LBA 2017 Annual Convention featured speakers

The 2017 LBA Annual Meeting & Convention was held last month in Pineville, LA and featured a variety of educational presentations on topics of interest to both large and small-scale beekeepers.

Other speakers included, Doug Roberts (Texas Beekeeping Insurance, Co.), Kyle McCann (Farm Bureau Associate Commodity Director, Director of National Affairs), Tim Haley (LBA Board Member), Pierre Lau (PhD student, Entomology Department, Texas A&M University) and Dan Aurell (Crop Protection Agent, Tech Transfer Team-Texas Bee Informed Partnership).

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Pollinator forage at risk – contact your legislators today!

The impact of pests, pathogens, pesticides, and poor forage upon our honey bees and native pollinators has honey bee health at the edge with one small change

enough to crash the system of pollination service.  Southern states are vowing to control the Chinese tallow tree in the landscape.  Yet, this imported plant has become a vital source of nectar for honey bees.  A variety of states are beginning to enact invasive weed control programs, with no plan to restore a native plant in place of the invasive, or to understand that many invasive plants are nectar and pollen sources for honey bees.  Many invasive plants are growing where nothing else will; have limited pesticide exposure, and therefore support millions of pollinators whose habitat is dwindling.

Commercial beekeepers who travel the country pollinating America’s food supply rely on pollinator supportive plants for their honey bees in between crop pollination services, as a wintering area for their bees prior to the start of almond pollination season, and simply to make a honey crop.  Chinese tallow tree nectar is fairly pesticide-free, and thus healthier food for the bees.

State governments and researchers are seeking funding now to introduce the non-native flea beetle, Bikasha collaris, as a biological control for the Chinese tallow tree (Triadica sebifera).  Beekeepers are concerned about the effects of releasing a non-native insect into the American ecosystem, and about the loss of this vital pollinator forage. Learn more about a project proposal to introduce the non-native flea beetle in Louisiana .  View a map of the Federal lands in Louisiana that could be affected if the non-native flea beetle is introduced. And then contact your legislator and ask him/her to oppose this action and protect this vital source of nectar for honeybees.

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HandyAndy Pollen Book

LBA local hobbyist beekeeper Andy Havard, aka HandyAndy, has begun putting together a collection of Louisiana blooming plants and their pollen. 2 versions are available – coffee table or research oriented. Copies of this ongoing endeavor may be purchased through this link.

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Support the LBA when you shop online!

The Louisiana Beekeepers Association receives a .5% return on every purchase through the Amazon Smile program. Use this link to make all of your purchases count for the LBA!


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Meet Brazil’s Beekeeping Donkey

Manuel Juraci Vieira needed a way to transport the honey he would collect from his beehives on his farm back to his home. His solution? His donkey, Boneco. Outfitted in his very own homemade beekeeping suit, Boneco tags alongside Vieira, helping him carry the honey they gather during their hauls. Working together, the unlikely colleagues and friends are able to harvest more of the sweet stuff than possible with Vieira working alone… click here for the video of this incredible beekeeping donkey.

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Protected: News you can use… looking ahead

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Retail honey prices

The following information regarding honey prices comes from the USDA National Honey Report, Bee Culture Magazine and the Ebert Honey Company.


Retail Honey Prices

Unit Honey Prices by Month – Retail

Average retail price per pound across all reporting regions. Data from Bee Culture Magazine used by permission. Based upon average price across all reporting regions. Assumes various sizes sold at the same rate.

2017 $7.35 $6.99 $6.85 $7.04 $7.06 $7.25 $7.05 $7.26 $7.27 $7.37  



USDA-National Honey Report, as of October 26, 2017.

LOUISIANA was not listed this period; however MISSISSIPPI was:

Gullberry Light Amber   $1.68

Wildflower     $1.75



Pollen and nectar sources were from corn, soy bean and cotton crops. Weather conditions saw about normal temperatures and above normal rainfall. The majority of colonies were in generally good condition. Honey demand is high while supply is low.

Adjacent states such as Arkansas and Mississippi reported as follows:


Pollen and nectar sources received were from golden rod and cotton. Conditions of the colonies were good throughout the month.

Weather conditions saw higher than normal temperatures, with plenty of rain. Demand is high with supply low.


The fall honey crop finally got underway and most beekeepers report that the honey is of good quality but less in total volume as expected possibly weather related. Treatments of the hives and bees are being done at this time to get the bees ready for the cold weather coming soon. Prices are steady.

Ebert Honey Company – Producer and Distributor of Pure Iowa Honey

The bright yellow beeswax is available for $5.40 / lb. through our online store. For pricing on large quantities, call (641) 527-2639 or email;


Range of prices found for filtered – course filtered pure beeswax in bulk quantities: $5.40 to $12.00/lb. for large sale volumes (one pound or greater).

Grades of beeswax may be pure white (fine filtered), bright yellow (filtered), industrial grade (course filtered; dull brown; some debris in wax), and unfiltered (dull brown and may have dead bees and debris in it).

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November’s Ramblings of a Bee Bumbler, from your president

First off I would like to thank the USDA Honeybee Research Staff and Dr. Bob Danka long with the LBA board members and LBA members for another successful Annual Field Day. The attendance was just under 200 people that came out to learn about the honey bee, the current research that the bee lab is involved in and just spending the day with fellow beekeepers. The lunch provided was awesome as well. Again, THANKS to all that helped and participated.

Next on the agenda for the LBA is our annual convention being held in Pineville, Louisiana. This year’s Convention dates are November 30 -December 2. There will be a couple of new offerings this year as well as the group sessions on Thursday and Friday with breakout sessions on Saturday. Thursday is a half day specifically geared to the commercial beekeepers with a cash bar social that evening. Saturday morning there will be a time for the kids to learn about bees with hands on activities for them to enjoy. You can find all the information related to the day’s events on the LBA website. Early registration, which includes a cost savings ends November 20th. I am looking forward to seeing old friends and making new friends there.

Although the fall honey crop varied across the state, honey prices seem to be holding steady at around $1.89 per pound. Due to health issues, travels and deaths in the family, I finished my fall harvesting November 11. Now to clean-up the equipment, make sure the supers are stored properly with moth crystals and get ready for winter. Speaking of winter, varroa treatments should already be completed, colony honey stores evaluated, winter feeding program developed and plans for next year’s increases finalized. And who said beekeeping was only a summer hobby/business. And as we all have said in the past, “There is always next year.”

I also want to put a plug in for the American Beekeeping Federation annual convention to be held in Reno, Nevada. The dates are January 9-013 at the Grand Sierra Resort. There will be speakers covering subjects of interest to all levels of beekeepers. There will be several vendors showing their products from across the country and around the world. The AHPA (American Honey

Producers association) will also be holding their annual convention in San Diego, California January 9-13. And again, there will be subjects covered for all level of beekeeping and plenty of vendors selling their wares.

Moving back to our LBA convention, I want to encourage everyone to attend the annual membership meeting. This is your opportunity to cast your vote for the officers of the association, elect board members, talk about resolutions to work on in the upcoming year and to voice concerns you might have that the state organization can help with. Remember, as an LBA member, this is your association. Help us help you and make this an association that works for all the states beekeepers, educates the public and makes us proud of what we accomplish in the beekeeping world.

In ending, I am asking for blessings for all of you as we head into the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. May you have safe travels, plenty of food and family time together and remember why we celebrate this time of year. May you be thankful for what the founding fathers did when they sat down and put this country together with our constitution and all the freedoms that we have today. The freedom of religion, to worship or not as we chose, is one of our greatest gifts. The birth, death and resurrection of my Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest gift for all. He is the reason for the season. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

There are several bee clubs scattered throughout the state. Tables listing the LBA board members and the various bee clubs in the state are posted at the LBA website ( Join your local club and get involved. Help us help our fellow beekeepers be the best stewards of this valuable resource and produce the best honey in the world.

God bless you and your family. Randy Fair,, 1-318-588-2899
Randy Fair,, 1-318-588-2899

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What’s the buzz? from your newsletter editor

Well fall has finally arrived; the Baton Rouge Field Day had something like 200 participants, not counting the speakers and the Bee Lab personnel. I was called the day before the event to assist in speaking about varroa mite management. I will do so again at the convention and will also be giving a talk entitled, A Year in the Apiary – a synopsis of what I’ve been presenting with each BBB this year.

With this newsletter, I’ve an article on new postage stamps put out by the US Postal Service promoting pollinators, some photos of the recent Baton Rouge Bee Lab Field Day, the completion of my month-by-month synopsis of a year in the apiary, internet sites you may find useful, and advertisements.


View the current newsletter here.

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U.S. Postal Service Issues Protect Pollinators Forever Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service is paying tribute to the beauty and importance of pollinators with stamps depicting two of our continent’s most iconic, the monarch butterfly and the western honeybee, each shown industriously pollinating a variety of plants native to North America.

The Protect Pollinators Forever stamps were dedicated on Aug. 3 at the American Philatelic Society National Summer Convention StampShow in Richmond, Va.  (The news can be shared on social media using the hashtags #ProtectPollinators and #PollinatorStamps.)

As the USPS press release noted, a bee buzzing around the patio might provoke anxiety, while a butterfly fluttering over the lawn inspires childlike wonder. But both of these insects are simply going about their business, providing the vital ecological service of pollination.

As with their fellow pollinators, other insects, birds and bats, they are rewarded with sweet nectar as they shuttle pollen from blossom to blossom. The plants are rewarded too. They can then produce the seeds that bring their next generation. Humans also benefit. We can thank insect pollinators for about a third of the food that we eat, particularly many of the fruits and vegetables that add colorful variety and important nutrients to our diet.

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) and western honeybees (Apis mellifera), also called European honeybees, are two of North America’s most iconic pollinators. Both travel far and wide. Monarchs can flutter thousands of miles in one of nature’s most wondrous migrations, a multigenerational round-trip that can cross southern Canada, the north-south breadth of the contiguous United States, and deep into Mexico, where they rest for the winter before returning north.

While western honeybees do not naturally migrate such distances, beekeepers truck their hives on long-haul migrations, accommodating agricultural growing seasons around the nation. These bees are far and away the continent’s most vital pollinators, servicing almond, citrus, peach, apple and cherry tree blossoms, plus the blossoms of berries, melons, cucumbers, onions and pumpkins, to name just a few. Surpluses of honey, created from nectar by honeybees as a nonperishable food source for their hives, is yet another benefit to humans.

In this modern world, these pollinators need mindful human intervention in order to thrive. The hives of western honeybees have lately been raided by parasitic mites and plagued by Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious condition which disorients bees and causes them to abandon their hives. While monarch butterflies, utterly dependent on milkweed plants throughout their range and specific mountain forests in Mexico, face collapsing populations as these habitats disappear to accommodate farming, urban development and illegal logging.

Throughout North America, efforts to halt logging, study the effects of agricultural herbicides and pesticides, and plant long swaths of flowers along stretches of highway and other such rights-of-way offer promise. On a grassroots level, individuals and groups can help provide for pollinators by planting locally appropriate flowers — a win–win for people and pollinators alike.

The Protect Pollinators stamps are being issued as Forever stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price.

Source: Pest Control Technology

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