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ABF E-Buzz: January 2019

ABF E-Buzz — January 2019

In This Issue:

Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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


January opens the
Box of the year
And brings out days
That are bright and clear
And brings out days
That are cold and grey
And shouts “Come see
What I brought today!”

– Leland B. Jacobs

Welcome back!

I hope your first month of this year of 2019 has been productive. I know for many of you, over 900 who attended the ABF Conference & Tradeshow in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, it got off on the right foot. This was the first conference that I haven’t been able to attend since 2001, and I hope I don’t have to miss another one for a while. It was a wonderful honor to receive the President’s Award from President Tim May which I accepted from my home in Niotaze, Kansas, the night of the banquet. It has been my pleasure to work over the past 12-14 years on the board of directors and then for two years as your president. Such a wonderful journey making new friends and family, and I have felt that the rewards have always been priceless! I will never forget the night that Zac Browning asked me to consider running for Vice President in 2012. I owe a great debt of gratitude to him and that election committee for their confidence and to those who voted for me during that Annual Meeting. So, thanks to all!

I would like to give a special note of thanks to our sponsors of the Conference & Tradeshow! Our platinum sponsors this year were Dadant and Mann Lake, and we always appreciate their huge contribution to our tradeshow. Our gold sponsors, Beekeeping Insurance Services, Multi-sweet Group and Cowen Manufacturing were there to support it as well, and we hope you got by their booths. Silver sponsors were Gamber Container and Pigeon Mountain Trading Company. and our bronze sponsors were GloryBee, Strong Microbials and Kelley Beekeeping. We so appreciate all our sponsors and a note of thanks also to Seib’s Hoosier Honey, Dutch Gold, A.H. Meyer and Sons, Western Bee Supplies, Stayers, Bayer Bee Care, Rice’s Honey, Eco Bee Box and Oliverez Honey Bees for supporting the ABF Conference & Tradeshow with their donations that made everything possible. You guys are the best!

A note more along the lines of bees is a study that is actually a year old now, but one that I had not seen when new. It is from researchers from the University of California, Davis and UC Berkeley. It clears up a little of the cloud surrounding the origins of honey bees and could be beneficial in breeding better bees that might be resistant to disease or better able to cope with pesticides. UC Davis postdoctoral researcher Julie Cridland is working with Santiago Ramirez, assistant professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis, and Neil Tsutsui, professor of environmental science, policy and management at UC Berkeley, to understand the population structure of honey bees (Apis mellifera) in California. Pollination by honey bees is essential to major California crops, such as almonds. Across the U.S., the value of “pollination services” from bees has been estimated as high as $14-17 billion.

What the researchers have found is that there are unrelated bee lineages in close proximity.

According to UC Davis Egghead, “Previously, researchers had assumed an origin for honey bees in north-east Africa or the Middle East. But the situation turns out to be more complicated than that, Cridland said. You might think that bees that are geographically close are also genetically related, but we found a number of divergent lineages across north-east Africa and the Middle East,” she said.

There are two major lineages of honey bees in Europe -- C, "Central European," including Italy and Austria and M, including Western European populations from Spain to Norway -- which give rise to most of the honey bees used in apiculture worldwide. But although C and M lineage bees exist side by side in Europe and can easily hybridize, they are genetically distinct and arrived in different parts of the world at different times.

M lineage bees were the first to be brought to north America, in 1622. The more docile C lineage bees came later, and today many California bees are from the C lineage, but there is still a huge amount of genetic diversity, Ramirez said.

“You can't understand the relationships among bee populations in California without understanding the populations they come from,” Cridland said.

In the Middle East, the O lineage hails from Turkey and Jordan, and Y from Saudia Arabia and Yemen. The main African lineage is designated A.

At this point, the researchers cannot identify a single point of origin for honey bees, but the new work does clear up some confusion from earlier studies, they said. In some cases, diverged lineages that happen to be close to each other have mixed again. Previous, more limited studies have sampled those secondarily mixed populations, giving confusing results.

“We’re not making any strong claim about knowing the precise origin,” Cridland said. “What we’re trying to do is talk about a scientific problem, disentangling these relationships between lineages, the genetic relationships from the geography.”

So now I and you know what researchers are talking about when you hear about Y,M,C,A and O bees!

This month we again have reports from our President Tim May, Joan Gunter, our Vice President, and updates on our new Honey Queen and Princess from Anna Kettlewell, our Honey Queen Chair, and on our Kids and Bees director Sarah-Red Laird. She had a great program for the kids despite the virus she was fighting during the conference. It sounded like it was a great day there on Friday. Thanks to all for your contributions and comments. We also have other articles and some great Buzzmakers and a wonderful recipe for you to use. Once again, I hope you enjoy your time here at the E-Buzz each month and that is a beneficial tool to your beekeeping experience. See you next month!


President's Greeting

by Tim May, ABF President

It’s been a few weeks since the ABF Conference & Tradeshow in Myrtle Beach, and we are beginning to get caught up with everything. The weather sure was nicer in South Carolina, as we have experienced plenty of snow along with subzero temperatures in the past. I hope everyone enjoyed this year’s conference. I heard many good things during and after the event and would like to thank our staff that worked so hard to put the event together.

The one glitch we experienced, unfortunately, was due to the government shutdown. We had to cancel six presentations from USDA and EPA. Fortunately, we were able to fill those spots with some very qualified presenters. Thanks to all those who filled in and those who helped secure these presentations.

I would also like to welcome our new board members who were elected during the conference. Kent Pegorsch (Wisconsin), Dennis Langlois (Florida), Tim Wilbanks (Wisconsin) and Warren Nelson (Nebraska). I look forward to working with you this year.

For those members who volunteered to participate on one or more of the ABF committees, you will be receiving an email shortly. This will provide information regarding your committee or committees along with conference call schedules and expectations of the committee members. If you ever have a question or concern, please contact me directly, and I will do all I can to help you out.

I am looking forward to another exciting year for the ABF. We have some great new initiatives that we will be looking to implement along with the release of the ABF informational video.

Once again, it was nice to see everyone in Myrtle Beach, and I look forward to an even better conference in Chicago next January. Thanks for your support of the ABF. Our membership is what makes this organization so great.


Government Relations

by Joan Gunter, ABF Vice President

Our Annual Conference & Tradeshow in Myrtle Beach is well behind us, and we find ourselves with a renewed energy and a whole lot of beekeeping spirit. The membership is ready for 2019.

Let’s get started.

Congratulations to all the winners! Queen Hannah Sjostrom from Wisconsin and Princess Nicole Medina from New Jersey will prove to be excellent representatives for the ABF. Congratulations to you both.

Congratulations to Tim Tucker on receiving the President’s Award and to Dr. Samuel Ramsey on receiving the Hoopingarner Award.

The 2019 American Honey Show was a great success! Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all who entered.

Thank you to all who supported the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees this year. Our scholarship winners were fantastic! Congratulations to Jennifer Albrecht from the University of Nebraska, Joe Milone from North Carolina State University, Anthony Nearman from the University of Maryland and Emily Noordyke from Michigan State University. These are our future researchers. Let’s support them in their future goals.

Thank you to Dr. Marla Spivak, Dr. Reed Johnson and Dr. Dennis vanEnglesdorp for their keynote speeches. You never cease to amaze and educate us with your research.

The ABF Annual Conference & Tradeshow would not succeed if it weren’t for YOU, the attendees. Please spread the word to join our cause.

Legislative Report:

The federal government has been re-opened for a period of three weeks (through February 15). Under this plan, the lawmakers will continue to debate border security money with the aim of reaching a compromise. Unpaid federal workers will receive back pay.


2020 ABF Conference & Tradeshow
Location Announced

Join us in Schaumburg, Illinois, for the 2020 ABF Conference & Tradeshow!


Honey Bee Health Coalition Releases New Guide
at the 2019 ABF Conference & Tradeshow

The Honey Bee Health Coalition unveiled two new resources for beekeepers at the annual ABF conference in Myrtle Beach — a best practices guide for hive health and a decision support tool for taking on Varroa, the honey bee’s most dangerous parasite.

Best Management Practices for Hive Health: A Guide for Beekeepers.

The coalition contracted Dewey Caron, emeritus professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware and affiliate professor at Oregon State University’s horticulture department, to draft an 82-page guide, Best Management Practices for Hive Health: A Guide for Beekeepers. An expert team of beekeepers, entomologists, extension and regulatory agents, bee suppliers and apiary inspectors reviewed and refined it. It is a free download at honeybeehealthcoalition.org/hivehealthbmps.

“The guide includes information about safety considerations, apiary setup and maintenance, pesticide exposure, pests and diseases, queens and nutrition,” Caron said. “These best management practices will be updated periodically to ensure beekeepers have access to the best possible resources and strategies.”

Kentucky State Apiarist Tammy Horn Potter said, “These best practices will help beekeepers — from hobbyists to commercial — establish and maintain the conditions necessary for healthy colonies. The guide is full of helpful photos and graphics, and the 'Key Points to Remember' summary following each chapter will especially benefit new and small-scale beekeepers.”

The coalition also launched a new free, mobile-friendly tool to accompany its Tools for Varroa Management. The Varroa Management Decision Tool is the shorter version of Tools, first released in 2015 and now in its seventh edition. Both Tools and shortened Decision Tool are designed to help beekeepers implement practical, effective techniques to control the Varroa mite, one of the honey bee’s most destructive pests.

“The Tools Manual, accessible at honeybeehealthcoalition.org/varroa/, is downloaded thousands of times every month, but in talking to beekeepers, we find many are still confused about navigating which treatments are right for their situation and conditions,” said Mary Reed, Texas Apiary Inspection Service Chief Apiary Inspector. “With this new guide, they can input their hive conditions and management preferences and receive a list of management techniques and treatment options that fit. The decision tool then takes them to the relevant section of the Varroa management guide so they can then study their options using the provided information and videos before making a decision.” The new decision tool application can be found at honeybeehealthcoalition.org/varroatool.

“The tool asks beekeepers five basic questions and has links to background information if individuals are unsure of their answers,” Caron said. “The tool and the full download recommends beekeepers regularly monitor for and manage Varroa mites.”

The coalition, a diverse group of nearly 50 organizations, works to improve the health of honey bees and other pollinators in the context of production agriculture. ABF was a founding member of HBHC and continues with strong representation with George Hansen, Gene Brandi and current President Tim May and Vice President Joan Gunter.


Kids and Bees

by Sarah Red-Laird

On Friday, January 11, from 9:00 am to noon, 343 local and visiting elementary-aged kids and 267 teachers, parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles and ABF attendees were welcomed to the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel to participate in the Kids and Bees program. This no-charge educational program has been a traditionally featured event with the ABF Conference & Tradeshow for over 20 years and is a “don’t miss” opportunity for school groups, homeschooled kids, scouts and clubs.

Kids and their teachers or parents engaged in a room full of hands-on exhibits under the themes of “The Art of Beekeeping,” “The Science of Beekeeping,” “The World of Beekeeping” and “The Future of Bees: It’s Up to You!” They learned about the art and science behind beeswax, honey, pollination, ultraviolet bee vision and so much more! Students made their way through each station, engaging with beekeepers and Honey Queens from around the United States and in activities that harnessed their senses and imaginations.

So much appreciation and gratitude to our sponsor, the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, and our host, the American Beekeeping Federation, and also the hardworking staff at the Myrtle Beach Sheraton (who rushed to our aid when we had a puker!!); to our volunteers from the Myrtle Beach community, the ABF community, the Blackwater Beekeepers and Savannah Bee Company; to our interns Stephanie and Andre, to our super volunteer Mike, to Phylicia (home in Oregon with her new baby, Olivia, and totally rocking coordination from afar); to the HONEY Convention characters; to GloryBee and Mann Lake for donating honey and beeswax supplies and to our partners, Carolina Bee Farm, The Burns and the Bees, Moore Farms Botanical Garden and the Myrtle Beach Garden Club for bringing beekeeping gear and educational materials.

Though the overall vision for the “Kids and Bees” event is my brainchild, it truly takes a village to pull off an event of this magnitude. Year after year, more people are involved as partners and in leadership roles, and year after year, the event gets better and better!

I’d like to share my overarching goals for this event, and if you work with kids, I encourage you to adopt these points:

  • Create a feeling in the room that encourages them to love and appreciate bees.
  • Stay away from the rhetoric that “all the bees are dying” so we need to “save” them out of fear.
  • Kids love mind-blowing facts to impress their friends (one bee will only make 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime, bees can recognize human faces, bees can see flowers in a way we can’t through “UV vision,” etc.) There are endless cool facts about bees!
  • Kids also love stuff that is weird and gross. Set up a few microscopes and loops with prepared slides of bee parts, a varroa mite, a “zombie fly,” etc.
  • Be real with the kids – answer every question in relatable scientific terms and don’t underestimate how smart they are! Even kindergarteners can grasp some pretty large concepts like honey mass and density if you have the right tools!
  • Tap into your beekeeper resources as educators. Beekeepers LOVE to talk about bees! Having real beekeepers on-site to share their love and passion for bees is infectious.
  • Kids love activities – give them things to do. I mix a couple of “just for fun” crafts, like bee headbands and finger puppets, but for the most part, the activity stations have learning objectives. A couple of examples: At the honey station, teach them about the flavor and color profiles of honey, most people don’t really understand that honey is made from flower nectar, and the flower source determines the final product! At the beeswax candle rolling station, show them a picture of wax being squeezed out of an abdomen and explain how bees make wax and all the ways humans use wax.

My main goal for the ABF “Kids and Bees” event is to create an experience for kids, and adults too, to be immersed in a bubble of positivity. On an almost daily basis, I remind myself of Maya Angelou’s bee-utiful words, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” My wish is for the group in the room to have a marvelous time and to associate this feeling with bees. “For in the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum

For more tips on how to teach kids about bees, please visit www.beegirl.org/kidsandbees for our free e-book, “Kids and Bees Handbook: Ideas & Inspirations for Teaching Kids About Bees.”

For more pictures of the Kids and Bees event at ABF, please check out our Facebook page here.

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Honey Queen Buzz

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

Hello, all! Hopefully, everyone has finally arrived home after some interesting weather!

The American Honey Queen Program’s 60th Anniversary Celebration concluded during the conference in Myrtle Beach. Twenty former American Honey Queens and Princesses participated in the homecoming from the 1960s through the 2010s. It was an amazing group of promoters and professionals in our midst. Your former representatives have had careers as business owners, marketing professionals, farmers, communications professionals, government leaders and beekeepers, to name a few professions. Most remarkably, prior to our American Honey Queen Program’s alumni association reaching out to former representatives, many had continued their service to the industry with honey promotions and education in their personal lives and careers. Passion for honey and beekeeping runs deep, and our former queens and princesses are prime examples of this.

I had the privilege of spending time with several former queens, including two I’d never met before: 1969 American Honey Queen Karen Peterson of Oregon and 1973 American Honey Queen Carol Burkhart-Kriesel of Nebraska. These women shared their experiences, including bringing the scrapbooks of their travels on behalf of ABF. They shared stories of their events, their hosts (two of whom happened to be my grandparents!) and how the program operated during their years of service. Marketing of honey and highlighting how special beekeeping and beekeepers are in their work was just as important in the 1960s and 1970s as it is today.

With fellow ABF members and alumni, we gave our 2018 American Honey Queen Kayla Fusselman and 2018 American Honey Princess Jenny Gross a special sendoff after a busy promotional year. The 2018 duo promoted in 25 states, nine multiple times, over 279 promotional days. Their reach was expansive, and our return on investment was significant, as they earned over $300,000 in free media coverage for honey and the ABF. We wish Jenny the best as she completes her dual-degree program at Concordia University Wisconsin. Kayla plans to continue teaching and has promised to incorporate many bee activities and learning opportunities for her future students, be they art students or otherwise! Certainly, Kayla’s experiences will assure her fast placement as a high school teacher! Best wishes, ladies!

Kayla and Jenny were fine hostesses for the ABF Conference & Tradeshow as well as for the 2019 American Honey Queen and Princess applicants. They were fantastic hosts for the annual Beekeeper Brain Buster, guiding our candidates, Desirée Gracie (Massachusetts), Nicole Medina (New Jersey), and Hannah Sjostrom (Wisconsin) and ABF members Darrel Rufer (Minnesota), Jim Belli (Illinois), Bob Sears (Missouri), Benton Kastman (Texas), Katie Lee (Minnesota) and Stan Wasitowski (New Jersey) through a challenging barrage of stumping questions. Along with many volunteers and fabulous auctioneers, Rick Sutton (Kentucky), James Hillemeyer (Wisconsin), Gary Reuter (Wisconsin) and Louann Hausner (Kansas), our receptions were not only entertaining but beneficial to the ABF program funds! Thank you to all our bidders and donors in making our conference successful!

The committee announced the selection of Hannah Sjostrom as American Honey Queen and Nicole Medina as American Honey Princess during the annual banquet. We welcome them to the ABF family and to an exciting year of travel, promotions and lifelong connections with all of us. We are excited for the unique experiences and their abundant passion for our industry. Surely, they will make this another special year. Both are excited and eager to meet you when they travel to your state. Be sure to follow their journey and work on the American Honey Queen Program’s Facebook page!

Queen Hannah and Princess Nicole’s journey with us begins on January 30 as they begin their initial training with our Committee. They will hone their skills in presentations, interviews, public relations and sales throughout a six-day session. Their training continues all year with everyone who hosts them this year, along with our partnerships with multiple universities! We will report more on their training session along with their February events! We are excited to report on your event, so please contact me as soon as possible to arrange a visit to your area (honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414-545-5514). Happy promoting!


Buzzmakers: Beekeeping Industry News

Ten Facts About Honey Bees

The Benefits of Honey Bees and Lemon Trees

Pesticides are Harming Bees in Literally Every Possible Way

How Honey Bees Telescope Their Abdomen

Agricultural Fungicide Attracts Honey Bees

Transmission of Viruses Between Eastern and Western Honey Bees are Rare

Could Honey Bee Brood be the Future of Food


ABF Welcomes New Members - December 2018

L. Sutton, Kentucky
James Bailey, South Yorkshire
Stephanie Brown, Kansas
Jennifer Belgin, Georgia
Debra Slocum, New Hampshire
Melanie Wirick, Virginia
Whitney Barnes, North Carolina
Joseph Komperda, Colorado
Sydnie Paulsrud, Wisconsin
Martha Johnson, Texas
Marcel Dionne, Alaska
Race Foster, Wisconsin
Robin Kaminstein, Pennsylvania
Karyn Neiman, Ohio
Kristine Smith, Virginia
Kathi Grupp, Georgia


Recipe of the Month:
Meatballs with Honey-Mango Barbeque Sauce

This honey-mango barbecue sauce is a perfect sweet topping for meatballs. The touch of cinnamon and dash of cayenne pepper add just the right amount of spice.


• 1 recipe Turkey-Pork Mini Meatballs
  (see associated recipe below)
• 3 tablespoons white vinegar
• 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
• 10 whole cloves
• ⅛ teaspoon celery seed
• 2 whole allspice
• 1⅓ cups chopped mango
• ½ cup reduced-sugar ketchup
• ⅓ cup chopped onion (1 small)
• 3 tablespoons chopped celery
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon molasses
• ½ teaspoon dry mustard
• Dash cayenne pepper
• ¼ cup water


In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, cinnamon, cloves, celery seeds and allspice. Bring to boiling. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids.

In a medium saucepan, combine the strained vinegar, mango, ketchup, onion, celery, honey, molasses, dry mustard and cayenne pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.

Mash mango mixture with a potato masher. Stir in the water. Gently stir in meatballs; heat through.

Meatball Recipe (if you need one)

These mini meatballs are made with a tasty mixture of ground turkey breast and pork. Each serving of 6 meatballs has under 200 calories.


• 2 slices whole-wheat bread, torn
• ⅓ cup fat-free milk
• 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce
• 1 pound ground turkey breast
• 8 ounces ground pork
• ½ cup very finely chopped onion (1 medium)
• ¼ cup snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley