of the Month
My name is Kelsey Martin and I go to Gladbrook – Reinbeck High School. I love to draw, read, and listen to music. My favorite subject by far is anything dealing with art, I love it. I have a sister - Hannah, mom - Malissa, and dad - Matt. My hobbies include drawing, being an active member as president in our local 4-H group, and playing soccer and cross country.
Kelsey Martin suited up and checking in on her honeybees.
Last summer I worked at the beekeeping stand at the Iowa State Fair, it was a neat experience and I got to hear many stories from some of the people I worked with. I plan on going to Iowa State University to study interior design. Beekeeping has been a new and interesting thing that I have learned thanks to my amazing mentor, Tim. He has helped me so much and I know it would have been a lot more difficult to do this without him. Beekeeping has been really cool and awesome experience for me and I cannot wait to do it again this year, hopefully I get even more honey than last time!
Submitted by Ron Wehr
THE BEEYARD REPORT
Days in the 60's--unbelievable for January!! Alex went through several yards at the end of January and beginning of February. One yard had five colonies that were either dead or going to die. The others have none dead or one dead. The colonies Adam had made up from his queen yard were 10% dead. That is to be expected. It is very difficult to get the right age distribution in those when we combine the bees from the mating nucs. It is still early. March is when the bees really start to die but I am hopeful.
We are preparing equipment for the potential upside. We have repaired about 100 brood boxes that have been stacked up around here for the last couple of years. We have a pallet of honey boxes left to go through. We have ordered 2500 preassembled frames with foundation and some new brood boxes. Pallet building is on the schedule. If things continue to look good, we will have bees to load our mating nucs much earlier than normal. I have already booked a number of nucs and am going to book some more. I hope things don't crash. I have had other springs when things fell apart late. This whole business is like going to the casino. We roll the dice every year.
All of the colonies we treated with MAQS are still alive and looking good. I may get those strips used up yet. If you recall the cover photo from last month, that is what the MAQS colonies look like. The colony on the far right was queenless after treatment. I gave them a new queen soon after treatment. They appear to be doing well. March is the month that tells the tale. Bees don't live as long as they used to. Quite often colonies that look good at the end of February are dead or near dead by the end of March. Given the winter we have had, I am hopeful this will not happen this year. The bees have had minimum stress. We have seen no spotting at all. The ones we pulled frames on at the end of January were beginning to brood up.
I visited recently with Jim Long who runs bees in the North Platte area.
Their numbers are up and they have only lost 20% since splitting last spring. That's pretty good. Our normal cull in the fall is 15% to 20%.
I had some trouble with irregular heart beat during the holidays. I spent Christmas in the ICU at the Grinnell hospital. My Christmas turkey is still in the freezer. After being on meds for a month, they zapped my heart with an electric shock and got me back into rhythm. I am still on meds but am feeling good for the present. I found it somewhat ironic that Lee Heine and I had problems at approximately the same time. I don't know how old Lee is but we have to be close.
I had a visit from the Iowa Chapter of the Institute of Food Technologists on Feb 16. There were about twenty five in the group.
There were a number of students from Iowa State and their professor. The rest of the group was made up of people from various companies.
Be ready for spring. Preparation time is at hand!!
Submitted by Phil Ebert