AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Honey Producers Association will hold its summer field day at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station June 15.
Beekeepers will get a full day of instruction and hands-on learning from Iowa State experts, and apiary experts from across the state.
Ginny Mitchel, program assistant in entomology at Iowa State University, will be judging the Iowa State Fair apicultural entries this year, and will talk about the ins and outs of what she is looking for in fair entries while judging.
Andy Joseph, the state apiarist at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, will perform an on‐site hive inspection to show beekeepers what they should be looking for when checking their hives.
Melissa Burdick, from The Brenton Arboretum, will give an informative presentation called “Trees for Bees,” a talk that will include pollinators.
Additional presentations include prairies as a forage source for bees, a queen marking demonstration using drones, and a roundtable discussion with longtime beekeepers.
Randall Cass, extension entomologist at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, said the field day location is ideal, because it includes the university’s bee barn and apiary, and there are ample places to explore pollinators and their habitat.
Cass said one of the biggest concerns with hive inspections is detecting varroa destructors (varroa mites) – external parasites that attack both honey bees and their brood. Early detection is key to successful management.
The field day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with registration beginning at 8 a.m. Participants who wish to attend the hive inspections should bring their own bee gear.
Registration is limited to 120, so register as soon as possible. Lunch will be provided, but participants are asked to bring a dessert to share.
The ISU Horticulture Research Station is located at 55519 170th St. Ames.