By: John Benham
The Kentucky State Beekeepers Association (KSBA) met in Hopkinsville on Nov. 4, 2017. A big thank you goes out to Steve Buschweitz and Brad Hodges of the Pennyrile Beekeepers association for their invaluable help and support in setting up our fall meeting. The catering, donuts, coffee, and facilities were excellent.
The fall meeting had good attendance with beekeepers attending all the way from Louisville to Paducah. The keynote speaker was Dr Jennifer O’Keefe of Morehead State who spoke on honey pollen analysis. Her presentation was very educational and if you would like to send in your honey to her for pollen analysis, her info is listed on our website.
Another topic at the meeting was coming up with a solution for “Honey Laundering” in Kentucky. 2017 President Rick Sutton worked very hard during the year on a solution, but we are still searching. One example that was presented was a system similar to what the North Carolina State Beekeepers use.
Changing the wording in Kentucky Proud has been proposed, but that option remains doubtful because honey would not be the only product affected. Whatever we come up with will start at the local level because this is where the real Kentucky honey producers are and where they can be verified as local. Randy Rosbrook of Madison County is the new chair of the committee and he will be contacting local associations about ideas and proposals which will also be listed in the KY Certified Honey Label portion of our website.
One thing we all can do as local honey producers is inform the managers of local super markets if you see honey in their stores labeled as “Local” that you know is not. Tell them about it and ask them to remove the local tag. Ignorance about what is truly “Local” honey is a big obstacle for us and communication and education are tools we should utilize to our advantage.
Kudos go out to Jake Osborne, our new President for 2018, for winning the “Black Jar” honey contest with some fine tasting honey harvested from his hives located in the Owensboro area.
We want to welcome Mike Mabry who was elected our new vice-president and will serve as President in 2020. Mike is a member of Nelson County and Kentuckiana Associations. He lives in the Shepardsville area of Bullit County. Mike has already started looking for locations in the Louisville area for our 2018 fall meeting.
Congratulations go out to Shannon Trimboli who was selected 2017 KSBA Beekeeper of the Year. Shannon and her husband live in the Glasgow area of Barren county, operate conventional as well as top bar hives, and also own and operate a plant nursery specializing in plants that honey bees use.
For those who sent in nominations for beekeeper of the year that did not win, don’t lose faith. The voting was very close as it always is. One vote separated the winner from a tie for second place and you should resubmit your nominations again next year. Should there be a tie then co-beekeepers of the year will be named.
We would also like to thank Mike Crawford again for his hard work in making our Spring 2017 meeting in Boyd County a success. Mike is an excellent beekeeper and has devoted a large portion of his time to beekeepers in his area. You are a definite asset to Kentucky beekeeping, Mike. Having locals such as Mike are necessary for the KSBA to function and support honey bees statewide.