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.