July 10, 2004

Jerry Latner’s Home, High Springs, FL.


Meeting convened at 10:08 a.m. by Laurence Cutts.




Malcolm Sanford

Laurence Cutts (Tupelo)

Elmore Herman (Ridge)

Jerry and Joann Latner (Central)

Josh Gentry (Palm Beach)

Bert and Vernon Gwaltney (Tupelo)

Carolee Howe, Florida Farm Bureau

Norman Freeman (Escarosa)

Dr. Glenn Hall (University of Florida)


Discussion of associations not sending representatives to the Board of Managers meeting:  These include Tri-County, South Florida, Tampa Bay, Hernando, Northeast Florida, Polk.  Hernando and Northeast Florida are inactive associations at the present time.  The Central Florida Association (Jimmy Gibson, President) is reducing its activities and will be a “social organization” in the future.  In the process of cutting back participation, it has donated $2,000 to the Florida State Beekeepers Association’s research fund.


Treasurer Bert Kelley was not present due to the death of his mother.  Motion by Doc Bullard seconded by Norman Freeman and passed that the Association donate a copy of The Hive and The Honey Bee (dontated by Jerry Latner) to the Lakeland Public Library in memory of Bert’s mother, who lived in Lakeland.  Elmore Herman will deliver the book to the library.


The minutes of the January 16, 2004 Board of Managers were read.  A correction was made that Bill Merritt had donated twenty (20) hives, not 16 as reported, to the Conrad Cramer Memorial Apiary.  Elmore Herman reported he had received a check from Cramer Apiaries mentioned in the previous minutes on the colonies they are running for the Association.


Malcolm Sanford reported on the activities of the Executive Secretary.  A July issue of the newsletter with ads will be out shortly.  The current membership status is as follows: (134 active regular (have paid dues for 2004); 195 Life, 311 inactive (not current in paying dues), 2 complimentary, 24 advertisers)


Discussion of the inactive members.  The 311 are to be purged from the mailing list since they have had several warnings in most recent newsletters to renew as dictated by the bylaws.  The Executive Secretary has been asked to develop some local lists and send them out to local associations to prevail on those who have been members to renew.  Possibilities for doing this included e-mail and possible posting on the web site.  A recurring issue is the status of the “life membership” category and a way to recognize life members while at the same time encouraging them to also support the Association on a monetary basis.  Discussion tabled, but to be ongoing.  The webmaster and executive secretary continue to have problems identifying contact persons for the local associations.  The membership is asked to consult the web site to see who may not be listed and communicate that information.


Discussion of membership brochure and/or packet to be made available at outlets like Dadants in High Springs for prospective members.  This would be something more substantial than the current membership form that appears on the web site.  A major issue is what messages would appeal to prospective members.  Education is a big one; many beginners have questions.  A problem is identifying a reliable contact person who might represent the association (potentially a full-time job).


There will be an effort to make a special mailing in cooperation with the Division of Plant Industry that will also be a way to attract members.  Jerry Hayes was not present at the meeting, being at the Heartland Beekeepers Assocation in Lebanon, TN.


State Fair Discussion:  President Cutts will not be able to spend the entire 11 days during next year’s state fair in Tampa (February 10-21, 2005) and he is asking for volunteers to help with the bee beard exhibit.  He will be nominating a committee to oversee this activity.  In addition, although not present at the meeting, it was relayed that the coordinator/chairman of past years and the 2005 event, Bert Kelley, is also asking for folks to step forward and take some of his duties.  The last two years have been phenomenal successes, which included the bee beard exhibit, increased honey sales, and an interactive display, which won a prize in its category.  The good news is that there have been new people volunteering to help and the number appears to be growing.  Those interested in helping out at the Fair in Tampa early next year should contact Laurence Cutts, Bert Kelley or Elmore Herman.


Discussion of the 2004 Convention in Chipley, FL:  The annual meeting will take place November 11-13, 2004 in Chipley at the Ag Center.  This is later than is traditional due to scheduling of the Ag Center; several persons have expressed to Laurence that they prefer this later time.  The registration fee will remain about $35, the banquet about $20, prices comparable to last year’s event in Tampa.  Several motels in the area have rooms in the $40 dollar range.  The meeting will feature a “beekeepers’ yard sale,” which will take place before the fish fry on Thursday night (11 Nov.).  The regular meeting convenes with presentations on Friday morning, with a Friday night banquet and Saturday business meeting.  The details will be developed shortly; stay tuned.  Laurence Cutts, his family and the Tupelo association are cooperating on local arrangements.  Anyone interested in helping out, please contact Laurence.


Three recurring awards are an important part of the convention.  These are the Beekeeper of the Year Award, Woman of the Year Award, and Researcher of the Year Award.  It is not too early to send in your nominations for these awards to Laurence Cutts.  Laurence and Elmore Herman will investigate the situation surrounding continuing the Pioneer Award.  There was also discussion about instituting an award for some younger folks as a way of encouraging more people to become beekeepers.  Any ideas along this line should be forwarded to Laurence.


Discussion of Transportation Issues:  Laurence suggested that a Dept. of Transportation presentation at the state convention would be of increasing interest.  It seems the rules are constantly changing and beekeepers are getting caught up in these.  Carolee said this was occurring in other agricultural industries as well.  She said she had a contact that would be a possibility for the convention.  Others noted that many of rules seemed capricious and that often one branch of the DOT was not aware of what another was doing.  Laurence and Carolee to work on this.  Any connections others have with DOT should be communicated to Laurence.


Joining the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association:  An outgrowth of several members attending the Florida Farm Bureau’s Vegetable Advisory Committee was an invitation to join Florida’s Fruit and Vegetable Association.  This would enable more contact between beekeepers and growers; both have common problems and challenges, specifically ensuring pollination of crops.  Motion by Norman Freeman, seconded by Elmore Herman that the Association join—membership fee is $250/yr--passed.  Elmore Herman indicated an interest in attending the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association’s next annual meeting September 26-28 in Naples.  Any others who have an interest should contact him.


Convention in St. Augustine in 2005:  Ray Zerba, County Extension Director in Green Cove Springs, FL has invited the Association to plan it’s 2005 convention in St. Augustine, FL.  This appears to be an exciting opportunity and meshes well with other discussions concerning an association being developed in the northeast coastal region.  There is a meeting of interested folks on this subject 12 July 2004 in Green Cove Springs. 


Laurence Cutts and Malcolm Sanford attended this meeting and from it will come an organizational meeting on 8 August at the Clay County Ag. Center in Green Cove Springs.


In addition, there is discussion that perhaps the Association should consider regionalizing some of the beekeeping activities in the southeast.  The Southern States Federation is defunct, but a similar association might be developed.  There are some good regional examples around the country including the Eastern Apicultural Society, Western Apicultural Society and the new Heartland Apicultural Society.  The states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama would seem to be candidates for this kind of effort.  Officers and others in the Association will be talking up this concept as they attend meetings across the southeast in the next year.  Those interested in working on this concept and attending other beekeeping meetings in the region (GA, SC, NC, AL) are asked to keep Laurence informed of their activities.


Proposed In-service Training for Extension Agents:  Ray Zerba, Clay County Extension Agent) and Chief Inspector Jerry Hayes have proposed to the University of Florida (IFAS) administration to support a one-day in service training for extension agents on honey bees and beekeeping.  The IFAS administration would support through per diem and mileage agents coming to Gainesville for this training.  The proposed date is Tuesday, December 7, 2004.  This will take place at the Division of Plant Industry Headquarters, 1911 SW 34th St., Gainesville, FL.  The object is to educate extension agents about the bee industry and provide them with some basic information they could deliver from their county offices.  Many beekeepers have complained that county extension personnel know little about honey bees and don’t seem informed on important issues in the beekeeping industry. 


This, therefore, is a perfect opportunity for beekeepers around the state to contact their county extension offices and ask them to consider supporting this event by sending one of their employees.  The state of Florida has 67 counties, divided into five IFAS districts. Each county has its own Cooperative Extension Service office.  Click on a name in the list <http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/cesmap.htm> to locate the county on the map, or double-click on name or map to get directions to the selected county office.  For further information have your county office or agent contact either Jerry <hayesg@doacs.state.fl.us> 352-372-3505 x 114 or Ray <rhz@ifas.ufl.edu>, 904-284-6355.


Dr. Glenn Hall at the University of Florida (IFAS) reported on his project:  “Selecting honey bees that suppress reproduction of Varroa and mapping the genes (QTL-Quantitative Trait Loci) involved.”  Dr. Hall believes that the SMR (suppressed mite reproduction) is considered one of the best traits to cultivate in bee populations.  For more information on this see <http://beeculture.com/beeculture/digital/2001/column38.htm>.  This tolerance would allow bees to survive with limited and in some cases without chemical treatment.  This means that use of pesticides for control could be minimized if not eliminated in bee management.  It is now known that chemical control measures used by beekeepers are becoming ineffective and also appear to be damaging colonies in subtle ways.


One problem is that bees selected for just SMR (or any one trait for that matter) often have undesirable qualities expressed, including over defensiveness and/or poor production in certain areas.  Mapping the genes involved in SMR would facilitate their being incorporated into stock that already shows increased productivity and/or lower defensiveness.


Dr. Hall’s three-year grant from the USDA’s beneficial insects program, although resulting in some interesting outcomes, was not refunded during the last cycle and so ends in August 2004.  One problem is that data to support the application has yet to be collected because of several setbacks in finding suitable bees and erratic beekeeping conditions.  He is still collecting the data, but this requires the assistance of his especially trained help.  Besides USDA funding, Dr. Hall will be looking at some other sources that would be suitable, such asT-Star (Tropical and Subtropical Research) <http://www2.ctahr.hawaii.edu/t-star/caribbean_basin.htm>, part of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBAG), which includes the Universities of Florida., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.


He will be asking the assistance of the Entomology Nematology Department’s Chair and Dean for IFAS Research for a one-year continuation of funding for his already-trained employees and asks the Association’s help by contacting Dr. John L. Capinera, Chair of the Entomology and Nematology Department <jlcap@ifas.ufl.edu> 352-392-1901 and Dr. Richard Jones <rljones@ifas.ufl.edu>,  ph 352-392-1784, current interrum dean.  Laurence will write a letter from the Association and Carolee from the Farm Bureau as part of that effort.  Any others interested in supporting this effort, are asked to contact Dr. Hall, P.O. Box 110620, Gainesville, FL 32611-ph 352-392-1801 x 149.  In addition, Dr. Hall is asking for those who might have bees to sell during slack times to contact him as he has an increasing need for large numbers of queenless workers for this research.  His phone is 352-392-1901 x 149 and e-mail is <hgh@ifas.ufl.edu>.


Sample letter:


Dr. John L. Capinera

Chair, Department of Entomology and Nematology

Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

P.O. Box 110620

Gainesville, FL 32611


Dear Dr. Capinera:


The Florida State Beekeepers Association appreciates the support you and your colleagues in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have provided the apiary industry over the last two decades.  The assistance of both Dr. Malcolm T. Sanford’s (now retired Apiculture Extension Specialist) educational efforts, and Dr. H. Glenn Hall’s research concerning Africanized honey bees from your faculty have been invaluable. 


Dr. H. Glenn Hall has produced some encouraging results in his three-year USDA-funded project to map the genes responsible for the SMR (Suppressed Mite Reproduction) trait in honey bees.  This trait is considered the best alternative to develop lines of honey bees that are tolerant to beekeeping’s greatest pest, the introduced parasitic mite Varroa destructor, enabling colonies to survive and be productive without chemical treatment. 


Unfortunately, Dr. Hall’s request to continue funding for this project was not approved in the latest round.  Data collection, however, is continuing with favorable results such that in the next competition round Dr. Hall’s project should be looked much more favorably.  He will also be pursuing funding from other areas, including the T-Resarch Initiative of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBAG).  In the meantime, he is asking for a one-year continuance of funding for his trained help to collect the necessary data and not to lose the continuity of the project should he have to lay off his assistants.


The Florida State Beekeepers Association considers Dr. Hall’s work in this area vital to the industry’s long-term survival.  As such it has provided him with in excess of $20,000 in funding over the last two years, which has all but eliminated the Association’s research budget.  The Association hopes that you will agree about the importance of this project and will support Dr.Hall’s request to retain his trained help until the next funding cycle.





Cc:  Richard  L. Jones, Dean for Research, Box 110200, Gainesville, FL 32611-0200.


Discussion on screened bottom boards:  Although generally used for Varroa control, experience now shows that screened bottom boards are also valuable for controlling the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida).  Two reasons for this: 1) increased light through the open bottom sends the beetles scurrying upward into the darkness and 2) young larvae that fall from the brood pass through the screen and cannot reenter the hive and are too young to complete their development in the soil.


Discussion about the Youth (4H)/Apiculture position in the Department of Entomology and Nematology.  Sources including Dr. Capinera and IFAS lobbyist Tallahassee, Dr. Martha Roberts, retired from the Division of Plant Industry indicate that the position has been approved and the process to fill it will commence soon.  Those at the Board of Managers were hopeful that whomever is hired would be able to be introduced at the state meeting in Chipley.  Letters to IFAS from both Laurence and Richard Gaskalla appear to have has a positive influence on this situation.  Dr. Roberts can be contacted at mroberts@ifas.ufl.edu, ph 850-509-7282.


Discussion of Jerry Hayes query concerning deregulating Varroa control in Florida.  Laurence will discuss this with Jerry on his return.  There are reasons pro and con with respect to this issue.  Right now the details are not clear.


Discussion of the proposal by Neil Cosentino of Florida Air and Surface Transportation (FAST), 708 S. Davis Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606, ph 813-784-4669, e-mail <BayWorld@earthlink.net> to have a bee motif put on an ultra light airplane for publicity purposes.  This will be advertised to the membership in an upcoming newsletter.


Meeting adjourned: 2:20 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


M.T. Sanford

Executive Secretary