A Word From The Iowa Honey
I had the opportunity to talk to two sixth grade
science classes at Newman Catholic School in Mason City for 40
minutes each. I was pleased to find out how much the students
already knew about pollination and honey bees. I handed out packets
of information that I put together for the students so they were
able to take the information home and teach their parents about
honeybees. I started out by talking about the benefits of local
honey and how important it is to read the label. I passed around
a jar of honey that I bought from the store that stated, "The
honey may be from Argentina, Canada or the United States,"
and also passed a jar of pure, natural local "IOWA"
honey and asked the students if they could tell a difference between
the honey by reading the labels. After doing this exercise they
all wanted to look at the label on their honey they had at home.
I was able to bring an observation hive and explain the roles
of the three types of bees that are found in the hive. I gave
away a 12oz. honey bear from Spring Valley Honey Farms to the
first person who found the queen bee. I passed around treats that
were made with honey, I was surprised to find out how many of
the students had never tried anything made with honey.
This was a wonderful opportunity for me and I am so excited to
be representing the Iowa Honey Producers. If you have a promotion
opportunity that I can help you with please contact me by email:
Chizel2004@aol.com or by phone: (515)210-1027.
2007 Iowa Honey Queen
THE BEEYARD REPORT
Adam came home to stay on May 8th. I finally
got the grass mowed for the first time on the 12th. It was at
least a foot tall. Mowed probably isn't a very apt term. It was
more like thinning it out and bending it over a little. I usually
turn the horses on it when I don't have time to mow. This spring
has been so wet, I decided to keep them off the yard. The hoof
prints really cut things up. It makes the croquet course much
more challenging. You can hit the perfect shot and have the ball
take a 90 degree turn when it hits one of the holes.
We were supering at this time (mid May) last
year. We haven't even thought about it this year. Things are about
two weeks behind where they have been the last two or three years.
We are late getting the queen yard started. We didn't get our
breeders brought home until the 12th. It has been so wet, we haven't
been able to get to a lot of the yards. We had two yards decimated
by mites that still had boomer colonies left. We bought those
home to put in the breeding pool. Is there some mite resistance
there or was it just the luck of the draw? I don't know but they
have had mite pressure for sure. Adam did his first graft on the
We tried MiteAway pads in a few yards this spring.
They definitely inhibit egg laying for the first week or ten days.
I thought I was having massive queen failure in one of the yards
but they came out of it when the acid dissipated. We are finding
very few mites overall. The most I have gotten on an ether roll
Jay Vilwock from Channel 5 was here on the 11th.
He wanted to do a piece on the disappearing bees. If you give
Jay a situation he can instantly give you four or five verbal
images to describe it. TV news is all about sound bites but I
thought the piece they did was pretty good. The best one was on
the six o'clock news. There was a shorter version at ten. Jay
had done some homework on the internet. One explanation he found
for CCD was "Bee Rapture"--the bees were being called
to the heavens. Another explanation blamed it all on Kevin Federline.
That was my favorite.
We have had really good luck with sales. I had
to buy a few barrels of honey to give myself a cushion. When we
had 120 barrels stacked up in the warehouse last fall, I was wondering
what I was going to do with all of it.
We are still pulling brood and making splits
in mid May. The early splits were three frame. Adam and Alex making
them with four frames now. We usually run our splits as singles
but this year we are giving second stories to the early splits.
I need to get the brood boxes out of the warehouse and I don't
think we are going to see a flow for a while. It also makes for
a lot less work in the fall.
I hope everybody has a decent year.
Submitted by Phil Ebert