Sunday, March 17, 2013

Minutes From Meeting 3/13/2013

East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association    


42 members attended.  New members:  Randy Crawford, Theresa Dunnington, Tyson and Gaylene Gilbert, Thad and Rachel Trier, Doug Williams 

President’s report:  Dave Irvin thanks everyone for donating old bee supply catalogs for him to at our ECIBA fair booths this year.  He has paid first installment of this year’s insurance to display at fairs.
Last summer, Dave removed several swarms but was never paid for his trouble.  His policy this year will be to collect $100 up front before removing swarms.

Membership report: ECIBA presently has 90 members (counting couples only once) on our rolls, after dropping 22 from the 2012 list.  We drop any who haven’t come to at least one meeting during the year.

Paul Gardner with the hives he has made. 
Hive raffle and dues payments:  Thanks to Paul Gardner for donating the complete hive we raffled to raise money for the club.  We sold 39 raffle tickets at $5, and the hive was won by Wilber Collins.  As of meeting’s end, 44 members had paid their $5 ECIBA dues for 2013.  To clear up some possible confusion: belonging to ECIBA does NOT automatically make you a member of Iowa Honey Producers Association.  Joining IHPA is a good idea, though.
Secretary Dave Campbell draws while Dave Irvin holds the pail.

A happy raffle winner!

 Small hive beetles: Boyd Palmer has seen many infestations of SHBs during his bee inspections in eastern Iowa.  Check out Jerry Freeman’s article on SHBs in Jan 2013 issue of Bee Culture. SHBs will slime honey frames, making them drip and ruining them.  Freeman says healthy swarms will police their SHB population, keeping them corralled in a small area so they don’t overrun the rest of the hive. If you insert too many new frames in a super, you disrupt the corrals and the SHBs get lose.  He’s noticed that dusting with powdered sugar to treat varroas also knocks down SHBs, but you have to have a sticky board or oil tray below your screened bottom board to keep them from crawling right back out.  Comment from Floyd Otdoerfer: SHBs also attack stored honey, so extract your honey right away.

Relayed from State Apiarist Andy Joseph:  Floyd talked with Andy before the meeting and heard:  
---1) package bees are in very short supply this spring.  If you don’t have your order in by now, it is probably too late.  Some beekeepers may still have nucs, though. 
---2) May-June is swarm time, so give your hives lots of expansion space (advice counter to Freeman’s, above!), and check for queen cells.  Also check drone larva for mites; get early warning about mite infestations. 
--- 3) Some folks are now training dogs to sniff for foulbrood.  Not a bad idea, though you can usually smell it, too!  
---4) There are two new products for mites, Hopguard and Apibar.  These may be more benign than earlier chemical treatments.  IHPA has persuaded Iowa EPA to allow use of these new treatments for a period of one year in order to evaluate them.

IHPA Legislative Committee Member Bob Wolff is looking for ways to get our state legislature to realize our concerns.  Example: recently the legislature removed the requirement that pesticide sprayers must notify nearby beekeepers.  (New law: just don’t spray during midday, the hours our lawmakers imagine that bees might be working.)  This change probably was in response to chemical lobbyists, but beekeepers clearly were not consulted.
   There are several ways we can educate our lawmakers.  First, please report to Andy Joseph any chemical kills that happen this summer.  Document them if possible (get tail numbers of spray airplanes, for example).  Samples of poisoned bees can be sent to the state lab for verification.  IDALS wants to fix the problems, but needs solid information to push for new legislation.
   By all means, register your hives this year.  Also, go to, and fill out their questionnaire.  That will help to collect and document information about bees, pollination, pesticide effects, and so on, that we can take to the legislature.
   Another path is to go to the chemical applicators directly.  Except for crop dusters with airplanes, much of the spraying that happens is done by local farm Co-ops.  Bob has a general letter to take to the Co-op that you can customize by adding your hive location and so on.  Most Co-ops are happy to help, once they have the information.  We plan to post Bob’s letter on our web page, , for you to get and use.
 Finally, it would be good for us to get organized to be able to bombard our lawmakers with letters and emails the next time they propose new anti-bee laws. To that end, I would like to share our ECIBA member list with IHPA so that IHPA can notify us if it becomes necessary.  I know, though, that some of you do not want your personal information to get out.  So how about this: suppose I give IHPA a membership list with only email addresses for those who have email, but give mailing addresses for the rest?  NOTICE: if you do not want your member listing shared with IHPA, notify me right away.  I’m happy to withhold it if you want me to, but you must let me know.  Exception:  As always, I’ll continue to refer customers to members who are listed to provide bee services like selling nucs or gear, removing swarms, etc.

==Dave Campbell, ECIBA Secretary