Greetings from the President of the IHPA
Dear Honey Producers,
Well, another Iowa State Fair is in the record books. The fair had a record number of attendees, the IHPA had record sales and the weather was great. I had anticipated a large crowd by ordering more lemon juice. I sure am glad that I did, we only have one case left and I ordered 10 extra cases. Thanks to all who were able to help in the booth and work for the IHPA by selling lemonade, honey and beeswax products and answering the countless number of questions of our patrons. We certainly missed some of our regular helpers who were unable to volunteer this year due to illnesses or surgeries. We hope you are healing well and will be in tip-top shape to help next year. I especially wish to thank Melanie Bower for all of the work that she did to get the exhibit area ready for the fair, for being Apiary Superintendent, and for her job as IHPA treasurer. Pat Ennis, Phil Ebert and Andy Joseph did an excellent job of talking to people concerning honey and honey bees each day at 2 p.m. in the Knap Animal Learning Center. Amber Connett, the new Iowa Honey banner designer, and a scholarship youth winner also helped talk a couple of days. Diane Jurchen, the Iowa Honey Queen did a record amount of interviews, appearances and demonstrations along with Regina Jager. Louise Johnson helped interested fair attendees roll a record amount of beeswax candles. I also need to thank Mike for obtaining and hanging the new Iowa Honey banner, getting the sink, new faucet and hot water heater in working order before the fair started. I didn't realize how much longer it took to clean things up before we had the water heater. Mike, THANKS for taking apart the sink, water heater, storing them for next year. Thanks for helping to get the countless boxes home and for only getting two hours of sleep before going to work on Monday morning. Congratulations to everyone who entered and received a ribbon for their exhibits. The exhibit area always attracts a lot of people especially the honey bee observation hives. Thanks for a wonderful job. We look forward to an even larger display next year.
Each time I walk out of a door, I hear spray planes and I just cringe! The farmers, aerial applicators and ground rigs are just flying through fields of soybeans trying to rid them of aphids. We received 5 calls in one week, it seems everyone around us is spraying, that is except our renters. Thanks Travis and Jack. (fellow beekeepers) Where could we even move our hives to keep them from being sprayed? Not to our home, not to any of the other yards, out of state? They are spraying every location that we have. I read an article in Iowa Farmer Today concerning the pesticides that are being used. The article stated that the chemical isn't working and shouldn't be used. I think that once one farmer starts spraying, the entire state starts. I was talking to one of the farmers at the Senior Center where I work about the soybean spraying. Max told me that his agronomist suggested that he spray his fields. He walked out into them saw lady bugs and decided not to spray. He did not see aphids. I agree with Ivan Ricker who submitted a letter to the editor to his local newspaper. The chemical companies are the ones coming out ahead. We have had several aerial sprayers contact us about spraying, but I have heard of several out there that are doing no contacting. Mike happened to be home one evening following one of the calls and was very happy to hear the planes around dusk. If you get sprayed, contact Andy. It is our only recourse at this time. Sorry Andy. Do we need to form a task-force to present information and some possible solutions to Secretary Northey? Anyone interested?
September is National Honey Month. Let your community know by contacting your local newspaper and radio. Decorate a store window, do a tasting promotion in your local grocery store, invite the Iowa Honey Queen, Diane, or one of the local honey queens to your community for a promotion. Talk to an organization or to school classes about honey and bees. Lots of interest was generated at the Iowa State Fair and people seem to know about our concerns, let them in on the fun by holding a special event at your local farmers' market or elsewhere. Celebrate Honey!
Don't forget to mark and clear your calendar for the Annual Meeting of the IHPA. Let's hope for another record, a record amount of members going to Marshalltown on November 7th and 8th. Pat Ennis has done a great job of planning this meeting and getting speakers. Join in on the fun by bringing your award-winning photos, tasty foods made with honey or your homebrewed mead to enter the contests. Share your talents with fellow members.
Celebrate Honey and beekeeping during September and "Bee Creative". Let everyone know that you are a beekeeper and proud of it.
Donna Brahms, IHPA President