The Bee Yard Report
One of the cardinal rules of beekeeping is "Take
the high ground". I violated this rule and gained the opportunity
to walk through the water to pick up one of our yards when the
levee along the South Skunk broke. I was trying to keep my Russian
bees grouped together so I could control the drone pool. I had
the other yards set up and really needed another location so I
set the bees in a place that I shouldn't have. The boys had just
supered them the week before and the bees had moved right into
the supers. Picking them up was no fun at all.
We have really had a nice early flow despite the
rain. As I write this in early June, the yards that are in the
timber are on their 2nd or 3rd super. The yards that are on the
pasture ground or along the highways are just coming into the
supers. Swarming hasn't been too bad. We are probably averaging
two or three per yard in yards have between 20 to 30 colonies.
Going without queen excluders has been a bit of
a mixed bag. Most of the queens have stayed down but there are
some that we had to put the excluders back in. One day Eric pulled
the lid off of a colony with three supers and found the queen
walking around on the inner cover. Fortunately, that is not the
Adam is spending six weeks in Spain as part of a
program with Iowa State. The plan was for him to be back home
in time to help pull honey but I don't think he is going to make
it in time for the beginning. Last year we had no honey at all
until the third week of July but this year is running way ahead.
I am sure we will be pulling some before the end of June I always
rest a lot easier after that first box is filled and I know I'm
going to make expenses.
Anthony, who has been bottling our honey since the
fourth grade, leaves for college this fall. He is breaking in
the Rozendaal boys who live down the road, to take over the job.
Our failure rate of over wintered queens is much
higher than normal. This probably gets back to the lousy mating
weather that they had in California last year. We had about 40
small nucs made up with a frame of brood and a frame of bees.
We use these to re-queen. By the time we got around to using them
they had a good three frames of bees. We insert them on one side
of the upper brood box and smoke everything real good. It's almost
Heres hoping we get some hot dry weather.
Submitted by Phil Ebert
Copy of the small Iowa cookbook published or copy write in
1971 entitled “Honey Recipe Book” printed in connection
with the Iowa Department of Agriculture in association with
the Iowa Honey Producers Association.
Please contact Gordon Powell @ 515-278-1762
Greetings from your Iowa Honey Queen!
Bees are "a buzz" around East Amana! My
hive is alive and well and last week Matt Stewart and I got to
add another super. Thank you to Matt, Donna Brahms and Phil Meyer
for keeping me informed on what is happening regarding educational
It was exciting to complete my high school career
and promote the honey industry through an article in the Cedar
Rapids Gazette, as a hobbyist beekeeper and the role I play representing
the Honey Industry as your State Queen. The Gazette reaches many
across Eastern Iowa and I received many inquiries about honey
Since my role as Southeast Iowa Honey Queen expired
upon my becoming State Queen, I encouraged a young, fellow member
of my 4-H club to represent the Southeast region, Miss Liesl Burgher.
She is in the process of meeting the SE Iowa Beekeepers, but has
helped me at several parades, visited the honey booth at the State
Fair and studied my 4-H presentations in the years past. WE both
have a long history of beekeepers in our Amana Heritage which
we both believe needs to be perpetuated as part of our culture.
Liesl accompanied me to Des Moines on June 5 to
promote honey at the Des Moines Farmers Market. Phil Meyer was
kind enough to host us for the day and had the opportunity to
present a gift of honey to Oprah Winfrey's personal chef, Art
Smith! We were interviewed with him and it was an honor to represent
all of you!
My graduation from Williamsburg High School ended
with a party at my home with a honey theme. Pots were decorated
with cookie flowers surrounded by bees and mini jars of honey
were table centerpieces. We even had a honey cake that was shaped
as a skep which was glazed with honey and buzzing with bees!
In June my travels will take me to educate teachers
at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation which sponsored a Teachers
Academy Resource Fair in Hiawatha and Peosta. I will give several
20 minute presentations about the honey industry, the importance
of pollination, and share some educational posters.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the Iowa
State Fair in August. Sweet regards for a "Bee-utiful"
2004 Iowa Honey Queen