Monday, March 19, 2012

Notes from 3/12/2012 Meeting

46 members attended.  New members:  Corrine & Mike Burkett, Scott & Audrey Stewart, Mahlon Mast, David Miller, David Yoder, Tobias Yoder, Bob White.

Paul Durenburger of 1398 Franklin Ave, West Branch, (319-643-4055) would like someone to put bees on his 73-acre restored prairie land.  This brings up a possibility: we sometimes hear from other landowners who would also like to host beehives on their land.  If you are looking for places to site your hives, please let me (Dave Campbell) know.  I’ll start a list, and try to match you up.

Bob Wolff reported on his classes at Indian Creek Nature Center, 319-362-0664. Beginning Beekeeping class is now off to a good start.  This is probably the only beekeeping class in Iowa that offers work sessions scattered spring through fall, so as to focus on the different tasks that come at different times.  The second ICNC course is Queen Raising, a new course to be taught by Paul Gardner June 2nd and 3rd, 9:00a.m. - 3:00p.m.  Cost is $60 for ICNC members, and $75 for non-members, with enrollment limited to 10.

Floyd Otdoerfer gave his recipe for making pollen patties to boost bees in the spring.  He mixes 4 cups of pollen substitute (such as “MegaBee”, from suppliers like Dadant or BetterBee) with ¾ pint of 2:1 sugar syrup and ¾ pint of his own honey.  He says you can actually use soy flour (available from HyVee or New Pioneer) instead of the commercial pollen substitute.  He mixes it to stiff dough and flattens it into patties in a waxed bag.  Store in fridge till ready.  Makes 8 hives worth.  

Floyd also showed a booklet on small hive beetles he got from the apiary extension service of Clemson University, South Carolina.  One point was that you can use strips of corrugated cardboard as beetle traps.  The beetles will hide in the slots, and you can tap them out and crush them.  This works more to monitor beetles than to control them, though.  Best of all is to have healthy swarms, because beetles hurt weak ones the most.  More at Discussion: cold winter frosts kill beetle eggs in the soil, so we don’t see many small hive beetles here in Iowa.  However, it has been a very mild winter this year.  Did they survive?

Dave Irvin has arranged to have our ECIBA booth at HooverFest in West Branch on August 4th.  He also has talked with the Johnson County Fair people.  Besides having our booth there, he will give a beekeeping demo to the public at 2:00 p.m. Monday of the fair.  ECIBA will also sponsor a $25 prize for the best 4-H beekeeper.  Dave has now paid the first installment of the insurance we need in order to do these outreach activities.

Matt Stewart and Bob Wolff encouraged everybody to enter apiary products at this year’s Iowa State Fair, August 9-22, 2012.  There are 24 categories and $1500 in prizes.  Many of the categories have had sparse entries in past years, so it hasn’t been hard to win something.  This year will be the 100th anniversary of Iowa Honey Producers Association (IHPA) so they want a big turn-out.  To egg us on, IHPA will give a prize to the club with most entries (entries, not prizes won).  ICNC plans to provide transport for entries; drop them off at ICNC on the Tuesday before fair opens (August 7th), and they will go up on Wednesday.  ICNC also will give a workshop on how to prepare prize winning entries on either June 23rd or 30th.   Contest categories are listed in the January 2012 issue of The Buzz.  Entry forms can be downloaded from  Get them early and make plans.  However, 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.

IHPA announcements (Deb and Dennis Nielson):  a) The IHPA cookbook needs recipes.  Send to Donna Brahms, 14922 535th St, Griswold IA 51535.  b) Annual IHPA field day will be June 16th in Perry IA.  It is $30 admission and pot luck.  Larry Connor, “Travelling Beekeeper” columnist for American Bee Journal, will speak.  Come a day early and take Connor’s class on Queen Rearing for $75.  c) Central Iowa Beekeepers will hold their auction April 21st, also at Perry IA. d) Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has agreed to address IHPA on the occasion of their 100th anniversary at this year’s Iowa State Fair.  e) The IHPA website is being revamped.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the ECIBA website that Jim Davis has constructed.  It is at  Our thanks to Jim for this good work!

Finally, because our meetings have been extending past the 8:30 p.m. closing time at Coralville Public Library, I propose we start the next meeting, June 11th, a half-hour early, at 6:30 p.m.  Use this early half hour to look at interesting stuff people bring in.  Business meeting to start at 7:00 p.m. as usual.
Dave Campbell, ECIBA Secretary

Monday, March 5, 2012

March Meeting


Agenda:  General meeting, possibly including
·         Updates: Beekeeping classes (Bob Wolff, Paul Gardner);
                      IHPA plans (Dennis & Deb Nielson); 
                     ECIBA Honey Queen (Jeralyn Westercamp); 
                     Sponsoring 4-H prizes for beekeeping?
·         General discussion: Spring Hive Preparation.  Anticipating swarms.
·         More on small hive beetles.  Recipe for spring feed patties (Floyd Otdoerfer)
·         Preparing entries for Iowa State Fair competition.  (Bob Wolff, Matt Stewart)
·         ECIBA web site?  (Jim Davis. Check out
·         Collection of 2012 dues: $5 per member or couple.  
(Dave Campbell, Secretary)

Not a member?   If you are a beekeeper or just interested in what beekeeping is all about,  please come join us.  East Central Iowa Beekeepers are always happy to have new members!

Meetings are held at the Coralville Public Library, lower level
 Library address:  1401 5th Street       Coralville IA 52241          
Come north on 12th Ave from Hwy 6 for one long block and cross over 5th Street. \
 Library parking is on the left (west).  Meeting is in Room A, the first room on the right in the library’s basement.