Greetings from the President of the IHPA
Dear Honey Producers,
Happy New Year, 2007! The New Year brings many
changes. One of the most difficult is remembering to write 2007
instead of 2006 on documents or checks. Just as I consistently
remember to use the 2007 date, it will be time to make another
change. Time flies all too quickly.
The National beekeeping organizations have finished
their conventions. I certainly hope that some of you had the time
to attend one of the meetings. There is a wealth of information
given at these meetings. Remember to join the American Honey Producers
Association or the American Beekeeping Federation to receive valuable
information throughout the year. Use the information provided
last month to access the joining requirements. A beekeeper can
never have too much information to stay ahead of problems.
Speaking of meetings and contests, the International
Mead Festival is going to be held on February 8th and 9th in Colorado.
I know of at least one of our members that entered mead in the
home brewer’s contest. Dr. Marion Ellis of Lincoln, NE entered
some of his mead in the 2006 contest. I remember hearing that
one of the winners was from Iowa City last year. If you would
like more information about attending, please contact www.meadfest.com.
The festival will be held in Denver this year. If you enjoy tasting
mead, this is the place for you. Commercial Meaderies from all
over the world compete for awards. The home brew competition is
in its second year. Mike and I enjoy a winter get-away and celebrate
Valentine’s Day while attending this event.
I don’t know about your area of the state,
but in our area we need some moisture. There have been several
grass fires requiring more than two fire departments to extinguish
them. Most of them are around I-80, but some have been in CRP
ground. Our future honey crop depends on at least a little moisture
to make enough food for the honey bees.
Winter months are the perfect time to spend pouring
through all of the seed catalogs or beekeeping catalogs that you
have stockpiled. Mike and I tried several new vegetables at the
markets last year and they were well received. It is time to decide
if we want to provide any more new and different items for the
upcoming season. I always enjoy looking at the gorgeous photos
in the catalog and then marvel at the actual product in our garden!
Sometimes it doesn’t even look like the same product. Oh
well, it is fun to dream. Make a list of the new equipment or
replacement items that you are going to need this spring and get
them ordered or repaired. Mike always spends time reading and
re-reading his pile of magazines to make sure he has the correct
plans in place. Work on replacing your foundation and repairing
any broken hive boxes that you have. We all know spring is right
around the corner and is creeping up quickly.
Another winter project is deciding whether you
will expand your operation or try to hold your own. Do you need
more queens? Do you need more equipment? Do you need to order
packages for your honey business? Now is the time to be planning.
There is contact information in the BUZZ. Or you can use the information
found in the national magazines: BEE CULTURE or AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL
or SPEEDY BEE. Talk to other beekeepers in your local groups.
Maybe you could do a mass order and save some money. I know that
the Central Iowa Beekeepers pool an order for queens from members.
Contact a local queen breeder.
The Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers are having
their conference in Marshalltown on January 26th and 27th at the
Best Western Regency Inn. They are stressing pollination by honey
bees at this meeting. We will have representation at this meeting.
For information call (515) 465-5992. Another publication to subscribe
to for information would be THE IOWA HORTICULTURIST magazine.
For information go to www.iowahort.org. There is a great deal
of information in this magazine and the IHPA is an affiliate member
of the Iowa Horticultural Society. The magazine subscription rate
is $15.00. A contact phone number is Mike Bevins at IDALS, (515)
Look at the label on your copy of the BUZZ. It
will have your expiration date. If you don’t renew your
membership, you will not keep receiving the BUZZ. The information
was provided to you last month. To renew your beekeeping magazines,
use the forms in the December BUZZ to get the organization discount.
It is your responsibility to renew your magazines, not the IHPA.
We would like to welcome Mr. Bill Northey as
the new Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. We look forward to working
with Mr. Northey as the department of agriculture is reorganized.
A copy of the BUZZ is sent to the Agriculture department. Welcome
The weather has been incredible. I don’t
know what is around the corner, but I’m sure it will involve
cold and snow. Stay warm, read some catalogs and magazines and
dream of warmer weather. Before we know it, it will be time to
get to work.
Donna Brahms, IHPA President