of the Month
This month our featured beekeepers are John and
his wife LuAnn Reese and their daughter Megan. They live at Laurens,
Iowa. Megan’s Hunny is the name of their business and they
market honey and wax.
John and Megan stand next to one of their
hives. Megan “wanted something different for a FFA project”.
John writes, “My daughter Megan wanted
something different for a FFA project. She wanted to do honey
bees. A long time friend and beekeeper Melvin Runnenberg got us
started and made it possible. In the spring of 2004 Megan got
two hives. In June one swarmed out, and 1 produced about 40 lbs.
In 2005 Megan purchased four 2-pound packages, two swarmed and
2 produced 350 pounds of honey. Megan wintered 2. By the spring
of 2006 the two wintered hives produced 1 nuc and she bought 5
packages putting us to 8 hives. Some did well, some swarmed, and
some produced 750 pounds of honey. Fall of 2006 wintered 6, all
survived. Spring of 2007 Megan graduated from High School and
was out of beekeeping, but I was hooked on beekeeping so I bought
5 packages, made splits, and ended up with 15 hives. 20007 started
slow, looks fair. It is fun to work with one of nature’s
John also tells me he loves the outdoors, hunting
and fishing. Beekeeping is just another way to enjoy the outdoors,
and since he does a lot of woodworking he makes a lot of his own
bee equipment. His future plans are to have 25 colonies and market
John Reese and his daughter Megan show
us their extracting station.
John is the newly elected vice president of
the Northwest Iowa Bee Association (NWIBA). The group tries to
meet monthly to support each other as well as have beekeeping
The Iowa Honey Producers haven’t met John and his family
yet. He says it’s a long way from the Northwest corner of
the state. We’ll keep working on him.
Thanks for your story. It’s always interesting
to hear other’s stories about how they got “hooked”
Submitted by Ron Wehr