CATCH THE BUZZ – A Thank You Letter From The USA Apimondia Team

Apimondia 2019 - BUZZ

In 2014, a new nonprofit organization was formed to support a bid to bring the Apimondia Congress to the United States. Apimondia is our world beekeeping organization. A team of U.S. state and national beekeepers felt this would be a great opportunity for the beekeepers around the globe to see American beekeeping operations, and for US beekeepers to experience a Global Beekeeping Congress.

The USA Apimondia team spent many years on this endeavor, and we were confident about our chances of winning the bid.   Creating a nonprofit organization helped us secure tax deductible donations to meet our mission of bidding to host the 2019 Apimondia Congress in the USA.   The Apimondia team developed a very conservative budget estimating we would need $120k in order to submit a high quality bid to the Apimondia Congress and its delegates. Through the help of generous donors we raised $96,879.57. As the Apimondia team fell short of donations, we were able to secure a loan for $20k to ensure we represented the US beekeepers to the best of our ability. Loans, of course, come with the stipulation that we would repay it.

Contributions made to Apimondia USA 2019 were donated by Local and State beekeeping organizations, beekeeping companies, beekeeping suppliers, and most importantly by many, many individuals. These donations are sincerely appreciated, as we would not have been able to make this bid without these tax-deductible donations.

Most of you know, that we did not win the bid. However, the team was still very positive about the experience, and encouraged about bidding in a future year.   The team had wonderful interactions with beekeepers from around the world; however, in the end, many of us believed “geopolitical interactions” outside of our control led to our narrow loss of the bid.

The Apimondia team has been transparent in its fundraising, and all of its work was focused upon the mission of “seeking the bid to host the Apimondia Congress in the USA in 2019.”   All of the donations raised supported this effort. Members of the Apimondia team travelled the country, spoke to bee clubs, and sought donations at conferences using their own funds and not those which were donated to the Apimondia USA bid effort.

The Apimondia team is making this final report to the beekeeping community, our donors, as part of our due diligence in managing the Apimondia USA 2019 bid nonprofit. We are closing out the financial records of this nonprofit, and closing the registration of the nonprofit at the end of this calendar year. The Apimondia team is being responsible concerning the nonprofit we created, and respectful of the donations and our donors, and submitting this report to the beekeeping community. The Apimondia team will make available the IRS 990 tax report we must file for this calendar year on the American Beekeeping Federation website ( , as well as on the Pollinator Stewardship Council website ( ). These two national organizations along with the National Honey Board were directly involved with the Apimondia team, and the team effort was a national effort of beekeepers. Again, the 990 will be filed at the close of this calendar year per IRS regulations, and it will be available for anyone to review.

Generally, the expenses for the Apimondia USA 2019 bid consisted of marketing materials, the design and construction of a booth for the Apimondia Congress in Korea this past September, entertainment for the booth, and gifts for delegates. The largest expense was shipping! We received in-kind donations of almonds, Craisins, and honey, but the cost of shipping these items to Korea (and costs at customs) exceeded the value of the in-kind donations. The booth design, and shipping alone cost the Apimondia USA 2019 bid team nearly $52,295.   Twenty-three Apimondia team members from the US travelled to Korea to staff the USA booth. All of these twenty-three team members paid their own travel expenses to and from Korea. They all paid for their hotel and meals while in Korea. They all paid for their own registration fees to the Apimondia Congress in Korea. The donations were used to support travel for ONLY the two entertainers and the American Honey Queen, who staffed the booth every day, all day, and were fantastic ambassadors for American beekeeping.

The Apimondia team members who spoke to bee clubs, called prospective donors, and mailed letters, donated their time, and travel costs to the nonprofit Apimondia bid USA 2019. When the Apimondia team travelled to Florida, Washington, D.C., and Minnesota to determine in which city to hold the USA Apimondia Congress, the team members paid for their own travel. When the Apimondia team met with the International Apimondia Conference committee in Minneapolis, the team members paid for their own travel.

Per the By Laws of the Apimondia USA Bid 2019, the dissolution article advises us how any remaining funds are to be spent. As the Apimondia team did not raise enough in donations to cover our budget, needing to take out a loan; the loan must be repaid. However, the balance of funds after all bills are paid, leaves a balance of $14,236.37. According to our nonprofit incorporation documents, the balance will be used to repay a portion of our loan from the American Beekeeping Federation. The balance of the loan may be acknowledged through the Apimondia team providing the booth to ABF for their use for education at conferences, and overall marketing of ABF. The booth graphic design “skin,” however will have to be re-done by ABF, as the original “skin” was developed for Apimondia. ABF is not receiving a booth with a $33,859 value, they will receive a booth framework. Please remember, the majority of the cost of the booth was shipping it to Korea and back to the U.S. All nonprofits have a “dissolution article” within their By Laws. This dissolution statement, for Apimondia USA bid 2019 states any such assets remaining shall be distributed by the Board of Directors for the purpose of beekeeping education and research. The Apimondia team was able to responsibly pay all of the bills from this project, and we will close this nonprofit organization with a zero balance.

The Apimondia USA bid 2019 team is grateful for the support of all of the donors who made their nonprofit contributions in support of this national effort. Even though we are closing down the nonprofit, your donations remain tax deductible contributions for this tax year for your own taxes. As a nonprofit entity, the Apimondia team met their mission: we submitted a bid (and a darned good one) to host the Apimondia Congress in the USA in 2019. We used your donations wisely, appropriately, and responsibly. The Apimondia team worked hard to secure your support, gain your trust, and represent American beekeepers to the best of our ability.

Debbie Seib, Chairman

Apimondia USA Bid for 2019


Executive Board Members

Tim Tucker, President American Beekeeping Federation

Gene Brandi, Vice-President American Beekeeping Federation

Todd Klingel, Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce

Chris Hiatt, American Honey Producer Association

Michele Colopy, Pollinator Stewardship Council

Jim Bobb, Chairman Bid Committee

Rachel Bryson, Chairman Marketing Committee

Virginia Webb, Finance Committee

Dr. Louisa Hooven, Program Committee

Bid Committee   

Jim Bobb, Chairman

Ginger Reuter, Chairman

Dr. Dennis VanEngelsdorp, U of Maryland

Benton Kastman, Hobby Beekeeper

Ginger Reuter, Hobby Beekeeper

Gary Reuter, University Minnesota Bee Lab

Dave Mendes & Mary Kerr, Commercial Beekeeper

Marketing Committee

Rachel Bryson, Chairman

Debbie Tegart, Hobby Beekeeper

Winnie Johnson, Hobby Beekeeper

Terry-Lieberman-Smith, Hobby Beekeeper

Finance Committee  

Virginia Webb, Chairman

Michele Colopy, Pollinator Stewardship Council

Tim Tucker, President ABF

Gene Brandi, Vice-President ABF

Ellen Coffey, President MBA

Peter Gray, Hobby Beekeeper

Eli Kalke, Fieldstone Farms

Program Committee

Dr. Louisa Hooven, Chairman

Dr. Jeff Pettis, USDA

Sue Cobey, Washington State University

Dr. Marla Spivek, U of Minnesota Bee Lab

Ginger Reuter, Hobby Beekeeper

Dr. Becky Masterman, UMN Bee Squad

Gayle Prest, Director, Minneapolis Sustainability