Orange County Extension Center, Orlando, FL, June 14, 2008

Meeting called to order 12:45 p.m. by President Laurence Cutts


Associations represented by their voting members were:

Applachee Beekeepers Association

Northeast Florida Honey Bee Association

North Escambia Bee Association

Orange County Beekeepers Association

Ridge Beekeepers Association

One member from South Florida was there but had no vote as the association has been     deactivated


Dr. Malcolm Sanford was absent for personal matters.


Nancy Gentry brought us up to speed on the Identity for Honey Standard. It is based on the CODEX which is an international standard for honey. She said that we are not trying to make the Standard a law, but rather a ruling. A law will mean the courts would have to be involved. A ruling would allow the beekeepers themselves to police their industry and we have more beekeepers than the state has in bodies for enforcement. So far, there are several states following Florida's lead in ratifying this ruling. Those states are: OR, VA, MD, CA, and WS. ND is considering a similar ruling.


Florida's standard is, in essence, the same standard that was rejected by FDA in March, 2006, and that once the standard is adopted( "ratified" would be an incorrect term since again, the standard is not a law but a rule...), Florida will be the first state to have a compositional standard; in other words, we are defining what is in the bottle regardless of the wording on the label. Citizens will be assured that when they are purchasing honey in the stores, it's honey in the bottle. If the bottle contains something other than honey, say a percentage of corn syrup, then the contents are not honey and cannot be sold as such.  If the bottler still wants to sell the adulterated product, they must relabel it as SYRUP containing honey.


Tony Hogg read the resolution to see if we can get some type of relief from the State Food Safety Division concerning the dollar amount that we as part time beekeepers have to pay in order to bottle and sale our honey, even to the possibility of being exempt for producers of 10,000 gallons of honey.


Motion was made and seconded to table this discussion until an appointed committee could present a study and recommendation to the board at the fall meeting, That meeting will be held October 30,31, and November 1, 2008 in Gainesville.  A committee of Brinnen Carter, Tony Hogg, Gary Ranker and Roger Twitchell was appointed to look into the matter.


Meeting adjourned for lunch and was reconvened 5:30 p.m.


Nancy Gentry brought up the discussion of getting a written ruling on just what “affiliation of locals” means.  This led to a discussion of how we are to deter main who and possibly how many votes an association can have at the Board meetings.  One possibility would be one vote for each 20 members that is signed up with the state association.  However, if an association has only 5-10 members signed with the state, then they would not have a vote.  It was thought that the by laws say that if an association wants to have a vote, then if no one is registered with the State Association, then the local association has to pay the equivalent of 20 paid members. A close reading the bylaws and constitution found at http://floridabeekeepers.org does not verify this.  Again, this discussion was tabled until the Fall meeting.


There was a feasibility study on the honey co-op we had discussed in the past and at that time it was decided it would not help us as small producers.  At that time there was no Standard of Honey, nor was there a Definition of Honey.  There has been $2,000 donated to the State Association to help get the co-op started. Since it was decided to not pursue it at that time, the treasurer wanted to know what to do with the money.  It has been in a special account for all this time. It was decided to contact the donors and ask what they wanted to do with the money of if they wanted it back.  We will have a report at the Fall meeting.

Discussion concerning the placement of hives on the water district lands.  Each district has it's own set of rules. One must go to the individual district to find out what their rules are.


There area concerns about areal spraying for insects in the Vero Beach area.  


Motion was made and seconded to adjourn. Motion carried. Adjourned as 6:15 pm


Developed from notes from those in attendance and respectfully submitted,

Thanks to Ernest “Peaches” Peach for recording the minutes.

Malcolm T. Sanford
Executive Secretary