Saturday, June 13, 2015

Minutes from June 6, 2015 Meeting

 Notes from 6/8/2015 Meeting

51 members attended.  New members:  Kelli Haught, Paul Johanson, Tim Jones, Dana Junkin, Bill Montgomery, Ed and Lynn St John, Thomas Tucker, Jessica Westin

Johnson County Fair:  We still need volunteers to man our beekeepers tent at the Johnson County Fair, July 27-30.  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 Irvin; 3rd–open; Tuesday, 1st Shift—Floyd and Pat Otdoerfer, 2nd—Charlie Hoehnle, 3rd—open; Wednesday, 1st—Paul Millice, 2nd—Dana Junkin, 3rd—Larry and Arlene Spina; Thursday, 1st—Paul Millice, 2nd—open, 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.
Bob Wolff encourages members to submit entries to the Iowa State Fair

Iowa State fair: (Bob Wolff) Iowa State Fair will be August 13-23, 2015, 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 11th), and they will go up on Wednesday.   Contest categories and entry forms can be downloaded from  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.

Beekeeping equipment: Long-time ECIBA member Jim Clark has died, and his estate wants to sell his beekeeping gear.   This includes many hive bodies and 3-frame nuc boxes.  Contact Bob Wolff at ICNC if interested.

Bee catching and removal: Dave Irvin has retired from doing carpentry, but is still available for catching and removing swarms.  We need a list of other ECIBA members who might be available to catch and remove swarms, as well: contact Dave Campbell to get on the contact list.  Contact 
Jim Davis to get listed on this web page,
Dave Irvin demonstrates the use of a sprayer for mites.

Speaker Adam Ebert: Adam’s father, Phil, started Ebert Honey (Lynnville IA) when Adam was small; the business now has ~1200 colonies, dealing in honey, wax, queens, and nucs.  Adam and wife now live near Mt. Vernon, and have extended the Ebert business to eastern Iowa.  Adam runs several hundred colonies sited up and down I-380, concentrating on honey production.  He charges $35/hive for pollinating crops.  Adam’s quick way to make splits is to put 3 frames of brood (plus a few frames with honey/pollen) in an empty hive body, shake off all the bees (to be sure to dump the queen), and put the new box above the old with a queen excluder in between.  (Obvious point: replace frames taken from the old box with frames of drawn comb.)  Nurse bees will come up through the excluder to tend the brood, and you can then move the split.  Best do this in April or through mid-May; Adam says a really vigorous colony might provide as many as 3 or 4 splits.  The nucs  have to be queened, and are more likely to accept a ripe queen cell than a caged queen.  Adam’s experience is that nuc boxes need not be staggered in orientation or color; whether a new queen on her virgin flights gets back home to her nuc seems to depend more on weather than on nuc box location.  Adam has a nuc success rate of 75-80%.  Don’t put nucs too near an ag field where they might be sprayed, but be sure the neighbor farmers know what you are up to.  Choose nuc sites with a wind break.  Adam doesn’t worry much about shade or nearby water; most places in eastern Iowa will have a pond or stream within a quarter mile, and that’s close enough. 
Adam Ebert talks about his experiences with queen rearing.

 Fresh hatched queens are skinny and small, and may be hard to spot.  It is only after their virginal flights are over that they will get plump and have a shinier thorax.  Practice catching queens by the wings (practice with drones or workers), and then hold them by at least two legs.  She will twist off her leg if you only hold her by one, and then be a cripple.  Queen cells from a vigorous hive are a boon: move them to nucs or to a queenless colony that has laying workers.  A laying worker colony will seldom accept a new caged queen, but it will readily hatch out and accept an introduced queen cell for supercedure.  Adam has his honey supers off by 3rd week of August, and treats for varroa using apiguard or hopguard. He tests for varroa using ether rolls on ~300 bee samples.  He leaves on a vented inner cover for ventilation during winter.
==Dave Campbell, ECIBA Secretary

From the "What the heck is this?" Dept.
If you have any idea what this is, and if it has any relationship with beekeeping, please comment on the bottom of this page.  Pretty sure it isn't for straining honey!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Meeting Agenda--Monday, June 8th

·         Sign-up for bee booth, Johnson County 4-H Fair, July 27-30.

·         Speaker:  ECIBA member Adam Ebert.  The May, 2015 issue of American Bee Journal had an article “Ebert Honey in Iowa Diversifies for Stability”.  Part of the Ebert family’s diversification involves expansion from their base in Lynnville IA to new works at Adam’s home in Mt. Vernon.  Adam will tell us more.
Library location:     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).   Meet in Room A&B, the first room on the right in the library’s basement.

Library staff request that we be finished by 8:30 p.m., when they lock up and go home.  Start time of 6:30 is just to give folks time to chat.  Business meeting starts at 7:00 p.m.