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.
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.
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 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.
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