“When California was wild, it was one sweet bee garden throughout its entire length,
north and south, and all the way across from the snowy Sierra to the ocean.”
~John Muir, “The Bee Pastures”

Welcome to the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association, founded in 1873, to foster the interest of bee culture and beekeeping within Los Angeles County. Our primary purpose is the care and welfare of the honeybee. Our group membership is composed of commercial and small scale beekeepers, bee hobbyists, and bee enthusiasts. So whether you came upon our site by design or just 'happened' to find us - we're glad you're here!  Our club and this website are dedicated to educating our members and the general public.  We support honeybee research, and adhering to best management practices for the keeping of bees.

The Latest Buzz:

ABF E-Buzz April 2017

Check out the ABF E-Buzz for April 2017. Lot's of great bee info. including:

Bee Educated:
ABF's Webinar Series "Conversation with a Beekeeper" Continues

Upcoming Session:

Bee Forage Cover Crops in Orchard Systems

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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

Billy Synk, Director of Pollination Programs at Project Apis m

https://abfnet.site-ym.com/page/April_2017_EBUZZ#anchor_1461355435249

American Bee Research Conference: A Short Report

CATCH THE BUZZ - By Elina L. Niño (AAPA President), Extension Specialist, University of California ANR Cooperative Extension, Davis, CA, and Michael Simone-Finstrom (AAPA Vice-President), Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Baton Rouge, LA

This year marked yet another tremendous joint conference of the American Beekeeping Federation, The American Honey Producers Association and the Canadian Honey Council. What an event! But, what you might not know is that this was also the time when the American Association of Professional Apiculturists (AAPA), Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) and Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) conducted the annual American Bee Research Conference (ABRC). The ABRC is a scientific conference focused solely on current honey bee research and held annually with one of the beekeeping conventions. The goal is to encourage interactions within the apicultural communities and allow beekeepers to see the latest and greatest research that may be of interest to them.

In our talks with many, many beekeepers we did note that not many are familiar with the AAPA so here is a quick overview of why we exist. AAPA has  the following three primary purposes: 1) Promote communication within and between industry, academia, and beekeepers; 2) Develop and foster research on fundamental questions to help understand honey bee biology and improve the beekeeping industry; and 3) Create a venue to rapidly share new techniques to advance the field while maintaining focus on our favorite organism, the honey bee. As representatives of AAPA we wanted to highlight some of the impressive research presented at the ABRC, as well as provide a brief update of our business meeting.

We kicked off the conference with a great historical presentation from our first plenary speaker Dr. Jeff Pettis (University of Bern). He briefly spoke about the history of AAPA and ABRC and it is worth noting here the names of those who started it all: John Harbo, Eric Mussen, and Malcolm Sanford. The conversation continued with the discussion of regulation of queen supersedure and ended on a high note with the conclusion that we are indeed most likely in the golden age of honey bee research. 

The session continued with some excellent presentations from students and touched on various topics including characterization of honey bee cellular immune components, effects of pesticides, control of overwintering processes, colony management, queen physiology and varroa mite management. A very interesting talk by Samuel Ramsey (University of Maryland) revealed a new understanding of Varroa behavior. Samuel discovered that varroa mites primarily consume honey bee fat stores dispelling a widely-accepted notion that Varroa feeds primarily on bee hemolymph. Time to re-write some books! Talks by Kelly Kulhanek and Nathalie Steinhauer (University of Maryland) discussed results of the multi-year beekeeper survey which provides information for developing best management practices for US beekeepers.  

Being that varroa mites and access to clean forage are on most beekeepers’ minds, it is no wonder we had a large number of talks covering these topics. Several researchers presented their efforts to develop and evaluate various synthetic and bio-miticides. Many others discussed their findings about honey bee foraging habits and what we can do to improve pollinator access to valuable food sources, including work done by James Wolfin (University of Minnesota) on how to make our lawns bee friendly. Not to be forgotten, several researchers spoke about the effects of other stressors on bees, particularly viruses and Nosema spp. Highlighting the need for improving our understanding of multi-stressor interactions, Frank Rinkevich (USDA-ARS, Baton Rouge, LA) discussed the effects of Varroa and management practices on honey bee pesticide sensitivity. The first day concluded with a poster session and a buzzing social graciously sponsored by Veto-pharma.

Our second plenary speaker, Dr. Steve Pernal (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; CAPA), started us off on the second day by providing an excellent discussion of the progress of the marker-assisted selection guided by proteomics. This collaborative effort of Canadian scientists has built on their previous breeding efforts in order to use protein expression in various bee tissues from colonies exhibiting different resistance characteristics to American Foulbrood and varroa mites. This is very exciting research as it is the first demonstration of using protein markers for selective breeding efforts which could make this challenging job a bit easier.

The remainder of the day was packed with great talks touching on everything from disease and pest detection to how to improve honey bee health with nutritional supplements. Much needed information on the levels of neonicotinoids and other pesticides found in nectar and pollen in ornamental plants was presented by several researchers, including Brian Eitzer (Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station). We would be amiss if we didn’t mention that there were a few talks about our favorite bee individual – the queen. On a more practical note, Marta Guarna (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) reminded us just how delicate queens can be when talking about the effects of queen exposure to temperature fluctuations (i.e. during transport) on subsequent colony performance.

The conference proceedings, where you can find the abstracts and details of the research presented, has been published in Bee World volume 94, Issue 3. The link to the proceedings can be accessed through the AAPA website (http://aapa.cyberbee.net/) and directly through Bee World.

The final day of the conference concluded with a very insightful Panel Discussion organized by Mark Dykes (Texas Apiary Inspection Service). The panel brought together members of academia, industry, extension services and apiary inspectors for exchange of current issues in the field and discussion of the immediate research needs to provide solutions for beekeepers. This discussion certainly brought the meeting full circle, as queen health issues were on the minds of beekeepers as brought up by Jeff Pettis in the opening plenary. 

This certainly was a productive and informative conference offering something for everyone. It would not have been successful without ALL of the presenters, as the meeting featured 59 talks, including 19 student talks, and 14 poster presentations. We extend sincere thanks to our CAPA co-organizers Shelley Hoover and Leonard Foster, AIA members and specifically Mark Dykes, and Tara Zeravsky of Meeting Expectations. We also want to congratulate our student presentation winners (in no particular order): Courtney MacInnis (University of Alberta), Alexandria Payne (Texas A&M University) and Samuel Ramsey (University of Maryland). This year’s AAPA student scholarship winner was Mehmet Ali Doke (Penn State University).

Our business meeting was completed in a record 63 minutes, but we certainly were very efficient and managed to finalize a lot of pending business. We even have some good news to report. In 2017, AAPA will be offering a competitive Postdoctoral Travel Award as well as a competitive Extension Award. The details will be announced soon so make sure you visit our website http://aapa.cyberbee.net/ Thank you for reading and we hope to see you all in January 2018 in Reno, NV!

Reference: Proceedings of the 2017 American Bee Research Conference. Bee World. Volume 94, Issue 3; doi:10.1080/0005772X.2017.1294471

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-american-bee-research-conference-2017-short-report/

ABF Webinar: Next Generation Beekeepers Initiative

Next Generation Beekeepers Initiative 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

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 / 3:00 p.m. HST
Sarah Red-Laird, a.k.a Bee Girl, ABF Kids and Bees Program Director; and Zac Browning, co-owner of Browning Honey Co. Inc. 
SESSION DETAILS:  

Join Sarah Red-Laird and Zac Browning in this live, interactive webinar to discuss issues, solutions, and consequences of inaction in the beekeeping industry.

What's a "Next Generation Beekeeper"? “Next Gen” is defined as, “The step forward that perpetually propels us into our impending destiny.” We are the next generation in our family of beekeepers, we are the drivers of the next stage of development in the products, services, expertise, and knowledge our industry provides. This beekeeper is a commercial or small scale beekeeper, or works as an educator or researcher. They are passionate about bees, and want to be involved in future beekeeping innovation, research, policy, technology, advocacy, or community leadership. In the near future, we need a functional model of collaboration and diversification. You tell us what that needs to be done, we’ll listen and help to develop a positive action plan. 

Please log in to your ABF membership account and visit the 'Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar Series" section of the website to register for this webinar.

RSVP: http://www.abfnet.org/

Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/456566087871947/

ABF Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar January 19, 2016

Join Sarah Red-Laird and Zac Browning in this live, interactive webinar to discuss issues, solutions, and consequences of inaction in the beekeeping industry.

What's a "Next Generation Beekeeper"? “Next Gen” is defined as, “The step forward that perpetually propels us into our impending destiny.” We are the next generation in our family of beekeepers, we are the drivers of the next stage of development in the products, services, expertise, and knowledge our industry provides. This beekeeper is a commercial or small scale beekeeper, or works as an educator or researcher. They are passionate about bees, and want to be involved in future beekeeping innovation, research, policy, technology, advocacy, or community leadership. In the near future, we need a functional model of collaboration and diversification. You tell us what that needs to be done, we’ll listen and help to develop a positive action plan.

Please log in to your ABF membership account and visit the 'Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar Series" section of the website to register for this webinar.

http://www.abfnet.org/ 

ABF Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinars and Archived Sessions Available

American Beekeeping Federation (ABF): New Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinars and Archived Sessions Available 

Primetime with Honey bees: Beekeeping, Honey Bees and More! - Part One

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. MT / 5:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m. AKST / 2:00 p.m. HST

Tim Tucker, ABF President and owner of Tuckerbees Honey
SESSION DETAILS: 

“Bee educated” about honey bees and how you — yes, you — can help reverse their population decline. Join the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) for a free, public three-part webinar series about the basics of beekeeping and honey bees. Sessions are 90 minutes each and allow you to interact with expert beekeepers and ABF members! The first session is on Wednesday, August 26, 2015, at 8:00 PM ET. ABF President Tim Tucker shares an overview of honey bee biology and an explanation of how and why we keep them the way we do today.

Click here to download the session! (Coming Soon)

Primetime with Honey bees: Beekeeping, Honey Bees and More! - Part Two  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
9:00 p.m. ET / 8:00 p.m. CT / 7:00 p.m. MT / 6:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. AKST / 4:00 p.m. HST
Blake Shook, ABF Board Member and owner of Desert Creek Honey
SESSION DETAILS:  

The second session is on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, at 9:00 PM ET. Blake Shook, ABF board member and a commercial beekeeper, speaks about the necessity of pollination to the honey industry specifically and the farming industry more broadly (we’re talking economic impact in the billions of dollars!). Pollination is one of the honey bee’s largest and most pressing tasks, so this is a session you won’t want to miss.

Click here to download the session!  

Primetime with Honey Bees: Beekeeping, Honey Bees and More! - Part Three  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
10:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 p.m. CT / 8:00 p.m. MT / 7:00 p.m. PT / 6:00 p.m. AKST / 5:00 p.m. HST
Gene Brandi, ABF Vice President and owner of Gene Brandi Apiaries 
SESSION DETAILS:  

This last session is on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, at 10:00 PM ET. ABF Vice President Gene Brandi shares challenges that beekeepers face and the effects of pesticides on the honey bee population. Beekeepers are losing 30-50% of their hives each year, so this is a pressing issue for all who are interested in the population. Gene will update us on everything that ABF board members and leaders are doing to help reverse the trend, and provides insight into how everyone can lend a helping hand.

Click here to download the session!

Why do honey bees like dirty water? 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015
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 / 3:00 p.m. HST
Rachael Bonoan, Foundation Scholar 
SESSION DETAILS:  

Beekeepers have observed that honey bees tend to forage from dirty water sources over clean ones. While the mechanism by which honey bees find dirty water sources is likely scent, the reason they look for these dirty sources in the first place has yet to be examined. Since micronutrients are essential for many physiological functions (e.g. muscle movement and immunity), and are only found in nectar and pollen in trace amounts, Rachael Bonoan hypothesizes that to obtain a well-rounded diet, honey bees selectively forage in soil and water for minerals that the colony may lack.

Please log in to your ABF membership account and visit the 'Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar Series" section of the website to register for this webinar.

Next Generation Beekeepers Initiative 

TBD
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 / 3:00 p.m. HST
Sarah Red-Laird, a.k.a Bee Girl, ABF Kids and Bees Program Director; and Zac Browning, co-owner of Browning Honey Co. Inc. 
SESSION DETAILS:   

Join Sarah Red-Laird and Zac Browning in this live, interactive webinar to discuss issues, solutions, and consequences of inaction in the beekeeping industry.

What's a "Next Generation Beekeeper"? “Next Gen” is defined as, “The step forward that perpetually propels us into our impending destiny.” We are the next generation in our family of beekeepers, we are the drivers of the next stage of development in the products, services, expertise, and knowledge our industry provides. This beekeeper is a commercial or small scale beekeeper, or works as an educator or researcher. They are passionate about bees, and want to be involved in future beekeeping innovation, research, policy, technology, advocacy, or community leadership. In the near future, we need a functional model of collaboration and diversification. You tell us what that needs to be done, we’ll listen and help to develop a positive action plan. 

Please log in to your ABF membership account and visit the 'Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar Series" section of the website to register for this webinar.


IMPORTANT SESSION FORMAT / REGISTRATION INFORMATION
 
The sessions will be conducted via the GoToWebinar online meetings platform, which means the presenter will have a visual presentation, as well as an audio presentation. Upon entering the session online, you may choose whether to listen to the presentation through your computer's speakers or through your phone.
 
Reserve your spot today by going to our Education & Events Page/Conversation with A Beekeeper Webinar Series. You must log into your ABF membership account to register. Registration will close 24 business hours before the scheduled session. Twenty-four hours before the session the registered participant will receive an e-mail confirming participation, along with the necessary information to join the session. If an e-mail address is not provided, the ABF will call the participant with the information. 
 
If you are unable to make the session, don't fear! Each session will be recorded and available on the ABF Web site for ABF member-only access.
 
Have you missed out on any or all of the great webinars we have hosted over the past year?  Good news!  All of the ABF's "Conversation with a Beekeeper" webinars are archived on the ABF website and you can easily access them at your convenience.
 
You will need to log into your account to access the sessions.  If you don't remember your username or password, please contact Valerie Lake at valerielake@abfnet.org

 Have you missed out on any or all of the great webinars we have hosted over the past year?  Good news!  All of the ABF's "Conversation with a Beekeeper" webinars are archived on the ABF website and you can easily access them at your convenience.  You can catch up on the following sessions: 

  • Dr. Marion Ellis – Diseases of Honey Bee Part Two
  • Dr. Roger Hoopingarner – Beekeeping 101 Series
  • Blake Shook – Beginning Beekeeper Six part Series
  • Environmental Protection Agency Series

Most sessions are uploaded to the website within the next day or two after the live presentation, so the page is updated at least one a month with new sessions.  Click here to access the sessions.  Scroll down to the "Archived Sessions" section and choose the session you would like to listen to.  

Crisis shift? Bees may not be facing apocalypse but what about beekeepers?

Genetic Literacy Project   By Jon Entine   September 25, 2015

Scientists are now in agreement that we are not facing a beepocalypse as many in the media environmental activists and journalists have been predicting. Bee populations aren’t declining; they’re rising. According to statistics kept by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, honeybee populations in the United StatesCanada and Europe have been stable or growing for the two decades

But the latest statistics have not stemmed the tide of dire warnings. The focus has shifted from the pollinators themselves to beekeepers. Tim Tucker, president of the American Beekeeping Federation recently said: “It’s not the bees that are in jeopardy. …. I believe we’ll always have bees. … [But] unless things change, what’s in jeopardy is the commercial beekeeping industry.”

University of Maryland bee researcher Dennis van Englesdrop echoed the sentiment: “We’re not worried about the bees going extinct …. We’re worried about the beekeepers going extinct.”

Beekeeping is challenging

“Beekeepers are indeed “working nearly twice as hard as ever,” as Tucker has said. Beekeepers report having to split their hives more often to make up for losses, entailing more work than in previous decades.  And for commercial beekeepers maintaining thousands of bee hives, all of this additional work means more employees, more salaries, and more expenses.

The major driver of these challenges is the near-global spread of parasites...

Continue reading... http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2015/09/24/crisis-shift-bees-may-not-facing-apocalypse-beekeepers/

Come to the Fair Visit the Bee Booth! Meet the American Honey Princess!

THE 2015 AMERICAN HONEY PRINCESS
HAYDEN WOLF

This year we are so excited and honored to host Hayden Wolf, the 2015 American Honey Princess. 

Hayden will visit Los Angeles, CA September 21-27 as part of her National Honey Month tour.  She will be a guest of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Associations at the Los Angeles County Fair, speaking to fairgoers about importance of honeybees to the public’s daily lives and how simple solutions can support honeybees.  She will also share the information on the timeless benefits of honey.  

Hayden began beekeeping through a youth beekeeping scholarship program in 2009 and now cares for more than a dozen hives with her family.

Come meet Hayden.

She's looking forward to meeting you!

http://www.abfnet.org/?page=10

Are Honey Bees In Trouble Or Not?

Mother Nature Network   By Tom Oder   July 31, 2015

The state of these important pollinators is a good news, bad news situation.

You may have read recently that the number of honeybee colonies is at a 20-year high. At first, that sounds like a reason to cheer. After all, most of the news of late about this critically important pollinator has been about its decline. Unfortunately, the increase in honeybee colonies is good news in only a false-positive sort of way.

What appears to be a dramatic increase in the number of hives — 2.4 million in 2006 to 2.7 million in 2014, according to one report that attributed the numbers to the USDA — is largely the result of commercial beekeepers splitting their hives to increase the number of colonies, said Tim Tucker, a beekeeper in Niotaze, Kansas and president of the American Bee Federation (ABF). They're doing that, he said, just to try and stay even in two areas. One focus is to replace the alarmingly large number of bees that are dying each year from a variety of causes, says Tucker. The second push is to meet the demand for the million-plus hives that California almond growers need to pollinate their trees every spring.

The efforts he attributes to the commercial growers, Tucker is quick to point out, is not to discount the yeoman work that backyard beekeepers and the large number of hobbyist beekeeping clubs around the country are doing to sustain honeybees. But, make no mistake, bee enthusiasts, commercial farmers, environmentalists and others concerned about the 50-year decline in the nation's honey bees can thank commercial beekeepers for the increase in the number of honeybee colonies, said Tucker.

"Commercial beekeepers account for 80 percent of the number of honeybee colonies," said Tucker. "Not said in recent news reports," he stressed, "is what difficulty commercial beekeepers are having in sustaining honeybee populations. They are working nearly twice as hard as ever. We're still not caught up in replacing the bees lost during last winter and commercial beekeepers are already splitting hives now to get ahead of the annual winter losses they know are coming.

"It used to be what we talked about were the winter losses of honeybees," Tucker said. "Now we’re having losses in July and August. That used to never happen to a colony when there was a good queen. I just picked up 22 dead hives the other day. This is not normal."

Splitting the hives helps ensure that California almond growers will have the 1.3-1.4 million hives they need to pollinate the trees in their groves, according to Tucker. The trees are not self-pollinating and their light pink and white flowers need help from the bees to produce the nuts. It's an annual ritual that Tucker said is the biggest pollinating event in the world. Sometime between February and March, 75-80 percent of the country's commercially produced honeybees are busy pollinating the almond trees to ensure a late summer harvest that will produce 80 percent of the world's almonds, according to the California Almond Board. It's a six-week event that ends about the middle of April, the exact timing depending on when the trees flower.

"It's not the bees that are in jeopardy," said Tucker. "I believe we'll always have bees." The issue, as he sees it, is whether we will have enough bees to pollinate critical food crops and for honey production. "Unless things change, what's in jeopardy is the commercial beekeeping industry," Tucker said.

How important is commercial beekeeping? Pollinators are responsible in some part for a third of global food production volume, and the tiny honeybee pollinates more than 90 crops, according to the California Almond Board's website. Without honeybees to pollinate crops such as apples, cucumbers, broccoli, onions, pumpkins, carrots and avocados that, like almonds, simply won't grow without them, U.S. farmers could lose $15 billion worth of America's favorite fruits and vegetables, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council website.

"Even now there's not enough money to be made in making honey even if you could sell it a semi-truck load at a time," Tucker said. In the last 20 years, commercial honey production has been down about 80 million pounds annually, he said. About 20 years ago commercial beekeepers produced 220 million pounds of honey a year. Two years ago, it was around 150 million pounds. Last year, he noted, honey production rose to 170 pounds, and while that's good news, the output was still about 50 million pounds below production in the 1990s.

The loss of bees, Tucker contends, is not totally due to the much-publicized colony collapse disorder (CCD), which beekeepers first noted in 2006 and resulted in mass losses of 30-50 percent of the nation's honeybees. Tucker calls CCD a short-term phenomenon. "We haven't seen that since 2009," He said. "What we’re seeing today is a failure of bees to thrive as well as they did 20 years ago." He blames the honeybee's struggle for survival on habit loss, pesticide use, climate change (which he said is affecting their ability to collect nectar and pollen) and the drought in the Western states (which is affecting the blooming cycle of oranges and sage).

Environmental indicators show it's more than the honeybees that are in what Tucker calls serious trouble. He cites populations of frogs and night-flying insects as both being on the decline and said there is a significant decrease in biodiversity.

The result from CCD and environmental factors is that even with the increase in hives we are nowhere close to the honeybee population of the 1960s-1980s, Tucker said, pointing out that other bees are struggling, too. "I haven't seen a bumble bee all year."

Still, all is not gloom and doom for the little honeybee. Lots and lots of new beekeepers are starting in business to supply bees to what Tucker calls sideline beekeepers, which he describes as people who make a bit of money from beekeeping but still working a daytime, usually full-time job, and to hobbyist beepers, those who keep bees to enjoy the honey the little creatures produce. Both of these types of beekeepers, Tucker points out, are increasing the demand for bees.

Tucker also has some good news for hobbyist beekeepers and those who would like to learn how to start backyard hives. The American Bee Federation is planning a free and open-to-the-public fall webinar series on the basics of beekeeping. Called "Prime Time With Honeybees," the webinar will cover such topics as honeybee biology, the basics of how to get started in beekeeping and honeybee pollination. The ABF will post information about the webinar on its website when the details are finalized. ABF's archived information about beekeeping, including a series on beginning beekeeping, is available on the website to ABF members. For information about how to join ABF, visit the website.

Read more: http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/are-honeybees-trouble-or-not#ixzz3hzEBnDCr

ABF's Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar: "Honey - Who Knew?" July 9, 2015

Register today for ABF's Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar at www.abfnet.org

The ABF Education Committee has been hard at work developing new ways to keep its members engaged and informed in between ABF annual conferences each year. To this end, the ABF is pleased to announce another session in the 2015 Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar Series. This series is free to ABF members. To register, please go to the ABF website at www.abfnet.org, and log into your profile. You will find the link for registration under Education & Events/Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar Series. If you have any questions, please contact Valerie Lake at valerielake@abfnet.org or404.760.2875.

Honey - Who Knew?
Thursday, July 9, 2015
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 / 3:00 p.m. HST
Bear Kelley, President, Georgia Beekeepers Association

This presentation will dig deep into what honey is, where it comes from, how it's made and what it is used for. We all know that the bees make it, but how? We all know it comes from pollen and nectar, but how is it processed? This study will bring to light info that is assumed, but the details not really understood. Everyone talks about varroa mites, hive beetles, queens, overwintering bees, etc; but Bear has put together some information that has always been in front of us, but seldom discussed.

Kids and Bees Resources, Just For You

A student catches bees in the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California.

American Beekeeping Federation e-buzz  April 2015

 

Kids and Bees Resources, Just For You
By Sarah Red Laird

 

Engaging kids in the wonderful world of bees has probably never been so popular! Teachers, home school groups, and clubs are really realizing the potential of educating kids about math, science, engineering, technology, and the arts using the bee hive. Have you been asked to do a talk or a program to a group of kids, and aren’t sure where to start? Do you already lead a kids’ program, but are looking for new and fresh ideas? Then this article is for you! I’ve compiled a list of a few of my favorite resources for you.

 

Edible School Yard

“Bees in the Edible Schoolyard: With Hives”

 In this lesson, students study bees in the garden and the important role of pollinators through three stations: beehive; catch, observe, and release; honey tasting. Students will be able to feel comfortable around honey bees and native bees in the garden, and explain the benefits of having a hive in the garden. Read More.

 

“Bees in the Edible Schoolyard: No Hive”

 In this lesson, students discuss bees and the important role of pollinators. They then catch and observe bees in the garden. Students will be able to state at least two facts about bees and pose a relevant question. They will be also be able to describe the process of pollination and how it relates to plant reproduction and food production. They will execute catching and releasing a bee safely in the garden.

They will also explain the role that bees play in the garden and exhibit appropriate behavior around bees. Learn More.

 

IBRA BEEWORLD Project

 The BEEWORLD Project is an innovative new program that builds a network of schools and communities across the world taking practical action to protect and conserve bees. The project raises awareness of the role of bees, issues affecting them, honey research and the need to connect with and shape their own environment through creating bee-friendly spaces. Through interactive mapping and social media, our education pack, website and bee-related conservation events in communities / schools, the project will create a real “buzz” around bees – and a global network of relevant bee-friendly habitat. Read More.

 

The Bee Girl Organization

The Bee Girl mission is to inspire and empower communities to conserve bees and their habitat. Bee Girl’s website hosts the page for the American Beekeeping Federation’s Kids and Bees Program. Visit this page for a history of the program, upcoming events, and even more resources. Learn More.

 

The Pollinator Partnership

The Pollinator Partnership’s mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. Their “Education” page under “Useful Resources” is chock-full of curricula, educational tools, cool facts, activities, and more to teach our kids about bees and other important pollinators. Read More.

 

Kids and Bees on Social Media

Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook! These pages are managed by myself and Tim Tucker, ABF President. We scout out great articles, pictures, stories, and teaching ideas for you, and post them almost every day! Like, follow, comment, share, and keep our community buzzing! 

 

If you have any resources I haven’t mentioned, I’d love to hear about them. Please send me an email at sarah@beegirl.org. Until next time, have fun and bee safe!

 

Beekeepers Start the New Year in California

Beekeepers Start the New Year in California

The American Honey Producers Association and the American Beekeeping Federation hold their annual conferences January 6-10 in California—32 miles from each other.  Enjoy the sunshine, warm temperatures, and learn about honey bees, beekeeping, honey production, and all things in between.  To register for the conferences select the links below.

https://ahpanet.site-ym.com/?2015ConventionReg

http://www.nabeekeepingconference.com/

Kids 'n Bees: Kids and Bees and Disneyland

Bee Girl   From Sarah Red-Laird  December 17, 2014

The "Kids and Bees" event is right around the corner, and I am hoping you can help me with a couple of things? 
  • We need volunteers to help on the day of the event.  Duties consist of managing activity table to help kids with activities such as beeswax candle rolling, microscopes, almond shelling, face painting, honey tasting etc.
  • We need to get the word out about the event to local kids (Classrooms, homeschool groups, 4-H'ers, Girl and Boy Scouts, etc.).  
Exciting news!  Bee Girl and the American Beekeeping Federation are coming to the Disneyland Resort, for the annual North American Conference and Tradeshow January 6th-10th.  From 9:00 am till noon on the morning of Friday the 9th we are hosting a"Kids and Bees" event to engage the local community.  
For registering as a volunteer, or a student group - please contact me at sarah@beegirl.org or 541-708-1127.  Thank you!! 
  
This no-cost event has been a tradition with the ABF conference for over 20 years, and is a "don't miss" opportunity for school groups, home schooled kids, scouts, and clubs. Kids and their teachers or parents can expect a room full of hands-on activities 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!”  Favorites such as beeswax candle rolling, bee finger puppet making, and hive displays will be there.  The highlights this year will be face painting, a photo booth with costumes, and an ultraviolet “Bee View” demonstration.  Students will make their way through each station, engaging with beekeepers and Honey Queens from around the US, and activities that will harness their senses and imaginations.  

Click this link for a video by the LA Farm Bureau of a similar program from earlier this year in New Orleans!

See the Press Release for more information.  
 
And for more information, join our Facebook event page, or to register your children or students for the January 9th free program, please contact Sarah Red-Laird at sarah@beegirl.org or 541-708-1127.   
 
Please share this information with your community asap, space is limited - but it's our goal to bring as many students as we can to learn about our bees!
 
Sarah Red-Laird
Bee Girl, Executive Director
American Beekeeping Federation, Kids and Bees Program Director
International Bee Research Association, Bee World Program US Ambassador 

"Beekeeping Education // Honey Bee Conservation" 

Kids 'n Bees: Kids and Bees and Disneyland

American Beekeeping Federation   By Sarah Red-Laird, Bee Girl   November 2014

Kids and Bees and Disneyland.  I don’t think there are many more words that are more fitting in a sentence together. The annual American Beekeeping Federation Kids and Bees event will be Friday, January 9th from 9am to noon, in the Mark Twain room at the Disneyland Resort.     

This no-charge event has been a tradition with the North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow for over 20 years, and is a “don’t miss” opportunity for school groups, home schooled kids, scouts, and clubs. Kids and their teachers or parents can expect a room full of hands-on activities 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!” Favorites such as beeswax candle rolling, bee finger puppet making, and hive displays will be there. The highlights this year will be face painting, a photo booth with costumes, and an ultraviolet “Bee View” demonstration. Students will make their way through each station, engaging with beekeepers and Honey Queens from around the US, and activities that will harness their senses and imaginations.    

Read more... http://www.abfnet.org/?page=ABFEBuzzNovember2014#KidsNBeesNovember

Meet the Queen Bees Building Buzz for the Honey Industry

Modern Farmer    By Eden Stiffman   November 7, 2014

 Honey Queen Susannah Austin moves nuc boxes, or small honey bee colonies, to Glory Bee customers looking to start their own hives for the season. Courtesy American Beekeeping Federation.

College students Susannah Austin and Elena Hoffman have spent much of the past year flying solo across the country, dressed in business attire, each with a crown and sash stowed in their carryon luggage.

As the spokeswomen for the American Beekeeping Federation, they’re tasked with building buzz about honeybees.

It’s a sweet gig for the two women who are experienced beekeepers themselves.

For nearly 60 years, women ages 18 to 25 have competed for the title of American Honey Queen and the opportunity to travel throughout the United States during their year long reign, giving talks and demonstrations everywhere from schools to state fairs. The Queens’ travel and expenses are paid for, but other than that the reward is promoting beekeeping nationwide.

“Beekeeping isn’t something as visible as it ought to be,” Honey Queen Susannah Austin says, and that’s part of what inspired her to be a queen.

The program “started as a mechanism to promote honey and to educate the public about the beekeeping industry,” says Anna Kettlewell (Honey Queen ’99), who today coordinates the Honey Queen and Princess’ busy travel schedules. Each year, the program selects two young female beekeepers (the Princess is the runner up) during an annual pageant of sorts for the agriculturally savvy.

The Same Goals

The first American Honey Queen — Kay Seidelman — was crowned in 1959, after the national association adopted a program that several states had run in the past. Today there are queens at the county, state and national level. Candidates must have first served as a state queen before competing at the national level.

“The program basically has the same goals now as it did back in the ’50s,” Kettlewell says.

And by today’s standards, some of the quirky-seeming rules governing Honey Queen conduct and comportment seem dated. “There are fairly strict guidelines you have to follow,” Austin says.

“At every level, a Honey Queen is a wholesome young woman promoting a wholesome product,” the guide reads. Honey Queens must have “the sort of personality that will encourage people to like her instantly and instinctively thus creating a field of magnetism.”

Queens are required to wear the crown and sash at every event — hence keeping it on their person during travel.

  • 1 The first American Honey Queen, Kay Seidelman, was crowned in 1959.
  • Today's American Honey Queen and Princess Elena Hoffman and Susannah Austin.

Credits: American Beekeeping Federation

While the core of basic bee biology and the properties of honey are the same, there’s always new research and products the young women must learn.

In the 50s and 60s, beekeepers were primarily concerned with producing honey, and that’s how they made their living. Now, beekeepers are becoming more profitable through pollination programs, and in recent years, colony collapse disorder is the biggest issue facing beekeepers.

“Frankly, I think the Queen and Princess have to learn a lot more than in previous years because there have been so many changes,” says Kettlewell, who comes from a family of beekeepers and also helps manage Badger State Apiaries, her family’s 100-hive operation in southeastern Wisconsin.

“Honey producers, beekeepers, are a niche agricultural industry, so anything we can do to promote awareness and promote consumption of our product, we try to find a way to do that,” she says.

Meet The Queens

Growing up in Millmont, Pennsylvania, Elena Hoffman’s favorite time of year was fall, when her family would extract fresh honey from their hives.

“We would always use the hand crank extractor because my dad says we needed to learn the value of what we were getting from the bees,” says Hoffman, 19. “Our garage smelled amazing.”

She’s been abuzz about bees ever since.

“They’re amazing little insects and extremely intelligent, which most people don’t realize,” she says.

“Having the young spokesperson helps break down the barriers and the fear that would come in starting this as either a hobby or as a profession.”

People think of two things when it comes to bees, she says. Honey and stinging. During visits to FFA groups and classrooms, the queens often bring a demonstration hive borrowed from a local beekeeper. And to convince audiences of the docile nature of honeybees, they’ll sometimes demonstrate a bee beard: allowing thousands of the insects to crawl on their neck and face while they discuss the hive.

“I think having the young spokesperson helps break down the barriers and the fear that would come in starting this as either a hobby or as a profession,” says Kettlewell.

Hoffman, the 2014 Honey Princess, is a sophomore biology major at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. But the queen schedule is demanding, often requiring the young women take summer or online classes and the fall semester off.

At each destination, the Queen and Princess stay with a host family, many of whom are fellow beekeepers.

In her travels, Austin, 20, has found that people are nostalgic about farming, but often fail to see why it’s relevant to their lives today.

She grew up in Orlando, where her family had a garden and a hobby farm with chickens. Like many young beekeepers, she was introduced to the hobby though her local 4-H club. She was around six when her family got their first hives.

“I like the idea of going to talk to people about the farming that’s going on now and also about the people who are doing it,” she says.

Judging

Once a year, hopeful, wannabe-Queen Bees arrive at the North American Beekeeping Conference and Tradeshow, held in a different location around the country every January. (This year’s will be in Anaheim, CA at the Disneyland Hotel.)

The evaluation process is intense and includes submitting writing samples, an oral presentation, an interview — and covert observation by honey spies.

Three judges — generally ABF members who have different backgrounds in the industry — anonymously observe the girls at the convention, revealing their identities only several days later during the interviews.

1 Austin sometimes demonstrates a bee beard, allowing thousands of the insects to crawl on her neck and face, to convince audiences of the docile nature of honeybees.

2 Hoffman rides a float at the Topsfield Fair in Topsfield, MA.

Credits: American Beekeeping Federation


It’s a nerve-wracking process, says Hoffman. “You never knew when the judge might be around,” she says. But after the first day of the convention that anxiety faded and she was able to relax more.

The number of applicants changes from year to year. Sometimes there are just a few, others upwards of ten, depending on how many states have active programs. There were more candidates in the 1950s through the ’80s, says Kettlewell. That can be attributed to a variety of industry factors including the number of beekeepers, the price of honey and challenges facing the industry.

The demand for queen appearances is increasing, though, according to Kettlewell. The program aims to send the queen and princess collectively to a total of 30 states each year.

“A lot of people get the wrong idea when they see the sash and the crown, but honestly, it is a really great opportunity to improve your media skills and just how you communicate,” Hoffman says.

Both Hoffman and Austin estimate they’ve reached over 30,000 individuals so far this year.

“The really big thing that we’re looking at this year is focusing on telling people that no matter where you are, whether you’re in the city, the country, if you’re interested in helping honeybees, there’s something you can do,” says Austin. “Hopefully we’ve been able to get that across to a number of people we’ve talked to.”

Read at... http://modernfarmer.com/2014/11/queen-bees-honey-industrys-female-boosters/

ABF: Conversations with a Beekeeper Webinar

American Beekeeping Federation

Check out our home page! Just added: Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinar Series Presents a Six Part Beginning Beekeeping Series starting October 23. From the basics of the beehive through bee health, honey production and marketing honey products, after these six live webinar sessions beginning beekeepers will be prepared to start and manage their first hives successfully. Blake Shook, owner of the Desert Creek Honey Co., facilitates each session. The series is free for members of the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF). Membership begins at just $60 for small-scale beginning beekeepers and includes a year’s worth of educational benefits. Don’t miss this opportunity! http://www.abfnet.org/

2014 American Honey Queen Will Appear at the Bee Booth at the LA County Fair

Press Release from the American Beekeeping Federation  June 17, 2014

Susannah Austin, the 2014 American Honey Queen, will visit Los Angeles, CA September 8-15 as part of her National Honey Month tour.  She will be a guest of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Associations at the Los Angeles County Fair, speaking to fairgoers about the importance of honeybees to the public’s daily lives and how, from city to country, everyone can help the honeybee.  She will also demonstrate how honey comes in a kaleidoscope of colors.  

Susannah is the 20-year-old daughter of Kris and Catherine Austin of Orlando, FL.  She is a junior at the University of Central Florida, pursing a degree in biology, with hopes of becoming a veterinarian.  Susannah’s family began beekeeping through a 4-H project over 10 years ago.   

As the 2014 American Honey Queen, Susannah serves as a national spokesperson on behalf of the American Beekeeping Federation, a trade organization representing beekeepers and honey producers throughout the United States.  The Honey Queen and Princess speak and promote in venues nationwide, and, as such, Queen Susannah will travel throughout the United States during her year-long reign.  Prior to being selected as the American Honey Queen, Susannah served as the 2013 Florida Honey Queen.  In this role, she promoted the honey industry at fairs, festivals, and farmers’ markets, via television and radio interviews, and in schools.

The beekeeping industry touches the lives of every individual in our country.  In fact, honeybees are responsible for nearly one-third of our entire diet, in regards to the pollination services that they provide for a large majority of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. This amounts to nearly $19 billion per year of direct value from honeybee pollination to United States agriculture. 

For more information on Queen Susannah’s California visit and to schedule an interview, contact Bill Lewis at 818.312.1691.

(Note: The Los Angeles County Fair runs from August 29 - September 28, 2014.  Stop by the Bee Booth.  Los Angeles County Beekeepers will be on hand talking about bees, beekeeping, pollination and the importance of honey bees in our lives.  Check out the observation hive.) 

California Drought Tough on Honeybee Health

Western Farm Press    By Dennis Pollock    April 22, 2014

Honeybee Risk:  Some U.S. beekeepers are questioning whether to continue coming to California and risk damage to hives, or stay home and make honey that sells for more than $2 per pound.

Gene Brandi with the American Beekeeping Federation talked of the need for most of the nation’s bee colonies – some 1.6 million colonies – to pollinate the almonds in California.

And he warned that there are some beekeepers, notably in the Southern United States who are questioning whether to continue to come to California and risk damage to hives or stay home and make honey that sells for more than $2 per pound.

Brandi and others are concerned that toxicity to bees is not often noted on labels for products that include fungicides and growth regulators.

As for the drought, Brandi said, “this year was tough. There were a lot of places with no water. Bees need some source of clean, uncontaminated water.”

He said 32 beekeepers gathered in Los Banos last month and reported 70,000 colonies negatively affected this year.

Brandi recommends that any spraying during bloom should be done at night, preferably ending by midnight.

The meeting closed with a presentation by Matthew Danielczyk, restoration project manager with Audubon California, on programs to create hedgerows in orchards that can benefit wildlife, provide food for honeybees, combat erosion and mitigate drift.

Read at...

Webinar: ABF's Conversations with a Beekeeper 3/26/14

Neonicotinoids- Our Toxic Countryside
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
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 / 3:00 p.m. HST
Graham White

Register Today for ABF's Conversation with a Beekeeper Webinars

The ABF Education Committee has been hard at work developing new ways to keep its members engaged and informed in between ABF annual conferences each year. To this end, the ABF is pleased to announce the first two sessions of the 2014 Conversation with a Beekeeper series. Most sessions take place on the Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to keep an eye on future issues of ABF E-Buzz, as well as the ABF website at www.abfnet.org, for more information and registration details for each session.

http://www.abfnet.org/