There seem to be no limits to the creative capacity of nature lovers, so one can find design specifications for structures for anything from a turtle to an osprey. Many different shapes, sizes, and designs are available for ‘bird houses’. Boxes for secondary cavity nesters also come in all shapes and sizes to target dozens of species in Iowa.
Are you interested in taking a beekeeping class this winter? The Iowa Honey Producers Association offers classes throughout the state.
The varroa mite (Varroa destructor) is the most serious pest of honey bee colonies worldwide. Virtually all feral (or “wild”) honey bee colonies have all but been wiped out by these mites, and beekeepers continue to struggle with varroa infestations in their hives. It is vital to understand the varroa mite and the options available for its control.
Small Farms Program Coordinator
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
One year ago, my oldest son received a traditional Langstroth bee hive. He needed to rehab the interior frames, add new foundation and repair one box damaged beyond repair.
During the summer of 2016, he repaired the hive completely. He researched different types of bees and decided that Carniolan bees were what he wanted to purchase.
In April of 2017, we installed a two-pound package of bees. Things have gone well this summer; he's been able to witness all stages of bee development. We've all learned how to properly check the hive and that smoking the bees is crucial to preventing multiple stings.
He's anxiously awaiting the first honey harvest, which is a month or two out yet, but it's fun to watch him learn from this new enterprise.
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