Greetings from the President of the IHPA
Dear Honey Producers,
The calendar says it is spring! What a hectic but wonderful time of year. New life is springing up all over, bees are buzzing, flowers are blooming and green grass just makes everyone have a better outlook. I am beginning to think that spring is one of my favorite times of year.
It is critical that we keep a careful eye on colonies. There are lots of products out there to supplement pollen to speed up the building up of spring colonies. Remember to check the amount of food left in the colony. If the colony is light when picked it up, it needs to be fed. Several options are available, honey, sugar or corn syrup (not the kind you purchase in a grocery store) to feed the light colonies. Packages and splits are being done now, keep them fed also.
Thanks to all of the IHPA members that helped with the Iowa Horticulture Society Expo held in Ottumwa April 3rd and 4th. There is always a lot of work involved in this type of activity. Andy was one of the speakers over the week-end and also helped with the IHPA booth. It is always fun to get information to consumers concerning honey bees, pollination and honey.
I know that the calendar says April, but it is not too early to start thinking about the Iowa State Fair. The 2009 Iowa State Fair is scheduled for August 13th-23rd. To make the Iowa Honey Producers sales booth successful, over 100 volunteer workers are needed. Please consider helping. I realize several of you need to schedule time off from work, so I wanted to give you dates to consider early. I have already started the scheduling of workers, so if you would prefer to work a certain day or shift, please contact me. The tickets have been ordered for the 2009 workers. We really need you to volunteer to help. The Iowa State Fair sales booth provides most of the money used by our organization to continue the programs that we sponsor.
Speaking of the Iowa State Fair, consider attending the 2009 IHPA Summer Field Day. It will guide beekeepers in the preparation of entries for the state fair. Keeping the display area full and attractive is necessary to continue the classes that are offered for exhibit. If we don’t have many entries in certain classes, they may be dropped and then we would not be able to replace them. Keep Saturday, June 13, 2009 open to attend the summer field day to be held at Curt and Connie Bronnenberg’s near Perry.
It is time to start coming up with ideas to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Iowa Honey Producers Association. The Iowa Beekeepers Association was started in 1912 with a change in the name to the Iowa Honey Producers Association taking place in February of 1966. If anyone has any ideas to share with the officers, please use the contact information located on the back of the newsletter.
Enjoy the spring weather, Easter celebrations, gardening and springtime beekeeping chores. Farmers’ Markets and other outdoor activities will be starting before we know it. Stop to smell the flowers as they appear. We might be too busy to have time to later!
Donna Brahms, IHPA President
Vern Ramsey has been busy as a bee teaching firefighters in southeast Iowa how to handle a Honeybee Emergency. He says firefighters always have a plan; they assess the problem, and then implement the plan in the fastest, safest way possible. With Vern’s information firefighters are able to construct a smart plan when dealing with honeybees. Pictured here, Vern instructs a class of Ottumwa firefighters. He gave three classes from March 25th through the 27th to around 40 people. During one class an alarm sounded and about half the class rushed right out the door. Vern notes, “That’s the way it is when your way of life is dealing with someone’s emergencies.” Vern has classes lined up in Burlington for next month, and maybe a few more places too. “I hope that what I taught them can be useful to them if that need arises.”