by Todd Youngblood
I hope all of you have made plans to join us at the Dedication Ceremony of the Janice and John Thomas ‘59 Honey Bee Facility in College Station Saturday, February 20, 2010. As I prepare for this day, I can’t help but to look back at where we have come from. If my memory serves me correctly, it was at the 2003 Convention in Tyler that the idea was first hatched. The vision of some of the leadership back then has finally become a reality. It has been a long and winding adventure to get to where we are today. But an adventure that I hope you and I will find to be fruitful in the coming years. I am a firm believer in research and development. I think this is the only way to be successful. It is facilities like this one at TAMU that will help us find answers to the ever increasing list of problems that this industry faces every day. As we move forward in this relationship with TAMU, it will require a lot of effort to make this facility what we want it to be. The leadership of the TBA will be offering ideas to the TAMU Entomology Department and assisting in the research that will be taking place at this Facility. So if you have ideas feel free to offer them, because after all, this is the Facility you helped to build.
Another project that your TBA Board has moved to the front burner this year is the Standard of Identity for honey.
We have already determined that the Texas Department of Health has jurisdiction over this and by the time you are reading this, we should have already had a meeting with them. The Standard of Identity of Honey may very well be one of the most important things we do this year. I continue to see more and more honey blend products in the market place all of the time. We will have to deal with this or we will continue to lose market share to these products. It is interesting to me that this and other major producing countries of the world continue to have below normal crops, but it is never reflected in the price of honey. These honey blends are taking the place of true honey and it is hurting us all. I hope you will join me and your Board and support this issue.
As I sit here in late January, the outlook for a good crop in the south Texas brush country are improving. We have had adequate rains and the winter has not been too severe. We had a cold snap in mid January, but it did not last long enough to do any damage. I hope your outlook is as good as ours.