April 2015


Wisconsin Honey Queen

The Wisconsin Honey Producers Association is proud to announce that Kim Kester was selected as the 2015 Wisconsin Honey Queen at their annual convention. Kim is the daughter of Jim and Barb Kester of Nekoosa, Wisconsin. She is a July 2014 graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where she double-majored in Dairy Science and Poultry Science. She is currently a bull herdsman at Accelerated Genetics in Westby and is pursuing a Masters Degree in Agricultural Education at Iowa State University.

Prior to being selected as the Wisconsin Honey Queen, Kim served as the 2014 Waupaca County Honey Queen. In this role, she promoted the honey industry at fairs, agricultural festivals, and in schools.

Kim will spend the next year promoting the beekeeping industry in Wisconsin. She is available to speak with civic groups and appear at fairs, festivals, and farmers markets. She will also give presentations in schools about honeybees and the beekeeping industry. In January 2016, Kim will represent Wisconsin at the American Honey Queen competition at the American Beekeeping Federation Convention in Jacksonville, Florida.

To schedule an appearance with Wisconsin Honey Queen Kim Kester, contact Mary Kettlewell at 414.429.5502 or All appearances are free of charge.

New American Honey Queen and Princess

The American Beekeeping Federation is proud to announce that Gabrielle Hemesath and Hayden Wolf were selected as the 2015 American Honey Queen and Princess at its annual January convention in Anaheim, CA.

Queen Gabrielle is the 19-year-old daughter of Mary and Russell Hemesath of Clermont, IA, and the granddaughter of Karen Hemesath of Castalia, IA, and Imedla Schmitt of West Union, IA. She is a freshman at Iowa State University, pursuing a degree in marketing. Gabrielle became interested in beekeeping at a young age and has been employed by Fassbinder Apiaries since 2008, assisting in managing 2,000 beehives. She previously served as the Iowa Honey Queen.

Princess Hayden is the 19-year-old daughter of Gus and Joanna Wolf of Big Sandy, TX. She plans to pursue a degree in nutritional science with plans to become a registered dietitian. Hayden began beekeeping through a youth beekeeping scholarship program in 2009 and now cares for more than a dozen hives with her family. She previously served as the Texas Honey Queen.

Gabrielle and Hayden will spend the next year promoting the beekeeping industry throughout the United States in a wide variety of venues, including fairs, festivals, schools, and media interviews. To schedule an appearance with American Honey Queen Gabrielle Hemesath or American Honey Princess Hayden Wolf, please contact American Honey Queen Program Chairperson Anna Kettlewell at 414.545.5514.

Government Agents in Houston Seize Illegally Imported Honey Valued at $2.45 Million
HOUSTON— Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have seized since October illegally imported Chinese honey valued at $2.45 million destined for U.S. consumers.

The seized illicit honey that was abandoned or forfeited totals 660 barrels weighing 203,280 kilograms (448,156 lbs.). The containers’ shipping documents indicated the bulk honey originated in Latvia.

HSI and CBP have stepped up efforts regarding commercial fraud investigations that focus on U.S. economic, and health and safety interests. Anti-dumping schemes create a divergent market that negatively affects legitimate businesses.

“Helping to ensure a safe food supply is an important component of border security,” said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of HSI Houston. “HSI and our law enforcement partners are committed to working together on behalf of the American people to identify and remove potentially dangerous or adulterated products from store shelves to help keep our families safe. We also work to ensure that no one benefits from circumventing U.S. trade and import laws.”

In December 2001, the U.S. Commerce Department imposed anti-dumping duties after determining that Chinese-origin honey was being sold in the United States at less than fair-market value. The duties first imposed were as high as 221 percent of the declared value. Later these duties were assessed against the entered net weight, currently at $2.63 per net kilogram, in addition to a “honey assessment fee” of one cent per pound of all honey.

In 2008, federal authorities began investigating allegations of organizations on the “supply side” of the honey industry that were circumventing anti-dumping duties through illegal imports, including transshipment and mislabeling. In October 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an import alert for honey containing the antibiotic Chloramphenicol, a broad spectrum antibiotic that is used to treat serious infections in humans, that is not approved for use in honey. Honey containing certain antibiotics is deemed “adulterated” within the meaning of federal food and drug safety laws.

This is an ongoing investigation with assistance provided by HSI Frankfurt Attaché Office and Latvian customs authorities.

Bee Disease Reduced by Nature’s ‘Medicine Cabinet,’ Dartmouth-led Study Finds

HANOVER, N.H. - Nicotine isn’t healthy for people, but such naturally occurring chemicals found in flowers of tobacco and other plants could be just the right prescription for ailing bees, according to a Dartmouth College-led study.
The researchers found that chemicals in floral nectar, including the alkaloids anabasine and nicotine, the iridoid glycoside catalpol and the terpenoid thymol, significantly reduce parasite infection in bees. The results suggest that growing plants high in these compounds around farm fields could create a natural “medicine cabinet” that improves survival of diseased bees and pollination of crops. The researchers studied parasite infections in bumble bees, which like honey bees are important pollinators that are in decline around the world, a trend that threatens fruits, vegetables and other crops that make up much of the food supply for people.

The findings appear in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. A PDF of the study and photos of bees are available on request. The study included researchers from Dartmouth and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Plants produce chemicals called ...


 The 2012 American Bee Research Conference was held February 7-8 at APHIS Headquarters in Greenbelt, MD in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Apiary Inspectors of America.  The twenty-sixth American Bee Research Conference will be held in Hershey, PA in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Honey Producers Association in January 2013.  To access these abstracts now, click on the link below. These abstracts represent some of the latest bee research being conducted in the United States.  Enjoy!

icon 2012_Proceedings_ABJ.pdf (565 KB)