2005 Crop Report
At the annual meeting, several local beekeepers
in each district or local association club members were asked
for a reporting of the past year. Here is a summary of the reports.
The East Central Iowa Beekeepers
has an average attendance at their meetings of 50. There was an
early spring frost that affected several locations, but the average
was around 100 pounds per colony in the Cedar Rapids area. It
was very spotty for the rest of the area.
The Southeast Iowa Beekeepers
stated that it was one of the better years even though it was
dry. It was dry, but good with an average of 80 pounds of honey.
There are 33 paid members of the SE Iowa Beekeepers.
The Northeast Iowa Beekeepers
report was that the club started one year ago in September. They
have had four meetings so far and have sent out 62 card for their
membership. They recently had a field day with 28 attending in
the rainy, cold weather. They averaged around 80-100 pounds.
The Des Moines Backyard Beekeepers
are not meeting very regularly.
The Central Iowa Beekeepers
reported that with having late queens and a frosty spring , splits
didn’t do well in some locations. There are approximately
65 in the group with an average attendance of 35 at their meetings.
The average was probably 80-100 pounds with no fall crop.
The Northwest Iowa Beekeepers Association is
a new group. Most of the beekeepers started with new equipment
and packages this year or last year. The average was around 60-80
pounds and there are 20 members in the club.
The Southwest Iowa Honey Producers
had a spotty year also. There is a large territory covered in
this club, so varying amounts were reported from 60-100 pounds.
In North Central Iowa some people had a lousy
year while others reported a great year. Some had over-wintering
problems while others had an excellent over winter report.
I either missed the Back to Basics Beekeeping
Club or there was no report. I am sorry if I missed you.
The story seems to be the same, repeating year
after year. Some honey producers fared well, some not so well.
We had stories of tremendous crops and of some that were lousy.
Some had excellent over wintering colonies while others had a
terrible over wintering rate. Some locations were dry, some had
adequate moisture. Location, location, location is the key along
with good management and favorable weather. We don’t always
get all the ingredients to make a successful year. Let’s
work on that for the new year.
Submitted by Donna Brahms
THE BEEYARD REPORT
“Maybe it will get better”. Those
can be dangerous words. I was having a little trouble with stiffness
in my neck. It was a bit of an irritation but I thought no big
problem. Besides, I had a lot of work to do. I woke up the day
after Thanksgiving with so much pain I could hardly stand it.
After about 20 phone calls, I finally found a chiropractor that
had office hours that day. After I got to his office and he looked
me over, I heard the comforting words “It’s going
to hurt a lot worse when I am done with you”. He didn’t
lie. After some very painful treatments, I am finally getting
back to normal. In an interesting development, I found out the
father of the chiropractor has a farm with some good bee ground.
We may have a yard there next year.
I still had around 300 colonies to get the wraps
on when I went down to injury. I had been waiting for the bees
to take the last bucket of syrup down before I finished the wraps.
With the high cost of fuel, I wanted to get it all done in one
trip. I had to enlist Alex and Adam for assistance. They spent
a weekend working in the snow. Alex and I finished up later in
the week. Now, there is nothing to do but wait for spring and
see what we have left alive. As I said last month, I am concerned
about the early cut off in brood rearing. We just don’t
have the young bees we have had the last two years. I could easily
suffer a 30 to 40% winter loss.
It’s always relaxing to finally get into
the winter flow of things. I got the excess equipment moved out
of the garage but the forklift I borrowed from Taylor’s
is still sitting in there. The place is a little jammed up but
with a little organization, I can work in there. The heating system
is pretty lame but if it gets too cold, I just go to the house
for a while.
There are plenty of things to keep me busy.
I have a load of honey I need to sell to somebody. There is plenty
of equipment in need of repair. I also need a little recreation.
I’ve been taking in a few basketball games and I’ll
be going to the AHP meeting in Houston.
Happy Holidays to all!!!
Submitted by Phil Ebert