The rainy and windy days of spring have left
and summer is just around the corner. Summer is my favorite season
for many reasons; one being that school is finally out. Besides
that, the days are long and the sun sets around 9:00. Crickets
can be heard chirping through the night in a nearby thicket joining
the chorus of bull frogs. The sun filled days are passed with
the sound of friends laughing, dogs barking, and the buzzing of
busy bees; the honey season has officially started. With the flowers
in full bloom, the bees are wasting no time to take action. While
the field bees are flying about collecting pollen and nectar,
the house bees are busy cleaning up the hive for new larva and
food. To help kick start their season, you should take a day or
two and clean the hive. When doing this, choose a day that is
warm, sunny, and calm. Also, try to clean it during the early
afternoon when a majority of the bees are out of the hive, trust
me, I have learned from a past bad experience. Several things
can be done but some basic focuses include: clearing the edges
of the frame and inside of the supers of any excess wax, larva,
or other build up, checking to see if you actually have a queen
and making sure there is enough space for the bees to grow. It
is always interesting to see how your hive made it through the
winter or how much honey they used and what can be improved upon
for next winter but there are a couple months left before you
have to think about that. Until September, your main goal is to
help your hive be the best it can be and hopefully you are not
only successful but had an enjoyable season along the way.
Sincerely, Elizabeth Macken
2006 Iowa Honey Queen
I can be contacted at home by: 319 – 279
or by email at email@example.com.
Southwest Iowa Honey Producers
Friday evening, March 30th, 26 members of the
Southwest Iowa Honey Producers gathered in Atlantic at the Feedlot
Steakhouse for their annual meeting. Following a delicious meal,
a new SW Iowa Honey Queen was named. Diane Jurchen of Cumberland
is the new Southwest Iowa Honey Queen for 2006. Diane was crowned
and presented her sash and flowers by her sister Teresa. Teresa
is the 2006 American Honey Princess. Diane and Teresa are the
daughters of Linda and Jeff Jurchen of Cumberland. Diane is anxiously
awaiting the opportunity to help promote honey and the beekeeping
During the meeting several new members to the
Iowa Honey Producers paid dues. Information was passed along concerning
the hive registration and discussion was held on mite controls.
A new DVD from the IHPA was given as a door prize.
Dick Blake was the one who made the original video and presented
it to the IHPA to use as a training tool for new beekeepers or
information for presentations. Dick is a longtime member of the
SW Iowa Honey Producers and the Iowa Honey Producers among other
A great evening was enjoyed by all.
Submitted by Donna Brahms
The IHPA had a booth at the FFA State Convention
April 10 and 11. The convention was at the Scheman Center on the
Iowa State University campus in Ames. Teresa Jurchen and her sister(whose
name escapes me) were at the booth both days. Vern and Doris Ramsey
helped on Monday. Phil Ebert was there on Tuesday. The Tuesday
session was only a half day. Teresa had made a nice display board
highlighting the youth mentoring program and fundraising through
honey sales. There was also an observation hive and various handouts.
The video “A Year with Honeybees” was playing on Teresa’s
We contacted a lot of students and their advisors
at this event. Time will tell what kind of impression we made.
Things never quite go as planned. We had planned to survey advisors
to find out who was interested in incorporating honey sales into
their fundraisers. This didn’t go over well. Still, the
interest is there. It’s going to take some effort by the
individual beekeepers to contact their local chapters. Remember
that you would be selling on the wholesale level. The FFA, as
with most fundraisers, wants to make 40% on what they sell. If
you sell them a bear for $1.75, they are going to retail it for
$2.75 to $3.00.
We handed out information on the youth mentoring
program to a lot of students. There were several who expressed
interest. There is no way to know how many will follow through.
We are hoping to get several applicants.
Submitted by Phil Ebert
Tim Laughlin’s queen has gone home. If
you have been reading my column, you know I have been nursing
Tim’s queen through the winter. She survived three observation
hives last fall. There were three good frames of bees in her box
at the beginning of March. When Tim picked her up at the beginning
of April, they had dwindled down. There were still bees on three
frames but together they probably made one good frame of bees.
Tim planned to put her with some bees that had gone queenless.
It will be interesting to se how long she lasts.
Submitted by Phil Ebert