BEEKEEPER’S ANNUAL AUCTION
The central Iowa Beekeeper’s auction is being held on April 17th, 2010 in Perry, Iowa.
Curt and Connie Bronnenberg have graciously offered the use of their “in town honey house”. There will be a food booth and restrooms available. We are looking for consigners and buyers!!
If you are like us, we have accumulated a variety of bee stuff over the years, and some of it we have never used, so now is the perfect time to clean, sort, repair, and make a few bucks to buy more bee stuff!!
In the past we have had a hard time getting consigners, and we would like to keep this auction going, so we need those consignments!
Cleaning the “bee shed” we personally have some 8 frame equipment, smokers, wooden frames, spur embedders, wood bound queen excluders, foundation installing device, frame grips, feeders, migratory covers, screen bottom boards, and the list is growing.
Take a look around and please email me your list of items to consign. If you would like to have a list of items consigned, please send me your email and I will email the list to you in late March.
10% if consigned before the date of March 20th, and 15% thereafter. All drawn comb will be inspected. There will be signs posted on Highway 141.
HOPE TO SEE YOU AT THE AUCTION!!
THE BEEYARD REPORT
It has been the winter of snow removal. My driveway is like a canyon between the piles of snow. The pile of road apples in the lean-to where the horses stand is becoming a prominent hill. The pile is frozen solid so it will be there well into spring. The squirrel that nests in the tree in my front yard has discovered how to get food out of the bird feeder. It's interesting to watch. There is also a flicker that visits the feeder. The holes aren't in the right spot for it. It's too big a bird so it leans way back and braces its tail against the bottom of the feeder so it can get something out of the holes.
I have one single box of bees inside my shed. They were left over at the end of the year so I just set them inside the warehouse. There isn't any heat in there but it's out of the wind. I checked them on Feb 3. They looked good but they have a long way to go yet. There really isn't any point in trying to check the others now. They are either dead or alive.
There isn't anything we can do. I'll try to check a few yards at the end of the month to get some idea on our death loss. My rule of thumb is that whatever the death loss at the end of February is, it will be double by the end of March. So, most of them better be alive or we are going to have a big loss. It seems to go by yards. They will either be mostly dead or mostly alive. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground.
Dec 1 was a flying day for us. The bees have been confined since then.
We had one sunny day in January with a temp around forty when the clusters loosened a little but we had no flight. I have heard from others who did. Were the bees coming out to die? It is common for them to come out at low temps when they are stressed. They don't come back to the hive, though.
Monday is the day I run my delivery route. It has been a snow day for the last three weeks. The first Monday it snowed was the blizzard. It wasn't too bad driving around Des Moines. I knew it was supposed to be bad going to Ames but I thought, “How bad can it really be?" It turned out to be really, really bad. That was the longest 20 miles I have driven in my life. I pulled into the first motel I came to. It turned out that Pat and Peggy Ennis were stranded at the same motel. They had just returned from working bees in California. We had a nice visit.
The following week I sent Alex out on the route. The forecast was for flurries or something like that. The weatherman must have forgotten to look out the window. Alex felt fortunate to make it home with everything still in one piece. The 3rd Monday was forecast to be bad late in the day so we split the route up. Alex went south with the 4-wheel drive pickup. I went to Des Moines with the old beater. I started home about 3:30. Once I got past Altoona, I-80 got really nasty. It was down to 25 MPH by the time I got to Colfax. I didn't feel safe even at that slow speed. I am one of the few individuals that owns a set of tire chains. I pulled off into the Casey's parking lot in Colfax and put them on. One of the bread men I see in Des Moines had told me he always goes home to Baxter on Old #6 when the weather is bad. That's what I did. I rumbled down Old 6 with my tire chains and got home without incident around 6:00.
I have a nice class in Marshallown. There are 18 in it and there is a nice mix of ages.. The books we are using this year are much better. I am actually using it. I'm not sure who came up with the ides to change. It may have been Andy.
The days are getting longer. Think spring!!!
Submitted by Phil Ebert