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