Meeting notes for May 2023

Thank you to John (and mom) for hosting . We inspected 4 hives in one hour. Discussion included:

  • managing frames of brand new bare foundation — running a syrup feeder AND giving the queen a place to lay
  • queen cups
  • placement and removal of syrup feeders
  • State Fair entries for adults and kids
  • County Fair possibilities for adults and kids as they relate to beekeeping
  • time to wait for swarm queens to prove out
  • misplaced pollen
  • cleaning propolis and burr comb from frames
  • mite washes and sugar shakes
  • night of the week for meetings
  • hive for community, demonstration, and education
  • honey collections
  • foundations – standard, premier, acorn
  • record keeping

July meeting notes

Thank you to Eric and Keri Kenoyer for hosting the club in July. As usual, we talked about things to think about for the next month of beekeeping.

Notes can be found here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CtzXOo2HrToGQowA1_0qchg_-7H-GY5hMa0hY7FtXT4/edit?usp=sharing

Three photos from the evening include

irish honey
Jenny brought three Irish honeys to sample.

des moines backyard beekeepers robber screen
Mike shows his DIY robber screen

des moines backyard beekeepers varroa mite check
Doyle demonstrates a mite check

BeeLaws.org helps Iowans place beehives

For Immediate Release

Jan. 4, 2016

Iowa Honey Producers Association Announces Availability of www.BeeLaws.org

Learn where to keep bees legally

West Des Moines, IA— Jan. 4, 2016The Iowa Honey Producers Association (IHPA) proudly announces the immediate availability of www.BeeLaws.org. This website helps Iowa residents learn their city’s ordinances related to beekeeping.­­­ It is believed to be the first searchable bee law website in the nation.

Anyone curious about placing a bee hive can open the website, choose a city listed on the front page, read pertinent excerpts from that city’s ordinances, and see contact information for city staff. Digital code citations are given where possible.

“I am very excited for this new website,” said Roy Kraft, President of the Iowa Honey Producers Association. “One of the most common questions we get as beekeepers is if it’s legal to keep bees where someone lives, and no one really knew until now.” Andy Joseph, State Apiarist for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), chose 77 cities from around the state for inclusion on BeeLaws.org, with the hope of growth in the number of apiaries in and around those cities. Cities where beginning beekeeping classes were held in 2015 were also included on the website. No more cities will be added in 2016 while Julia McGuire, Project Investigator, conducts analysis of the bee law website and its impact.

Positive Environmental Impact

With national concern over pollinator presence and pollinator habitat, www.BeeLaws.org aims to responsibly fill the knowledge gap of Iowans interested in bee keeping. “With increased interest in beekeeping over the last year and a half, I want to help people keep bees and I want to help them do it legally,” said McGuire, coordinator of the Des Moines Backyard Beekeepers club and beekeeper since 2011. “BeeLaws.org aims to remove the burden of taking time to find the appropriate staff member at city hall, and then potentially facing negative impacts. If you cannot find a place in town to legally keep bees, you can hopefully use the website to find legal, nearby areas without having to spend a lot of time on the phone and free of risk.”

Written in lay terms, www.BeeLaws.org is a mobile-friendly website and is supported by the IHPA and the Iowa Specialty Crop Block Grant Program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through grant 15SCBGPIA0001.

Founded in 1912, the IHPA, a 501(c)(5) agricultural organization and affiliate of the Iowa State Horticultural Society, serves over 900 members through monthly newsletters, a summer field day, and an annual meeting for education and networking. The organization aims to grow the Iowa honey industry through education and promotion.

The website content of www.BeeLaws.org was valid at the time of the 2015 survey and is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA, IDALS, or the IHPA.

The Des Moines Backyard Beekeepers is an informal club with internet presence at www.desmoinesbackyardbeekeepers.org and with a Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/408704132571829/.

Andy Joseph became State Apiarist with IDALS in 2008. IDALS is responsible for a wide range of programs that affect the quality of life of every Iowan.  Both Iowans living on the farm and those in our towns and cities are impacted almost daily by the work of the Department, including the Sensitive Crops Directory and enforcing “Pesticide/Bee Rule” of the Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 21-45.31(206).  Effective January 22, 2009, the Rule was designed to help protect honey bees from chemicals that are toxic to bees.  www.iowaagriculture.gov

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Quad Cities Pollinator Conference: June 10 – 11, 2015

Very detailed information can be found at this webpage: http://nahantmarsh.org/qcpollinatorconference/

———–

Greetings,

I am writing to let your organization know about the inaugural Quad Cities Pollinator Conference, June 10-11, 2015 at Jumer’s Casino and Hotel in Rock Island, Illinois. Our planning committee believes your organization, or its members, may have an interest in learning more about pollinators and pollinator health. If so, please help us spread the word about this exciting event!

Short summary

Quad Cities Pollinator Conference, June 10-11, 2015 at Jumer’s Casino and Hotel, Rock Island, IL. Keynote dinner by John Phipps, commentator for US Farm Report. Sessions on: plant-pollinator relationships, pollinator decline, designing pollinator support plantings, conservation measures, pollinator-friendly landscapes in agricultural and urban settings, and more. Knowledge-sharing, networking, and pollinator-related goods and services! Register by 6/1 at qcpollinatorconference.org.

Facebook event (set up through Nahant Marsh Education Center)

Please help us spread the word by sharing this through your social media networks!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1581574648794517/

Info can also be found at: www.qcpollinatorconference.org

Thank you in advance. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like additional information.

Erin Vorac

Conference Planner

563-349-3345

erinvorac@icloud.com

What we do

We support each other wherever we happen to be on our beekeeping journey.

  • If you want general support, our monthly meetings are a great place to start. Put your shyness aside and ask away!
  • If you want to ask questions outside of our meetings, we have a Facebook Page.
  • If you want to see a bee vacuum, ask for a show and tell meeting next month and make sure you’re there to see it.
  • If you want to catch a swarm, use the Contact Form to get your name on the Swarm Page.

 

 

Upcoming events

Our club

The Des Moines Backyard Beekeepers meet generally on the third Thursday of the month. Check the Events Page for more locations and other information.  

Other clubs

The Friendly Beekeepers of Iowa (FBI) meets on the fourth Thursday of each month from March through October at 6:30 pm. with a speaker or a roundtable discussion. Meetings are held at Calvary Baptist Church,  2708 N Jefferson Way, Indianola, IA 50125.

Central Iowa Beekeepers Association (CIBA) meets on the third Saturday in January, March, May, July, October, and November.

Bee Removal

If you think you need a honey bee removal, read below  to confirm that you have honey bees.

easton 5 9 14 (8)
golden brown, not black and yellow, about 1/2″ long

MAKE SURE THEY ARE HONEY BEES AND LOOK LIKE THIS IMAGE:

  • If the ‘bee’ has yellow legs and/or yellow face, it is not a honey bee.
  • If the ‘bee’ has no hair/fuzz, it is not a honey bee.
  • If the ‘bee’ has a thread-like waist, it is not a honey bee.
  • If it is black and bright yellow, it is not a honey bee.
  • If they are flying in and out of a hole in the ground or a railroad tie, they are probably not honey bees.

If you see a structure like either of these, you have wasps or hornets:

Lefthand photo by Downtowngal (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons. Righthand photo with permission of B. Buckley.
Lefthand photo by Downtowngal (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons. Righthand photo with permission of B. Buckley (RIP).
Once you know they are honey bees, if you have any of the following, use the contact form  (here) for a removal assessment or better yet, call or text a photo ASAP because swarms usually leave after a couple hours: Chad (515) 249-6306.

  • Honey bee swarm.  A random clump of bees hanging from an elevated surface, not feeding on flowers
  • Established colony in a structure or living tree
  • Downed tree with an established colony

supporting honey bees and beekeepers in the metro Des Moines, Iowa, area