Featured Beekeeper of the Month
This month our featured beekeeper is Brantly
Beal. He is from Mt. Sterling, Iowa, is 15 years old, and is one
of the three beginning beekeepers sponsored by the Southeast Iowa
Beekeepers. He spoke at our annual meeting this past March and
is a friendly, likable and energetic beekeeper. The Southeast
Iowa Beekeepers are proud to have Brantly in the group an thank
Vern Ramsey for being an excellent mentor. Keep up the good work.
Here is Brantly’s letter.
Hello, my name is Brantly Beall and I am glad
to be in a league with all of you knowledgeable beekeepers. Thank
you for allowing me to speak and to be a part of your family.
If somebody had told me when I was younger that
I was going to be a beekeeper I would have told you that you were
crazy, but thanks to Max Dirks, my FFA advisor, Vernie Ramsey,
an old but intelligent friend of mine, and the Southeast Iowa
Beekeepers, I love beekeeping. I used to only think of bees as
mean little devils that stung people for the fun of it, but now,
thanks to Max and Vernie, I have a new found respect for bees.
I got started beekeeping through the FFA. Max
had talked to Vernie about beekeeping at the Iowa State FFA Convention
2 years ago and Max thought he might have a few students interested
in beekeeping. So we had a meeting for those interested and among
the few to attend was Thadd Roush and me, Brantly Beall. We were
excited to say the least. We had seen this kind of thing on TV
before, but never did we think it would be this much fun or that
I would learn this much.
I have learned that bees sting only when threatened
and once they do sting they die soon after. Let the bees smell
smoke and that will calm them down. I have also learned that the
hive is run completely by women, and the men get kicked out. Much
like in real life, the women are in charge.
One thing that really surprised me about bee
behavior was the ability to organize and cooperate with no arguments.
There are thousands of bees in one hive and all work for their
entire lifecycle. Bees have also developed their own special language.
Bees communicate through pheromones not actual words but smells.
Most of all I have learned a sense of responsibility.
Bees require many check-ups a month. I can’t just leave
them alone and expect them to live. I have to assume that they
can’t live without my intervention.
I would like to thank Vernie Ramsey for all
of the knowledge he has shared with us and for the guidance he
has give us. I would also like to thank all of those who donated
equipment, for without the Southeast Iowa Beekeepers this project
would be near impossible. I am proud to be a member of the Southeast
Tyler Roush, Brantly Beall, and Thadd
Roush at the Wehr Honey Farm.
Thank you all, I am looking forward to another
fun year with all of you.
Submitted by Ron Wehr