Summer Field Day Report
Approximately thirty beekeepers attended the
summer field day at the plant Introduction Station in Ames. Gerry
Reynolds, Glen Stanley and John Johnson were the speakers. Glen
shared his beekeeping knowledge with us and John talked about
how beginning beekeepers could remove and extract honey and also
how to prepare colonies for winter.
Gerry had a good presentation on Russian bees
and also on small hive beetles. He has thirty years of experience
with bees and at one time worked for Howard Weaver. He is currently
president of the Mid America Honey Producers. After questioning
him, I found out this is his first year of working with Russian
bees in a commercial situation. He bought some breeder queens
and tried to raise queens in Oklahoma. The weather was against
him and they only would up with about 300 colonies, half of which
are headed by Russian queens. I am well acquainted with failure.
The thing that dismayed me was that Gerry was promoting Russian
bees without having used them in a commercial setting. Until Kirk
Webster had articles in the bee magazines extolling the virtues
of Russian bees, I had not talked to anyone outside the program
who could make these bees work. They sure didn’t work for
us. I would be interested in knowing what Kirk’s production
figures are. I’ll bet they are pretty low.
We got somewhere around 100 nucs two years ago.
They were great nucs. The guy who provided them did a great job.
It was admittedly a bad year in out area. The honey supers were
empty until the last week of July when the soybean flow started.
The Russians never came out of the bottom. Our other bees came
up and made a crop. The second year was similar although we had
a great flow in June and the Russians did put on some honey. July
and the first three weeks in August were very chilly. It warmed
up nicely at the end of August and there was a great flow that
lasted into September. Again the Russians stayed in the bottom
while our other bees came up and started filling boxes. I realize
that these are different bees. They winter with very small clusters
and are very frugal. My problem is that I have to make some money
on them. A small crop means a small income.
The Russians we had left did build up enough
to split this spring but the early weather was unusually good.
The work with Russian bees is very important but I think the capability
of these bees is vastly over rated. We do have two colonies left
out of the lot we bought that we have incorporated into our breeding
pool. Success in beekeeping boils down to what will work for you
in your location. Russian bees may be the thing for you. I would
suggest approaching them with caution, however.
Submitted by Phil Ebert
|For Sale: Queens will be available on a
limited basis through the month of August. $10 each. Shipping
is $5/box. Contact Phil Ebert at 641-527-2639 or Adam at 641-594-3126
|For Sale: Buckets for your honey crop.
Your choice of 4 or 5 gal/ $1.50 each. Clean and ready to
use. Call Phil Ebert at 641-527-2639
|FOR SALE: Three colonies of bees with honey—ten
supers filled to various degree. Approx 300# of 2005 honey
already extracted and bottled in 1# and 2# glass jars. Six
additional supers. Also a Dadant Junior extractor (two frame).
9 dozen new 2# glass jars with lids. All equipment is new
or near new. Will sell as a unit or will separate bees and
honey. Contact John Bryner in Ames at 515-388-4550
|FOR SALE: 600 square 5 gallon buckets with
lids-never used. $1 each. Contact Gale Urquhart at 515-289-2192
or e-mail email@example.com