Greetings from the President of the IHPA
Dear Honey Producers,
I just read an article on the back cover of Our Iowa magazine about living in Iowa that really seems very true. “You know you’re from Iowa if….you often switch the thermostat from Heat to AC in the same day, and back again.” (You can see how far behind I am, it was the August/September issue.) It is that time of year when I load my car with warm clothes, really warm clothes and summer weight clothes just to attend a farmers’ market. I have a special spot in the car just for “extra” clothes. It gets really miserable standing in the cold and wind for 3 or 4 hours if I don’t have enough clothes. Sometimes the patrons think I am crazy wearing my winter coat and gloves. They just dash to the market, get their produce or honey and then get back into their warm cars and go to their warm homes.
The Iowa State Fair is history for another year. Thank you to everyone who took time out of a very busy schedule to work for the IHPA to help raise money for our organization. There were a few days that we had too many people and other days with not quite enough people. Several circumstances created these issues. The attendance was way down at the fair this year, so we had extra people working with fewer attendees visiting the IHPA booth. Some workers had changes unexpectedly come up, so we were short on workers because of that also. The days sure seemed long again this year. I arrived at the building before 8 in the morning and most days didn’t leave until 10 pm. Several highlights of the fair were—we had enough comb honey for the entire fair, we had plenty of lemon juice and we did take in more money than the previous year. The 2009 fair gross income was an all time high for us. I was certainly worried that we were in serious trouble matching that amount with the attendance down, but with our products and great prices, the fairgoers patronized us and purchased lots of honey lemonade, honey and beeswax products. A more detailed report will be given at the Annual Meeting along with some of the bizarre questions that we were asked by attendees. Thanks again to all of the volunteers and a special thanks to Melanie and Duane, to Louise, Regina and Amber, and to Diane and Laura.
Are all of your hives ready for winter? Check out the October tips article to make sure you get them ready for winter. Did I actually say winter! After last year, I am not prepared for another one like it. Let’s hope it is a better one.
Get your reservations made for the Annual Meeting. Don’t forget to bring those outstanding photos you have taken, your prized Mead and your favorite recipes for the annual contests. Information and rules are included elsewhere in this issue. The Annual Meeting is a great place to get up-to-date information about beekeeping, talk to fellow beekeepers, discuss all of the issues facing beekeeping, pick up equipment and supplies from the vendors, meet new friends and have a great time. Don’t miss it. For more information concerning registration contact Melanie Bower or for information concerning the meeting contact Pat Randol.
Now is also the time to help OUR organization by volunteering to be a board member or officer in the IHPA. Consider running for office to help spread the work around to everyone.
There is another article that needs particular mention. We all need a reminder that comb (beeswax) included in old equipment needs to be inspected to be sold in Iowa. I know how tempting and convenient it is to purchase some used equipment from another beekeeper without an inspection, but there is the possibility of the spread of disease by doing so. We are in precarious times with the mortality of honey bees anyway, why take the chance. Contact Andy Joseph, Delmar Nelson or Boyd Palmer to have your bees and equipment inspected. The rules and regulations are listed in ”Iowa rules and laws” for a reason. Remember if you take honey bees from Iowa to another state, they also need to be inspected. If you know of a beekeeper in your area that is not a member of the IHPA, please encourage them to become a member so that they are aware of the rules and regulations concerning beekeeping. Registering hive locations is also another tool for beekeepers to use to protect themselves and our precious honey bees.
We are gearing up for another class of youth scholars. There is a need for mentors to get these young adults prepared to become beekeepers. Please let Mike Brahms know if you would be interested in sharing your knowledge with a young person. The mentors get as much out of the program as the youngsters do. Please consider helping.
We would like to offer the frozen lemon juice to make honey lemonade to our members. If you are interested in purchasing some lemon juice, please contact Melanie Bower or Donna Brahms. The lemon juice is frozen, so it is stored in a freezer at 3 Bee Farms, Mike and Donna Brahms business near Griswold. We will have a discussion about it at the annual meeting, so be thinking if you could utilize this selling tool for your business or organization.
“Bee” prepared for the coming season change. Prepare hives and equipment. Enjoy the fall colors, the Indian summer and above all, spend quality time with your loved ones.