American Honey Producers Association
The first meeting of the American Honey Producers Association was held in Portland, Oregon on January 29, 1969 and was formed to oppose legislation on marketing orders on honey. The men who formed AHPA wanted to represent the interests of commercial beekeepers and felt that the marketing orders were detrimental to the beekeepers and would keep the price of honey so low that the commercial beekeepers would not be able to stay in business. Their motto at the time was "AHPA is for the profit motivated beekeeper".
The first board members were:
President: E.H. Adee, Nebraska
Vice President: Glen Gibson, Oklahoma
Treasurer: Robert Adee, SD
Board of Directors:
Earl Robinson, IA
Hugh Price, OK
Trap Hagen, NY
Leonard Robins, MO
Richard Adee, SD
One of the first goals that AHPA accomplished was to establish a monetary compensation program from the USDA for bee losses from pesticides. This program ran for a several years.
Another accomplishment was that at the time there was a differential in prices from coast to coast. AHPA's goal was to establish a price reporting program that was level and fair for all to establish a marketing loan program which still exists today.
Richard Adee said that he sees some of the same issues exist today that existed in the '70s, but there are also some big differences. In the early 1970's beekeepers saw big losses in the southern states, like we do today, similar to CCD and the losses were not explained. He said that there have been huge changes politically and in legislation in that we have a lot more support and that people are much more aware that bees are in distress. The focus has moved away from the price of honey to the health of bees and the emphasis is more on pollination and the effects on industry. It used to be that honey was the main source of income for beekeepers but now it is only about 40% of the income with polling crops making up the other 60% now.
American Honey Producers was established to protect the interests and welfare of American beekeepers and has had a impact on many issues in legislation and research. Our voice is heard and we have gained the respect of many organizations that know we work tirelessly for the interests of our members.