Greetings from the President of the IHPA
Dear Honey Producers,
As I write this article, I can look out my window and see snow and some ice still remaining. I am not looking forward to the predicted "Artic Blast" that is approaching by the end of the week. Having just returned from California I am having a reality check. The weather wasn't very warm and sunny as I had hoped for, but Sacramento was experiencing some much needed rainy weather. The combined conventions of the American Beekeeping Federation and American Honey Producers Association were, in my opinion, a huge success. There were around 2,000 beekeepers attending seminars and meetings during the scheduled conference. Chelsa Bronnenberg did an outstanding job of representing Iowa and we should all be proud of her. She received the alternate position in the American Honey Queen competition. I have never been able to figure out judges. Iowa was represented by more attendees than usual. I didn't hear how many for sure, but I saw at least 13 Iowa Honey Producers in California for the meetings.
I have a new flavor for all of you ice cream lovers to try. [Vanilla Honey Bee] At the National Beekeeping Conference a tour of UC Davis was conducted. During the tour Haagen-Dazs ice cream unveiled their new honey ice cream. The container even features honey bees and information concerning the plight of beekeeping and honey bees. Haagen-Dazs has donated half a million dollars to honey bee research. [They are donating $250,000 each to Penn State and UC-Davis. Part of the UC-Davis funding will go to support a post doc candidate.]Please support them by trying the honey ice cream. If you would like to find out more information, please go to their website: www.haagen-dazs.com
I hope that you filled out the Bee and Honey Inquiry conducted by the USDA Census of Agriculture and sent it back. We need to have Iowa represented in the numbers for the statistics. If you have not returned yours, please take the time right now to complete it and send it in.
The past several years we have been working to try to get the State Apiarist position back in the Agriculture Department. I am pleased to announce that the new Iowa State Apiarist will begin work on February 22nd. Our new state apiarist is Andrew Joseph from Kentucky. Mr. Joseph just completed his masters thesis in entomology this semester at the University of Kentucky. Another announcement is that the actual office of the state apiarist will be moved to the DMACC campus in Ankeny and will be with the Entomology Bureau. With the move, the state of the art laboratory facilities of the entomology bureau will be available for use by the Apiary Bureau. Please join me in welcoming Andrew Joseph to Iowa. We have worked very hard to get this position re-instated and are very happy that it is finally a reality. We might need to get more money appropriated to replace equipment and to purchase the things that our new State Apiarist is going to need. We will let you know if you need to contact your state legislature members or not. I am sure that a note of "Thanks" from us to them for finding the money to get the Apiary Bureau back would be appreciated.
Following our last board meeting I received the "numbers" for the Annual Meeting. I know that a lot of our membership is unhappy about the cost of our meeting. I really don't want to "harp" on the fact, but the IHPA loses money each and every year that we have our annual meeting. For the last meeting we lost about $2500 for the meeting. That doesn't even count the money spent on motel rooms for our speakers, their fees and the cost of airfare to get them to us. Why am I telling you this? The money that we earn from the state fair covers the expenses for our organization. We need to have your participation in our sales booth, both workers and bidders, to make enough money to pay our bills. Please consider helping if you haven't in the past. The 2008 Iowa State Fair is August 7th through the 17th.
While we enjoy the wintery weather, let's remember that Spring is right around the corner. We need to make sure that we are ready for the spring by repairing equipment, installing new foundation, taking an inventory of equipment and needs, ordering packages and queens, registering your apiary locations, catching up on industry news by reading all the magazines and articles that we didn't have time to read, etc. One of the items that I heard at the Beekeeping Convention was that we need to replace foundation to help eliminate problems. Those cells of wax contain many things and we don't want to pass on any diseases by using excessively contaminated comb.
"Bee Sweet" to your family, friends, and to your honey bees. Make sure that you check your hives as soon as the weather permits and get some feed on them. They will need honey and pollen to quickly build up to be ready for the coming season.
Donna Brahms, IHPA President
Marla Spivak Seeks Funding For A New Bee Lab
A new museum of natural history is going to be built almost on top of the existing bee lab at the University of Minnesota. Marla will retain her space in Hodson Hall but the place where most of the bee work is done will be severely compromised. Ironically, one of the most requested things at the museum are programs about bees. It is Marla’s hope to build some kind of interactive program in conjunction with the museum. They approve of this but, of course, provide no funding. The initial estimate for the project is around $2,000,000.
Submitted by Phil Ebert