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ABF E-Buzz: August 2020

In This Issue:




President’s Greeting

by: Joan Gunter, ABF President

Once again, we find ourselves surrounded by the twists and turns of life. COVID-19 has raised its ugly head in our household. Both Dwight and I have come down with the dreaded disease. However, we are on the mend and will soon be back in the bee yard.

I can tell you, COVID-19 is not something to take lightly. It is a challenging disease with no direct cure. Experimental doses of this and that seem to be the best action at this time. It is working for me but not for everyone. Our doctors are perplexed at the different strains and mutations COVID-19 can take on. I have been given plasma with the COVID antibodies for the first time in my life. It has worked wonderfully for me but can show no effect on other patients. I have met several infectious disease specialists—each an expert in their field. Early diagnosis still seems to be the key right now, so stay on top of your health.

The ABF board of directors has met for the month of July and voted to cancel our face-to-face meeting at South Point. The reasons are obvious. The protection and wellbeing of our membership is at stake. This will cause some problems within our group due to the fact that our agenda centers around a face-to-face meeting. However, Meeting Expectations is working hard with the board to come with an alternative. ABF will be doing some online presentations, including the business meetings, along with elections. The American Honey Queen Program is working on an alternative way to elect our incoming royalty. Please watch for details on the website. We will not leave you uninformed.

The ABF annual conference is where most of our income comes from. We need our members to help in maintaining a steady income. Consider ABF in your donations this year. We also need you to maintain your membership. ABF is nothing without YOU!


Vice President’s Message

by: Dan Winter, ABF Vice President

Usually, I talk about beekeeping current events in Washington, D.C., or recent scientific studies. In this ABF E-Buzz, I am choosing to talk about COVID-19. It has impacted so many (even people on our board) and changed how we live our lives.

As ABF moves into fall and we plan around the cancellation of our annual January conference, many challenging issues have turned up. This past year, the board has adopted some new things, such as hosting meetings using the Zoom platform for both the board and committee meetings. I thought it would be harder than it was. It was fairly simple to download, and now I prefer it over the traditional teleconference. It is far easier and much clearer.

What we will need this fall is for our membership to electronically nominate new SIG leaders. More information and links will become available to members as we move forward and plan the best way to vote on the new nominees. Business is usually conducted at the conference during SIG business meetings, so for ABF to move forward, the board is constantly referring to our bylaws and making sure we are as thorough as possible since there are no provisions that cover pandemics.

We, as a board, did not really want to cancel the annual conference in January. Safety concerns and several legal factors have forced the issue. We certainly want our beekeeping community healthy and ready for success next year.

I would like to thank the membership for their patience and the Board of Directors for their hard work. All these issues are almost overwhelming. We urge members to please keep current with ABF so we can have the best outcome with the upcoming ABF elections.



2021 ABF Conference & Tradeshow Postponed Until 2022

Always working in the best interests of our members, the ABF is postponing its 2021 ABF Conference & Tradeshow out of a preponderance of caution and commitment to protecting the health and safety of the beekeepers we hold so dear.

“This decision by the ABF Board of Directors was not made lightly,” said ABF President Joan Gunter. “Recognizing that hundreds of beekeepers and industry-related businesses look forward to attending this event each year, we hoped that COVID-19 concerns might have lessened by late summer. Continuous monitoring of health advisories by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the W.H.O. and the appropriate organizations in Las Vegas have made it clear that it is not possible to move forward as planned with the 2021 ABF Conference & Tradeshow.”

Our Conference Committee, Education Committee and Membership Committee are already hard at work developing alternate education and networking initiatives to launch this fall. Plans for a special virtual celebration of the American beekeeping industry during the same week as the postponed event (January 6-9, 2021) are also underway.

“Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures, and while we are disappointed by the need to take this action, we know it is the right decision,” said ABF Conference Committee Chair and Past President Tim May. “Nevertheless, we are excited to channel the ingenuity of our committees and create opportunities that previously did not exist. We eagerly await the time when we can all get together in person to rekindle relationships and make new connections via the 2022 ABF Conference & Tradeshow.”

ABF members will be the first to know once the dates for the 2022 event are confirmed. Until then, please do not book travel arrangements and keep a lookout for further developments. The ABF headquarters office will be in contact with all contracted exhibitors and sponsors in the very near future to discuss upcoming outreach efforts.

Thank you for your support during these unprecedented times.


On-Demand Beekeeping Education:
2020 Legislative Update

Presented by: Fran Boyd, Meyers & Associates


This year has been quite active in Washington, D.C. Take a listen as Fran Boyd, ABF's representative on Capitol Hill, covers the ways in which COVID-19 has and will continue to affect beekeepers nationwide with recent federal legislative and regulatory changes.


For more than three decades, Fran Boyd has worked in the area of government affairs both in the private and public sectors. Currently, he is Senior Vice President at Meyers & Associates, a government relations consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. In his position since 1990, he has represented national associations, financial institutions, businesses, municipalities and universities in the nation’s capitol. He has served the ABF for over 25 years. Fran has successfully represented clients before Congress, helping to shape national public policy in agriculture/rural development, trade, environmental/natural resources, banking/finance, tax policy and food safety legislation. In addition to representing a diverse client base on Capitol Hill, Fran has worked effectively with the numerous federal agencies that have a direct impact on his clients. He has also been instrumental in the creation and successful legislative accomplishments of several multi-industry coalitions.

Click Here to View the Presentation!


Honey Queen Buzz

by: Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

July was a much busier month for our American Honey Queen and Princess! They started the month with a trip to North Carolina, promoting the industry through a farmers market and community presentations with Jolene McNutt (2006 American Honey Queen) locally, with the assistance of several Queen Committee members virtually! In addition to their in-person promotions, the queens had a refresher presentation and media session and kicked off their work on the program’s honey video series. To date, we have had over 30 unique varieties and forms of honey supplied to the queens to generate these short videos highlighting honey across the nation. Be sure to subscribe to the American Honey Queen YouTube channel and like the American Honey Queen Facebook page to see these videos, set to begin release this month!

We are still seeking honey donations for this unique and special video series! If you wish to donate your unique variety of honey to be featured in this video series, contact me at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com for shipping details. We’d love to feature more unique varieties and something special from your state!

Virtual presentations continued on the queens’ schedule in July. Mary presented to the ABF State Delegates Assembly during their bimonthly call. We are excited to see what types of promotional opportunities the delegates can generate for the Queen and Princess’s promotional year! Mary also presented to a Wyoming Beginning Beekeepers class, teaching attendees ways to use honey in recipes. With the cancellation of many fairs, Mary has been invited to generate a video for the Clark County Fair in Washington. She was asked to highlight the best of the fair, for the many folks who are missing one of their favorite parts of summer. We’d love for the Queen and Princess to promote for our industry through your virtual fair events.

We do have some summer events still on the calendar and room to have the Queen and Princess visit your in-person events, speak virtually to your groups or to your children’s schools, give media interviews in person and remotely, and promote our wonderful, unique industry. Please contact me to discuss options in your state and region at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414-545-5514. Happy promoting!


Sauces, Spreads, Dressings Made
with Honey Provide Burst of Flavor!

Honey alone has been a traditional dipping sauce and spread for centuries. However, food manufacturers are now using it as an ingredient to formulate dynamic spreads, sauces and dressings that add extra zest to meals.

Honey is a perfect ingredient for these fares. It can be used as an emulsifier in sauces and dips, as a glaze for meats and vegetables or as a dish balancer, enhancing sweet flavor in salads or balancing out flavors in savory offerings. There are some exciting trends hitting grocery store condiment aisles in 2020, many of which are using honey to stand out and provide exceptional flavor, functionality and marketability.

Trend: Citrusy Flavors

Consumers want to be wowed by new flavor offerings in their products, and dipping sauces and spreads are the perfect way for manufacturers to provide something new. Custom Culinary says that artisanal creativity is also a way for manufacturers to “showcase interesting fusion flavors, which, in turn, can inspire consumers to try new-to-them ingredients from globe spanning regions.” When honey is used in these types of products, it provides a familiar name and flavor to a product consumers may not be familiar with.

CHEVOO’s new Zesty Citrus & Honey Spreadable Goat Cheese is a spread that combines the unique flavor of honey with citrus, made with hand-blended goat cheese. The spread is gluten-free.

Marie’s Wildflower Honey & Lime Vinaigrette combines trendy floral notes of wildflower honey with lime for a citrusy burst of flavor in every drop. Part of Marie’s Market Reserve lineup, this salad dressing is gluten- and dairy-free, and it is only 60 calories per serving.

For a doubly sweet and citrus fusion, check out Ariston’s Chocolate Honey Orange Balsamic. Described as “sweet and syrupy with the magic flavor of Greek honey, Belgian chocolate and fresh orange,” this dressing finishes with slight aromatics of oak. It’s great for salads, pancakes, crepes, chicken or roast marinades.

Trend: Nut Spreads

Prepared Foods reports that nut spreads in the past year have benefited from better-for-you ingredients listings that help with guilt-free indulgence. “Fat is back” as a trend, and this has helped nut butters look more appealing in consumers’ eyes. The Nutty Gourmet’s Honey Walnut Butter is a keto-friendly spread that is a premium, made-with-honey walnut butter that is certified kosher and is gluten- and preservative-free.

Trend: Turning Up the Heat

Nothing is more classic than a honey BBQ sauce, but Prepared Foods notes that “some table sauces went in a bolder direction.” Spicier offerings somewhat stem from global influences, with habanero, jalapeno and sweet and spicy combinations tantalizing sauce lovers’ taste buds. In fact, Supermarket Perimeter reports, “spicy as a category is one of the more popular flavor trends.”

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Stubb’s has released a Sweet Honey & Spice Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce. The company says that the sauce spreads “love and happiness” with rich, warm spices like allspice, cinnamon and black pepper, mixed with honey, distilled vinegar and hickory smoke.

For more of a kick, combine sweet and heat with Bone Suckin' Sauce’s Honey & Habanero Wing Sauce. Each 12.25-ounce bottle contains apple cider vinegar, organic yellow mustard, prepared horseradish, dried onion and paprika. For an added benefit, it’s kosher and gluten- and fat-free.

Trend: Classic Flavors

Consumers also draw comfort from knowing what they’re going to get with each and every purchase, and classic flavors aim to please. Global producer of food and beverage ingredients, Kalsec, says that classic U.S. flavors trending with consumers include garlic, onion, buffalo, ranch and barbeque. “We’re seeing a resurgence of interest in flavors that are familiar these flavors are now coming in premium formats with organic, natural or preferred cooking methods specified.”

Bone Suckin' Sauce does it again with its Garlic & Honey variety, which is gluten- and fat-free. Honey, apple cider vinegar, organic yellow mustard, garlic extract and natural smoke flavor are some of the enticing ingredients.

Consumers looking for a clean label will find it with Suzie’s Organics Honey Mustard. Honey, lemon juice, soybean oil, white vinegar, mustard seed and turmeric are combined to make this gluten-free honey mustard condiment.

The NHB team is keeping a pulse on the latest consumer, foodservice and ingredient manufacturer trends, so be sure to follow it’s blog on honey.com for more trend stories like this one.


Buzzmakers: Beekeeping Industry News

Honeybees Reveal Environmental Pollution in their Surroundings

Honeybees Continue Fight for Survival

Machine Learning Predicts Honeybee Swarms

This Rare, Mutant Honeybee Is Both Male and Female

Researchers, Agencies, Beekeepers Work Together to Fight Losses in Honey Bee Colonies


ABF Welcomes New Members: July 2020

Adams, Carole - FL
Borba, Renata - Alberta
Corrigan, Antonia - SC
Garner, Christopher - GA
Gussoni, Lucy - TX
Hargraves, Rebekah - AL
Hemingway, Sheila - CO
Hendricks, Chris - TX
Lautenbach, Dennis - MN
Meinert, Kyle - TX
Pomplun, Bryce - WI
Quaas, Max - IA
Salo, Zack - TX
Shahbazian Oliver - FL
Yawn, Mitch - SC


Honey Mug Cake

Recipe provided by: Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Minute, 15 Seconds
Yield: 1 Mug Cake

Dive your spoon into this sweet Honey Mug Cake. A soft, sticky and gooey mug cake made with honey, then topped with a delicious buttercream frosting. A delicious cake in less than five minutes!


Mug Cake:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp runny honey
1 medium egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp light brown sugar
4 tbsp self-raising flour, see notes
pinch of salt

2 tbsp butter, softened
4 tbsp icing (confectioners) sugar


Add the butter to a mug and melt in the microwave for around 10-20 seconds.

Add the honey, egg and vanilla and beat with a fork until combined.

Add the sugar, flour and salt and beat again until fully combined and smooth.

Cook in the microwave for around 1 minute, 15 seconds to 1 minute, 30 seconds (depending on your microwave power), then allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, to make the frosting, add the butter and icing (confectioners) sugar to another mug and use a fork to cut the butter into the icing sugar until it reaches a clumpy texture. Then beat with the fork until fluffy, around 1-2 minutes.

Spoon the frosting into a small piping bag or a ziplock bag fitted with an open star or plain round tip and pipe a swirl onto the top of the cooled cake. Serve immediately.


If you do not have self-raising flour, substitute with plain (all-purpose) flour and add ¼ tsp baking powder.