Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Minutes From June, 2014 Meeting

 Notes from 6/9/2014 Meeting
30 members attended.  New members:  Maureen Marron, David Seale, Hannah Valentine

Jim Kessler talks about the importance of native plants in our environment

Speaker Jim Kessler: “Design and Plant a Native Pollinator Garden”.  This talk emphasized native plants that are pollinated by insects.  Jim gave a handout listing such plants, pointing out the need to design plantscapes to supply pollen and nectar continuously from spring through fall.  Many of the plants on his list, though good for other insects, are not much visited by honeybees.   Some honeybee plants on his list were Anise Hyssop, Calico Aster, Mountain Mint, New Jersey Tea, Hoary Vervain, and Hazelnut (for pollen, not nectar).  Many others he listed are not specifically mentioned in Lovell’s “Honey Plants of North America”, but have relatives (same genus, different species) that are:  Butterfly and Rose Milkweed, Silky Aster, various sedges (pollen only), Foxglove Beardtongue, Wild Leek, Short’s Aster, Stiff Goldenrod, Serviceberry, Red-Osier Dogwood, and Nannyberry (a type of haw).  Jim recommended several books on his subject, including a new one by Heather Holm, “Pollinators of Native Plants”, which has nice color photos you can use to identify particular plants.  An outfit that sells the plants is Ion Exchange, 1878 Old Mission Rd., Harpers Ferry, Iowa 52146, 319-535-7231. Their website is www.ionxchange.com, which also has photos of the plants to help identification.
ECIBA secretary Dave Campbell gives a slide presentation on queen rearing
 Slide show: “Queens for pennies”, taken from Randy Oliver’s website www.ScientificBeekeeping.com, following up on Oliver’s article in the March 2014 issue of American Bee Journal.  The slides are aimed at beekeepers who have developed varroa-resistant strains of bees: Randy exhorts us to spread these genetics for the good of the profession.  Setting up a factory to turn out large numbers of queens is impractical for such beekeepers, but using his instructions one may graft and raise 10 or 12 new queens introduce into splits in the spring.  Important points are the time-table (the steps must be done a specific number of days in order), details on manipulating a Chinese grafting tool and tricks to use with it, and that the brood box and its grafted queens  must be kept warm and moist at all times.

Bee booth: Thanks to Cara Keller for her presentation at Hills bank barnyard days, 5/23/2014.

Johnson County Fair:  We still need volunteers to man our beekeepers tent at the Johnson County Fair, July 21-24.  There are 3 shifts each day: 1st Shift = 10:00 a.m. to 1:30p.m., 2nd Shift = 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., 3rd Shift = 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Volunteers so far: Monday, 1st Shift—Dave Irvin for set up; 2nd—Paul Millice; 3rd–Darlene Clausen; Tuesday, 1st Shift—Floyd and Pat Otdoerfer, 2nd—Charlie Hoehnle, 3rd—open; Wednesday, 1st—Dave Campbell, 2nd—Bob Wolff, 3rd—Larry and Arlene Spina; Thursday, 1st—open, 2nd—Matt and Patty Stewart, 3rd—Dave Irvin for tear down.  Contact Dave Campbell (319-545-7143) or Dave Irvin (319-331-6590) if you can cover one of the empty shifts.   You may sell honey and beeswax during your shift.  All members are welcome to help out at the booth any time.

Iowa State fair:  Iowa State Fair will be August 7-17, 2014, in Des Moines.  There are 24 Apiary categories and $1500 in prizes.  Cash prizes in most categories are awarded through 6th place, so it hasn’t been hard to win something.  Indian Creek Nature Center (319-362-0664) plans to provide transport for entries; drop them off at ICNC on the Tuesday before fair opens (August 5th), and they will go up on Wednesday.   Contest categories and entry forms can be downloaded from www.iowastatefair.org.  Because you never know what apiary products you will actually have available at fair time, the absolute deadline for submitting entry forms is very late, August 1st.  Apply early, and they will mail your stickers (for fairness, no identification is allowed on any entries except for these official entry stickers).  If late, though, you will have to go personally to pick up your entry stickers.

A good crowd was in attendance for the June meeting


==Dave Campbell, ECIBA Secretary

Do you have a question or topic you would like to see discussed at our next meeting?  If so, please email secretary Dave Campbell with your suggestion.