, it is up to the committee to convince the delegates of Apimondia during the 2015 event in Korea to choose  Minneapolis in five    years, as there will be other countries vying for the opportunity to host the event. Much evaluation time went into this selection and it was chosen due to three factors that narrowed the decision down. The first was that Minneapolis is close to the honey production belt of America. Its location provides  access to commercial    beekeeping operations and to the University of Minnesota's new bee lab. Additionally, it is a community that is interested in attracting convention business and the committee felt that the Apimondia conference would be the focus of the city for the event. The committee felt that in Washington, D.C.  or Orlando, Fla., two cities on    our  prospective list, that the conference would be just another event in the midst of many. Although they both have great opportunities for entertainment, the committee felt that when it comes to showing American beekeeping to the world, Minneapolis was where it needed to take place.    Other considerations included the cost    of lodging, food and entertainment. All cities we considered had advantages and it was a very difficult process to narrow down our choice. We look forward to working during the coming year to produce a winning bid to host this great event.

 It will take hard work and we need people to join committees in the next month or two to help coordinate the effort. If you would like to help, contact me, or Regina at the ABF office. The committees in need of assistance to host the conference include:
  • Budget and Finance: This committee works to actively solicit the funds necessary to complete the bid process.
  • Site Coordination: Members work with Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota to developed planning for the marketing of this location to the delegates who select the successful bidder.
  • Bid Presentation: This group coordinates between the other three committees and plans all aspects of the bid presentation in Korea in 2015.
  • Program: Members develop the program that to present to the delegates.

  We hope to have six to eight people working on all of these committees so give it some thought and drop us a line. We need YOU to make this successful!

  As usual, there is much to investigate here as Peter Teal has provided another edition of Science Buzz, which talks about how mites and beetles are moving around the world. Anna Kettlewell, our Honey Queen chair, keeps us up to date on the activities of the Honey Queen and Princess. There are many new    buzzmakers to update you on what is going on in the world of bees, and another new recipe and riddle for you to ponder.

Thanks again for stopping by! If you have anything you would like to see in the upcoming August ABF E-Buzz, drop a note to tuckerb@hit.net. Until next time, I hope you have a great summer and that your bees are filling supers.


BEE Our Guest: 

Register Now for the 2015 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow!

The 2015 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow takes place at the “magical” Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California, January 6-10, 2015. Join hundreds of beekeepers large and small and a vibrant community that is dedicated to ensuring the future of the honey bee for education, networking and the sharing of ideas and solutions. As an attendee you’ll benefit from:

• Two days of general sessions featuring presentations from industry experts
• Informative Shared Interest Group meetings and track sessions for each level of beekeeping
• 20+ interactive hands-on workshops
• Keynote presentations from Graham White of Scotland, UK and Mark Winston from Simon Fraser University's Centre for Dialogue
• The 2015 Honey Show
• A global vendor tradeshow: discover the latest products and services in the beekeeping industry The coronation of the 2015 American Honey Queen and Princess
• Lots of socializing opportunities
• And much, much more . . .

Celebrate the start of 2015 in Anaheim, in the heart of sunny Southern California! Average temperatures range from the high 40’s to the low 70’s, making it much warmer than most other places in January. So, take a break from the cold and join 600-800 other beekeepers to share knowledge, experiences, tips and a little fun in a beautiful setting. We can’t wait to see you there!

More About the Disneyland Hotel
The Disneyland Hotel, a AAA Four-Diamond property, hosts the conference; attendees may take advantage of a special group rate of $109.00 (plus applicable taxes). This rate is available until December 15, 2014 or until the group block is sold out (whichever comes first). We encourage you to make your reservations early to ensure availability. Additionally, the group rate will be honored three days before and after the conference dates. So, make a little vacation out of it and bring the whole family.

Just steps away are Downtown Disney and its restaurants, retail shops and activities. Adjacent to Downtown Disney, you’ll find the Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. So in just one location, you’ll have the amazing 2015 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow, the AAA Four-Diamond Disneyland Hotel, Downtown Disney and two theme parks not to mention all the other features Anaheim has to offer. Make your plans now to attend and we’ll see you in January.

Register Today!

Bee Educated: ABF 2014 "Conversation with a Beekeeper" series continues in July. 

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 offer new session in July.
Beekeeping Mentor
Thursday, July 31, 2014
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
Don't you want to be a beekeeping mentor? There is a critical need for mentors to develop better beekeepers. Yes, we can just let them read a few books and struggle thru the learning experience but the result is not always what experienced beekeepers feel is desired. After John Talbert retired from a successful career in Engineering where he helped mentor young engineers, he honed his small scale beekeepers talents into a sideliner and later a small commercial beekeeper. During this time, he mentored a number of young people and older adults in both small scale and commercial beekeeping. He will share the elements of mentoring that were successful for him. He leads a 20 hour basic beekeeping seminar each spring that has reached out to over 500 students over the past 14 years.
About the presenter: 
John Talbert has mentored a number of young people and older adults in both small scale and commercial beekeeping. He leads a 20 hour basic beekeeping seminar each spring that has reached out to over 500 students over the past 14 years.
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 going to our ABF website and follow the link. You must log into your ABF membership account to register. 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. 
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.
Have you missed out on any or all of the great webinars we have hosted over the past year?  Good news!  All of the ABF's "Conversation with a Beekeeper" webinars are archived on the ABF website and you can easily access them at your convenience.
You will need to log into your account to access the sessions.  If you don't remember your username or password, please contact Regina K. Robuck, at 404.760.2887 or reginarobuck@abfnet.org. 

Science Buzz

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

The Varroa mite, scourge of the apiculture industry, inflicts more damage than any other parasite or disease of honey bees. Indeed, there are few places where it can’t be found. It is difficult to detect how Varroa mites move from one place to another. For example, the mite was detected in Hawaii on Oahu in April 2007 and despite statewide quarantine measures, it was found in a swarm trap near Hilo Bay on the Big Island a little over a year later. There is no clear evidence on the origins of the mite or how it arrived in Hawaii. But even though it is illegal to import bees or pieces of beekeeping equipment that are not certified by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, it was probably smuggled into Hawaii from California. Are there places where Varroa have not been detected? Yes, it has not appeared in Newfoundland Canada and Australia. Interestingly, Varroa have been present the Canadian province of Quebec, the closest province to Newfoundland, since at least 1994 and in New Zealand since 2000.

Why have these places remained free of the mite? In Newfoundland, the importation of honey bees is strictly regulated. In fact, all bee imports must be certified free of essentially all pests by a veterinarian approved by the Chief Veterinary Officer of the province, and the apiary itself must be free from pests for 12 months prior to import. Then, the bees are quarantined for one year (see www.gov.nl.ca/hoa/sr). Additionally, the beekeeping community, like the population, is very small in Newfoundland and easy to police. This probably explains the success in keeping pests out of the problem.

The situation in Australia is very different. The land mass is huge and there is a relatively large beekeeping community compared to Newfoundland. They do have a legislated “Australian honey bee quarantine policy” (1996), which is not as strict as that of Newfoundland, but is strict enough to have kept the mite out of the country thus far. Interestingly, these measures were not effective in keeping the small hive beetle out of Australia. Why would there be success, so far, in keeping Varroa mites out of Australia while small hive beetles are now a countrywide concern. I believe the answer is very simple. It seems to me that the reason that the small hive beetle escaped the apiculture quarantine policy is that it arrived in fruit shipments from countries where the beetle is resident and not in shipments of bees.

Many of you know that we have been able to rear the beetle on fruit, and that we can catch beetles in the field just using ripe fruit or a similar scent. Thus, it makes sense that fruit infested with beetle eggs or larvae might escape the eyes of apiculture inspectors. Indeed, I believe that this is how the small hive beetle came into the U.S. because absolutely no honey bees from Africa are allowed into the country, and our legislation of importation of bees is very nearly as strict as that of Newfoundland.

Are laws governing importation of bees necessary? I’ll leave that up to you. However, without vigilance at our ports of entry even more troublesome pests, like Tropilaelaps clareae, another mite pest resident in Southeast Asia could easily become established!

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

The National Honey Board (NHB) is pleased to announce that again this year,  they will be providing press kits to the honey industry in order to promote September as National Honey Month. September has been recognized as National Honey Month in an effort to celebrate this all-natural wonder and its many benefits. The press kit, intended for delivery to local media, will be available at no cost to beekeepers throughout the United States. 

  The 2014 press kit features information on the benefits of honey, a variety of honey recipes, a 30 Days of Honey one-page handout which encourages consumption of honey throughout the month, as well as the NHB’s newest and most popular honey brochures that showcase honey’s versatility. All the resources included in       the press kit are perfect for use by editors and journalists preparing honey features and news stories.


 The press kits will be made available in early August and may be requested by calling Andrea Brening at the NHB office (800-553-7162), or by sending an email to Andrea@nhb.org.


 The National Honey Board is an industry-funded agriculture promotion group that works to educate consumers about the benefits and uses for honey and honey products through research, marketing and promotional programs.

 Honey Queen Buzz: Fair Season Begins!

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

Queen Susannah prepares for her next cooking class at the HAS 2014 Conference. 


July starts the beginning of the Queen and Princess’s heaviest travel time of the year. This year, July took the program to seven unique states, reaching honey consumers in a variety of settings. 



Princess Elena makes honey snacks for the West End Senior Center Residents.
Princess Elena’s travels were close to home at the beginning of the month, and ranged from senior center presentations, library presentations, church group presentations, scout troop presentations, and a local fair. Each group gave her the  opportunity to demonstrate how easy and flavorful using honey is in a variety of recipes or to discuss how honeybees rely on human help.  Susannah, among her out of state travels, made a stop at a Junior Master Gardener program in Orlando to  teach aspiring students with green thumbs how to help honeybee habitat. 

Queen Susannah made two stops at major beekeeping meetings in July. She traveled to Illinois for the annual Heartland Apiculture Society conference, a regional conference that focuses on a variety of honeybee, honey, and beekeeping topics. She also attended the annual Minnesota Honey Producers Association summer conference in St. Cloud. At both meetings, Susannah highlighted the many ways to use the Honey Queen Program in promotions, the importance of the American Beekeeping Federation’s work, and using honey in cooking.

The biggest event in July for the Queen Program was the start of Fair season. In addition to a local rural heritage festival in Pennsylvania, Princess Elena made stops at the Minneapolis Pollinator Party, working with the University of Minnesota promoting honeybees, beekeeping, and honey, and at the Ohio State Fair.  Queen Susannah made stops at the Warren County Farmers Fair in New Jersey and the Clark County Fair in Vancouver, Washington. At her stops, she assisted with hive demonstrations and had important media interviews. 

In addition to these promotions, the Queen and Princess have been busy updating the American Honey Queen Program’s YouTube Channel. These videos will be used throughout the year as they speak to students in classrooms and to other groups about the industry. 

We are close to finalizing the fall promotional schedules and will soon begin preparations for the 2015 ABF conference in Anaheim. I look forward to hearing from you soon about your request for Susannah and Elena to visit your state!  Please contact me at 414.545.5514 or honeyqueen99@hotmail.com to discuss the options!  Happy promoting!

Kids N' Bees: Honey Bees in Bluegrass

by Sara Red-Laird, Bee Girl

For the first time, the American Beekeeping Federation Kids and Bees program will be teaming up with the Eastern Apicultural Society to offer a one-day “Beekeeping Academy” for kids. This is a really exciting collaboration, one that I hope continues long into the future! There is still space left in the camp, and we would love it if you would share the information below with any families with kids who might be traveling with their parents to EAS, or families in the Richmond, Kentucky, area.

What: A one-day camp for kids interested in bees, sustainable agriculture and the environment, offered to students in the greater community of Richmond, Kentucky. Students are introduced to the world of bees with hands-on activities, crafts and games. Highlights of the day will be inspecting a honey bee hive, making our own model beehives, hunting native bees and collecting data as a citizen scientist.

When: Friday, August 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where: Berea College, 101 Chestnut St, Berea, KY. The camp takes place in the college’s farm and gardens, apiary and classroom space.

Who: Sarah Red-Laird, aka Bee Girl, and two Berea student volunteers work with up to 20 4th – 6th grade students.

How Much: Students can register for $50 through http://beekeepingacademy.eventbrite.com. There are also a limited number of scholarships available.

More Details: The Beekeeping Academy is a one-day camp for kids going into grades four through six. Students will spend their day in a fun and educational immersion into the world of the bee. During the morning hours, we take an in-depth look into bee anatomy, biology, and sociology and their vital role in our food system. The afternoon is spent up-close and personal with honey bee hives and native bee observations. Throughout the day students learn about present challenges bees face, and how they can be part of the solution in the bee’s survival.

Kids are asked to bring a brown bag lunch, a snack and a water bottle.

We will provide all of the beekeeping gear for the day.

The Eastern Apicultural Society of North America, Inc. (EAS) is an international nonprofit educational organization founded in 1955 for the promotion of bee culture, education of beekeepers, certification of Master Beekeepers and excellence in bee research. EAS is the largest noncommercial beekeeping organization in the United States and one of the largest in the world. Learn more at www.easternapiculture.org

Thank you so much for helping us to spread the word to make this camp a success!

Bee Thinking

Last Month's Riddle was You are here, I am there, Not an oval, not a square. I'm shaped and molded in every way, With your efforts day by day.  (Here is more) I go before you wherever you go, I'm known by others you may not know. The last  riddle proved to be very tricky and actually took two months to receive the correct answer: Leap Day.

The winner of this most challenging riddle was Chappie McChesney. Congratulations Chappie.

Here is another riddle for you to ponder over.

Riddle:A farmer was going to town with a fox, a goose and a sack of corn. When he came to a stream, he had to cross in a tiny boat, and could only take across one thing at a time. However, if he left the fox alone with the goose, the fox would eat the goose, and if he left the goose alone with the corn, the goose would eat the corn. How does he get them all safely over the stream?

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

  • Honey Bee Microbial Groups Work Together To Insure Honey Bee Health: The digestive tract of the world’s most important agricultural pollinator, the honey bee, is a complex fermenting tank that serves up energy-providing short-chain fatty acids thanks to a host of microbial groups that reside in what an Indiana University biologist has described as an intensely intertwined and entangled microbiome.  Learn More 
  • Our Bees, Ourselves: AROUND the world, honeybee colonies are dying in huge numbers: About one-third of hives collapse each year, a pattern going back a decade. For bees and the plants they pollinate — as well as for beekeepers, farmers, honey lovers and everyone else who appreciates this marvelous social insect — this is a catastrophe.  Read More
  • Bee Byproducts Good for Health: The hum of the honeybee may induce a nervous reaction, as many associate this ominous sound with stings, swarms, and swollen arms. Unlike many of its cousins, the honeybee is more of a pacifist, opting to live amongst the hive community, rarely posing a threat to humans (not including those who are allergic, regrettably).  Read More 
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Long term natural pest control is the most cost effective approach to managing insect pests. This method provides stable, continuous suppression of pests by promoting their natural enemies. The long term approach is also the least toxic method of controlling insects. Chemicals, used only as a last resort, are normally not needed. Read More

  • Second Silent Spring? Bird Declines Linked to Popular Pesticides: Pesticides don't just kill pests. New research out of the Netherlands provides compelling evidence linking a widely used class of insecticides to population declines across 14 species of birds. Read More

  • Biologist Says Promoting Diversity Is Key To 'Keeping The Bees': Every year, more than half of the honeybee hives in the United States are taken to California to pollinate the state's almond crop. Biologist Laurence Packer says this illustrates both our dependence on honeybees to pollinate many plants people rely on for food and the devastating decline in the domestic honeybee population in recent years.. Read More

  • BATTLE FOR OUR HEARTS AND MINDS: Adversaries aren’t waiting for conclusive science on what’s killing the honeybee. They’re taking their fight straight to the public in an intensifying battle for the support of the nation’s consumers. Learn More

  • Two Stories On Disaster Waiting To Happen: First, Corn & soy insecticides similar to nicotine found widespread in Midwest rivers -- USGS news. Insecticides similar to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, were found commonly in streams throughout the Midwest, according to a new USGS study. This is the first broad-scale investigation of neonicotinoid insecticides in the Midwestern United States and one of the first conducted within the United States.  Read More

ABF Welcomes New Members — June 2014

  • Colt Cornelius, Colorado
  • Terrell Brewer, Alabama
  • Matt Hamm, Illinois
  • Suzanne Hall, Florida
  • William Lorch

Recipe of the Month: Honey-Vanilla Lemonade

Source: Racheal Ray


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cups water, plus more as needed
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 24 lemons)
  • Lemon wheels or wedges, for garnish


1. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, and 2 cups water and place over medium-high heat.

2. Cut the vanilla bean in 1/2 lengthwise, then, using the back of the knife, scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add to the saucepan, along with the pod.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens.

4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

5. Put the lemon juice into a gallon jug or pitcher.

6. Pour the sugar syrup through a strainer into the pitcher and discard the pod.

7. Add water to equal 1 gallon and stir well.

8. Serve over ice with lemon wheels or wedges.

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2019 American Beekeeping Federation Conference & Tradeshow





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