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ABF E-Buzz: June 2020

In This Issue:




President’s Greeting

by: Joan Gunter, ABF President

How fortunate we are to be a part of the agriculture industry where social distancing is a norm. The COVID-19 virus has hit hard in the United States. Many people have been inconvenienced beyond belief, but beekeepers are in a good position. We often have days when we only see our employees and our spouses, so life for us beekeepers continues. The only major problem Dwight and I have had would be not seeing our children and grandchildren (a problem soon to be resolved). Now that we are moving our bees back to the North, we may encounter problems along the way. Hopefully, our amazing country will begin opening up. When it does and things start to take on a normal routine, common sense will come into play. Think before you act and wear your mask made from bee material. Wash your hands often (with soap)! But most importantly, be safe!

The ABF has hired the marketing firm, Whitver Marketing, to help us out with our social media marketing efforts. The contract is for three months on a trial basis only. Gianna Whitver will guide us through the process of how we can apply a strategy to our marketing challenges. We will also work on generating funds from outside the ABF membership. Welcome, Gianna. I look forward to the next three months.

ABF has launched a marketing campaign, as promised, to help promote U.S. honey. “Know Where Your Honey Comes From” is the first of many messages to be promoted by this organization. We have hit social media, including Facebook and Instagram. If you haven’t seen it, go to our Facebook page @AmericanBeekeepingFederation and pass it around. The membership seems to love it! It has brought attention to our name and the idea around promoting U.S. honey.

Murder Hornets!

It sounds like a thing from a science fiction movie! This information has hit the news media with a bang. I have had calls from distinguished news outlets asking for interviews about this Asian Hornet. However, when they realize they won’t hear anything detrimental from me, they drop the call. There are a ton of articles out there describing this insect and the destructiveness it could unleash, but just remember that it is just an insect. It is new to our region. We have no idea how it will react within our borders, so don’t oversell this. Do your research on this insect before you make a judgment call.

The National Honey Board held its annual spring meeting on April 23. We met through a virtual GoToMeeting call instead of meeting face to face. It was an abbreviated meeting due to the circumstances we are all experiencing at this time. Our agenda items were still covered in detail, and questions and answers were discussed. The low honey prices were discussed in detail. Hopefully, this will work itself out soon.

Our next meeting is scheduled to be held in Denver on October 28. There will be a detailed review of the industry news and marketing programs at that time.

The Honey Bee Health Coalition (HBHC) held its annual spring meeting virtually also. This meeting took place on May 12. It was a coalition wide meeting held by teleconference with good attendance.

The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) is celebrating 20 years in October! NAPPC’s mission has always been to promote the health of resident and migratory pollinating animals in Mexico, Canada and the United States. NAPPC partners gather from throughout the North American continent and beyond. Whether this becomes a virtual conference or if we can meet as a group, this is sure to be a collaborative birthday party.


Vice President’s Message

by: Dan Winter, ABF Vice President

As the spring rolls full speed into summer, I hope all of you have got your splits made up and are awaiting this season’s honey crop. It has been a roller-coaster spring with snow falling across the northern states well into May. Things are looking good so far this summer.

This spring, ABF started its “Know Where Your Honey Comes From” campaign. It is a fun and educational campaign to raise awareness nationwide about imported honey and its targeted consumers. ABF urges all consumers of honey to buy local and understand where the honey comes from. Be sure of your beekeeper and understand your honey is coming from a trusted source.

I have two legislative updates this month:

  1. U.S. Representatives Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) called on the USDA to include money for beekeepers and honey producers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Beekeepers are hopeful that this bill will move forward. The ABF urges its members to reach out to their U.S. Representatives to encourage support for this bill.

  2. The Bloomberg Bill: HR7010 recently passed the House of Representatives (417-1). This bill extends additional flexibility to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It will include small business loan forgiveness and loans to help defer payroll taxes. If you are a beekeeper with a high payroll, you should support this legislation in hopes it will pass the Senate.

With the summer looking good and legislators looking to help beekeepers in these uncertain times in business, the summer is looking up. Times are never easy in beekeeping—we keep looking up and forward. We put the bees first and know the times will change. Thank you and best of luck this summer with your honey crops.


2021 ABF Conference & Tradeshow


On-Demand Beekeeping Education:
New ELAP Rule & What It Means for Beekeepers

Presented by: Amy Mitchell, Special Programs Manager, USDA Farm Service Agency


The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish (ELAP) program provides financial assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honey bees and farm-raised fish for losses due to disease, certain adverse weather events or loss conditions, including blizzards and wildfires. Recent ELAP changes affect beekeepers, and you need to be prepared.


  • Removal of the ELAP program from the $125,000 payment limitation.
  • Reimbursement of 90 percent of the cost of losses for socially disadvantaged, limited resource, beginning or veteran beekeepers.
  • New calendar-year basis and deadline for 2020 losses.
  • Fifteen days to file a "honey bee notice of loss" once the loss is apparent.

Click Here to Download the Webinar!


Honey Queen Buzz

by: Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

May and June are typically quieter promotional months for the American Honey Queen Program, but this year has been extraordinarily quiet. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 closures, all our planned May and June in-person promotions were canceled. We are also receiving cancellation notices for fairs throughout the summer months.

This poses challenges and opportunities for all our promotions and, in some cases, organizations’ fundraising efforts. While some groups are gearing up for an even bigger and better 2021, we still must find ways to promote our products and services throughout the country, particularly as summer heats up and our bees really start flying.

Since we have had several cancellations, as your state begins to open up and events resume, please contact me to see if we have new availability for the Honey Queen or Princess to visit your event—it can be large or small. The queens can present to your programs in person or virtually or participate in a media interview by phone, through video chat or in person. Mary and Sydnie are eager to promote honey, teach the public about honey bees and see and meet you!

As we continue to move along, we will continue to amp up the queens’ videos on social media and want to highlight your company’s or organization’s products through our social media channels. Of particular note is to highlight different honey varietals. Please email me at honeyqueen99@hotmail.com if you would like your product featured on our social media channels.


ABF’s New Dues Billing Cycle

To simplify ABF’s membership renewal structure and help our members keep track of expiration dates during these uncertain times, we’ve moved to a quarterly dues billing cycle. Going forward, all new membership expiration dates will fall on one of the following dates: March 31, June 30, September 30 or December 31.

Likewise, all existing members’ expiration dates have shifted as follows. As always, you’ll receive a membership renewal reminder email 60 days prior to your expiration date, but if you like to receive your paper invoice by mail, we’ll continue to send them at the beginning of the month when renewals are due.

Previous Expiration Dates Between New Expiration Date
January 1 - March 31 March 31
April 1 - June 30 June 30
July 1 - September 30 September 30
October 1 - December 31 December 31


Salty Snacks Provide All-Day, Better-For-You Indulgence

Do you find extreme satisfaction in ripping open a snack’s plastic wrap and sinking your teeth into that first crunchy, salty bite? If so, you’re with the majority of Americans who say that cravings are the leading reason they snack. A recent poll of 1,200 adult consumers found that more than half of consumers are eating snacks at least once per day, and they are seeking products that are all-natural. Adults—especially parents—polled said they were most likely to seek products that are formulated with sweeteners perceived as natural. Pairing salty flavors with an all-natural sweetener such as honey is a delicious idea that comes to life thanks to food manufacturers who love to create guiltless snacks that satisfy cravings.

When we think salty snacks, our minds may go straight to the potato chip aisle. However, manufacturers are focusing on a variety of better-for-you options, including honey roasted snacks, protein bites and food bars that combine salty with sweet ingredients. Additionally, honey is a perfect binder for loose ingredients like nuts and seeds, and it is a pure source of energy, which is great for those who are replacing the traditional three meals per day route for an all-day snack attack.

Let’s take a look at top salty snack consumer preferences and how made-with-honey products match up.

All-natural benefits. Mondelez International’s State of Snacking Report found that people are looking for snacks that “are more focused on functionality to meet nutritional needs (47%) and provide more personalized nutrition (42%).” Lebby’s new Dry Roasted Chickpeas Sesame Honey variety combines the nutty flavor of sesame and the sweet notes of honey, topped off with the satisfying snacking crunch. These dry-roasted chickpeas are made with no oil or additives and are certified gluten-free.

Convenience. This consumer-driven aspect ranked No. 1 as a snack food factor in the State of Snacking Report. Pescavore’s Sockeye Salmon Jerky Strip is a wild caught and whole cut honey roasted salmon snack combined with sea salt that can be eaten straight out of the package. It comes with 12 grams of protein and is gluten-free.

Eating for one. Mondelez’s report showed that Americans love carving snack time out of their days for a busy schedule break or just a moment to themselves. In fact, 30% of respondents said “they would be willing to forgo social media and 20% would give up their cell phones in order to have a moment with their favorite snack every day. One match made in solitude heaven is Poptime’s new BBQ & Honey Popped Chip Snack. Made with no preservatives or artificial flavors or colors, these made-with-honey BBQ chips are dairy-, gluten- and cholesterol-free.

All-day, all the time. Not only are snacks eaten in between meals, but The NPD Group reports that snack foods eaten at main meals represent 24% of all snack food eatings, up from 21% five years ago. Annual eatings per capita of snack food at main meals are predicted to grow at least 12% by 2024. And, Innova Market Insights found that the percentage of consumers who are consuming salty snacks during each of the main three—breakfast, lunch and dinner—are coming in at 8%, 23% and 17%, respectively, all showing an increase. Launches of snack nuts and seeds are up, and the Nutty Gourmet is contributing to that number with its new Honey Flavored Walnuts. These made-with-honey walnuts come in convenient individual snack packs for prime all-day snacking. They contain plant-based omega-3s, antioxidants, fiber and protein.

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


Buzzmakers: Beekeeping Industry News

Field Rates of Sivanto™ (flupyradifurone) and Transform® (sulfoxaflor) Increase Oxidative Stress and Induce Apoptosis in Honey Bees

How to Tell a Bee, Wasp, and Hornet Apart, According to Entomologists

Eagle-eyed Walker Finds Asian Giant Hornet on Roadway

Tennessee Resident Creates New Specialty License Plate to “Save the Honey Bee”

Researchers Discover a Gene in Honey Bees that Causes Virgin Birth

Honey Bees Feel Sting of Viral Disease

Honeybees: Pesticides Disrupt Nursing Behavior and Larval Development

Microalgae Food for Honey Bees


ABF Welcomes New Members: May 2020

Heidi Rose Carlson, MN
Beyond Clothing, WA
Michelle Farkas, FL
Richard Frampton, CT
Robert Heston, CO
Heather Johnson, NE
Bill Kaufman, NY
Marcus Krett, APO
Ehud Levy, CA
Kelsey Libby, ME
Jeffrey Misa, FL
Steve Roderick, FL
Avery Roe, CA
Rebecca Rybrun, VA
Annie Stiefel, HI
Steve Suranie, PA
Pat Tilson, FL
Ray Vandenbosch, PA
Kim Witherow, NY


Elderberry Syrup

Recipe provided by: 2020 American Honey Princes Sydnie Paulsrud

View live demonstration on the American Honey Queen Program’s Facebook page!


⅔ Cup dried elderberries
2 Tablespoons ground ginger
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
½ Teaspoon ground cloves
3½ Cups water
1 Cup honey (darker honey provides more antioxidants)


Put elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a medium saucepan. Mix and add water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer, covered, for an hour. Turn off heat and take off heat to cool. Once cool enough to handle, mash elderberries with the flat surface of a spoon or something similar. Strain juice from elderberries into container of your choice. Toss elderberries and chunks. Combine the honey with the juice until the consistency is even. Store in refrigerator up to three months.

Serving Size: 1 Teaspoon

Note: Healthy and delicious for people over one year of age.