Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Minutes from June 10, 2019

A New Film About Bees--Coming Soon to Iowa City's Film Scene
Opening Friday, August 30th
A woman utilizes ancient beekeeping traditions to cultivate honey in the mountains of Macedonia. When a neighboring family tries to do the same, it becomes a source of tension as they disregard her wisdom and advice.
For a link to Film Scene, click here.
Click here to view the trailer of the film.


Minutes from East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association
June 10, 2019

Approximately 40 in attendance

President Dave Irvin called the meeting to order at 6:20.
A sheet was passed around for people to sign up to work our booth at the Johnson County Fair. It will again run 4 days, Sunday through Wednesday, July 21 to 24. If you didn’t sign up but would be willing to work a shift, please give Dave a call.

Dave is downsizing due to some health concerns and has some materials available. Floyd has some nucs available for sale.

Field Days is coming up this Saturday at the Horticultural Research Center in Ames.

Swarms? The swarm season is underway but may extend more into June given the late spring.

State Fair entries may now be made.
Bob Wolff will transport any entries on the Wednesday before the fair opens. Contact Bob if you are interested. The Honey Producers website has all the information about categories, rules, etc.

New members were introduced. Welcome to all!

Annual Honey Producers meeting will be November 9 at the Holiday Inn Des Moines Airport. Again, anyone who attends this meeting or the summer field day is welcome and encouraged to give a summary of what you experienced at our next meeting following the event.

Losses have been heavy coming out of winter. Eberts have experienced about 50% losses.

Time to put supers on? Some honey flow is coming in. A little discussion of the use of queen excluders resulted in mixed reviews, with some trying to go without this year.

This would be a good time to decide what kind of mite treatment to use and purchase materials so you’re ready when it’s time. Various members discussed the type of treatment they use, but most stressed the necessity of treating. Monitoring mite counts is very important.

Hive beetles? They are present in eastern Iowa. Floyd described the problems from carpenter ants. It will soon be time for wax moths to be a problem, particularly for a weak hive. Don’t leave excessive space. If a hive is weaker, the moths are more likely to be a problem.

Floyd demonstrated how he uses nucs. Putting a frame with swarm cells into a nuc is a great way to start a nuc. Floyd builds his with a little more vertical space so swarm cells on the bottom of the frame don’t get squashed.


Early feeding is very important for getting the bees through that last critical period when the weather can turn wet and cold.

Burr Oak Land Trust—Jason Taylor

Jason focused his talk on the danger that many species of insects, plants, amphibians and reptiles may face extinction. Habitat fragmentation, habitat degredation and habitat removal has played a tremendous role in the struggles for survival of many of these species. He focused on the rusty patch bumble bee in demonstrating how the range of the insect has hugely diminished. Awareness of the presence of species like this can result in funding that can help its survival.
Jason talked about the life cycle of the bumble bee. The vast majority of bees in Iowa are solitary bees, not colonial or social bees like the honey bee. These bees need great nectar sources in early spring, typically in April in Iowa. Prairie plants for the most part are later blooming. The bumble bees need good woodland nectar sources to survive. He listed several plants that are very good for bumblebees, such as wild bergamot, that are likely good nectar sources for honey bees as well. Planting native species and helping rid the landscape of non-native plants can be helpful. For trees, species of viburnum provide good early nectar.

Jim Davis showed the various aspects of our club’s website, including resources, trading items, news and video links. The website is accessed at eastcentraliowabeekeeprs.blogspot.com.

Thanks as always to the Stewarts for providing refreshments and to Jason for informing us about what we need to do to help all pollinators.

Jim Davis, secretary


For any corrections or omissions, please email me at davisjk@southslope.net.
Minutes and Agenda items are always available at http://eastcentraliowabeekeepers.blogspot.com