Laurence Cutts receives Folk Heritage Award

Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 10:26 AM.

“Laurence is passionate about bees,” said Circuit Judge Mark Moseley in his letter supporting Cutts’ nomination for the Folk Heritage Award. “He has traveled the state, the country and the world to promote the science and traditions of bee-keeping.”

In 2012, Cutts was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame for his distinguished career as a beekeeper.

“Laurence is an inventor, poet, song/hymn writer and story-teller,” Moseley said. “He is both a repository and ready sharer of this Florida’s rich and noble traditions. More than that, he is part of Florida’s rich and noble heritage.”

Cutts’ father was a beekeeper, and at the age of sixteen, Laurence began raising queens to sell. This grew into a business in which he produced and sold honey, and provided bees for pollination for various crops in Florida, Alabama and Georgia. Cutts worked in this business until 1985, when he accepted a position with the state of Florida overseeing the state’s apiary inspections.

During his employment with the state, the varroa mite and small hive beetle were creating major problems for the beekeepers throughout this state. Cutts was instrumental in bringing the need for research to reduce bee hive losses to the forefront. Throughout his tenure with the state, he was always accessible to the state’s beekeepers for advice and direction.

Cutts also invented and is presently in the process of marketing a new beetle trap through various bee supply companies in the United States. This trap promises to be a better deterrent for the small hive beetle.

Among his many achievements, Cutts has served as president of the Tupelo Beekeepers Association (1956-1963), president of the Florida Beekeepers Association (1956, 2003-2005) vice-president of the Apiary Inspectors of America (1991), president of Apiary inspectors of America (1992),  secretary of the Florida Honey Packers Association (1958), president of the Kate Smith Elementary School P.T.A. (1970), chairman of the Honey Advisory committee Florida Farm Bureau (1977-1985), served as a member of the Agricultural Advisory Council (1977-85) and as secretary of the Honey Bee Technical Council (1986-2003).

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