October 30, 2008
Farm Bureau Federation Building, Gainesville, Florida




Keith Councell

Bert and Vernon Gwaltney

Bert Kelley

Beth Fox

Bill Kern

Bill Merritt

Bob Jackson

Bob Livingston

Bradley Stewart

Carl and Virginia Webb

Dave Hackenberg

David Barnes

David Lewis

David Mendes

David Webb

David Westervelt

Donald and Paula Smiley

Donald Harcus

Doug Corbin

Ed Bowman

Roger Twitchell

Gordon Claus

Elmore Herman


Call to Order:  Laurence Cutts, President, called the Annual business meeting to order at 7:35AM and gave the Invocation.


Mr. Cutts gave the Presidents report and stated he had no formal report but wanted all to know it had been a busy year for the association and that additional research funds had been obtained and the growth in the association’s numbers had been significant over the past year and he had been advised to eliminate the term “hobbyist” from his vocabulary to use  sideliner” in it’s place since everyone has to make money to keep bees. He is seeing a new type of beekeepers joining FSBA


President Cutts talked of his visit to the first workshop conducted by the Apalachee Beekeepers Association in Tallahassee in February.  When he took a poll during his presentation he found there were 95 persons in attendance and 75 of those did not yet have bees.  He stated he had never attended a meeting with so many people showing interest in beekeeper.


When he attended the American Honey Producers Conference in Sacramento, there were over 1,500 people in attendance and typically you see people out ion the halls talking while the speakers are talking tin the main room.  At this conference there was standing room only and all of those in the halls were trying to get into the main room to hear the speakers.


We have seen several new associations formed and others have expressed interest in establishing new associations in several counties.


President Cutts also spoke about the issue of access to public lands and the fact that agencies are contacting the FSBA expressing interest in having beekeepers establishing their apiaries’ on public lands.  President Cutts spoke of the impact of CCD on the industry and how, while causing great hardship, it has brought more attention to beekeeper and the importance of honeybees.  President Cutts spoke of looking forward to a 2nd retirement as he leaves the presidency of the FSBA.  He has been involved with the association since his first attendance with his father in 1947 when he was 12 year old.  He stated that he has missed only one annual meeting since 1947.  He said this not to brag of his attendance but to show how important the association has been to him.  He made comments on the change in the General Meeting from Saturday to Thursday this year an how impressive the turn out had been.


President Cutts then asked for the Reading of the Minutes of the last meeting in Orlando as printed in the program and on the World Wide Web at http://floridabeekeepers.org.   Motion to accept as published in the program by made by Elmore Herman, Mr. David Webb amended the Motion for the minutes to be corrected to reflect that Nancy Gentry, not Gary Ranker, was presented as a candidate for Vice President by the Nominating Committee and that Gary Ranker was in fact nominated from the floor and that the election was held by a show of hands, while the candidates were asked to leave the room, and not conducted by ballot as required in the By-Laws.  Bert Kelly seconded motion. Passed


There were no Committees formed during the General meeting as President Cutts deferred all business related to future management of the Association to the new President to be elected at this meeting.  President Cutts announced there would be no Executive Secretary report due to the absence of Mr. Malcolm Sanford.  Since there were delays in establishing dates for the annual meeting Mr. Sanford had to honor existing commitments out of state.


The only Standing Committee was the Honey Standard Committee and when questioned Nancy Gentry said she was not aware a committee had been established and President Cutts advised her she was a committee of one. She said she would be speaking on the Honey Standard the next day at the workshop and would save her comments until that time.


While the Agenda did indicate there would be a report by a committee formed at the mid-year meeting, related to make recommendation related bottling regulations the committee report was not addressed by the president.


President Cutts again stated that there was no Board of managers meeting prior to the General meeting because he wanted the newly elected offices to preside over the BOM meeting which would be conducted immediately following the adjournment of the general meeting.  He had also realized he had left the gavel at home so there would be no passing of the gavel at this meeting


Election and installation of officers:


The Nominating Committee (Bill Merritt, Elmore Herman, Nancy Gentry) presented the following candidates for office.


President: Reno Plenge; Vice-President; Roger Twitchell; Treasurer: Bert Kelly

A motion to close the nominations for Treasure was made by Gordon Clause and 2nd by Ernest Peaches.  A motion to close the nominations for Vice president was made by Bob Livingston  2nd by Gordon Claus.   A motion to nominate Gary Ranker for president was made by Roger Twitchell and seconded by Bob Livingston.


Since there was a nomination from the floor for a second presidential candidate a written ballot was cast with Reno receiving 28 votes and Gary Ranker 24 votes.  A committee appointed by President Cutts counted the votes.  The committee consisted of Mr. Donald Harcus of Wewahitchka, Florida, Mr. Donald Smiley of Wewahitchka, Florida and Mr. Elmore Herman of Marianna, Florida.


After the election President spoke to clarify the issue of Life Membership.  After some discussion and review of the current by-laws it was determined that Life Members did, just as the $15.00 Association membership, include both husband and wife and both would have voting rights.


President Cuts moved on to Miscellaneous business and ask that Roger Twitchell present his motion that had previously provided to the Board of Managers concerning recognition of state employees and associations members who had work to coordinate communication related to mosquito spraying after Tropical Storm Fay. 


Motion Related to Aerial Spraying after Natural Disasters

October 30, 2008- 88th Annual Meeting of the Florida State Beekeepers Association

Roger Twitchell, Apalachee Beekeepers Association


In the President’s Remarks section of the October 2008 newsletter President Cutts extended his thanks to me for my efforts to notify beekeepers of pending aerial spraying after Tropical Storm Fay.  I appreciate the recognition but I have a duty to make sure the Agencies and staff who made the calls and coordinated these efforts are recognized as well.


As a result of the coordination between the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant industry, Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection, the Division of Agricultural Environmental Services, Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control, the Florida Department of Health, Division of Environmental Health, local county mosquito control programs and the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Emergency Support Function 17 – Animal Protection, many beekeepers received timely notice of the pending  spraying and were able to take appropriate measures to protect their honeybees.  There is not doubt that some bees were protected due to these efforts.


I have work either in Operations or Logistics for the Florida Department of Health during and after every major natural disaster since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and to my knowledge this is the first time all of these groups have worked together to protect the Florida’s honeybees.


I wish to request that specific names be entered into the record of this meeting in recognition of their efforts:

  • Mr. Jerry Hayes, Chief Apiary Inspector, Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection, Florida Department of Agriculture
  • Ms. Cathy Deweese, Administrative Secretary, Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection, Florida Department of Agriculture
  • Mr. Dale Dubberly, Incident Commander, ESF 17, Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control, Florida Department of Agriculture
  • Mr. Paul Mitola, Public Information Officer for Tropical Storm Fay, ESF 17

Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control, Florida Department of Agriculture

  • Dr. Lisa Conti, Division Director, Division of Environmental Health, Florida Department of Health
  • Dr. Danielle Stanek, Medical Epidemiologist, Division of Environmental Health, Bureau of Community Environmental Health, Florida Department of Health.
  • Ms. Jennifer Williams, Division of Environmental Health, Florida Department of Health
  • Ms. Heather Lake, Division of Environmental Health, Florida Department of Health
  • Captain Tony Hogg, Secretary, Apalachee Beekeepers Association


We are fortunate that these caring people were in the right place at the right time.  They will not always be on duty and as people change, processes and protocols often change as well unless they made official policy.  To that end  I offer this motion:


The President of the FSBA compose a letter of thanks to Governor Christ and copy said letter to Commissioner Brunson, Florida Department of Agriculture, Surgeon General Ana Viamonte Ross, Florida Department of Health and Director Craig Fugate, Division of Emergency Management, expressing our thanks for the effort put forward by these employees in the protection of Florida’s honeybees.  In the same letter the FSBA request these efforts be expanded to reach all registered beekeepers prior to all future spraying events and request the Governor direct  that make advance notification become standard protocol for Emergency Support Function 17- Animal Protection, its supporting agencies and volunteer resources and all county mosquito control programs.  The FSBA should  offer to be listed in the State of Florida Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan as one of the volunteer resources available to ESF 17- Animal Protection, in all phases of disaster response.


Roger Twitchell moved that the motion be accepted. David Webb seconded the Motion. Passed

President Cutts stated that while Roger Twitchell’s motion was made to give credit to others it was Roger Twitchell who initiated the effort and should be recognized.


Vice President Gary Ranker asked each Apiary manger to provide their reports:


Elmore Herman is managing 16 hives and they were on Tupelo, sourwood and are now on Brazilian pepper.  They have produced 720# of Tupelo, but no sourwood.   Elmore said he had provided Bert Kelly with a check in the amount of $756.00 to reflect the profits of these hives.


Lee Del Signore is managing 48 hives in the Homestead area.  He has had two honey crops and averaged 40# per hive this year and he has provided a check in the amount of

$1,920 to Bert Kelly


Bill Merritt is managing 60 hives.  He has lost a total of 7 to AFB.  He has added over 100 queens, screened bottom board pallets, 250 new frames and foundation, replaced all the excluders due to damage and replaced all the lids.  Bill stated that the 7 5/8 supers are unusable.  He still have 60 hives and produced $6,980 in net income with $3,840 going to Bert Kelly for the association share.


Vice President Gary Ranker said he had intended to start another apiary in the association in the Orange Belt district.


President Cutts spoke briefly on the Extra Miles Club where members donate over and above the requirements for the Life membership. The Extra Miles members do not have to pay fees for the rest of their tenure in the association.   Elmore stated he was willing to take on five more hives and President Cutts donated 5 more hived in the names of his children and grand children.


President Cutts told the membership that Nancy Gentry was appointed as the Associations Publicity Coordinator last year.  This was not a permanent position but up to the new Board of Managers to decide whether or not to continue this position.  President Cutts also stated he believe that each local association should publish their new officers in the local press and FSBA should be announced as well. 


There was also a brief discussion on possible changes to move the association from management by a Board of Managers to an Executive Committee structure as recommended by Malcolm Sanford. This would require a change in the By-Laws and possibly the Constitution.   Presidents Cutts said, that in his opinion, the current structure had served the association well, but he would leave those decisions to the new officers.


Treasurer’s Report:  Bert Kelley reported highlights of a treasurer’s report

                Beginning Balance as of November 1, 2007      $16,915.36

Total income from all sources                                             $44,163.31

Total expenditures                                                                $41,252.14

Current balance                                                     $19,826.53


Motion by Ernest Peaches to accept Treasurer’s report subject to audit by the Audit Committee to he appointed by the BOM.  Seconded by Bill Merritt.  Passed.


The appointment of the Executive Secretary is a hired position to be handled by the BOM.


Reno called a meeting of the new Board of Managers after the General Business meeting   


Ernest Peaches moved adjournment and Elmore Herman seconded; the meeting adjourned at 9: 15 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,




Roger B. Twitchell on Behalf of Malcolm T. Sanford
Executive Secretary.