Featured Beekeeper of the Month
This month our featured beekeeper is Louis Ferguson. He and his wife, June, live in Carroll, Iowa. He is a member of the Southwest Iowa Beekeepers group. Here is the story Louis sent.
My beekeeping began when I was an elementary student in the mid 40’s in a rural school in NE Missouri. My first bee equipment and bees were ordered from a Montgomery Ward catalog for about $20. When I left for college my uncle and my younger brother took over their care.
Fifteen years later I helped a foster son get started with bees in NW Iowa. In 1976 I bought his bees and brought them with us when we moved to Carroll to help develop New Hope Village, a facility serving adults with disabilities. The main reason I resumed this hobby was to help relieve my wife’s sinus/allergy problems.
Gradually I increased the number of hives to an average of 18-20. Recent losses of bees necessitates buying 4-6 new queens and/or packages of bees each spring to maintain that number.
Some of the honey is sold to friends in the area. The rest is given to family members or sold to Smitty Bee Honey at Defiance.
Each year I am asked to take a display to a class in a nearby elementary school. My grandson (but not my wife) lament the fact that I recently upgraded from a manual to an electric extractor.
Several people, including my family members, appreciate the quality of locally produced honey. An apple orchard provides a home for most of my hives.
When I retire I hope to spend more time with my bees, but until more answers are found to our current loss of bees, they will continue to be more of a “hobby” than a money making enterprise. I attend the annual district meeting of the Southwest Iowa Beekeepers, and when time allows, field trips in the general area.
915 N. Adams St.
Carroll, IA 51401
Thanks for your story Louis.
Submitted by Ron Wehr
Beekeeper of the Month Louis Ferguson tends to some honey supers. “Several people, including my family members, appreciate the quality of locally produced honey.”