“The American Beekeeping Federation in Reno

Bee Culture (Mar, Apr, May, June 2005), Vol. 133


Joint Meetings with AIA, ABRC and AAPA




Dr. Malcolm T. Sanford


Jointly held meetings of professionals appear to be a thing of the future as organizational budgets, especially for travel, are increasingly being reduced.  Thus, two other associations also held their annual meeting in conjunction with that of the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) in Reno, Nevada.1  They are represented by three acronyms for associations that have had, and in the future will have, importance in a continuing dialogue with the beekeepers of North America.


The Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) is the oldest U.S. group to be described here.  As its name suggests, it is the official association of state regulators.  Its mission is to “promote better beekeeping conditions in North America mainly through more uniform and effective laws and methods for the suppression of bee diseases, and mutual understanding and cooperation between apiary inspection officials, and by the presentation of new information and ideas as developed.”  The statement is found on its web site hosted at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.2  Also found there is a comprehensive directory of state apiarists for both the U.S. and Canada.  The AIA meets every year to discuss the inspection situation across the nation. 

Often scientists are invited to speak at AIA meetings and the Association offers an award of apicultural excellence to someone who has contributed to their mission in either research or education (extension).  The meeting sessions are generally open to the public, and the Association rotates its gatherings among beekeeping groups, and both scientific and university laboratories.  The AIA will next meet in conjunction with two other groups described below (ABRC and AAPA) at the Baton Rouge, LA, Stock Center and Bee Laboratory.

The American Bee Research Conference (ABRC) is the brainchild of Drs. Joe Moffett (retired from the United States Department of Agriculture) and John Harbo of the Baton Rouge Bee Laboratory.3  Too much cannot be said about the effort that Dr. Harbo has put into this conference over the last decade and a half.  Without his vision and hard work, the ABRC would have remained only an idea whose time might have come.  He has truly made it into an institution without which beekeepers and the research community would be a great deal poorer.

The idea of the ABRC is to have a common forum where those interested in current research can discuss their work in an informal way.  The work is presented as an “abstract,” with a maximum of 540 words accompanied by a graph or table. An oral presentation by the investigator at the meeting then fleshes out the idea behind the work to the audience, and that is followed by a give and take question and answer session.  An “abstract” is not technically considered “published,” work and so the author can still publish information at a later time somewhere else. 

Not only are scientists allowed to discuss work that is underway without penalty through the ABRC, and in the process exchange valuable ideas, but also the beekeeping community becomes informed about current research efforts on its behalf.  The abstracts are published as a composite work each year in the American Bee Journal; for which the authors pay a publication charge.  This means that beekeepers not attending the actual meeting can still become informed about work in progress.  Anyone who wishes can present an abstract by simply sending an idea to the organizers of the Conference in advance of the meeting.  Significantly, anyone who has research information can be a presenter.  Most, but not all, papers are given by scientists employed at the bee labs or universities. 


For many years, professionals who taught beekeeping, regulated the craft and did research in the U.S. have looked somewhat enviously to our northern neighbor.  The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA), which encompasses teaching (extension), research and regulatory (bee inspection) takes a direct leadership role in apicultural events.4   It works closely with the Canadian Honey Council (CHC)5 which represents producers and packers throughout Canada..

CAPA develops educational material and organizes professional initiatives.  It publishes one of the least expensive, comprehensive bulletins on Honey Bee Diseases, now in its third edition, and sold by supply and other publication outlets in the U.S.  It was responsible for perhaps one of the best organized Apimondia meetings to date, the one commemorating beekeeping entering the new millennium in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1999.  Annually it awards student merit scholarships and jointly administers, the Canadian Bee Research Fund (CBRF), which awards funding to a wide variety of investigators.  The CBRF is entirely supported by donations from the apiculture industry and is a unique partnership between CAPA and CHC members.

In 1979, a fledgling effort spearheaded by ideas fromDrs. E.C. (Bert) Martin, Hachiro Shimanuki and Basil Furgala to form an apicultural professional group stalled.  However, the idea seemed sound to most in the field.  Apicultural researchers and extension folks in the U.S. were largely a fragmented bunch with no forum for promoting communication or unity.  Thus, in Orlando, FL in 1983 at a meeting of the AIA, a new association became a reality.  It seemed reasonable to name it after the successful Canadian model (CAPA), and so American Association of Professional Apiculturists (AAPA) was adopted.  Many in the community still remember this event, hosted by then Florida chief apiarist Jim Herndon.  We consummated the formation of the AAPA by downing quantities of the Sunshine state’s premier corn on the cob (many know it as the famous Zellwood, FL sweet corn) in January.


Yours truly was the charter president of the AAPA.  I edited a paper newsletter for the group from 1983 until 1994, and published a membership directory, which is now maintained on the World Wide Web.6  AAPA also took direction from CAPA and each year a member from one group now attends the other group’s meeting. 


In 1992, celebrating the first decade of AAPA’s existence, the Association took a step back to see where it had gone with respect to a vision by Dr. Harry Laidlaw suggesting it should:


  1. Brief and “popularize” scientific papers appearing in journals.
  2. Do selected scientific paper review on articles having practical application
  3. Introduce itself to the industry through journals
  4. Members introduce themselves by a brief article in the journals
  5. Feature some research or activity that has benefited beekeeping and is doing so today.
  6. Keep pounding beekeepers with what bee scientists are doing for beekeeping.


The AAPA had pursued a number of these goals in the early days of its history, but often fell short for the same reason that it was formed in the first place, fragmented membership and lack of unity of purpose.  Nevertheless, some concrete goals were accomplished.  It had managed to meet every year since its inception, something that many in the early years did not think possible.  In addition, AAPA had become a forum for idea sharing through regular meetings and an Internet discussion list.


In 1995, the Association underwent a comprehensive review under the leadership of then president, Dr. Keith Delaplane, at the University of Georgia, and took another step toward adopting much of Dr. Laidlaw’s vision by fusing with and regularly sponsoring the American Bee Research Conference (ABRC).  The review committee also recommended that the two organizations fuse with the AIA, but this has yet to be accomplished.  In addition, the Association began to be more proactive in its outreach to the national beekeeping associations, meeting with both the ABF and American Honey Producers Association (AHPA)7 as well as the AIA.


AAPA has also been successful in selling resource materials, including CAPA publications.  The Association still has an inventory of its latest work for sale, Bee Pollinators in Your Garden, Technical Bulletin Number 2, published in 1999.  This slick 18-page booklet is available through the web page and has color pictures of honey bees and most other wild bees from the southeastern blueberry bee (Habrapoda laboriosa) to the popular bumble bee (Bombus sp.).  The audience is the average citizen who might be interested in some aspect of pollination. 


As I write this, the AAPA remains a strong association with a substantial treasury and stable membership.  Many of its members do serve the beekeeping industry in various capacities suggested by Dr. Laidlaw, though not necessarily under the strict rubric of the AAPA.  Certainly more needs to be done to bring the AAPA more recognition within the beekeeping community similar to that enjoyed by the CAPA.  Perhaps a missing link is input by the beekeeping associations themselves about how AAPA might further assist them in their endeavors.  This article may start a meaningful dialogue with this purpose in mind.




  1. American Beekeeping Federation Web Page, accessed February 22, 2005 <http://www.abfnet.org>.
  2. Apiary Inspectors of American Web Page, accessed February 22, 2005 <http://www.mda.state.mn.us/apiary/aiahome.htm>.
  3. Baton Rouge Bee Lab Web Page, accessed February 22, 2005 <http://msa.ars.usda.gov/la/btn/hbb/staff.htm>.
  4. Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists Web Page, accessed February  <http:/www.capabees.ca/>.
  5. Candian Honey Council Web Page, accessed February 22, 2005 <http://www.honeycouncil.ca/>.
  6. American Association of Professional Apiculturists Web Page, accessed February 22, 2005 <http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/aapa/>.
  7. American Honey Producers Association Web Page, accessed February 22, 2005 <http://www.americanhoneyproducers.org/>.


International Connections



I was gratified to see a more international flavor at the Reno Convention of the American Beekeeping Federation than in the recent past.  This bodes well for U.S. beekeepers, who are often insulated from events in other nations that can materially affect them.  Those involved included managers of German honey laboratories as reported in an earlier article summarizing issues surrounding the international honey trade, along with officials from the Honey International Packers Assocation (HIPA).  Two others, who brought different perspectives on breeding and managing honey bees in specific environments, deserve mention.  Finally, there was an invitation to the world congress this year in Dublin, Ireland.


Dr. John Kefuss is involved in queen rearing operations in both the Old (France) and New (Chile) World.  He is a student of two apicultural research giants, Dr. Walter Rothenbuhler father of hygienic behavior (see Bee Culture, March 2003) and Dr. Fredrich Ruttner of Germany, considered the contemporary authority on classifying honey bee races. 


Dr. Kefuss is bringing his considerable knowledge about queen genetics and breeding to bear on the issue of the day, tolerance (resistance) to Varroa mites.  In both France and Chile, he is employing a strategy that is similar to that used by Brother Adam in his successful attempt to produce tracheal-mite-resistant queens.  The overriding consideration is selection for certain measurable traits, with the ultimate test being survivability.  This results in automatically selecting against susceptible drones.  Thus, Dr. Kefuss said that selection is really nothing more than a process of elimination.  His breeding principles include 1) selecting bees that meet one’s economic needs, and 2) employing simple tests with low labor input, and finally 3) eliminating all chemical treatments.  Within this context, he concentrates on selecting for colonies that collect pollen, are “hygienic,” have limited numbers of Varroa mites, and finally, are “survivors.” 


As a example of meeting economic needs, Dr. Kefuss has eliminated all chemical treatments from colonies in France that are used as breeder colonies and honey producers, but still finds he must treat colonies in Chile because they are necessary for commercial pollinating activities.  Pollen collection is easily measured through trapping.  Hygienic behavior is tested using the standard technique of determining the amount of killed brood removed by colonies over a discrete period of time.  Varroa counts on adults and brood provide an estimate of tolerance, with susceptible colonies left to handle infestations on their own.  This all takes time, according to Dr. Kefuss, but the end product is worth it; some of the results are being advertised on the Pacific Queens web site through his Chilean partner, Francisco Rey.1  Much of what Dr. Kefuss discussed has also been published elsewhere on the World Wide Web, albeit in the French language.2


Dr. Kefuss has seen survival increase in colonies since 1993 in France through use of his James Bond test, “live and let die.”  This is often not rapid enough to confer Varroa tolerance for his taste, and so he has also implemented the “Bond accelerated treatment” or BAT.  Varroa-infested brood is directly introduced into colonies to provide greater challenges.  In many cases 90 percent of the colonies so infested are dead in less than six months, but the ones that survive are good candidates for further breeding efforts.  To maintain tolerance (resistance) Dr. Kefuss instrumentally inseminates daughters of resistant queens, and then spreads them out in different bee yards, where they are often naturally mated.  In his own words, “Actually what we do is even more simple. Once we have selected breeder queens we produce virgins from them that are taken to out yards to mate. We also sometimes inseminate to produce breeder queens from our best stock. From these inseminated breeder queens we produce virgins that we mate naturally. So actually a beekeeper does not have to use insemination at all and should be able to get very good results.”


The main problem of modern beekeeping according to Dr. Kefuss is chemical treatment.  This does not allow the bee’s evolutionary mechanisms to work.  The success of his work in both parts of the world is the proof of the pudding he concluded.  One of the practical results that he finds is that it is increasingly difficult to find Varroa that can be used in the selection process.  Recently, he presented his observations on “Honey bee management in Europe: the new challenge” at the First EurBee Conference of Apidology in

Udine (Italy) 19-23 September 2004.3


Dr. Kefuss occasionally visits his family in the U.S.  His ninety-year-old mother, Martha Pemberton continues to organize and inform beekeepers from her residence, 2122 23rd St., NE, Canton, OH 44705 <e-mail: plm@raex.com>, as she has done for decades.  Finally, as will be described later, the new queen importation rules soon to go into effect may well mean we could see Dr. Kefuss’ Pacific queens from Chile or those from his French operation in the U.S. in the near future.


The statement that “Varroa is not a problem and no treatment is necessary” cannot but turn the head of any beekeeper facing this introduced exotic pest in most of the rest of the world.  It is even more bizarre coming on the heels of a presentation describing the time and effort it takes to maintain Varroa tolerance or resistance in selected honey bee stocks.  But that is in fact the case in Brazil.  Dr. Lionel Gonçalves of the University of São Paulo provided those in attendance with a different perspective on the beekeeping craft, which is now increasing rapidly in the world’s fifth-largest country by area.


It wasn’t always this way.  About four decades ago, Brazilian beekeeping was in a shambles after arrival of the African honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata), which was actively hybridizing itself into what we now call the “Africanized” honey bee or AHB.  This was the second of four phases of beekeeping in the country: 1) limited success with European bees (Apis mellifera mellifera) primarily used by hobbyists from 1830 to 1956, 2) chaos with the introduction of the over defensive African honey bee  as it produced hybrids in 1960s and 1970s, 3) the rebirth of a new kind of beekeeping using the polyhybrid European - African stock (Africanized bees) from 1970 to 1990, and 4) the current era of “professional” apiculture through increasing honey production of “organic” quality and marketing of a good many innovative items based on the many products of the hive. 


Brazil is thus, according to Dr. Gonçalves, on the verge of becoming one of the world’s great beekeeping centers due to a huge feral population of Africanized honey bees that is now perfectly adapted to the vegetational complex (caatinga) of the country’s vast, sparsely populated northeast.  The beekeeping there is much different than in other parts of the world; management is minimal as beekeepers have an almost unlimited supply of bees in the bush much like many parts of Africa, and the bees themselves have become tolerant to Varroa, such that no treatment is required.  This also provides a perfect environment for producing “organic” honey.


Such a description was sure to stir up many questions about the role of Africanized honey bees elsewhere in the Americas, including the U.S..  And Dr. Gonçalves was peppered with so many that special times were arranged for him to respond outside the formal schedule.  His deliberate answers brought into focus the differences in bee management demanded by specific vegetation and climatic conditions.  They revealed unequivocally how different are specific management techniques in a temperate land like the U.S., populated by European bees, which have been devastated by Varroa mites and chemically treated over the last two decades are from those employed by beekeepers who have access to large feral, tropical bee populations tolerant to Varroa in Northeast Brazil.  Although much of what Dr. Gonçalves said could not be applied to U.S. beekeeping circumstances, this in no way made his presentation less entertaining and meaningful.


No discussion of Africanized honey bees is complete without at least referencing the history and risk of purposeful introduction of honey bee stock.  The Reno meeting was a turning point of sorts in this discussion.  The Animal :Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the beginning of a program enabling queen importation from both Australia and New Zealand, in essence revisiting the rationale for the law that prohibited that practice since 1922.  Dr. Wayne Wehling of that organization described the beginnings of a protocol that is being developed based on certification from countries doing the shipping.  A description of the risk assessment process is found on the World Wide Web.4. 


Dr. Wehling concluded that importation seems to be on a fast track, and he looks for some specific rules to be implemented soon.  World Trade Organization (WTO) considerations appear to be driving this, and importantly they could end up superseding local regulations, affecting U.S. bee inspection.   For a contrarian view of the import question, readers are referred to Jim Fisher’s article, “Where are we going,” in the January 2005 Bee Culture.  See why he says, “…we can’t continue to ignore this in hopes that it will all go away or somehow fix itself.  We never get what we deserve, we only get what we negotiate.”


This year the International Beekeeping Congress meets in Ireland.  And the President of Apimodia 1005 was on hand in Reno to invite U.S. beekeepers to the Emerald Isle.  Mr. Philip McCabe, President of the Irish Beekeepers Association, provided an engaging and humorous description of his native land, and a preview of what awaits the world beekeepers in the land of the “little people.”  The President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has announced herself as patron for this event 21-25 August, 2005.5




  1. Pacifica Queens Web Page, accessed February 22, 2005 <http://www.beekeeping.com/pacific-queens/>.
  2. Apiservices Web Page, accessed February 22, 2005<http://www.beekeeping.com/rfa/articles/chili.htm>.
  3. First European Bee Conference of Apidology Web site, accessed February 22, 2005 <http://web.uniud.it/eurbee/Proceedings/Program.pdf>.
  4. APHIS Web Page on queen introduction risk assessment, accessed February 22, 2005 <http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/pra/honeybees/aushbee_pra.pdf> and Australia position and <http://www.beekeeping.com/articles/us/import_australia.htm>.
  5. Apimondia 2005 Web Page, accessed February 22, 2005 <http://www.apimondia2005.com>.


Hive Losses and Research Budgeting



There was a lot discussion in Reno concerning unusual winter colony loss of bees around the country.  The situation described by some as catastrophic, with some 50 to 80 percent loss as common, even for beekeepers with decades of experience.  This means that fewer bees will be available for almond pollination at the very time that growers are expanding their plantings of this valuable nut.  The result is a bidding war for pollination contracts by growers desperate to ensure a crop.  Prices over $100 a colony and more have appeared.  Beekeepers around the nation are considering moving their pollinating colonies to the West Coast.  In other places, like Florida, the situation has been described as a “giant sucking sound,” as bees are moved from their traditional watermelon and other cucurbit pollination contracts to almonds.  Should this trend continue, it is conceivable that a total redesign of commercial pollination map by beekeepers is in the works.


There seems to be no common denominator as to why bee losses are high.  Ideas range from pesticide-tolerant Varroa to viruses to contaminated comb.  In response to a resolution in Reno to ask for more funding for bee research, the Federation has taken the unprecedented step of asking that it be doubled at the federal level.  At the Reno meeting, Dr. Kevin Hackett, the USDA’s National Program Leader for Bees and Pollination provided an overview of current activities.  These include in the aggregate some $8,844,000 split up among several research facilities around the nation and world. 


The Beltsville Bee Laboratory has the lion’s share of the budget at $2,052,800.  Dr. Mark Feldlaufer is the research leader and he provided a report on that lab’s activities, which are mostly directed at Varroa research, but also reproduction and treating diseases like American foulbrood (AFB).  The Baton Rouge Laboratory is not far behind, accounting for $1,908,500 with Dr. Tom Rinderer as research leader.  The activities are mostly involved with bee breeding and stock issues; the Russian bee program and the initiative by Dr. John Harbo in looking at suppressed mite reproduction (SMR).  The Weslaco Bee Laboratory has a budget of $1,877,800 and has an acting research leader (Dr. W. Ivie).  There are some vacancies at this lab made more severe with the unfortunate death of Dr. Patti Elzen.  The lab’s mission concentrates on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for bee diseases and parasites.  The Tucson Laboratory with a budget of $1,115,300 and Dr. Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman as research leader orients its activities to bee health and pollination, including issues surrounding Africanized honey bees.


Less well known are activities at the Logan, UT Laboratory, involved in other types of bees, but also honey bees with emphasis on Varroa and chalkbrood with a budget of $1,595,600, research leader is Dr. W. Kemp.  Two other laboratories have some bee involvement, the Fargo, ND Laboratory under direction of Dr. G. Yocum ($86,800) with microarray chips, and the Gainesville, FL location administered by Dr. Peter Teal ($207,400).  The latter facility has developed a trap for small hive beetle control, which was demonstrated at the convention and is under consideration by several manufacturers.  Two other facilities are also involved in bee research, although there are no funds dedicated to this activity in the budget described by Dr. Hackett.  The Kearneysville, WV is leading the way with sugar esters for Varroa control and the Montpellier, France Laboratory is involved in modeling hive environmental conditions.


Some recent accomplishments reported in Reno by Dr. Hackett include:


“At Baton Rouge, Dr. Rinderer’s group found that Russian Bee resistance to Varroa is enhanced in apiaries having only Russian colonies.  The susceptible stock apparently serves as a source of infestation for the entire apiary.  Also, Dr. Harbo’s group found that there is no relationship between the SMR trait and poor brood production – this means it should be possible to produce a hybrid bee with good beekeeping qualities that is free of Varroa mites.   


“At Beltsville, Dr. Chen’s lab has found that Varroa mites transit bee viruses – this potentially implicates the mite in virus-caused hive decline.  The transmitted virus was “deformed wing virus” – one never before detected in the U.S.  And Dr. Collins group found that bee queens inseminated with low viability semen function as well as normally inseminated queens, at least for one summer season.


“At Tucson, Dr. DeGrandi-Hoffman’s group has developed a liquid pollen supplement for spring buildup – needed, particularly, for almond pollination.  The group has also found a natural bee pheromone that acts as a toxicant to mites – it’s being developed into a product.   


“We have also made progress at two other ARS labs that did not traditionally have program in bees.  At Gainesville, you have already heard Peter Teal describe his small hive beetle trap.  This is an example of how we can take advantage of the ARS distributed network of labs and expertise.  Peter’s lab works with attractants, and he has made quite a find with this trap.


“At Kearneysville, Drs. Puterka and Glenn have been able to apply a technology that was developed to control aphids – using it for control of Varroa mite.  Their “sugar ester product” is now being marketed.  Since many of you might have tried the product, I’d like your feedback on whether it has been useful.”


The ABF is seeking enough new research funding to employ 16 new scientists, including two geneticists, two molecular biologists, and two computational biologists.  Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has called instead for cutting $640,000 Congress has been providing to the Weslaco and Baton Rouge Laboratories.


Any increase in the Federal budget will be a hard sell, but there has never been so much awareness of bee loss and recognition by growers that pollination is important.  This represents another “teachable moment,” for those involved in beekeeping.  The ABF recommends pulling out all the stops, and having not only individuals, but also associations contact legislators via regular and electronic mail.  The newsletter provides a sample letter and various background information prepackaged for sending to lawmakers.  Finding relevant legislators has never been easier, call the Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121 and ask for senators and representatives who “handle farming issues,” or use the World Wide Web and going to <http://www.senate.gov> and <http://www.house.gov>.



Activities of the Foundation



Educational activities of the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) are supported by The Foundation for Preservation of Honeybees, Inc., established in 1999 when it was granted nonprofit status as a  501(c)(3) corporation by the Internal Revenue Service (deductions are tax deductible).  The Foundation was recently provided with a major infusion of funds ($50,000) from the estate of Glenn and Gertrude Overturf.


Three specific activities are sponsored by the Foundation: 1) the 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest and 2) Kids n’ Bees program, which are outreach to youngsters in middle and  high schools, and elementary schools respectively, and 3) the Foundation scholars program that provides funds to junior scientists beginning their careers.  The Essay contest is a continuation of a traditional activity of the Federation that has been ongoing for many years.  The following was published on the ABF’s web site <http://www.abfnet.org> about the 2004 event:  “A beekeeper on the U.S. Supreme Court? Well that could come to pass if this year’s top essayist has her way. Ashlin Reid, 13, of Statesboro, Ga., says her dream is to become a Supreme Court justice, and she has become so attached to beekeeping that she expects it to remain a lifelong hobby.” 


This contest is notoriously undersubscribed with only entries from 17 of the 50 states last year.   One possible reason is that it remains limited to those active in 4-H, the land grant universities outreach to youth, and relies on that organization to assist in both managing and judging the event.


The 2006 competition is now underway.   Full rules are available from the Federation and will soon be  posted on the web site. This year’s topic is: “Honey Bees in Art and Culture.” The following advice is given: “From the beginning of the relationship of honey bees and mankind, honey bees  have been woven into art and culture.  Essayists should examine the roles not only of honey bees but also of  honey and beeswax in art and culture.”  Those interested are asked to contact their local Cooperative Extension office for information specific to their state.  The deadline for entries is March 1, 2006 and the winner will be announced in May of next year. 


The other two activities mentioned above were an integral part of the national convention.  Ms. Kim Lehman of Austin, Texas is the dynamic coordinator of the Kids‘n  Bees  program financed by the  Foundation.   The event was not so evident at the Reno meeting as during other conventions, because the leadership decided to take it out of the convention venue into local schools due to the severe weather conditions.  Six schools participated, and there was coverage of the event in both the Reno Gazette and Sparks Tribune newspapers.  One student was inspired to begin a science project on honey.  This outreach is considered one of the Federation’s top priorities, given the aging character of the  U.S. beekeeping population.


It was the first class of Foundation Scholars that got the bulk of the attention at the Reno Convention in January.  Six graduate students were selected to receive $2,000 scholarships to continue their education.  They also reported on their work to those attending the general session and were invited to a luncheon in their honor, featuring a  presentation by Dr. Dwayne Buxton, Director of the Pacific West Area Agricultural Research Service, Albany, CA. 


The students and their research focus included:


•Nick AlianoUniversity of Nebraska. He is completing his M.S. work now and will being Ph.D. work in the fall. He has been working on use of powdered sugar to remove Varroa mites from bees. His Ph.D. work will continue to focus on Varroa control strategies.


•Abdullah IbrahimUniversity of Minnesota. For his Ph.D. he is collecting data on the degree of mite resistance found in Hygenic/SMR hybrid colonies and investigating the relationship between the two resistance traits, hygienic behavior and suppression of mite reproduction.


•Heather MattilaUniversity of Guelph. Her Ph.D. research involves manipulating the protein (pollen) status of colonies in fall and early spring and quantifying the effects on both individual bees and their colonies. She is also investigating the effects of pollen nutrition on resistance to nosema disease.


Ramesh SagiliTexas A&M University. For his M.S. research, he is studying the how the pollen from genetically engineered crops that utilize insecticidal genes might affect the colonies when pollen from the transgenic plants is fed to larvae.


•Paul TimmUniversity of Nebraska. A high school agricultural education instructor who has found novel ways to use bees and beekeeping in his classes, he has enrolled in an M.S. in entomology program and is developing a beekeeping curriculum for vocational agriculture education programs.


•Robyn Underwood – University of Manitoba. Her M.S. work in formic acid efficacy was so successful that she was moved into a Ph.D. program where she is working on fumigating colonies with formic acid in wintering buildings and  understanding how formic acid acts when used on colonies treated outdoors.


The scholars’ presentations were also published in the Proceedings of the American Bee Research Conference in the May 2005 issue of American Bee Journal.   This year’s competition is underway.  Inquiries should be directed to Dr. Marion Ellis, University of Nebraska, Department of Entomology, 202 Plant Industries Building, Lincoln, NE 68583-0816.  Again, information about this program is expected be available on the Federation’s web site.


The Mission of the Foundation is to preserve and protect honey bees to ensure a quality food supply and environment.  Continuing objectives include 1) enhance and  expand the awareness of the contribution of honey bees to agriculture and to society, 2) create additional appreciation and interest in the profession of beekeeping through studies in technical and scientific subjects, 3) strengthen beekeeper skills through educational programs, and 4) provide resources for continuing bee research particularly in areas  which will advance bee culture, improve pollination, and conserve  biodiversity.


Those interested in furthering the above goals are asked to forward their contributions to the trustees of the foundation.  The address is P.O. Box 1337 Jesup (street address is 115 Morning Glory Circle), GA 31598-1038, phone 912-427-4233, e-mail: info@abfnet.org, .