Greetings from the President of the IHPA
Dear Honey Producers,
The weather seems like a broken record, snow, snow, snow! Here in southwest Iowa anyway. There was no surprise when on February 2nd the infamous ground hog announced that there would be another six weeks of winter. It will take that long just to get most of the snow melted. Spring isn’t until March 21st anyway. Let’s just hope that March will come in like a lamb and go out like a lamb. We could use some nice weather.
Mike and I had anticipated that our trip to Florida would have weather that we have always encountered there. No, we just had a continuation of “crappy” weather in Florida at the ABF convention. At least 32 degrees was warmer than Iowa, but a long way from the 60’s and 70’s that we had wanted to experience. It was nice to get away from as much snow. The snow did follow us all the way to Atlanta, but the roads were fine to drive on. Anyway that is what Mike reported to me. I must have slept more than I realized! He got even with me on the return trip. I had to drive through Atlanta, St. Louis and Kansas City.
I am not thinking that the spring survival rate of colonies is going to be good. The amount of continuous days of cold, snowy weather has not been good for cleansing flights. As Glen Stanley mentioned in his article last month an upper entrance is a must this year. There is just too much snow piled around the hives for the honey bees to be able to fly out of the lower entrance. If we do have some nice warm days, make sure you get out to check your hives and to start feeding as soon as possible. I am quite certain that if the colony is alive, it will need to have some supplemental honey to make it through the rest of the season. Let’s keep good thoughts circulating.
Don’t forget to get your hives registered. If you need help, contact Iowa State Apiarist, Andy Joseph. To keep honey bees and hives safe from commercial spraying, we need to have them registered. It is really easy to do. It is the only recourse a beekeeper has to recoup any losses.
Keeping adulterated honey from being sold on Iowa store shelves is a project of the IHPA board for this year. Several states have passed legislation to set a honey standard. Iowa is exploring the project and pushing for similar action here. We have the paperwork from Florida which was the first state to pass a honey standard. The goal is to get the standard in all fifty states of the United States. When that is accomplished the FDA will need to progress to provide the language of a honey standard for their standard in the United States. We will keep you posted on the progress.
I know we have been talking about winter survival rates of hives, passing legislation to protect the integrity of honey, registering hives, etc. but it is also the perfect time to plan taking time off from your employment to help our organization at the Iowa State Fair. The Iowa State Fair will be held from August 12th through the 22nd. Please consider helping. Our organization, the IHPA, needs over 25 people each day to fill all the time slots and to effectively cover all of the shifts. It is also time to plan all of the special exhibits for the Apiary department competition. Mark your calendars for August 12-22, 2010 for the Iowa State Fair.
On a personal note, our youngest son, Mitchell just got back from Iraq Monday, February 8th. His company flew into Fort Sill, OK. Our daughter-in-law, Abbie, drove down from Wisconsin to meet him. Our oldest, son, Shawn and his family are stationed at Fort Sill. Shawn and Abbie met Mitch when he arrived. We were playing with grandson, Zane, at our home while Mitch out processed. Mitch was completing his third deployment to Iraq. He is in the Army Reserves now, before he was active Army. Middle son, Steve, is trying to get apple trees pruned, but the wonderful snow is complicating the process. With 1300 trees to prune, he needs to get busy now. Grandchildren, JoAnn and Jack are missing lots of school and preschool this year.
Think Spring! Warmer weather, at least in the 30’s or 40’s would be great. We have lots of garden seeds ordered and would love to get them in the ground on time. Hope we can get packages installed on time also. Think Spring!
Donna Brahms, IHPA President
IHPA Membership and The Buzz
Please check your issue of The Buzz for your membership expiration date. Dues for 2010 are now past due. It is still $10 for the primary member and $5 for each additional family member at the same address.
Please send it to: IHPA, Melanie Bower, 207 S.E. Diehl, Des Moines, Iowa 50315-5227.
The Iowa State Horticultural Society Announces the Upcoming All Iowa Horticulture Exposition II
March 19-20 2010
at the Bridge View Center in
Friday, March 19 11:00am to 4:00pm
Saturday, March 20 9:00am to 2:00pm
Internationally known plantsman Dan Heims
Famed garden designer and author Stephanie Cohen
Join us for the second annual All-Iowa Horticulture Exposition, supported by over 20 Iowa horticulture associations and organizations. The Expo offers diverse, multi-dimensional activities, geared to the novice gardener, as well as the professional.