Category Archives: education

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


Thank you to Linda for hosting our first group swarm capture! It definitely took multiple people to grab from the apple tree — mentally and physically we used our creative brain power to work with what was available. We look forward to updates on its well-being.

We talked about the following:

If you have ideas for topics, use the Contact Form or speak up at the club’s Facebook group.

des moines backyard beekeepers swarm in tree
sizing up the situation
des moines backyard beekeepers swarm capture tree
swarm in linda’s apple tree, just in time for our meeting

meeting notes :: APRIL 2021

Thank you to the Kellys for hosting our first group hive inspection of the 2021 season. We were able to see all stages of development, from egg to queen cell! It was very educational and hopefully we’re helping each other set the stage for a successful season.

If you would like to have the club help inspect one of your hives for our next meeting, say so with the Contact Form. Here are my photos from the night – Julia

des moines bee club

February Meeting Notes: Assistive Technologies

EasterSeals serves the entire state of Iowa. Two programs in particular may be helpful to beekeepers who need accommodations — whether by accident, injury, aging, or disability; or lives in a community with less than 2,500 people — the Assistive Technology (AT) Program and Rural Solutions.

Assistive Technology Program consists of four components.

  1. Equipment Loan. Durable medical equipment donations are refurbished and loaned to “fill the gaps” from insurance. Application at Donations and appointments can also be made by calling 515-309-2395 or sending email (click for email address).
  2. Demonstration Center @ Camp Sunnyside. For clients to see, feel, try things before an assistive technology is brought home. By appointment. Call 866-866-8782 or send email (click).
  3. Lending Library. Trials on most items in the library help people make appropriate choices. Over 1000 items are available and free to use. Clients may try up to five items at a time for up to 30 days. Call 866-866-8782 or send email (click).
  4. Iowa Assistive Technology Exchange. Classified ads, styled like Craig’s List, exclusively for AT. Staff will assist and qualify users and donors. View items at

Rural Solutions. This program consists of free site visits by a consultant (Kim) with ideas for accommodations, assessments, connections to resources, sustainable business planning, mental health that is customized to your particular situation. Additionally, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will fully funded appropriate clients by referral only.

AT Equipment demos

  • Weightlifting hooks weightlifting hook
  • Football gloves
  • Dycem super grip surface
  • Active hands cuffKim demostrates an active hands cuff
  • Fanny pack, running industry has cell phone pockets
  • Hand holds: Foam grippers for writing utensils, Crayola model magic, elastomer putty (more durable than model magic)
  • Foam cuff
    • Velcro strap
    • D-ring
    • Foam
    • Duct tape
    • Industrial twist tie
  • Industrial twist ties in different colors can assist with visibility
  • Temperature sensitive nail polish
  • Urban Poles: aging resources/walking with ease
  • Hiking poles for farm vs. canes for house
  • Sugru, moldable glue to insulate canister of smoker
  • Electric smoker:

Meeting notes from Hive Theft program

bees, hive theft, iowa, honey
State Rep. Rob Taylor (R) tells us about last year when his bee hives were stolen

Notes from the Bee Rustlers presentation by Rob Taylor @

News story that explains the situation well:

Best Practices

  • Have a unique identifier for your woodenware such as branding
  • Place hives in an inconspicuous area or make it known that they are under surveillance/being monitored
  • Trackers placed on/in hives
    • GPS $40-60 each and motion activated
    • Tile, price varies. The app is $5 but works only with signal and other tile users
    • Other trackers
  • Cameras, but they tend to anger people
  • Friendly neighbors
  • Register your hive with the state

Other notes

We had a great meeting with roughly twenty people attending, full of technical support and fellowship and ending by looking at Judith’s bees in her top bar hives.

Different markets will determine sales success with respect to creamed honey and bottling choices.

Certified kitchens and related regulations are for real. The Mickle Center has a certified shared kitchen as well as cold and dry storage for rent.

Upcoming meetings in the area

  • CIBA (6/17
  • FBI (6/22
  • IHPA Field Day (out of area, 7/15

Record keeping – How?

Record keeping – What? There are many things to keep track of, including

  •  Weather
  •  Movement of frames between hives
  •  Available forage

Record keeping – Why? To anticipate and prepare for next inspection, etc.

FB groups for Iowa flower identification are numerous, including Iowa Wildflower Report

DMBB and other bee gear can be purchased here:

Feb. 2017 club meeting: Pesticides

We had Mark Lohafer speak about his experience with the IDALS Pesticide Bureau. I appreciated his honesty and the time he took for each person asking a question.

Below are my notes, as well as a handout I made in response to students inquiring about keeping hives near conventionally farmed land. After this meeting, I feel that I will be able to respond better on department activity when asked by students and make informed decisions on hive placement.

dmbb notes pesticide 2 28 17

Pesticide Reporting Resources