Florida Extension Beekeeping Newsletter
Apis--Apicultural Information and Issues (ISSN 0889-3764)
Volume 12, Number 10, September 1994
Paul Cutts Dies
Mr. Paul Cutts, head of the Cutts beekeeping clan in Florida,
died July 16 in Dothan, Alabama at the age of 91. Mr. Cutts'
father kept bees in Alabama for honey production, but Paul moved
the business to a queen-rearing focus early in his career. From
1915 to 1945, the business was based near Montgomery, Alabama.
However, the demise of the great tulip poplar forests in the area,
cut down to aid the World War II effort, caused the Cutts clan to
migrate to Chipley in Florida's panhandle. During the next three
decades, Cutts' queens were in great demand throughout the United
States and Canada. In 1978, Mr. Cutts moved into semi-retirement,
relocating in winter to Copeland, Florida in an effort to take
advantage of rearing queens early in the season. In 1985, health
problems caused he and his wife, Inez, to move back to Chipley.
Throughout his life, Mr. Paul Cutts served the beekeeping
industry in many ways. He was president of numerous associations,
including: Tupelo Beekeepers Association, Florida State Beekeepers
Association, Southern States Beekeepers Federation, and the Alabama
Beekeepers Association. Mr. Cutts, one of Florida's true pioneer
beekeepers, was given the Florida State Beekeepers Association's
Beekeeper of the Year Award for his efforts in developing the
queen-rearing industry in the state. He was a charter member of
the American Bee Breeders Association and held the presidency of
that organization. He was also an Honorary Kentucky Colonel and a
Woodman of the World.
SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL HONEY MONTH
The National Honey Board asks everyone to join with Mike Espy,
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture who has declared September as
National Honey Month. The Board has distributed a good many "Honey
Month" kits to food editors, freelance writers and supermarket
consultants. These kits are still available and can be ordered
from Tracy Baker, National Honey Board, 421 21st. Ave., #203,
Longmont, CO 80501-1421, ph 800-553-7162.
TERRAMYCIN (R) USE IN EXTENDER PATTIES
There continues to be a good deal of discussion about
Terramycin (R) use in bee colonies. This is especially true with
reference to vegetable oil "extender patties." Dr. Keith
Delaplane at the University of Georgia recently coauthored an
article with Dr. Fernando Lozano, who works for Pfizer, Inc., the
manufacturer of Terramycin (R). The article, entitled "Using
Terramycin (R) in Honey Bee Colonies," American Bee Journal, Vol.
134, No. 4, April 1994, pp. 259-261, emphasizes several important
1. Terramycin (R) is the only medication approved for preventing
and controlling American and European foulbrood.
2. Pfizer, Inc. makes three formulations for bees: TM-50D, TM-
100D and TM-25, also known as Terramycin Soluble Powder (TSP).
3. TM-50 D contains 50 grams of active ingredient per pound; TM-
100D contains 100 grams of active ingredient per pound and TM-25
contains 25 grams of active ingredient per pound, but is packaged
in 6.4 ounce foil packs, each containing 10 grams of active
4. At least three bee supply companies reformulate Pfizer
Terramycin (R) products into medications under different brand
5. Not all Terramycin (R) products are safe for bees; only those
that have labels for honey bees should and can legally be used.
6. The product most readily available in small quantities--TSP or
TM-25--has a label which creates confusion. It uses "impractically
small units (teaspoons and ounces)," contains a reference to TM-10
(a cancelled product) and has no instructions for mixing antibiotic
7. Extender patties allow Terramycin (R) to be delivered for up to
several weeks with only one trip to the beehive. The oil in
extender patties has also been shown to deter tracheal mites.
The original idea of extender patties comes from work by Dr.
Bill Wilson and colleagues entitled "Antibiotic Treatments That
Last Longer," American Bee Journal, September, 1970, pp. 348-351.
The recipe in that article, thought to be the best in most cases,
has been published many times, including the July 1992 APIS. It is
1/3 lb Crisco (R), 2/3 lb granulated sugar, two (2) tablespoons of
TSP or TM-25, yielding two patties. Later, Dr. Wilson found that
a patty half as large was satisfactory and would last six weeks
(see R. Morse and H. Shimanuki, "Summary of Control Methods," Honey
Bee Pests, Predators, and Diseases, edited by R. Morse and R.
Nowogrodzki, Cornell University Press, second edition, 1990, p.
The article by Drs. Delaplane and Lozano has recipes for all
Pfizer products formulated as dust, syrup and patties. The TSP
"dosage guide" for extender patties is as follows:
No. 6.4 Oz Lbs Vegetable Lbs Powdered Colonies treated
Packets TSP shortening sugar 1 lb patty/colony
1 4.6 9.1 14
2 9.1 18.2 28
3 13.7 27.4 42
4 18.2 36.5 56
5 22.8 45.6 70
The authors state that the TSP, powdered sugar and vegetable
shortening should be mixed together and each colony be fed a patty
on the top bars. They also urge removal of any remaining material
at least four (4) weeks before the honey flow and that any honey
stored while patties are on a colony must not be used for human
consumption. Finally, they state that extender patties require a
higher dosage of medication per colony (up to 800 mg active
ingredient) to provide adequate active ingredient levels. This
means that fewer colonies can be treated with the same amount of
active ingredient using the extender patty method.
Since the publication of the above article by Drs. Delaplane
and Lozano, there have been postings on the BEE-L Internet
discussion list indicating that several concerns about extender
patties remain. The first is whether they have a label and are
legal. In his Spring 1991 B-Plus Newsletter from Michigan State
University, Dr. Roger Hoopingarner declared the patties legal from
his perspective. One major reason for using commercially prepared
patties is they come with a label. Drs. Delaplane and Lozano
stated that the FDA has approved extender patties as a "delivery
method" for Terramycin (R) and that Pfizer, Inc. is working on a
label for TM-25. For now, the only thing beekeepers really can
reference with TSP is what's published in the article. Both TM-50D
and TM-100D are clearly labelled for bee use and their labels
contain instructions for use. Anyone wishing to see all the
recipes published by Drs. Delaplane and Lozano can request a copy
of their article from me.
The next issue concerns the ingredients. What difference is
there, if any, between patties made with granulated sugar and those
made with powdered sugar? This was not addressed in the article.
And what kind of vegetable oil might be best? Dr. Wilson's first
recipes called for Crisco (R), yet apparently any solid vegetable
oil (not animal fat found in lard!) will do, according to the
Kerry Clark, Apiculture Specialist in British Columbia, Canada
wrote on the Internet that he has examined the labels of various
vegetable oils and shortenings. The Crisco (R) label says that it
"may" contain a variety of oils. In western Canada it could be
canola oil, whereas in the eastern states, corn or soya oil. He
has also seen extender patties made with a variety of vegetable
oils and hydrogenated vegetable oils (solid shortening), as well as
used, semi-solid oil from deep frying.
Mixing of the ingredients is also a consideration. There can
be problems getting a uniform distribution of Terramycin (R)
throughout a patty. Drs. Delaplane and Lozano mention that mixing
is especially important with concentrated products like TM-50D and
TM-100D and a commercial-sized mixer might be necessary. At least
one commercial formulation is mixed using a proprietary process.
The reason for this was discussed in the July 1992 APIS. It is
possible that inadequate mixing could be responsible for different
results in patty use reported over the years.
Patty placement may also be responsible for effectiveness.
Mr. P.F. (Roy) Thurber, writing in the 1980 and 1981 Speedy Bee,
"Medication and Comb Rotation for AFB," said bees must be forced to
eat the patties. This is accomplished by placing them so they
interfere with feeding the brood, ventilating the colony, and/or
ripening honey. He concluded: "...what good would a patty do if
placed under the lid of a 5-story hive with bees in only the three
lower supers? Obviously none, but patties have been placed that
way and then called ineffective when the colony became diseased."
Finally, what about storage life? Mr. Clark guesses that an
extender patty without antibiotic would last several years (as long
as its physical properties look reasonable), while one with
antibiotic would have a shelf life about the same as the expiration
date of the antibiotic. Dr. Hoopingarner in his 1991 newsletter
urged beekeepers to watch the color of a patty made with TM-25. If
the yellow color turns orange or reddish, the patty "probably has
lost its effectiveness."
HONEY IN FROZEN DESSERTS
The National Honey Board funded a recent study to explore the
optimal level of honey use in dairy desserts. Dr. R. Bradley at
the University of Wisconsin conducted the research designed to:
1. Develop a honey-based ice cream with controlled freeze-thaw
2. Develop a honey-based ice cream that ranks high on consumer
3. Determine if honey-sweetened frozen yogurt has consumer
The results were published in Honey Hotline, No. 2, 1994,
newsletter of the National Honey Board Food Technology Program,
P.O. Box 281525, San Francisco, CA 94128-1525, ph 1-800-356-5941.
In summary, the study showed that honey-based ice creams were
preferred, at least as much and often more, than sucrose-based
products. Storing the products for 60 days at -10 degrees F also
showed them to be comparable to other ice creams. The most
acceptable ice cream in terms of shelflife and consumer acceptance
was formulated with 13 percent milk fat, 11 percent non-fat milk
solids, 10 percent honey, 7 percent sucrose and 0.2 percent
gelatin. Finally, fruit flavored frozen yogurt formulations with
7 percent honey solids were ranked highly by trained panelists.
Another study reported in the newsletter revealed public
attitudes about honey:
1. Honey is thought of as a natural product by over 90 percent of
2. 45.6 percent of consumers see honey as "very" nutritious as
opposed to 10.6 percent who see corn syrup as nutritious.
3. "Nutritious," "tasty" and "an alternative to sugar," lead the
list of consumer views on honey.
4. The National Honey Board's honey bear logo conveys important
product attributes and strengths.
5. More than 49 percent of consumers indicated a preference for a
honey added product. Less than two percent would select a product
with artificial honey added.
6. Honey is seen as an extra value compared to corn syrup or
7. Consumers are willing to pay 13 percent more for a honey
sweetened product compared to the same product sweetened with other
8. When a label says "honey added," nearly 50 percent of consumers
expect at least 60 percent of the sweetener to be honey.
These statistics show how important honey's reputation is to
the consumer. The last four points above emphasize how potentially
damaging adulterating and mislabeling are to honey industry
marketing efforts. Although the National Honey Board's service
mark is in use and becoming recognized, far too few products with
the word "honey" on the label have the logo. This was brought to
the attention of Florida beekeepers last month when several
products (mustards and barbecue sauces) found in local stores were
presented at a meeting of the Division of Plant Industry's Honey
Bee Technical Council. They all had honey prominently on the
label, but none sported the service mark. And none had appreciable
amounts of the sweet in the product. On the ingredients list,
almost invariably the first words listed were: corn syrup.
Malcolm T. Sanford
Bldg 970, Box 110620
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-0620
Phone (904) 392-1801, Ext. 143
BITNET Address: MTS@IFASGNV
INTERNET Address: MTS@GNV.IFAS.UFL.EDU