Greetings from the President of the IHPA
Dear Honey Producers,
Are we finally able to say we are having a nice spring? I was so tired of winter a few weeks ago that I was wondering what kind of spring we would eventually have. I hope everyone has gotten most of their packages installed and splits made with those new queens. I have received more calls than usual about the availability of packages and queens. I guess it goes hand in hand with all the calls I have received about winter loss and what to do. I sure hope that we beekeepers get beekeeping figured out and can proceed forward again. We have lots to do and precise records are going to help. We need to follow the suggestions of the researchers that have been printed in the beekeeping magazines and go on-line to check out some of the leading websites (such as Penn State, Cornell, etc.) to get the whole picture in the United States. Beekeeping has become more exacting and remember, the honey bees don't read the same books and magazines that we do. They don't always act like the book says they will. Mike tells me it is because they are "women". They have a mind of their own! Check your hives often and make sure that there is enough food for them.
Please register your hives. I overheard some comments at one of the local beekeeping club meetings that "it doesn't do any good to register". Well, I have some questions for you skeptics. How do the applicators know that you have honey bees in the area? How do they know who owns the bees? Who do they need to call? If you don't register, how do they know who to call? They can't drive every inch of the territory that they are going to spray. It is so much more simple if the beekeepers in the state of Iowa would register their hives' locations, then when the applicator needs to work in your area, a simple phone call can be made. I still don't understand the need for secrecy when it comes to locations of your hives. Complain all you want, it is YOUR fault if you don't register your hives and they get sprayed. Call Andy (515) 725-1481 for information on registering your hives if you don't have your identification numbers to do so on the IDALS website. Do so as soon as possible so that applicators can access the information when they need it.
Make plans to attend the IHPA field day June 14th near Perry. Raising our own queens seems to be the best way to ensure quality in our hives. Check out the article about the Field Day and plan to attend.
Iowa Honey Queen, Diane Jurchen is anxious to represent Iowa beekeepers. Call to set up a time for her to help you with your promotions. Diane has a new nephew, Jacob, to spoil. Congratulations also to Mom and Dad, Teresa and Luke. I know Jacob is in Kansas, but I am sure he will get spoiled anyway.
I am so excited about having a state apiarist again. I met with Andy last month and he has a lot of work ahead of him, but he is very capable and anxious to get started with the tasks at hand. I recall many people telling me it would never happen, having another state apiarist. I am glad that we didn't listen and that we all worked very hard to get the position re-instated. It is to our advantage as beekeepers to have the best program that we can possibly have. Andy has access to the state entomology lab so lab results can be accomplished in a timely manner. Andy wants to get Iowa statistics available again. I know everyone joins me in welcoming Andy and his wife, Cathy to Iowa.
If you are without beekeeping insurance for your operation, please look for the article concerning the new program that State Farm has for beekeepers. Doug Markworth contacted me with the information. I know that several beekeepers have asked for this kind of coverage. We are even going to change our policy. A specific policy for beekeepers is a real plus when it comes to liability insurance.
Major funding for beekeeping research is on the chopping block. Please contact your US Senators and Congressmen concerning the disastrous effects of losing research money and facilities at this time. If you need a sample letter or information on how to contact them, let me know. Please do it as soon as you can. We need all of the researchers working on beekeeping problems. We need to keep the public up-to-date on the huge problem of not having enough food on their tables if we keep having disastrous years with honey bees and not having enough pollination work being performed to continue the food chain.
On a family note, Mike and I get to travel to Germany on April 22nd to see oldest son, Shawn and his family. We are excited and anxious to see them. It has been a year since we saw them last. I have been searching through guide books and familiarizing myself with maps. It has been five years since we were in Germany last. We were visiting our youngest son, Mitch. We know that our grandsons have really grown in the past year.
Enjoy the spring weather, but don't work too hard trying to get everything done all at once. Take time to smell the spring flowers and to enjoy the honey bees buzzing.
Donna Brahms, IHPA President
I received a phone call from Doug Markworth, a Sioux City area beekeeper and insurance agent. He informed me that State Farm is now providing an insurance policy for beekeepers. It is quite affordable at around $190.00 for one million dollars liability coverage. The policy also has provisions for equipment and other items. Please contact Doug at (712) 898-6191 for more information concerning State Farm's new beekeeping policy. Doug can answer your questions and help you with any information that you may need. Beekeeping insurance has been requested by IHPA members for quite a few years and now we have the opportunity to take advantage of it. Make sure your operation is covered.
Dave Mechaelsen of Kamrar was the winner of the drawing from the Annual Meeting participants that filled out an evaluation of the meeting. Dave will receive free registration for the 2008 Annual Meeting of the IHPA to be held in Marshalltown on November 6th and 7th. Dave is the father of Josh Mechaelsen who was in the first youth scholarship group of young people sponsored by the IHPA in 2007. Pat Ennis was Josh's mentor. Congratulations Dave!