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ABF E-Buzz: April 2018
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ABF E-Buzz — April 2018

In This Issue:


Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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

"The April winds are magical,
And thrill our tuneful frames;
The garden-walks are passional
To bachelors and dames."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Welcome back!
Thank you once again for returning to spend some time with us!
I hope this finds you working hard in the bees. The weather has been difficult for making that happen this year. I don’t know when I’ve lived through a colder April! Our farmer’s market Saturdays for the past two weeks have been spent sitting in the car with temps hovering around or below freezing. I know the bees are doing the same thing and our newly emerged queens are not getting mated, I’m afraid! One of many of our beekeeping hurdles.

The past several years, I have seen an extreme number of swarms that are absconding the hive. They leave behind nothing in the boxes but honey and pollen….no brood or queen cells. I had a friend call me yesterday who saw a swarm emerging from one of his boxes and followed it and observed where it had landed. He went and got a box and re-hived it, but it didn’t stay in the box and they were on the wing very soon. The queen was the first to emerge he said as he sat there watching them fly away. It was not a typical day for swarming or absconding as temperatures were only in the low fifties here in Southeast Kansas.

I remember most of the early days of my beekeeping experience when we saw the first warm day in the upper seventies or higher and high humidity, we would see swarms from our healthiest hives that were too crowded. These swarms are not at all typical to what bees have done in the past. They occur at all. Our over-night temperatures are around freezing almost every day. I have seen these swarms in November and they won’t survive the winter for sure. Here in the mid-west I am getting calls every day from beekeepers who have lost half or more of their hives. Some have lost them all. We are currently down about 70% from our numbers after making splits last summer. I will be working this year just to try to get back half of those losses.

I know that there are others experiencing these losses and I would like to hear if you are seeing swarms or absconding. I was calling these “Suicide Swarms” last fall because of their possibilities for survival. It is completely against instincts that are beneficial to the survival of the species. Anyway, I would like to hear from you if you are experiencing this type of swarm and if you have pictures, or personal observations. Please email them to me at tuckerb@hit.net.

This month we have a report from our president Tim May regarding the ELAP payments and the extension of the requirement date for compliance to the ELD requirement for livestock haulers. Our Vice -President Joan Gunter provides all the details on the ELD requirements and website links to all the specifics in her report. We also have updates on our Honey Queen program for Chair Anna Kettlewell. She has been busy lining the Honey Queen and Princess up with trips all over the country to promotions where they work every day to enhance the image of honey. If you want to book either of these young ladies, please contact Anna to coordinate for your upcoming event.

We also have lots of great Buzzmakers and news from the National Honey Board and we always hope that you find beneficial information here that helps to further your education and information sources that further your experience as a beekeeper. Thanks again for spending time with us here at E-Buzz. I hope your weather improves and that the bees prosper this year wherever you are.

Tim Tucker


President's Greeting 

by Tim May, ABF President

It is Sunday morning mid-April and the power in my house has been off since 1 am. We are experiencing another winter storm. 40 mph winds freezing rain and snow. There is a quarter inch layer of ice covering everything. My baseball team, the Chicago White Sox, had all three of their games in Minnesota cancelled due to the snow in Minneapolis. Green Bay, Wisconsin got 23 inches of snow over the weekend. This is not how it is supposed to be in Mid-April. The inconsistent weather is even more difficult for the bees in this area. We get a couple days of 60s then it drops, and we have several days in the 20s and 30s. The days of the gradual warming in the spring is over. It seems like it goes from winter to summer and summer to winter year after year. The bees that have been brought here from the south as packages or nucs are experiencing a tough change.

We as beekeepers have had some positive news as of late. First would be the ELAP (Emergency Loss Assistance Program). Payments have begun to be disbursed to eligible applicants. These would be for those applied prior to September 2017. It is unfortunate that it takes so long to receive these payments, but spring is always an expensive time in beekeeping and these payments will help.

As most of you know the ELD requirement for livestock haulers has been extended to September of this year. This extension has been given to solve the technological problems that the ELDs have with livestock haulers.
The ABF has put out a “Call for Presentations” for the 2019 ABF Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. If you know someone interested in presenting at this year’s conference, please contact Tara at the ABF office. We are looking forward to another great conference. Hope to see you all there.

Government Relations

by: Joan Gunter, ABF Vice President

This month finds us in the south where weather conditions have been a roller coaster. Most beekeepers have their bees back from almonds and are busy splitting their colonies. Queen breeders are shipping queens to customers to meet their needs; however, the northern states are experiencing extreme weather conditions. Patience is the key.

As we prepare to ship bees north, the ELD requirements are still being resolved.
Here is an update on the latest ELD requirements:
“Livestock (as defined in 49 CFR 395.2) and insect haulers are not required to comply with the ELD rule for the duration of the FY 2018 appropriations bill (September 30, 2018), and any subsequent continuing resolutions.”
It is suggested that haulers print and retain a copy of the information from the following link for their own use in their hauling vehicle:


This can be used if any state or local authorities/law enforcement are unaware of the federal delays.
Along with the FMCSA statement found at the following website:
Remember to carry these in your vehicle and you should be protected.
This delay will give us the time needed to work on the HOS (Hours of Service) with the DOT.

Farm Bill Update:
Everyone is back in town. The Farm Bill may be available for markup as early as next week.
According to Bloomberg, the house Agriculture Committee is expected to mark up the 2018 farm bill on April 18th. A draft could come early next week. Committee rules call for a three days’ notice prior to a business meeting and 24 hours for bill text. The current farm bill expires on September 30, 2018. Negotiations for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) are currently at a standstill and seem to be the only thing holding up the bill.

FDA Added Sugars Labeling and Guidance
Just a reminder to visit the website to submit your comments on this issue. Deadline is April 29th.
Let’s get on this!

Bee Informed Partnership's National Colony Loss and Management Survey - The survey closes April 30th! Please spread the word and the link. 

Seed a Legacy is accepting applications at the following website:

Remember to report your bee losses at beekill@epa.gov.

Diana Cox Foster is looking for pollen samples to determine the levels of exposure of bees to OSS. Contact her at Diana.Cox.Foster@are.usda.gov.

The ABF webinar series continues. There is a wealth of knowledge in our webinars. Challenge yourself to try one. I guarantee you will be back for more!
Happy Spring!

Bee Educated: Conversation with A Beekeeper

ABF's Conversation with a Beekeeper webinars will occur on every 1st and 4th Wednesday starting the month of May

Upcoming Sessions:


Update with Health of Pollinators: The Threat of Unseen Factors

Wednesday, May 4, 2018

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. Diana Cox-Foster, Utah State University

Registration Links areposted to the website under the Education and Events Tab.

*Sign in to your ABF account to access the page. For questions regarding logging in please email us at info@abfnet.org PRIOR to the webinars*



 Call for Nominations: 2018 Farmer Rancher Pollinator Conservation Awards




We are delighted to once again invite nominations for the US and Canadian Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Awards. These awards recognize an individual or family in the farm and ranch community who has contributed significantly to the protection of pollinators on their farm and/or in the farming community.

Do you know a farmer or rancher who is making a difference for pollinators? Pollinator Partnership (P2) is seeking nominations for the 2018 Farmer-Rancher Pollinator Conservation Awards. Visit http://pollinator.org/awards for more information and help celebrate the contributions of the agricultural community to pollinators."

On behalf of all pollinators, thank you for helping us recognize the invaluable contributions of farmers and ranchers to the protection of our country’s bees and butterflies

Feel free to help us spread the word by sharing our posts on your social media!



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThePollinatorPartnership/photos/a.483301960464.272660.48680445464/10155888402605465/?type=3&theater

Kathleen Law
Outreach Program Manager



Brandon Rockey, Rockey Farms; 2017 US Farmer Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award Winner





Anthony John, Soiled Reputation Farm, NAPPC Canadian Farmer Award Recipient 





The California Honey Festival


Come the week of May 1st, Historic Downtown Woodland will be abuzz as it prepares for the second California Honey Festival. Restaurants will offer creative and tasty honey centric menus through the week. Bars will offer a selection of mixed drinks with mead or honey and local breweries will have honey beers on tap. Everything will culminate in a weekend filled with festivities from honey tastings to lectures about bees and pollinators to parklet garden displays.
Hold the date! Saturday, May 5th 2018 from 10am – 5pm

The California Honey Festival’s mission is to promote honey, honey bees and their products, and beekeeping through this unique educational platform, to the broader public.
Through lectures and demonstrations, the festival will help develop an interest in beekeeping by the younger generation. Attendees will learn about the myriad of issues that confront honey bees including pesticide use, diseases and even the weather! In addition, attendees can learn how to creatively plant their gardens to help feed all of our pollinators. It is important for the community to appreciate and understand the importance of bees as the lead pollinator of many of our crops adding to the food diversity we have come to enjoy.
The California Honey festival, benefits select bee & pollinator non-profits doing the hard work of research and education to ensure bee health worldwide.

UC Davis Presentation Schedule:

10:00 a.m.: California Honey Festival opens
10:30 a.m.: Gene Brandi, Past President, American Beekeeping Federation
11:15 a.m. Elina Niño, Extension Apiculturist, Entomology and Nematology, UC Davis
12:15 p.m. James E. Sherman, Chief Operating Officer, Pollinator Partnership
1:15 p.m. Frank Golbeck, CEO, Golden Coast Mead
2:15 p.m. John Mola, Winner of 2018 Bee Symposium Graduate Poster Contest
2:45 p.m. Kate Frey, Ecological Garden Designer and Consultant, Columnist, and co-author with Gretchen LeBuhn of The Bee-Friendly Garden
3:45 p.m. Billy Synk, Director of Pollination Programs, Project Apis m.



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

Honey & Coffee Make One Sweet Pair

There's no denying that the craft coffee trend is on the rise. Similar to craft cocktails and beer, consumers today are embracing unique and flavor-forward coffee beverages that offer them a truly artisanal experience. Thanks to its functional benefits and wide varietal offerings, honey is an ideal ingredient for the emerging category.

Honey is known to bring balance and enhance other ingredients in recipes, and coffee is no different. For those who find traditional black coffee bitter, honey masks those notes while adding unique flavor.

It is also easy to change up coffee's flavor by introducing honey varietals. Because of their varying flavor profiles, honey varietals offer coffee drinkers new and exciting ways to experience the subtle nuances that honey brings to coffee, all while adding complexity and flavor.

Today specialty coffee drinkers see coffee more as a treat and are looking for more of a flavor experience from hot and cold beverages. With this in mind, the National Honey Board (NHB) participated in an immersive, multi-day coffee innovation and recipe creation session to examine the specialty coffee category, its audience, and opportunities for honey within it. Armed with research and insights from leading bartenders, baristas, and NHB stakeholders, the NHB emerged with just under a dozen on-trend recipes designed to highlight honey and inspire everyone from professional baristas to the home coffee brewer:

• Shaken Honey Matcha Latte
• Honey Spiced Cortado
• Caramelized Honey Crème Brulee Latte
• Burnt Gingerbread Latte
• Mexican Hot Chocolate Honey Mocha
• Smoked Honey Shaken Iced Coffee
• Vanilla Honey Steamer
• Café Miel
• Honey Peach Frappuccino
• Vietnamese Honey Cold Brew
• Toasted Almond & Honey Cold Brew Frappuccino

The goal of this program is to position honey as the next “hot” ingredient in the fast-growing specialty coffee drink sector. By developing a portfolio of honey-inspired contemporary coffee drink inspirations for consumers, foodservice, and retail, the NHB hopes to stimulate interest and drive trial among foodservice operators, coffee shops (national/regional/local), and consumers. The ideas generated will be used in various marketing outreach efforts to bring these ideas to foodservice, retail, and ultimately to our target audience, Natural Balancers.

We look forward to watching honey continue to grow in this exciting new category. In the meantime, you can find all of these recipes on our website, www.honey.com.

 Plan to Enter the 2018 Heartland Apicultural Society Honey Show


%Charlotte Ekker Wiggins
HAS 2018 Communications Chair
(573) 426-3510
(573) 466-3750 cell



ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Plan to enter the 2018 Heartland Apicultural Society Honey Show, part of Heartland Apicultural Society’s annual conference being held July 11-13, 2018 at Washington University in St. Louis. Established in 2001 by several professional entomologists, the conference rotates through the Midwest offering beekeeping classes to make it easier for local beekeepers to attend sessions focused on the latest beekeeping methods and research.
“This is a prime opportunity to showcase your bees' abilities to produce the purest honey and the best wax, in addition to a chance to showcase your artistic and creative sides by entering our cooking and/or art/craft classes,” said Tim Fredricks, chairman of the 2018 Heartland Apicultural Society honey show.

The Honey Show will showcase the best examples of honey, beeswax, cooking, and creativity. It includes eleven (11) classes: seven (7) for honey, one (1) for beeswax, two (2) art/craft classes, and one (1) for cooking.
Cost is $5 per entry, one entry per class. Entries must be hand delivered along with submission payments. Deadline to enter is 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

Special awards will be presented for 1st Place entries. If the judges determine that none of the class entries warrants a 1st Place award, none will be presented. 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place entries will receive ribbons.
The entrant with the most accumulated points across all classes will be selected as the “Grand Champion.” To qualify, the entrant must have entered at least five (5) classes).

All entries will be displayed at the conference starting around noon on Thursday July 12, 2018. Presentation of awards will be made during the Brews & Bees Event at Anheuser-Busch Brewery on Thursday night July 12, 2018.
All entries will be judged according to the official score sheet. After the show, completed score sheets will be available at the front desk.

After the entries are judged, they will be added to the raffle to benefit Heartland Apicultural Society and the promotion of the beekeeping industry.

For further information, contact Tim Fredricks via e-mail at t.jacks.mo@gmail.com.

To register for the 2018 Heartland Apicultural Society’s July 11-13, 2018 conference at Washington University in St. Louis, visit www.heartlandbees.org. Early registration rates are effective until June 20, 2018.


by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

It may not feel like spring in some parts of the country, but spring promotions are starting to pop up like dandelions for the American Honey Queen Program. In April, we celebrated Queen Kayla’s return to regular promotional work for the program, and we are thankful to have her back working for the ABF! 

Kayla made a west coast swing beginning mid-April, visiting Oregon, Washington, and Arizona over a two-week period. She was a guest of GloryBee’s Bee Days, speaking to new and seasoned beekeepers alike during GloryBee’s annual packaged bee distribution and company open house to the public. Kayla made appearances in the Eugene area as well, promoting the importance of honeybee to the public. She then hopped to Washington to participate in a Salmon Summit, teaching children in eastern Washington about how honeybees fit into the grand scheme of their lives and food supply. She capped off her trip in sunny Arizona at the Maricopa Home and Landscape show, selling honey and teaching attendees about honeybees, noting the particularities of the Africanized honeybee in Arizona and the tremendous care needed with this type of bee.

In between her busy school schedule, Princess Jenny made a stop in Green Bay, Wisconsin in mid-April, visiting elementary schools to enhance second graders’ plant and bee studies. She also had two television spots, where she demonstrated recipes perfect for spring featuring honey!

Summer and fall will be here sooner than we think. Contact me soon to discuss your summer and fall promotions and how we can make the Queen or Princess a part of them, before their schedules are full! You can reach me at 414.545.5514 or honeyqueen99@hotmail.com. 

Happy promoting! 


 Buzzmakers: Latest and Greatest Beekeeping Industry News

  • Honeybees make a cute 'whoop' when they're surprised  Read More
  • Honeybees are struggling to get enough good bacteria   Read more.
  • Total ban on bee-harming pesticides likely after major new EU analysis Read More.
    Analysis from EU's scientific risk assessors finds neonicotinoids pose a serious danger to all bees, making total field ban highly likely.
  • Alarming link between fungicides and bee declines revealed Read More.
    Fungicides are found to be the strongest factor linked to steep bumblebee declines, surprising scientist and adding to the threats to vital pollinators.
  • A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans. It's a catastrophe.  Read More.

ABF Welcomes New Members -March 2018

  • Daniel Whitaker, Florida
  • Peter Ensch, Florida
  • Rebecca Bills, South Carolina
  • Diane Schoenert, Texas
  • Kelly Palazzi, New Jersey
  • Bryan Floyd, Tennessee
  • Nancy Lenois, Florida
  • Vernon Weatherholtz, Florida
  • Susan Mark Roberts, Florida
  • Justin Lashley, New York
  • Jack Garry, Illinois
  • Debra Reddy, Wyoming
  • Debbie Wohllaib, Wyoming

The honey adds a lighter touch than using all molasses, as most ginger bread recipes do. It’s like a honey cake with ginger and cinnamon


• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 egg, beaten
• 2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon grated orange rind (optional)
• 1/2 cup light molasses
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1 cup hot water


Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Melt the butter in a heavy pan and let it cool.


Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and orange rind. Combine the molasses, honey and water. Beat the sugar and egg together until the sugar dissolves.

Add the sifted dry ingredients and the liquid ingredients alternatively to the cooled butter until it is all blended.

Pour the batter into in a greased 9"x9"x2" inch pan and bake for about 1 hour at 350°F.

Makes one 9″ square cake, 9 to 12 servings.


Recipe by: https://www.cookingnook.com/recipe/gingerbread-recipe/


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2019 American Beekeeping Federation Conference & Tradeshow





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