IMPORTANT IHPA DATES TO REMEMBER
Nov. 17, 2005 Board Meeting Marshalltown
Nov. 18 & 19, 2005 Annual Meeting
To add an important date to the list, contact
the Buzz by email :
Clay County Fair
The Clay County Fair was a big success this
year. The sales of products were up from two years ago. Thanks
to all who helped with the booth. I am not comparing to last year
because of the heavy rain of last year really slowed sales after
the rain. The attendance was up this year over last year but about
the same as 2003. The goal for the Clay County Fair is to exceed
300,000. They made it with a few hundred more. The products sold
this year were provided by the beekeepers of Northwest Iowa except
for the comb honey. The first two days Teresa Jurchen was there
to help with the booth and promote beekeeping. I am glad she was
able to get away from college to be there. THANKS TERESA! Sunday
morning the first baking with honey competition was held at the
Clay County Fair. Teresa and I were able to watch the judging.
There were many categories that were not entered this year but
the lady in charge of the entries said there were about fifty
people who expressed interest for next year.
Submitted by Jim Strachan
Local Honey Queens
The Iowa Honey Queen Program would like to recognize
the following local honey queens who are hard at work in their
Chelsea Soder, Northwest Iowa
Elizabeth Macken, Northeast Iowa
Bridget Solawetz, Central Iowa
Leisl Burgher, Southeast Iowa
We hope you will get to know your local queens
and help them as they learn about our industry. They can be a
very effective addition to your regular honey promotions. Congratulations
It's Auction Time Again!
Yes, the IHPA Convention is right around the
corner, and that means the annual Queen Auction is fast approaching.
We will once again be having both a silent and live auction at
this year's convention. This is a great chance for you to add
rare and unique items to your own "bee collection",
and support the Iowa Honey Queen Program at the same time. Past
auctions have included collectables, home decor, clothing, beeswax
sculpture, woodworking, beekeeping books (old & new), equipment,
and much more. To donate to this year's auction, just bring your
items to convention or mail them to: Regina Jager 2377 330th Street
Eddyville, IA 52553 It's sure to be a great time for everyone.
We hope to see your there!
Submitted by Regina Jager
Featured Beekeeper of the Month
This month our featured beekeeper is Doug Schmitz.
He and his wife live in Defiance, Iowa, and operate Smitty Bee
Honey Inc. Doug writes and tells me he grew up in the beekeeping
business. He is a third generation beekeeper and his dad let him
have his own bee yard when he was about 14. Whe he got out of
high school he went into the family business, and slowly increased
the count of colonies. In the late 70’s early 80’s,
he and his father worked 2400 hives. Then Doug bought 1000 colonies
and went on his own. Now he works between 150 and 200 colonies.
Sharon is the head of sales along with their
son Tony. Tony came home after college and helps with everything
that has to do with bees, bulk honey, pollen, comb honey, candy,
candles, beauty soaps and lotions etc.
Doug says he enjoys working out in the timbers
with his bees, knowing that his father and grandfather had bees
in several of the same locations. He also enjoys people asking
beekeeping related questions. In the future Doug plans to work
the sales end of the business with the internet and catalog sales
and promote American honey with bulk sales.
At one time Doug was on the board of Iowa Honey
Producers and currently belongs to the Southwest Honey Producers.
There are 25-30 members and they meat every spring. He has been
president. The group works at the State Fair and shares ideas
and names of other people in beekeeping.
Doug’s advice to others is to go into the
business slowly, look for sales and talk to older beekeepers who
have years of experience. To make a go of it, set up so you can
move the bees easily, go to where the honey is, move for pollination
and stay on top of diseases.
Great advice and thanks for your story.
Submitted by Ron Wehr