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ABF E-Buzz: March 2019

In This Issue:

Welcome to ABF E-Buzz

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

Sunday in Spring

Each leaf,
each blade of grass
vies for attention.
Even weeds
carry tiny blossoms
to astonish us.

– Marianne Poloskey

The word 'March' comes from the Roman 'Martius'. This was originally the first month of the Roman calendar and was named after Mars, the god of war. March was the beginning of our calendar year. We changed to the 'New Style' or 'Gregorian' calendar in 1752, and it is only since then when we the year began on 1st January. The Anglo-Saxons called the month Hlyd monath which means Stormy month, or Hraed monath which means Rugged month. All through Lent the traditional games played are marbles and skipping. The games were stopped on the stroke of twelve noon on Good Friday, which in some places was called Marble Day or Long Rope Day. The game of marbles has been played for hundreds of years, and some historians say that it might have been started by rolling eggs. In the past, round stones, hazelnuts, round balls of baked clay and even cherry stones have been used. Source: Wikipedia

Welcome back!

March is truly a month of madness! The time has come to do so many things that it is difficult to keep up. Getting bees fed and inspected and all of the other spring management things that the bees require. I hope you all are doing a better job of keeping up than I am!

Just a couple of notes here from me this month and the main one is that the Honey Bee Health Coalition in cooperation with the National Corn Growers Association and the U.S. Canola Association has released its BMPs for reducing exposure to honey bees around corn and canola fields.

From the Honey Bee Health Coalition:

At roughly 80 million acres, field corn covers more land than any other crop in the country, and in the Midwest Corn Belt it often makes up 40 percent of the landscape or more. The corn best management practices (BMPs), facilitated by the coalition, identify potential impacts of agricultural practices on bees at each stage of production and recommend ways to mitigate those impacts, such as specific strategies for reducing dust and drift while planting pesticide-treated seed.

“While corn does not rely on honey bees for pollination, bees depend on neighboring plants for forage," said Nathan Fields, National Corn Growers Association vice president of market development. "As good stewards of the land, corn growers can follow these BMPs to help protect honey bee health, ensuring productive agricultural systems for all."

Canola is another important crop for pollinator protection because canola flowers are very attractive to bees. And for growers, the stewardship recommendations in the Coalition-facilitated canola BMPs are even more of a win-win.

"Canola is an excellent source of nutrition for bees, which are essential for hybrid canola production," said Rob Rynning, U.S. Canola Association president. "These beneficial pollinators also increase seed germination and encourage higher canola yields with better ripening."

Corn growers who rotate with soybeans could also see added benefits from their pollinator stewardship because bees can increase soybean yields by up to 18 percent, according to a 2005 study.

Both the corn and canola guides feature season-long BMPs for growers and beekeepers and a summary of key practices. These include:

  • Communicating about hive locations, crop management practices and any related concerns and coordinating with beekeepers
  • Checking extension recommendations, considering multiple strategies for pest control and verifying in-field needs before applying pesticides
  • Planting and preserving flowering plants in non-crop areas

"Many growers don't realize that how they spray, and what time of day especially, can hurt bees," said Chris Hiatt, vice president of the American Honey Producers Association and a member of the coalition's steering committee. "These BMPs will promote better communication between beekeepers and growers, reduce pesticide exposure, and improve bee health in the spring and summer, a crucial time for beekeepers recovering from significant winter colony losses."

Both crop associations announced the new BMPs at the 2019 Commodity Classic tradeshow in Orlando, Florida, on Friday, March 1. This made corn and canola the latest crops to develop BMPs for pollinator protection with the help of the coalition. The United Soybean Board released its soybean BMPs in 2018, and the coalition is now pursuing opportunities with other crop and landscape associations.

While there are good recommendations for safer pest control, including the one that suggests using non-chemical practices when possible, these reports still fail to recognize the long-term effect of the seed coating compounds and still suggest that Varroa and forage are the major factors affecting colony losses.

On another note, researchers at University College London (UCL) found that just one prescription can change the composition of the microbiome – the collection of trillions of bacteria, fungi and microbes, which live in the body and help regulate the immune system, aid digestion and produce vitamins. I know this is not new news, but it does reaffirm the dramatic effects on the human body and most likely anything that we use antibiotics on.

According to The Telegraph:

In a healthy human gut there are around 1,000 different kinds of bacteria in the gut, and greater diversity of species has been linked to better health.

But the new study found that antibiotics caused the gut microbiome to change to a less diverse state with fewer types of bacterial species, potentially raising the risk of disease. The biggest disturbance to the gut was seen in individuals given ciprofloxacin and clindamycin which are usually given for urinary tract, skin and respiratory tract infections.

In those cases the gut microbiome changed to a less diverse state with fewer types of bacterial species, and in the case of clindamycin persisted for a year after exposure. The gut is now thought to be so pivotal to human health, and even mood, that some scientists have now dubbed it 'the second brain' and are concerned that children are particularly sensitive to upsets in the microbiome.

In recent years problems with gut bacteria have been linked to obesity, the development of Parkison's disease, Chron's disease, asthma, allergies, inflammatory bowel, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, autism, cancer and even HIV. I wonder what we are doing to the bees. I'm glad it is more difficult to get Terramyacin to use in honey bee hives. We have used too many antiobiotics over the past decades, and there's no doubt it is affecting the quality of our overall health.

Here's a link to the study: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/03/22/single-course-antibiotics-may-cause-irreversible-damage-crucial/

This month, again, we have new Buzzmakers for your information and updates from our President Tim May and Vice President Joan Gunter. Sarah Red-Laird has a great update on the Kids and Bees front with her informative article on beeswax and how kids all love rolling candles from sheets of it. Anna Kettlewell keeps us up to date on the travels of the Honey Queen and Princess around the country. They are just like the foraging worker bees in that they are out there working every day for us in the industry!

We also have an update from the National Honey Board and a great new recipe I just love, usually for breakfast, all for you to enjoy and we hope you do! If there's anything you would like to include in future editions of ABF E-Buzz, just drop me a line at tuckerb@hit.net. Til next month, enjoy your time with the bees!


President's Greeting

by Tim May, ABF President

After a long and brutal winter, I think spring is arriving in the Midwest. We reached 60 degrees one day last week, and temperatures are moving in the right direction. Bees have been pulled out of the almonds after another year with a short supply and high demand.

For all you newer beekeepers and those seeking an additional perspective, I recommend viewing Dr. Roger Hoopengarner's archived webinar on "Spring Management of Hives" located on the ABF website under the "Seasonal Beekeeping Management" section of the webinar presentations page. Roger provides a great resource for ABF members. I always appreciate his expertise on so many beekeeping topics.

The ABF has undergone a staffing change recently. I would like to thank Sherrell Bailey for her three years of dedication to this organization. Sherrell has taken her dream position with another organization, and I wish her all the best. The new ABF Membership Manager is Melissa Romsdahl. Melissa joins the team with plenty of experience and is very excited to be working with the ABF. Welcome, Melissa we are all looking forward to working with you.

The ABF informational video is near completion and should be available for distribution within the next couple of weeks. We encourage ABF members to share this video with their local and state organizations. Stay tuned for more information regarding its release and distribution.

If you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly. I wish everyone a successful season with healthy bees and lots of honey.


Archived Webinar of the Month:
Spring Management of Hives

Presented by: Dr. Roger Hoopingarner

During this session, you'll learn more about what to look for on your first spring inspection and the hive manipulations to ensure a strong colony for the honey flow.

Dr. Roger Hoopingarner got his start in beekeeping as a boy scout 65 years ago. With that interest, he went on to receive his B.S. degree from Michigan State University in Entomology and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His doctoral research was on the genetics and environmental factors in queen rearing.

After a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, he joined the faculty at Michigan State University's Entomology Department where he remained doing research, teaching and extension in insect physiology and apiculture for 38 years. His research interests involved fruit pollination, disease transmission, population dynamics and insecticide interactions with insects and animals.

Click here to view the webinar!


Government Relations

by Joan Gunter, ABF Vice President

It was my pleasure to be invited to speak before the Central Mississippi Beekeepers Association (CMBA) on February 21 in Jackson, Mississippi, and the Red Creek Beekeepers in Perkinstan, Mississippi. Both presentations were on the American Beekeeping Federation and what we have to offer them. Surprisingly, these groups were not aware of all the fantastic things ABF has to offer. After a brief presentation and a lot of questions, I fulfilled the task of letting them in on our little secret. Join us and join a family of support and education. The southern hospitality was abundant, and I hope the membership from Mississippi increases as a result.

The Mississippi Beekeepers Association (MBA) entertained the legislators at the state capitol in Jackson, Mississippi, on February 21. They were introduced before the state senators and representatives as they were acknowledged in both sessions. The MBA placed a jar of Mississippi honey on each legislator’s desk prior to session. They wait in anticipation for this day. Mississippi legislators love their homegrown honey!

The South East Beekeepers Association hosted me on March 23 in Laurel, Mississippi. I spoke on behalf of the ABF and what we have to offer new members. The ABF was very well received. Hopefully, we will gain membership form this extremely active group as well.

Legislative Update:

The ABF has submitted comments in support of the request for exemption from the current hours of service (HOS) for livestock, insects and aquatic animals. The ABF agrees that public safety on our highways is the number one priority. However, hauling bees requires some flexibility due to the many circumstances that haulers may encounter. Whether it be weather, traffic, longer daylight hours or other obstacles, the need for flexibility is necessary for bees to also remain safe and get to their destination in good condition.


Upcoming Research Participation Opportunity!

This summer, the Bee Informed Partnership will once again monitor colonies through its Sentinel Apiary Program, and to support ABF members who participate, the ABF is sponsoring a portion of the cost. Watch for details!

The citizen science Sentinel Apiary Program provides instructions and kits for monitoring Varroa mites, Nosema and health metrics in four colonies for six months. Learn more about the Sentinel Hive Program here: https://beeinformed.org/programs/sentinel/


2018: A Year In Review

The National Honey Board (NHB) had a successful 2018 filled with interactive consumer, media and industry initiatives that positioned honey as a versatile and delicious product for any lifestyle. From partnerships with top chefs, bakers, brewers and brands to delicious retail promotions, the NHB worked hard to keep honey top-of-mind for consumers, foodservice professionals and food manufacturers alike in 2018. Here are some of the key highlights:

  • The NHB participated in the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival, where their Honey Bee-stro booth was named guest favorite.
  • The NHB secured 629 million media impressions in publications like Parents and Better Homes & Gardens that showcased how honey enhances any meal.
  • The NHB's partnership with Celestial Seasonings resulted in almost 11 million $2 honey offers distributed while its partnership with Thomas English Muffins involved 250 demos with 50,000 recipe honey books distributed.
  • Additional NHB events, including the Honey Baking Summit and Honey Spirit Summit, encouraged individuals to use honey in new ways – including in products like coffee, baked goods, beer and whiskey.

For more on the board's 2018 marketing efforts, check out our sizzle reel here: https://www.honey.com/about-the-nhb/board-reports

Catch the Cold Brew Buzz

America's obsession with cold-brewed coffee has traversed from niche coffee shops to refrigerated cases in convenience stores around the United States. A couple of years ago, these ready-to-drink (RTD) cans of cold brew coffee were a novelty, but now they're competing against popular energy drinks for shelf superiority.

Why has RTD coffee become so popular, so quickly? Convenience and caffeine. We all lead busy lives, and sometimes there isn’t enough time to stop by a coffee shop in the morning before work. RTD cold brew coffee saves the day by providing that necessary caffeine boost in a format you can slam into your cupholder while speeding to work.

At first, RTD coffees skewed traditional with black and sweetened varieties. Today, manufacturers are developing innovative new products with exotic flavors, carbonation and honey. Just as honey's use in hot coffee and coffee drinks is growing, so too is its use on RTD cold-brew coffee.

Honey provides these products with an all-natural sweetness and flavor, as well as a fuller mouth-feel. It's the perfect sweetener to start your day or provide the necessary post-lunch energy boost.

Here are some of our favorite RTD cold brew coffees. If you see them, buy them and let us know what you think!

Starbucks® - Bottled Cold Brew Cocoa and Honey with Cream
When Starbucks® got into the RTD coffee game, they turned to honey to provide a dynamic flavor complement to their coffee and cocoa. The honey rounds out the bitter notes of coffee, making this an incredibly smooth drink.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters - Sparkling Honey Lemon Cold Brew Coffee
This popular Portland, Oregon-based roaster and café added carbonation to their popular cold brew coffees to provide a unique tasting experience. The Honey Lemon variety provides an Arnold Palmer-type flavor.

Lanna Coffee Co. - Honey Cold Brew
This product was born out of an inquisitive R&D department that wanted to find a product that was natural, delicious and would obviously blend well with its Thai Coffee. They found the solution in honey.

Full Bloom Coffee - HoneyBrew™ Cold Brew
This energizing infusion of organic cold brew coffee and honey will open your senses to the aromatic and flavor benefits of using honey in coffee. Even better, the product is available in two flavors, peppermint and cinnamon.

Switters Coffee - Honey Coffee
This Honey Coffee is lightly sweetened with wildflower honey and provides the perfect subtle hint of honey to complement the coffee flavor. It’s a great product for those who cannot have dairy, but like a hint of sweetness in their iced coffee.


Kids Programs Using Beeswax

by Sarah Red-Laird

Beeswax! This is one of my go to lessons for kids when I do programs. Kids love learning about things that are a little strange, or even gross. Also, they are always looking for a cool fact to tell their friends. Read on for some talking points to share with your students!


The honey bee hive has fascinated scientists for centuries. "In the 100s BC, the mathematician Zenodorus of Sicily proved that, for a given circumference, a hexagon has a greater area than a square or an equilateral triangle. Around 500 AD Pappus quoted Zendourus' deduction and commented that bees wisely chose to build hexagonal cells because these would hold more honey for the same amount of wax than either of the other possible shapes." Source: Eva Crane, The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting

Historically, people thought that bees collected wax from flowers. This could have been because of the waxy white color of olive flower pollen in Greece. Also, until the late 1700s, people believed that bees carried the wax in six "pockets" underneath their bellies. We now know that those "pockets" are "glands" out of which honey bees secrete their wax.

So, what exactly is wax?! It's actually a compound of about 300 different components the bees make with their bodies, mostly hydrogens, carbons and acids. Young honey bees produce wax from their wax glands when they are about 5-15 days old. The wax comes out of the glands in tiny thin sheets that these bees mold into hexagonal combs with their mandibles.

To be able to make lots and lots of these sheets, the bees have to make lots and lots of honey! Author Mark Winston states in his book, The Biology of the Honey Bee, that bees (working together) will have to eat 18.5 pounds of honey to make 991,000 wax scales, which makes about 2.2 pounds of wax! Do you think you could eat 18.5 pounds of honey?! What is the ratio of honey eaten to wax produced? What about the ratio of wax scales to pounds of wax?


As I said, bees use the wax hexagon combs, or cells, to store honey, but they also use the wax cells to store pollen they collect from flowers. The third bee use of wax cells is to raise their brood. The queen bee will lay an egg in the bottom of the cell, and it will grow to an adult in that cell!

Is beeswax edible? Yes! However, our bodies won't digest it, so it has no nutritional value to people.

One of my favorite "how to" books on activities to do with kids is The Beekeepers Lab by Kids and Bees program founder, Kim Lehman. My go-to with kids is rolling beeswax candles, pages 50-51, but she has a plethora of other activities that you can do with wax at home or in the classroom.

If you are hosting an educational beeswax station at a fair, festival, classroom visit, etc., please share some of the fun facts from above, and also feel free to use this outline for your program:


  • Understand where beeswax comes from.
  • Discuss the multiple uses of beeswax.
  • Observe and discuss hexagons in the beehive.


Beeswax, wicks, beeswax candles and bars, foundation, small bags, crayons, stamps, stamp pads.

Activity and Discussion:

  • Each student will roll a beeswax candle.
  • Tell them how beeswax is made.
  • Ask them to tell you the uses of beeswax (candles, lotion, lip balm, car and furniture polish, musical instrument wax, etc.).
  • They will also decorate a bag with a honeycomb pattern, by rubbing the crayons on the bag pressed on the foundation. Ask them why they think bees use hexagons (it's the strongest shape, they can pack in LOTS of honey, pollen and brood).
  • Tell them how honeycomb is made (sound and heat).


Image result for crown clipart
Honey Queen Buzz

by Anna Kettlewell, American Honey Queen Program Chair

Spring is in the air. March is a busy promotional month for the American Honey Queen and Princess each year, and 2019 is no exception! Queen Hannah and Princess Nicole crisscrossed the nation this month, reaching a wide variety of venues.

Learning opportunities for beekeepers continued in March. Hannah was a guest presenter at the Florida Bee College, hosted by the University of Florida, in Fort Lauderdale. She assisted with Junior Bee College, teaching children about the importance of honey bees and how the inside of a hive operates. She also was a guest moderator and speaker at the Wyoming Bee College.

Nicole participated in the Bluegrass Beekeepers School in Kentucky, speaking about how the Honey Queen Program can aid in promotions. Each of these venues allowed Hannah and Nicole to learn more about beekeeping in different parts of the nation. Having hands-on experience learning about the challenges that face different climates and regions of the country is a fantastic opportunity for our representatives to be well versed in the industry.

Along with these learning opportunities came great promotions. Hannah was a presenter and promoter at the Maricopa Home and Garden Show in Phoenix, Arizona, area. She promoted different ways to consume Arizona Honey to the many guests who attended. In Kentucky, Nicole spoke in schools in the Frankfort area, and participated in the area's Bee Friendly Frankfort, a week-long event where the community honors the honey bee! She promoted the event throughout her visit, including through multiple media interviews. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo also allowed Nicole to teach Texans about how honey bees help the agriculture industry in the Lone Star State.

The queens are continuing their training with our committee throughout the year, and March was no exception. Hannah and Nicole continually review their media interview performance with our trainers with follow-up sessions and are working on their YouTube videos for the American Honey Queen Channel. Watch for these videos to start appearing on our social media channels in the upcoming months!

They say that April showers bring May flowers, but April also brings about many promotional opportunities! Please contact me to arrange a visit to your area from Queen Hannah or Princess Nicole (honeyqueen99@hotmail.com or 414-545-5514) in the spring and early summer! Happy promoting!


The Pulse of Beekeeping: BIP Tech Transfer Teams

by Sharah Yaddaw, Communications Director, Project Apis m.

The Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) and Project Apis m. (PAm) have a long history of partnership. Since 2012, PAm has deeply supported the BIP Tech Transfer Teams (TTTs), who are the "boots on the ground" to survey honey bee health, often acting as liaisons between research and beekeepers. Their unique position not only allows them to share research developments and management practices with commercial beekeepers, but they also understand the most current beekeeping needs and trends and can help inform researchers about what is going on in the beekeeping industry that needs to be addressed.

Commercial beekeepers who work with the Tech Transfer Teams on average lose 30% fewer colonies each year than beekeepers who do not. That is significant! Quite a few participating beekeepers have also reported saving money by working with TTTs – some very major losses have been avoided, and many beekeepers report overall improved condition of their bees as well.

Photos courtesy of BIP. Tech Transfer Team member
Dan Aurell taking samples in the field and using an
alcohol wash to assess mite levels.

There is a cost to participate, though in most cases it is far outweighed by the costs saved in healthier bees. It will cost a commercial beekeeper $500 to enroll and $500 each time a TTT member spends a day sampling their bees (usually 32 colonies) which includes mite checks, full colony assessments, disease screenings, reports and data collection. Additional sampling for viruses, Nosema, pesticides, etc. are a la carte, and a beekeeper's 4th visit of the year is free.

The TTTs keep a "pulse" on the state of beekeeping across the nation by sampling, sharing trends, observing management techniques, collecting and sharing data with the beekeepers they work with and with researchers. TTTs are often first to hear about problems that are arising. Beekeepers trust them to be confidential, so they share a lot of information with TTTs. Because of the relationships they build, even if a beekeeper is hesitant to be forthcoming with information or participate in surveys, they trust the TT team members, and TTTs are often able to see problems before they are publicized.

There are 5 TTTs located regionally across the country, and each regional team can serve up to 30 commercial beekeepers. Participating beekeepers are visited by the teams 3-4 times per year for sampling and information sharing. A typical visit from a TTT will consist of a meeting in the morning with the beekeeper to discuss management practices and any concerns or trends, and then the team member goes into the beekeeper's colonies (with or without the beekeeper) and takes samples throughout various yards. In the field, the team member will do mite checks using alcohol washes for quick results, colony assessments, disease screenings and take samples to send to the lab for the honey bee health database. Additional screening for viruses, Nosema, pesticides, etc. can be performed at the beekeeper's request. Beekeepers receive a report of the team's findings and are notified quickly if something of high concern is found.

You can view a sample trend report here.

Sampling frequently is an important benefit that beekeepers receive from their participation in the Tech Transfer program, and as a member they also benefit with access to data. Beekeepers who have been working with Tech Transfer teams since 2011, for example, can access trend reports showing all samples throughout the history of operation and what their trends are like long term. They can also access regional summary reports collected from other participating beekeepers and make comparative analysis of bigger trends and management practices in relationship to their own business.

Though the TTTs are located regionally, they often follow migration routes with participating beekeepers and sometimes travel long distances to ensure they are supporting the beekeeper throughout the year wherever they are located. Most team members travel to the Central Valley of California during the almond bloom.

One of the important parts of the TTTs is their connection to the vanEnglesdorp Bee Lab at the University of Maryland. Samples taken by a TTT member are sent to this central processing lab which holds a large archive of honey bee samples. These samples are already being used to inform researchers and are an invaluable resource now and as a future investment. All of the data collected by the TTTs is entered into the BIP database which contains over 1.5 million records about honey bee health and is available to the public on the BIP website (https://bip2.beeinformed.org/). When beekeepers participate, they not only benefit directly from TTT services but also help to create a priceless resource. TTT member Dan says the database is "a goldmine for what beekeepers are doing" and hopes it can help put research questions in context, so researchers can ask questions where answers will be more helpful to beekeeping.

Photo courtesy of BIP. High mite levels, even after proper
treatment, was one trend the Tech Transfer Teams saw in
2018, causing concern in the beekeeping industry.

We asked two TTT members, Dan Aurell from the Texas team and Ben Sallmann from the Pacific Northwest team, what they have seen trending this year in the commercial operations that they work with.

Dan and Ben said that management trends include a lot of beekeepers looking at putting bees in sheds or even summertime shed storage, mainly because of the brood break. A lot of beekeepers aren't happy with their mite treatments and are looking outside the box for other Varroa control options. Beekeepers are realizing that a brood break can be really effective and can help with treatments.

As far as honey bee health threats, "It always comes back to Varroa." Last year the team saw very high mite levels across the board – higher than usual, and especially notable was what they found sampling post-treatment. "Beekeepers have been assuming mites are low after proper treatment, but they aren't down to levels they want them to be. A lot of beekeepers are afraid that Amitraz isn't working anymore. This last year, no one was happy with how Apivar worked. There is anxiety about how treatments aren't working the way they should be.

Whether the treatments are failing, or mites are becoming resistant by selection or finding ways to avoid the treatment, there is a lot of concern about current available treatments/products and their effectiveness. TTT members and beekeepers don't always know what mite levels are at before treatment, so it wouldn't be accurate to say that we know for sure that treatments aren't working, but we do know that mite levels caught many beekeepers by surprise last year – a potentially detrimental occurrence if beekeepers don't sample often enough, or assume a treatment worked without following up.

Dan, who is a member of the Texas Tech Transfer Team, also reported seeing the highest spike in European Foul Brood in spring of 2018 recorded in BIP data history.

Ben and Dan told us that if they could give one message to every beekeeper in the country, it would undoubtedly be about mite management. If you've got your mite management under control, a lot of the other things will sort themselves out as long as there is nutrition and mite management. And don't skimp on your inputs. Beekeepers who are having problems were usually trying to cut corners and save money on inputs. Really successful beekeepers aren't afraid to pamper their bees.

They also reinforced the value of participating in the annual BIP survey in April: "We need as many respondents for the management and loss survey as possible. Especially commercial beekeepers. If any commercial beekeepers can set aside some time to answer that survey it would be great." Participation benefits the beekeeping industry. The bigger your data set is of management practices and outcomes, the more power you have to ask questions about which management practices work best. Those answers go right back to the beekeepers.

Undoubtedly, the Bee Informed Partnership's Tech Transfer Teams are out there in the trenches with the beekeepers and they are making a difference. Most teams have room for more beekeepers. To sign up, contact Anne Marie Fauvel (fauvelam@umd.edu), Tech Team Coordinator for BIP. You can learn more on the BIP website and the BIP Blog which is often written by Tech Transfer Team members. If you are a beekeeper outside of the Tech Transfer Team regions, you still have access to BIP's remote Tech Transfer Teams as well as the Sentinel Apiary Program.


Buzzmakers: Beekeeping Industry News

War Dance of the Honeybee

Honeybees Enter Virtual Reality So Scientists Can Study Their Brains

Celebrated Brazilian Bee Scientist Werwick Kerr Dies

A Hive of Activity: Using Honeybees to Measure Urban Pollution

Forty Tons of Honey Bees Arrive in the UAE


ABF Welcomes New Members: February 2019

Michael Price, Alabama

Brittany Boller, Illinois

Neal Taylor, South Carolina

Leslee Duff, Florida

Kim Wisneski, Maine

Daniel Hiller, Ohio

Kevin Hackett, Maryland


Recipe of the Month:
Honey and Sweet, Sweet Potatoes


3 medium-sized sweet potatoes

1 loaf Italian-style bread

¼ cup Honey plus some for a drizzle to finish

¼ cup brown sugar (optional)

½ teaspoon salt


Bake sweet potatoes in oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool til only warm and remove skins. Put sweet potatoes in a medium bowl and mash lightly and add honey and salt. You can warm your bread in the oven or split and toast in a frying pan with a little bit of butter which is what I usually do. Taste and if needed add the brown sugar to desired sweetness. Some people aren't as honey crazy as us! Spread sweet potatoes on bread and drizzle with honey to top off.


One Railroad Worker's Effort to Help Save the Bees

The following message was sent to the ABF headquarters office with the hopes we could spread the word to beekeepers. In case it hits home for you, we thought we’d share.

I am emailing you because I don't know where else to start. I work for BNSF railroad, and my run is in the San Joaquin Valley – Stockton to Bakersfield to be precise. Every spring, I see the beekeepers place their hives along the orchards’ roads, some of which happen to be along our tracks. I read how the bee population is declining, which is very concerning to say the least! Which brings my concern to you in hopes you can forward this on to your membership.

In the spring bloom of the almond trees, when the bees are at their busiest, my train will hit hundreds of bees in one run. We have many freight trains on our corridor as well as Amtrak trains, not to mention the UP line and its traffic. Thinking about the number of bees I (we, my crew) hit on that one run, times the number of trains on our line, times the number of days the bees and hives are along the tracks calculates in my mind to be astounding!

My goal is to try to get the word out to the beekeepers to think about finding another place to spot their hives away from the tracks as to help minimize the devastation to the bee population. Please, would you pass this along to help get the word out? I thank you in advance for your help.