Greetings from the President of the IHPA
Dear Honey Producers,
Another Annual Meeting is complete. Pat Ennis did an outstanding job of putting our meeting together. The speakers interacted very well together and we received a wealth of information to digest. Thank you to the members going off the board and welcome to the ones coming onto the board. A big Thank You to Doris and Vernie Ramsey for the years you have spent as our historian and district one representative. Thanks also go out to Margaret Hala for her years as district three director. Welcome to Peggy Ennis as Historian, Kristoffer Valleroy, Sr. as district one director and to Matt Stewart as district three director.
We had three very capable Iowa Honey Queen candidates. Ellie Johnson is the Central Iowa Honey Queen. She has been very active in the IHPA for a long time. Amber Connett was a past youth scholar recipient and designer of the new large banner above the sales booth at the Iowa State Fair. Shiliah Spaulding is the Northwest Iowa Honey Queen and has also been very active in beekeeping. Iowa Honey Queen, Diane Jurchen, has ended her reign as our queen and will compete in the National Honey Queen contest held at Reno in January along with the American Beekeeping Federation Convention. Diane served the IHPA with long hours and countless appearances. Thank You Diane. The 2009 Iowa Honey Queen is Shiliah Spaulding from Battle Creek, Iowa in Northwestern Iowa. Congratulations and welcome Shiliah.
Another topic of interest at the meeting was the chemical spraying that we face as beekeepers. Thanks to Chuck Eckermann and Andy Joseph for guiding our discussion on that subject. We are working on several things to try to lessen the impact of chemical spraying to our colonies. Chuck and John Whipple have reworked the bee rule and have made it more user friendly. If the changes occur a beekeeper will be able to register hives at any time, but the chemical applicators will only recognize the registrations that have been complete for 30 days. It will eliminate the April 1st deadline, but the more quickly the hives are registered the more attention will be paid to the locations of your hives. Another change will be that spraying will occur only before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m. in locations within one mile of registered hives. There will be no notification to beekeepers. Some suggestions are to notify the chemical companies in your area so that they are aware of your colonies and will work with you when they are spraying close to your hives. We need to take small steps and work with each other to make changes. I'll keep you posted.
The youth program was really well represented at the November meeting. The nine 2008 youth scholarship award winners received their certificates of ownership for their hive and the equipment on Saturday morning. They had wonderful scrapbooks, posters and PowerPoint presentations. A special workshop was held for youth on Saturday morning. Around 30 were in attendance. We would like to encourage all of the past youth to enter the apiary department youth categories at the Iowa State Fair. The classes open specifically to youth include extracted honey, beeswax candles and beekeeping photos.
Ten youth were interviewed for the 2009 Youth Scholarship program. Conducting the interviews were Andy Joseph, Lee Heine, Mike and Donna Brahms. These youth are certainly interested and ready to get started in beekeeping. During the banquet November 7th, the youth were introduced and given certificates. They have all been paired with a mentor in their area. This is the third group of young people and the IHPA is gaining members steadily because of it.
Don't forget to purchase IHPA t-shirts, women's tank tops or the new IHPA aprons for Christmas presents. You will be thanked for it. They are great marketing tools for you and they help bring attention to our organization as well. You could even give the gift of a membership in the IHPA as a present also. Encourage friends, family and neighbors to join our organization.
Now is the time to start planning for next year. There are many things that can be done including catching up on the back issues of magazines that you haven't had time to read. You can work on equipment; repairing it, building or purchasing new equipment. Take inventory and decide if you want to expand your operation. Order new equipment and supplies now also. Think about where you want to locate your hives in the spring. Maybe even attend one of the national meetings to stay current on issues facing the beekeeping industry. Join a local club and talk to other beekeepers in your area. There are always workshops to attend or take your honey and beeswax products to craft shows or indoor markets. Line up places to sell products this spring and summer.
We need to also take time to enjoy family and the holiday seasons upon us. Our youngest son is heading back to Iraq for the third time in February. Our oldest son (and family) is stationed in Germany, so we are sending Christmas to them. We are spending time together as a family this season by traveling to North Carolina to attend Mike's brother's wedding on December 27th. I hope the weather cooperates with us. Traveling with three grandchildren ages 5,3, and 2 might be challenging.
I certainly hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and BEE MERRY!!
Donna Brahms, IHPA President
For those who saw the “Pesticide Regulation” talk given by Chuck Eckermann at the annual meeting: He has made the information from his PowerPoint slideshow available upon request but asked that it not be published in The Buzz or on the IHPA website. Anyone interested in obtaining the slideshow details should contact me either by phone or email.
Thank you, Andy