Featured Beekeeper of the Month
This month our featured beekeeper is Dr. Edwin
Geels who is a chemistry professor at Dordt College in Sioux Center,
Iowa. He and his wife, Helena, live in Sioux Center. Dr. Geels
say he took a beekeeping class 6 years ago and started beekeeping
with 1 hive. Now he has 20 colonies of small cell (4.9mm) bees.
He markets his honey in quarts and bears and sells comb honey.
Candle making is Helena’s interest so that may be an added
product. Working with small cell bees and watching the colonies
thrive with no chemical applications is his challenge. He enjoys
working outdoors, extracting, bottling, and selling honey as well
as spending time educating others about the benefits of bees and
Sara Hanenberg, Amanda Korver and Dr. Edwin Geels
in the Chemistry/ Bee Research Lab.
Dr. Geels started a research project on 4.9mm
small cell beekeeping in the spring of 2006. He was joined by
2 undergraduate students and supported by a National Science Foundation
grant. Dr. Geels has applied for a renewal of this grant for 2007
and hopes to continue the project for 5 years. So far the hives
are thriving with extremely low mite populations. He and his students
will be presenting their preliminary results to the spring meeting
of the American Chemical Society, Ag and Food Division, in Chicago
and later in April to the National Conference of Undergraduate
Research in San Rafael, CA.
Many of you may remember Dr. Geels spoke at
the Iowa Honey Producers Assoc. meeting in Marshalltown in November
2006, where he explained his 4.9mm small cell research at Dordt
College. He writes, “it was very well received and I thank
them for a warm reception and a good experience.” There
are no local beekeeping groups in the Sioux Center area, but Dr.
Geels knows several local beekeepers.
Dr. Edwin Geels, Sara Hanenberg
and Amanda Korver presenting Preliminary Results of the
Bee Project at the Northern Plains Undergraduate Research
Symposium July 7, 2006.
Thanks, Dr., for your hard work and research
to make a difference in beekeeping. Keep us posted about your
results. You can reach Dr. Geels at Geels@Dordt.edu or calling
his office at 712-722-6284.
Submitted by Ron Wehr