Sunday, December 18, 2016

Minutes from December 12, 2016

East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association:
Meeting Notes from December 12, 2016

Special Thank You:
The ECIBA has had many members over the years that have volunteered their time, knowledge, or have donated beekeeping equipment to support this club and we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for all you do. It’s harder and harder these days to get volunteers —but you made time in your busy schedule to step up. That means even more as every year gets busier. Thank-you!
Upcoming Events:
Iowa Honey Producers Meeting: January 22, 2017 DMAC, Des Moines, IA. 2 pm
ECIBA: Next meeting Monday March 13, 2017. Membership dues of $5 will be taken at this meeting. Please bring a sample of last year’s honey. We will be sampling and voting on the best honey of 2016 prizes will be awarded. Also Paul Gardner will be donating a hive for raffle. Big thank you to Paul.
Johnson County Fair: July 16-22, 2017.
Iowa State Fair: August 10-20, 2017.
Iowa Honey Producers Annual Convention: Will be held November 10-11th 2017 at the Gateway Church of the Nazarene, Oskaloosa, IA. More information to come.
140 Gateway Drive, Oskaloosa, IA 52577
General Business:
Dave Irwin: Current funds $110.48. Johnson County Fair booth and insurance bill to be paid of $77.
Locations interested in having hives placed on their property:
Morning Glory - A Community Harvest Farm
681 Hwy 1 South Mount Vernon, IA Donna 563-451-6676

Bur Oak Land Trust: 5 Sturgis Corner Drive, Suite 1250, Iowa City, IA 52246 319.338.7030
Meeting Notes:
Dave Irwin: Gave an overview of the Iowa Honey Producers Annual Meeting held November 11-12, 2016 in Cedar Rapids, IA. Below are highlights of the meeting.
Jennifer Berry: For the past 17 years, Jennifer Berry has been the Apicultural Research Professional and Lab Manager for the University of Georgia Honey Bee Program. Her research objectives have focused on improving honey bee health, the sub-lethal effects of pesticides on beneficial insects and IPM techniques for varroa and small hive beetle control.

Her primary areas of research have been a queen breeding program and Integrated Pest Management work for varroa mite control. The breeding project is a long term program in which resistant stock is continually selected for as well as traits for honey production, brood production and gentleness.

James Tew: My professional interest is honey bee behavior and biology, with a strong leaning toward practical beekeeping.

Being a bee-friendly beekeeper: Within a wide range, each beekeeper maintains their colonies in ways suitable to their lifestyle and personal schedule. Some of us can allocate more time to our bees than others. As colony numbers increase, you should expect to spend less time with individual colonies. Beekeepers who rarely manipulate their colonies will most likely have
some, or even many, die. Alternatively, beekeepers who open their practically every day are also putting stress on their colonies. New beekeepers can be somewhat excused. They are still learning and are excited to explore their new bee world.
Andy Joseph: Reported that the number of new beekeepers in Iowa has increased 3x over the last 10 years but our bee population is still in decline. The average honey harvest was 80 lbs. per hive in 2016. High numbers for mite and wax moths reported across the state. One commercial producer reported up to a 50% loss due to mites. Iowa to introduce a new hive registration system in 2017. New IHP officers and director appointments: VICE PRESIDENT, Eve Vanden Broek, DISTRICT 2, Shane Bixby, and DISTRICT 3, Mary Wiltgen.

Topic Discussions:
  • Oxalic Acid Vaporization: best times to treat and temperature control
  • Oxalic Acid Drip: Is it better to use than the vaporization. If used you must use exact measurements.
  • How much land is needed to support a colony?
Quest Speaker: Team Thunder FLL Team #5796 gave their presentation for their First Lego League project; The Thunder Hive.
First Lego League was founded in 1989 and based in Manchester, NH, FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designed to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology, and to motivate them to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM fields. This year’s project: Identify a problem when people and animals interact. Then design a solution that makes the interaction better for animals, people, or both. Then the team works to share problem and solution with others.

The team is focusing on helping eliminate CCD. The Thunder Hive will include a weight sensor, humidity sensor, thermal camera, vision camera, varroa gate, and hive heater. All data will feed into an app to be monitored by the beekeeper. The team would like to offer the Thunder hive for $450. If you have suggestions for this First Lego Team on their project please email

Buy Sell or Trade: The following members have beekeeping supplies for sale.
Paul Gardner: Hives, Packages, Queens, and other beekeeping supplies. 319-400-4228
Tim Wilbanks: Packages. 319-321-2494
Dave Campbell: Will be selling woodenware equipment at the March meeting.
Shane Bixby: Full line of equipment and packages. or 319-721-3493

Erin Miller

East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association

Minutes from September 12, 2016

East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association: Meeting Notes from September 12, 2016 

General Business:

 Bob Wolff: There is growing interest for a beekeeping class in Coralville. If you would like to help organize or teach a class next year please contact Bob Wolff or Dave Irwin.

Upcoming Events:  104th Iowa Honey Producers Association Conference & Annual Meeting November 11-12, 2016 located at the Clarion Hotel & Convention Center, Cedar Rapids. Early bird registration ends October 31. If you know someone that should be recognized at the annual meeting, please contact Curt Bronnenberg at 515-480-6075 or Award categories include Pioneer, Distinguished Service, Education, Promotions, Friendship, and Youth Awards. Additional information and registration forms can be found at

ECIBA: Next Meeting December 12, 2016.

 Meeting Topics: Paul Gardner, Oxalic Acid Vaporizers: Paul provided information on how he is treating Varroa Mites with Oxalic Acid. To treat a hive Paul places a small amount of Oxalic Acid onto the vaporizer and places the vaporizer into the hive closing the entrance with a towel. Allow the Oxalic acid to vaporize approximately 2 ½ minutes. You will need to treat your hives with 3 doses on day 1, 7 and 14. Paul has started to make these vaporizers. He is offering them for $110 and it comes with 40 grams of Oxalic acid. Paul’s contact is 319-400-4228.

Dana Junkin, New Hive Design: Dana has created a new version of a top bar hive. This new design features a long hive camber that holds 24 deep frames, with two traditional deep supers on top of the hive. Additional features include an outer feeder and the option of adding a flow hive super. Dana reported that he overwinters by adding 2” of Styrofoam and covers the hive with tar paper. Dana is building this new hive design please call him for details: 319-930-5400.

James Miller, Quilt Boxes: James provided information to the group on how to use a quilt box to help with moisture when overwintering a hive.

 Brood Reminder: Offers professional grade monitors for beehives. The monitors can provide information on hive temperature, humidity, and weight. More information please see

Tim Wilbanks, Year End Review: In Iowa April start out to be a good start to the beekeeping season however we hit a cold wet patch making early April splits difficult. Some beekeepers may of faced Chalk brood due to the damp cool weather. Tim has taken reports of some beekeepers reporting a lower honey crop this year however Tim had a great year.  We need to be treating our hives for mites and preparing them for winter. This is the time of year that hives are rearing winter bees and the health of your hive is very important. The Farmers Almanac is reporting that this upcoming winter will be difficult. Along with mite treatment it is important that we are checking the hive for stores and feed if needed. *Remember that your bees will move from the lower brood box to the upper as the winter progresses. The upper brood box needs to full of honey stores. This is also the time of year to add mouse guards to your hives. Tim also reported that the demand for bee packages is high for next year.

Erin Miller Secretary  East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September 12 ECIBA Meeting

The September meeting will be at the normal time and place (see below).  Sorry, no agenda items at this time.

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 6:00 is just to give folks time to arrive and to chat.  Business meeting starts around 6:30 p.m. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Minutes from June 13, 2016

East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association: Meeting Notes from June 13, 2016
General Business:
New Members: Richard BoHling, Larry and Miechelle Weber, Karen Kuntz, Anne Schmitt, Ed St. John, Carolyn Lemastol, and Jim Scott.
Dave Campbell is currently battling cancer. The ECIBA will need to fill an Interim Secretary position. Erin Miller has volunteered.
Beekeeper Robert Etzel of Cedar Rapids passed away on June 1, 2016.
The Coralville library has placed a display on beekeeping for exhibit. All are encourage to take a look.
Upcoming Events:
Dave Irving: The Johnson County Fair will be held July 25th – 28th 2016. Volunteers need, if you are interested in helping please contact Dave.
Matt Stewart talks about entries 

Matt Stewart: Entering exhibits to the Iowa State Fair. Entry tags can be purchased at for $1. The entry deadline is July 14 with no late entries accepted.
Exhibits must be in place by noon on Wednesday, August 10 and remain in place until 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 21. Exhibits may be brought in between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 7; between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 9 and after 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 10. You will need a Pre-Fair Pass (request on entry form) to bring your vehicle onto the Fairgrounds on Tuesday and Wednesday.
At the end of the fair entries must be picked up between Noon and 6:00 p.m. on Monday, August 22.
Iowa Honey Producers Annual Convention: Will be held November 11-12th 2016 in Cedar Rapids. More information to come.
ECIBA: Next meeting Monday September 12, 2016.
Meeting Topics
Tom Tucker: Iowa Honey Producers Field Day Report This year the field day was sponsored by Pat and Peggy Ennis and included speakers Greg McMahen aka “The Bee Guru” and Iowa State Aprist Andy Joseph. Field day topics included swarm removal, different mite count methods, and bee wax products.
Wax Months are currently out and steps need to be taken to protect your frames. Months do not care for light or air movement.
Spring Hardships Many reported slow starts and late bee freezes in May. This year we faced a 3 week cold snap.
Swarm Season Many members reported catching swarms this year.
Small swarm in Coralville in May

Erin Miller
Interim Secretary

East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association

Friday, March 18, 2016

Minutes from the Meeting March 14, 2016

View our Trading Post link for information about Package Bees


East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association                 Notes from 3/14/2016 Meeting
70+ members attended.  New members: Rob Brenneman, Mike and Corrine Burkett, Mike Buser, Jim and Penny Dolezal, Gregg Lind, Brett Peckosh, Jeanne Snyder, Steve Woodward, Gabe Zahn 

Another good crowd at the meeting.
General information: Dues were collected from 69 families.  The dues pay for insurance for our bee booths at fairs and for postage to members who don’t have email.  We now have 124 families on our member rolls, after having dropped 38 who are presumed inactive because they came to no meetings and paid no dues during 2015.  ECIBA is one of a dozen beekeeping clubs in Iowa that are loosely affiliated with Iowa Honey Producers Association.  ECIBA’s website is managed by Jim Davis, and can be found at

Short items from the business meeting: Mark Cramer, 319-202-1283,, is leaving beekeeping and has equipment for sale.  Coralville Library has display cases we can use, essentially one month at a time.  Tina Jennings will follow up on this.  Silvia (319-354-3854, is looking for a beekeeper’s table at University Heights Farmer’s Market, Tuesdays 4:00-7:00 p.m.  Iowa City doctor John Kammermeyer has developed an injection for people allergic to bee stings.  His treatment is said to remove sting allergies.  Matt Stewart (319-662-4145) was contacted by Kirk Law Firm, which is organizing a class action suit against Syngenta and Monsanto for their GMOs and bee-killing agricultural chemicals.  Wilber Collins showed some frames he built following the article in January issue of “Bee Culture”.  The idea is that bees will make their own comb in these new-style frames, so you need not supply foundation wax.  Bob Wolff is not teaching beekeeping at Indian Creek Nature Center this year, but is setting up a new beekeeping class to be centered in Johnson County.  Like his ICNC class, it will have 6 Saturday morning hands-on clinics scattered throughout the year.  He’s looking for volunteers to help out.
Floyd Otdoerfer shows a frame built by Wilber Collins

(Floyd Otdoerfer) State Apiarist Andy Joseph reports generally high winter survival rates throughout the state.  It is time to check hives and feed any with bees clustered right up under the inner cover, and to clean up deadouts.  Beekeeping is becoming increasingly popular in Iowa, as evidenced by more than 30 beekeeping classes now offered in the state. 
Tim Wilbanks talks about package bee availability

(Tim Wilbanks) Expect bee packages and queens to be scarce this year, as a result of huge demand and unusual weather (global warming?).  Even if you have orders in, suppliers may not be able to honor them until May, and maybe even not at all.  Tim hoped to sell as many as 25,000 packages this year, but may well fall short of that goal.  Established beekeepers definitely should plan to make splits and sell nucs this year, because nucs will be scarce and expensive.  Floyd is now charging $80 plus box deposit for his 4-frame nucs. Tim advises against using screened bottom boards for nucs—too drafty.  Folks using powdered sugar to treat for varroa should be careful to use it only on hive body frames, not on honey supers.  Don’t let sugar get mixed into your honey.
Dennis Nielson talks about the  Iowa Honey Producers Association

Report from Iowa Honey Producers Association: (Dennis Nielson, IHPA board representative from our area, District 3):  IHPA website ( is being overhauled and should be back up soon.  IHPA Summer Field Day will be Saturday, June 11 at Ennis’ Apiary, Goodell IA.  Gregg McMahen from Colorado will be speaker. IHPA will offer advanced bee classes April 30, in Perry, and May 7, in Oskaloosa.   IHPA 2016 Annual Meeting will be Nov 11-12 at the Chariton Inn, Cedar Rapids.  It is already time to think about making entries to Iowa State Fair in August.  Check out Matt Stewart’s article about that in the March issue of “The Buzz”.   Reminder—joining ECIBA does NOT make you a member of IHPA.  To join IHPA send $20 to treasurer Rhonda Heston, 52735 187th Ave, Chariton IA 50049.

==Dave Campbell, ECIBA Secretary

Monday, March 7, 2016

Meeting agenda-Monday, March 14


·       Collect 2016 dues, $5 per family
·       Highlights of IHPA Board Meeting (Dennis Nielson)
·       Open discussion on several possible topics:
Winter survival rates of our hives; feeding sugar patties and pollen substitutes; orders for package bees; ways to split colonies in spring; plans for new beekeeping course.

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 6:00 is just to give folks time to arrive and to chat.  Business meeting starts around 6:30 p.m. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Addendum to December Meeting--New Beginning Beekeeping Course

At our meeting in December, Bob Wolff spoke about expanding the opportunities for people wanting to learn about beekeeping in our area.  For several years, Bob has run the program at Indian Creek Nature Center.  However, Bob, who will no longer be teaching that course, mentioned a new course in Linn County at the Wickiup Hill Learning Center.  Additionally, he and Dave Irvin are hoping to start a new beekeeping course in Johnson County.  Their hope is to begin the class later this year into 2017.  Exact dates, schedule, and location are yet to be determined.  They are looking for a few more instructors to help teach and plan.  More important, they hope to get many people to volunteer their time--to demonstrate equipment, talk about how they manage their bees and show off their bee yards.  
Suggestions and advice are welcome.  Interested people should contact Dave (319-331-6590) or Bob (319-366-5415).  

Note:  Indian Creek Nature Center has just informed us they have added a third group for 2016.  If interested, click here for more info.