Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Minutes from September 11, 2017

Minutes of the East Central Iowa Beekeepers Association
September 11, 2017

The meeting was called to order by President Dave Irvin at 6:35 pm.

President’s Notes:
Dave announced that our checking account was closed at the bank for being below the minimum. We currently have only about $15 in the treasury.

The Iowa County Conservation Commission is doing preliminary planning for an event to be held in roughly a year from now. The program will be held near Marengo, to be named something like Honey Fest or Pollen Fest. They are looking for vendors to be present, so if you are interested contact a member of the Iowa County Conservation Commission.

Paul Campbell of Tipton, one of our members, is ill and has a number of hives to be taken care of.  If anyone is interested in helping with the bees they should contact his home.  Call Dave Irvin for more information.

Vice-President’s Notes:
Floyd began a discussion of sources of seed for bee-friendly plantings. Alfalfa (hay) seed was suggested. Various plants that bees seem to be attracted to late summer include shallots, broccili and lavender.

How to prevent swarms? A discussion ensued about the use of entrance reducers. Many beekeepers, including Matt Stewart, keep hives pretty well closed up at the entrance even through the summer to reduce the chances of swarming.

November 10th and 11th are the dates for the Iowa Honey Producers annual meeting. Forms for registration are found online at https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/91f0a1_288b5d8d80d34e3c9c5afb02044542e2.pdf, which is the September newsletter. They hope to have online registration available for the 2018 meeting.

Floyd also mentioned an article in The Buzz about the use of Roundup herbicide. Dr. Bruce Rafoth talks about the damage to bees and other organisms as the chemical can destroy essential gut flora, thereby killing the organisms and cautions against its overuse.

Floyd asked if anyone attended the summer Field Day held at Wickiup Hill. James Miller attended and mentioned new formulas were presented for pollen patties and there were demonstrations of jigs for making hive equipment and learned about how to make creamed honey. There was also a seminar on mite control and a good crowd was on hand.

The State Fair had a good number of entries this year, though there were only 3 in the comb honey category. Some expressed frustration with trying to get the bees to produce comb honey.

Floyd mentioned problems he has had getting bees in some hives to move through a queen excluder. Having a hive entrance above the supers can help, as can having a honey barrier above the brood nest inhibit a queen’s movement above such a barrier, members suggested.

Jim Davis will serve as club secretary, now that Erin Miller is taking on other duties in her area.

Matt Stewart:
Matt informed the group about the passing of a former club member and past president of the Iowa Honey Producers Association, Paul Goossen. Paul had also been the original owner of Noble Bee Honey and sold the business to Matt and Pat.

Matt also talked about the problems with neonicotinoids remaining in the ground for a long time and the effects that can have on bees.

These items were brought in by Dave Irvin to be identified. Matt Stewart suggested the top item was to be put in the front entrance to prevent the queen and drones from leaving, to prevent swarming. The lower item could be used for moving a hive.

General Discussion:

Shane Bixby announced dthe creation of a new bee club out of Wickiup Hill Learning Center. They will meet monthly, the third Tuesday of the month. Contact Wickiup Hill for more information. Shane said that the honey crop from the northern counties was very good this year.

A reminder about bee stings—several reports were given about people having severe reactions to bee stings. Allergic reactions to the stings can happen at any time, even after years of being stung. A severe reaction to stings can be fatal and needs to be taken seriously. Beekeepers are encouraged to have medications such as liquid benadryl or, better yet, epipens accessible.

Yellow jackets are also a problem this time of year as they tend to get more aggressive and are out in large numbers. Methods of killing hives were discussed, including pouring soapy water in their nest or using Sevin.

A question about purchasing bees’ wax was asked. Two sources mentioned are:
Dennis Navs in Doddsville 319-393-7947

Dennis Nielson in Newhall 319-223-5806

The meeting officially ended at 7:50 with time for general socializing.
Jim Davis, Secretary

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Minutes from June 12, 2017

General Business:

Dave Irvin called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

General Business:

Johnson County Fair:  The fair this year will be July 24-July 27.  A sign-up sheet was passed around so people could volunteer to work in our tent, which this year will be shared with the Burr Oak Land Trust group.  Dave encouraged people to attend as it is a fun, entertaining and educational event.  He noted how more informed about bees visitors seem to have become in recent years.

IHPA Summer Field Day:  Saturday, July 15th in Linn County at Wickiup Hill Learning Center.  Attendance is limited to 125 participants, so early registration is recommended.  See the Iowa Honey Producers website for further details.

Iowa State Fair entries:  The deadline for entries for the 2017 State Fair is July 14th.  In the past, Indian Creek Nature Center has helped take area entries to the Fair.  It is uncertain if that is happening this year so interested members are encouraged to contact Indian Creek.

Bee Removal:  Dave has received numerous requests this spring to remove bees and asked for and received volunteers to help take some of those jobs.

Beekeeping Equipment (Floyd Otdoerfer):  Floyd presented several items he recommends carrying in his field bucket.  First, he described how a frame gripper can be very handy and less likely to upset the bees by rolling them between frames as the frame is removed.  These can possibly be purchased locally at Theisen's or Paul's Discount though certainly can be ordered through any of the beekeeping catalogs.  He also keeps a bread knife or even a paint scraper with a good handle to remove bur comb.  A magnifying glass was suggested (Jim Davis) as a way to observe eggs and young larva.

In other bee management topics, Floyd suggested the use of blue shop towels coated with apple cider as a means of removing mites, as described by Randy Oliver, Soak the shop towel with the cider or perhaps cooking oil and place it atop the brood box.  As the bees walk over the towel the mites can be rubbed off.  Floyd suggests doing this several times during the summer season, and since it is a food-safe activity it can be done with supers in place.
Floyd also discussed the use of linseed oil as a way of preserving hive body parts such as bottom boards, in lieu of painting them.  He also coats the top edges of hive bodies and the box corner joints.
He next demonstrated a system he uses to help avoid overwintered nuc losses in late spring.  He places foil on top of the frames, covered with an insulating "pillow".  On top of this be puts a curved piece of sheet metal, with a block on top to hold it in place.

General Discussion:

--Several members talked about their favorite types of fuel.  Wood pellets can burn long though they tend to burn hot, so use another material such as grass to cool the smoke.  Other fuels suggested included wood chips, sawdust and corrugated cardboard.
--How high should a colony be off the ground?  A big concern is how high one wants to lift a heavy super. A platform to stand on to lift the top supers more easily was suggested.
--A discussion of various animals that eat bees ensued.  Possums will eat bees off the landing pad.  Dragonflies have also been noted flying around the hives, supposedly to catch and eat bees in flight.
--How many times can honey frames be reused?  Several members said they can be used time and again as long as they are structurally fit.

Jim Davis, filling in for Erin Miller

Tuesday, June 6, 2017



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 chat.  Business meeting starts around 6:30 p.m.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

March Meeting 2017

Here are some photos from the meeting in March.  Sorry about the  late posting.  Turnout for the meeting was good.  Paul Gardner of Precious Bee Farm made another fine donation of a complete beehive.

Matt Stewart of Noble Bees talked about how to register hives with the state sensitive crops registry.
Other topics included discussion of winter hive losses and changes in the laws regarding use  of antibiotics with bees.

Tammy Wright of the Bur Oak Land Trust spoke about her organization and indicated land parcels that might benefit from having hives placed on them.

The next meeting will be Monday, June 12th.   Hope to see you there.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Meeting Tonight

The March meeting will be held tonight as usual, in the lower level of the Coralville Public Library, beginning at 6:30.  The room will be open at 6:00 for social time.

Hope  to see everyone there!  Travel by this evening in the area should not be a huge issue, but surfaces may begin to freeze, so drive safely as always.