Featured Beekeeper of the
This month’s featured beekeeper is Gordon
Powell. He and his wife Beverly live in Des Moines, Iowa and operate
Autumn Apiaries Inc. I should also mention his granddaughter,
Ellie, who we have watched grow up at the Iowa Honey Producers
Gordon tells me he grew up keeping bees with his
mother during WWII, and had his first hive of bees when he was
12. He found a bee tree and got his oldest brother to help him
get the bees using a screen wire cone. At the height of his beekeeping
career Gordon had 175 hives and provided pollination services
and honey to sell at a large orchard near Norwalk. They sold mostly
liquid honey, but did produce some comb honey, creamed honey and
beeswax. Even though he has so much fun beekeeping, Gordon says
now he only keeps 15 to 20 hives for pleasure and to provide honey
to give to friends and family. Gordon and Bev have sold bee equipment
for hobbyist and package bees and queens for about 25 years. They
enjoy meeting other beekeepers and helping other people get started
Gordon has some interesting plans after here retires.
He tells me he plans to travel and see the rest of America he
hasn’t seen and go to Alaska on June 20th some year to see
the sun never set. Now that’s too long a day Gordon.
Gordon belongs to the Central Iowa Beekeepers Association.
He was present at the first meeting in June 1971. There were 12
people present now there are less 6 members of the original group
living. CIBA has an annual auction and promotes beekeeping by
pooling orders for queens and supplies. Gordon’s role is
to attend the meetings and voice his opinion about various matters
that come before the membership.
In IHPA Gordon serves as treasurer and assists with
the Iowa State Fair and the Clay County Fair.
I can’t believe it, but Gordon says he is
just a novice beekeeper and doesn’t have any interesting
experiences to tell me about.
Thanks for your story Gordon. It’s always
interesting to know what other people have done with this industry
and you know why I wrote your story!
Submitted by Ron Wehr
Dadant 12 frame extractor, $500;
Chain uncapper, $400;
600# SS tank with lid and gate valve, $150;
Dadant mini melter, $200;
Also many shallow supers with comb,
large solar wax melter and lots of miscellaneous.
Contact Dave Clark in Monroe 641-259-2630
Summer Field Day
Date: Saturday, July 17, 2004
Time: 9:00 to 3:00 (?)
Place: The North Central Region Plant Introduction
Station in Ames.
In the morning and after lunch there will be the following topics
or workshops meeting at the station.
• Non-Apis Pollinators – Steve Hanlin
• Mead making – Presenter TBA
• Comb honey production – Presenter TBA
• Small/Hobbyist Beekeeper – Presenter TBA
- What type of equipment can be used and cost.
- Solar wax melters and how to use them.
- Equipment used for extracting.
In the afternoon there will be a group discussion on “where
to buy and sell bee equipment and bees locally”. For questions
contact Steve Hanlin at (515) 294-1936 or email@example.com
-Travel to Ames.
-Take the highway 30 exit and travel on 30 (ISU Campus).
-Take either the Elwood Dr. exit or the Dakota Ave. exit.
-Travel north on Elwood to the first stoplight (Mortensen Rd.)
-Turn left (west) on Mortensen Rd. and travel until you come
to a 4-way stop sign (State St.)
-Turn left at the stop sign and then turn right into the station.
-Travel north on South Dakota to the first stop-light.
-Turn right on Mortensen Rd. and travel until you come to the
4-way stop sign (State St.).
-Turn right on State St. and then right into the station.
-You can either park in the front of the main building or in
the southern parking lot and come through the main front door.
A Day In The Field –
From Northwest Iowa
On June fifth Bill Eickholt, John Johnson, and
Jim Strachan held a field day for the class of beginning beekeepers
from Northwest Iowa. Dwight Rutter provided the location and the
bees for the event. The Bee Gods were smiling on us that day.
We drove in light rain most of the way there that morning. By
afternoon the sun came out with nice temperatures and a slight
breeze. Perfect weather to work with the bees. We had about fifteen
attend. Bill, John and I each opened separate hives with the new
beekeepers split to observe. Each person was able to find the
queen, drones, workers, capped brood, young larvae, and eggs.
We answered many questions. The weather in Northwest Iowa has
been quite cool so there was very little food for the bees. We
stressed the importance of feeding in situations like that. On
the way back John commented on how much later the season is there
compared to the Ames area.
Submitted by Jim Strachan