Thursday, June 14, 2012

Minutes from June, 2012 ECIBA Meeting

35 members attended.  New members:  Kevin Adams, Trent Brendel, Geoff & Aziva Lauer, Justin Cornett-Olsson, Tracy & Chris Russell, Rocky Zahn.

Paul Gardner gave his new Queen Raising class June 2nd and 3rd at Indian Creek Nature Center.  The class was a big success, and plans are to repeat it again next year.  Six people attended, and all got a chance to practice starting queens.  Several of the resulting queen bees are now available at ICNC, and can be picked up there before 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 16th.  These are mutt (unknown variety) virgin queens, and are free.  After 11:00, any queens left over will be sacrificed and used to make novelty “ice cubes”, by encasing them in clear plastic.

Iowa Honey Producers summer field day will be held next Saturday, June 16th, in Perry IA.  Larry Connor is featured guest, and will be giving a pre-field day class on Friday.  Information on The Buzz, or www.ABuzzAboutBees.com.

Matt Stewart talked about the threats to our bees that is posed by many new pesticides that FDA has (unwisely!) now approved.  These pesticides are “neonicitinoids” with names like “clothianidin”, “imidacloprid”, and “thiamethoxam”.  A neonicitinoid is a chemical that mimics natural chemicals found in tobaccos, but is synthesized in chemical plants.  Clothianidin is made by BASF (the Bayer aspirin company, in Germany), and is used here in America to treat seed corn in order to kill rootworms.  The problem is that the chemical coating makes the seed sticky, so that talc dust is added to make the seed feed properly through corn planters.  Some of the talc dust, now containing clothianidin, gets into the air, and coats other plants in the area such as dandelions.  It is then picked up by bees.  There are now a number of new studies that prove that bees are ingesting “sub-lethal doses” of these and many other pesticides with their pollen.  This is looking more and more like the culprit causing Colony Collapse Disorder, CCD.  Neonicitinoid pesticides are now banned in several European countries, but not here in America.  We need a groundswell of protest from beekeepers to ban them here, too. (That worked in the 1960’s against DDT) Check out Jeremy Barnes’ editorial in the June issue of Bee Culture.

Jim Davis, our ECIBA webmaster, pointed out that there is a series of beekeeping webinars sponsored by Ohio State University, some dealing with the above pesticide issues.  He will post links to these webinars on ECIBA website, http://eastcentraliowabeekeepers.blogspot.com/.

We still need volunteers to man our beekeepers tent at the Johnson County Fair, July 23-26.  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—Dave Campbell,  3rd–open; Tuesday, 1st Shift—Floyd and Pat Otdoerfer, 2nd—Charlie Hoehnle, 3rd—Darlene Clausen; Wednesday, 1st—Marti Freund, 2nd—open, 3rd—Bob Wolff and ECIBA Honey Queen Jeralyn Westercamp, as well as Larry and Arlene Spina; Thursday, 1st—Paul Millice, 2nd—Matt and Patty Stewart, 3rd—Geoff and Aviza Lauer as well as 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.

We are also scheduled to have ECIBA booth at HooverFest in West Branch on August 4th.  Volunteers needed there, too.  Dave Irvin has now paid the second installment of the liability insurance (costing about $70 per quarter) that we need in order to do these outreach activities.

Iowa State Fair will be August 9-22, 2012, in Des Moines.  This year will be the 100th anniversary of Iowa Honey Producers Association (IHPA), who will give a prize to the club with most entries (entries, not prizes won).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.    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.  Bob Wolff and Matt Stewart will give a workshop at ICNC on how to prepare prize winning entries on either June 25th or July 9th, to be determined.  Contact ICNC at 319-362-0664 if interested.   Contest categories are listed in the January 2012 issue of The Buzz.  Entry forms can be downloaded from www.iowastatefair.org.  Apply early, and they will mail your stickers (for fairness, no identification is allowed on any entries except for these official entry stickers).  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.  If late, though, you will have to go personally to pick up your entry stickers.

Dave Campbell, ECIBA Secretary

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