Greetings Iowa Beekeepers!
A great deal has gone on in my life since my
last letter. I completed my third year at ISU, and am thankful
for the break from textbooks, papers, and exams. I have also purchased,
renovated, and moved into a house in my hometown. It is a lovely
place, with a nice little corner to keep a hive. I am excited
that soon I will be able to have my own bees to study and care
for. I have also attended media training for the American Beekeeping
Federation. Jolene and I toiled for 3 days, improving our interviewing
skills, learning more about the industry, and preparing all of
the wonderful dishes in our recipe brochure. There are some tasty
treats, and if you would like a brochure, or several to hand out
at an event, please let me know.
We also got a basic idea of our travel schedules
for this fall, and I am very excited about the wonderful promotions
approaching. Although I will get to spend some time promoting
across the country, I have been given many open spaces to promote
here in Iowa. Please don’t hesitate to invite me for fear
that I will be busy. I love promoting honey, and I am never too
busy to hear from an Iowa beekeeper!
Finally, I just want to remind you to be thinking
about outstanding youth that might be interested in beekeeping.
Encourage them to apply to be an IHPA Youth Partnership Program
Scholar. Look for the application online or in the Buzz. [ The
application can be found starting on page 9. ]
If I can be of any assistance, never hesitate
to contact me. My new address is 601 Monroe St., Cumberland, IA
50843, or you can reach me by phone at 712-779-0321 or email at
Best wishes for a sweet summer!
2006 American Honey Princess
The Buzz – July 2006
“A swarm of bees in May, worth a ton of
hay. A swarm of bees in June, worth a silver spoon. A swarm of
bees in July, not even worth a fly.” I’m sure many
of you have heard this little poem and can maybe even back it
up. Swarms can be something new and exciting, possibly even adventurous
if everything falls into place. On the other hand, some may think
of them as a tedious hassle especially if it happens in mid-summer
when honey production is at its peak. After a swarm, it takes
time for both of the hives to readjust whether it be wax and honey
production or the queens laying patterns. This, unfortunately,
will cut back on honey production but at least you will have two
strong hives for the next year. Luckily swarms only happen every
three years or so as long as you monitor your hive and make sure
the bees have enough space in their supers.
So far in this honey season, my family and I
have experienced three swarms! Of them, one was from our hives.
It happened on a warm sunny day in June. I remember looking outside
into our small apiary and seeing a large cluster of bees hovering
over the hives. Over some time, the mass of bees disappeared.
Later that day, the neighbors stopped down and said to us to come
and get our bees! They were on a low limb of a tree in a cluster.
The neighbors were quite intrigued and took pictures as we gathered
the bees and brought them back home. Later in the month, my dad
caught two other swarms, both at his work area which is in the
industrial park of Cedar Falls. When my mom asked him if the group
of co-workers watching him gather the bees looked upon him with
a new respect, he answered, “No, I think they think I’m
crazy!” They were watching him deal with thousands of bees
without a protective suit!
After catching all of these swarms, the number
of bee hives we own went from eight to eleven. Through all of
this, it has been a fun learning experience, most of the time!
2006 Iowa Honey Queen