Featured Beekeeper of the Month
This month our featured beekeeper is Jonathan Judd. His parents are Bill and Mary Ann Judd of La Porte City, Iowa. Jonathan is another of the Iowa Honey Producers 2009 Youth Scholarship winners and is having a great time with his bees.
Jonathan is an only child. His father is a funeral director and his mother works at Covenant Clinic. He is a junior at Union High School in La Porte City. This past June Jon earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He enjoys camping, fishing, hiking, working on his truck and hanging out with friends. He is active in the La Porte Dysart FFA chapter. After high school he plans to go to Hawkeye Community College to get a degree in police science.
Dennis Nielson is Jon’s mentor. Jon says, “I have really enjoyed my first year beekeeping. I have learned a lot and have found out how enjoyable beekeeping can be. I first decided to apply for the honey producer’s scholarship when my FFA advisor, Mr. Beck, told me about it. I needed a Supervised Agriculture Experience, but I was having trouble finding something I could do in town. Beekeeping has become a great interest to me, and my family. I learned how to do everything from feeding my bees to extracting their honey and everything in between this year and could not have done it without the help of my mentor, Dennis. It has not only been a learning experience for me but for many others I know. My classmates, friends and fellow FFA members are always asking me about my bees and how they are doing. They all seem to find it interesting and I enjoy telling them about my bees and even sharing some of my honey with them. My dad is also very interested and is enrolled with me in beginning beekeeping classes this winter at Indian Creek Nature Center. He is learning more with me and excited to help me with my hive next year. I recently sent in an application for an award involving my bee project in FFA. The award recognizes FFA members who have done outstanding projects in the past year. My project won in the regional level and has been moved on to state. My beekeeping over the past year has been a great experience. It was been a wonderful project and I have learned a lot and hope to learn more. Without the help of the Iowa Honey Producers I could not have done it, so thank you for being so helpful and getting me started on a great new hobby.”
Jon’s interesting story is that he learned bees love hummingbird food when his neighbor told him his bees drained her feeder every day. Now she is very interested in the bees and thought the honey he gave her was great.
Next spring Jon is planning to get two more hives and wants to keep beekeeping as a hobby.
It sounds like you have not only learned how to keep bees, but you might be encouraging others to become interested also. Good story Jon.
Submitted by Ron Wehr