of the Month
This month our featured beekeepers are Jeff and
Jodie Miller from Dumont, Iowa. Their business name is Miller-Bee
Honey. Jodie tells me they bought their first hive in 1995 from
John Johnson. She was a little concerned in the beginning because
she has been severely allergic to stings since her early childhood.
She says she’s getting better with age, because she has
been stung several times and has experienced major swelling, but
it appears the allergic reaction is no longer life threatening.
Jodie’s thankful because she says wearing a full metal armor
would have been a bit hot, however, she does keep her emergency
EpiPen kit close.
Jodie Miller with a few of the family
Jeff and Jodie presently have 8 colonies and
are planning a slow expansion. They are marketing 12oz. bears,
6 oz. bears, and quart jars. They filled their largest order of
500 12oz. bears around Christmas and do want to thank Phil Ebert
for helping them complete that order. At this point Jodie says
they are marketing honey at the local grocery store and looking
into expanding to a second store as well.
Jeff and Jodie on a bee retrieval call
Jodie says beekeeping is a “sweet job”.
Bees are fascinating, addictive and you can never fully figure
them out. She wishes she had more time to just sit and watch them.
Since Jeff and Jodie have 8 children to help them, they are going
to make candles for the first time this winter. Jodie thinks it
should be a lot of fun for the whole family.
Charlie (one of our boys) showing off
our great catch :)
To the question asking about interesting experiences
Jodie states, “On July 24th, 2007 we learned that a queen
in her second week of laying eggs can fly 50 feet away from her
hive into a hayfield with 18” tall alfalfa. What a horrible
sight that was. We could only watch in frustration and horror.
Thankfully she apparently returned to her hive because on August
3, 2007 eggs were present and her laying pattern looks great.
Bees… aren’t they wonderful?!”
Thanks for your story Jodie and Jeff, and I’ll
tell Phil your debt is paid.
Submitted by Ron Wehr