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season with bees 2021

jar of honey
sun beams and liquid sunshine
quick recap of 2021. i am closing out the summer with 6 hives, 5 on the farm and 1 in my backyard. i harvested from 3, with 9 gallons or 90 pounds.
management-wise, i call this year a success. although i had two colonies struggle with queens and i couldn’t grab a single frame of comb honey, i was able to inspect on a reasonably regular basis. i feel successful in recordkeeping, and have not tweaked my inspection sheets. my backyard hive will go out to the farm soon.
learning-wise, i attended most of the IPM4Bees Midwest Working Group webinars and the material continues to inform my operation and my teaching. i attended virtual regional and national events and they also supplement my lesson plans — 2022 will contain the latest research that I find applicable to backyardigans.
grant-wise, my phenology book for beekeepers has seen good participation from those opting in. southwest iowa always seems to lack representation, and i don’t know that anything can be done to change that. my time as administrator for the specialty crop block grant has been enjoyable and will end in october.

as for teaching, the school district and i had a full season of teaching three courses and we’ll expand in 2022. we just ran a test today and i’m very thankful that the district staff can remove some burden from me in managing registrations and course material. the course material is not so much an issue, and if you can tell from my recent blog posts, i’m trying to focus on my why as the driver behind my teaching. there are many reasons that i love bees, talking about them, working and playing with them, and i’m investigating all of them.

thankful for the season,

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