President: Floyd Otdoerfer 319-351-7428// Vice-President: Joseph Klingelhutz Secretary: Jim Davis 319-331-9542// Treasurer: Jean Stallman

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

 The Southern Iowa Hive Handlers have generously made their beginning beekeeping video series available to all.  To go to the Youtube link, click here.


ECIBA Minutes from December 13, 2021

The meeting was started shortly after 6:30 by president Floyd Otdoerfer. Officers were introduced and several new members welcomed.

Treasurer’s report indicated a balance of $938.37.

Rachel Vakulich gave a report on her year as ECIBA honey princess. She shared her scrapbook she put together covering the past year’s experiences. Rachel was in the honey queen competition at the Iowa Honey Producer’s Association annual meeting. She described the competition as very close and competitive this year. Rachel plans to continue in her role the coming year as well.

Floyd explained the election of officers will be held in March. According to our by-laws, vice-president Joseph Klingelhutz will assume the position of president for two years. The secretary and treasurer positions will also be up for election. Floyd suggested that anyone interested in any position should contact the relevant officer to learn more about the requirements of the position. The by-laws are posted on our website under Membership ( or can contact secretary Jim Davis for a printed or electronic copy of the by-laws.

Report on Iowa Honey Producers Annual Meeting:

James Miller-- Due to COVID, some scheduled speakers were unable to attend, but he felt the sessions were still valuable. Andy Joseph, state apiarist, indicated the honey crop was better than last year. Disease across the state seemed to be less than some previous years, with a little chalk brood and European Foul Brood and nosema was less this season as well. He has been inspecting many bees heading to California. Bob Binnie was one of the main speakers. James said he has one of the better Youtube channels dealing with bees that is out there, having worked with bees for over thirty years. He spoke about the degradation of honey, that if kept pretty warm it will degrade most quickly, will crystallize if kept cool and will retain good quality indefinitely if frozen. Kayman Reynolds spoke as well, a beekeeper from Tennesee who also has some

good videos online. James talked about the youth scholarship program, which will help encourage young beekeepers by provding them with a complete hive set, including bees and tools, for young people aged 13 to 16. Jason Foley, the webmaster for IHPA, was elected president. James feels that he will help upgrade the website to make it much more user friendly, such as allowing online membership payments.

Joseph Klingelhutz-- Went to a session about the Master Beekeeping program, completion of which results in the attainment of Master Beekeeping certification. It is an extensive program and the nearest location for that is the University of Nebraska. Joseph also went to a breakout session about overwintering hives. A study showed a significant difference in colony survival if the hive was wrapped. Keeping the colony warmer resulted in less consumption of food stores. An overriding message Joseph felt he got from the conference was the management of varroa. Pollination services was also stressed. California is needing a million colonies for the almond industry, and beekeepers can get $200 per colony. The colony needs to meet fairly stringent requirements and, as Ed St. John, district IHPA representative, commented, will be inspected prior to leaving and in California as well.

Jim Davis reported on 2022 beekeeping classes, which are posted on the club’s web site. He also indicated members of the club participate in mentoring and encouraged anyone starting beekeeping to work with an experienced beekeeper. Other aspects of the club’s web site were shown, including where to post items one might have for sale and where to find information on package bees or nucs on the site.

Joseph Klingelhutz—Winter Bee Management Joseph demonstrated various methods of wrapping a hive, from roofing felt to stiff styrofoam. Top insulation is also very important, as well as providing adequate ventilation to control moisture in the hive. Mite treatments are critical, and Joseph showed a new OA vaporizer he recently purchased and likes the way it performs. Use of a respirator is necessary when using OA vapor. Randy Hahn pointed out that if wrapping with insulation, the double foil sided polysaccharide insulation is a very poor insulator in sub-freezing conditions.

Floyd Otdoerfer—Beeswax processing

Floyd had various items to demonstrate the way he processes wax. He likes to use a serrated bread knife and tries to take off as little wax as possible when he uncaps the honey. The cappings are then strained for a couple days through a screen, after which he places the wax in boxes on top of several hives to allow the bees to clean the rest of the honey off. The wax is then washed and dried and ready to melt. He places the wax in a porous bag, immersing it in a large pot which is brought to a steaming, but not boiling, temperature. The bag is kept near the bottom of the pot until all the wax it released and floats to the top. While still warm, he removes the wax and cuts off the bottom part, which has any remaining dirt or debris, and breaks the wax into chucks which are then ready to be melted for whatever purpose he wants.

Floyd held a drawing for several door prizes, and the meeting was ended shortly after 8 pm.

Thanks once more to Rob McCain for the use of their nice facility and to Matt and Patty Stewart for providing treats.

Next meeting: March 14, 2022