Featured Beekeeper of the Month
Amber says, “I learned that beekeeping isn’t as easy as it looks and the hive bodies are super heavy.
This month our featured beekeeper is Amber Connett. Amber is the daughter of Donald and Jennie Connett and lives at 627 Main Street, Reasnor, Iowa 50232. She and her family live on a small hobby farm where they raise goats and all kinds of fowl. She has an older sister, Jessica. Amber is a senior at Prairie City Monroe High School. Her activities are: Key Club, FFA, Thespians, Speech, Soccer, Academic Decathlon, Manufacturing Club, Cheerleading/Mascot, Livestock Judging and Art. Her hobbies are fishing, farming, drawing, reading, and beekeeping. Amber is the chapter reporter for her FFA club and wrote the state runner up essay on biofuels. She is a member of the livestock judging team and shows poultry at the county and state fairs. She is currently taking these Ag classes: Advanced Metal Technology, Ag Business and Management and Ag Biotechnology. Amber is planning to go to college, preferably ISU and major in Agriculture or Science.
Dave Clark of Monroe, Iowa is her mentor. Amber says, “I learned that beekeeping isn’t as easy as it looks and the hive bodies are super heavy. I learned that bees are extremely gentle and easy going. I really wanted to learn because bees have always intrigued me. I’ve always found them interesting. I took my training to my community. I often have kids from school ask me questions and I will explain to them what I know about it. I sometimes have kids stop by to look at them. A log of the kids will get within 50ft. of the hive but they won’t stay long, however my boyfriend has to pull his truck up and stay in it with the windows up.”
The answer to do you have any interesting or funny stories about your beekeeping experiences is, “I got stung one morning before school while taking off a sheet because of the mosquito spraying. It was on my butt so I was taking off my pants in the driveway to look at it. I swear everyone in Reasnor drove by at that moment and saw me in my underwear, pants at my ankles clutching my butt jumping up and down. It hurt worse than expected. I thought my Dad had shot me with a BB gun trying to be funny. The sting was a learning experience for me though.”
Amber plans to expand her beekeeping operation to 5 more hives and produce honey to sell at local farmers markets as an FFA project.
Thanks for your story.
Submitted by Ron Wehr
SPECIAL VALENTINE'S SWEETS
Elegant Dipped Cherries
1 jar (10 oz) maraschino cherries, well drained
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1 square (1 oz. ) unsweetened
2 teaspoons half-and-half cream
2 cups confectioner's sugar
white almond bark
chocolate almond bark
Pat cherries dry with paper towels and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the butter, honey, unsweetened chocolate (melted in microwave) and cream.
Stir in the confectioner's sugar. Kneed until smooth. Roll into 18 balls, flatten each into a 2-in. circle. Wrap each circle around a cherry and lightly roll in hands.
Place cherries in a shallow paper-lined container. Cover and freeze for at least two hours.
The day before serving, remove the cherries from freezer. In a microwave-safe container, melt white almond bark according to package instructions.
When smooth, hold onto the stem of each cherry and dip into vanilla mixture; set on waxed paper to set.
Melt chocolate almond bark and drizzle over the candies. Store in airtight container.
Submitted by Donna Brahms