Harvesting honey is in full swing. We have a limited amount of honey for sale in 8 oz bottle. Please message us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We want to thank Tim Olson and Marlene Boernsen for all your help!
The Central Lyon FFA started a beekeeping project this past May, when chapter received the bees from the Northwest Iowa Bee Keepers Association. Our original student beekeepers were Dana Kruse and Trey VandeKop. Both the beekeepers were a little nervous at first about beekeeping. However, both were intrigued by how the entire beekeeping process worked from starting off with nothing to being able to collect honey. Tim Olsen taught them about the different products and tools needed to start the beekeeping project, along with the life cycle of a bee and predators. They ordered special equipment such as brood boxes, bee suits, hive tool, smoker, bee brush, queen catcher, hive covers, and gloves. Once all of the equipment arrived, they were able to reach out to Tim who brought the nucs to get the beekeeping process started. The nukes were given to our chapter from the Northwest Iowa Beekeeping Associate. The beekeepers learned about transforming the bees from the nucs to the hive. They then took the frames with bees from the nucs and carefully transferred the frames into the brood boxes. They had to provide a food source for them that was close to the hive to start, since there wasn't much of a food source for them with the summer season just starting. Thus, they filled mason jars with sugar water, put a lid with holes in it on top, and flipped it over by the hive so sugar water dripped out of it for them. The chapter has two hives and both are currently thriving. However, the west hive had a rocky start, as there was a major problem concerning the queen. When the beekeepers opened the box to check on the bees after a couple of weeks, they saw multiple supersedure cells. Thus meaning that, the bees in that colony were trying to replace the queen because she had either died or they rejected her. After a few weeks they had planned to give that hive a new queen, but when they opened the hive up they were surprised. The colony of bees and the hive had sorted itself out, meaning they officially had a queen. Over these past few weeks the beekeepers have seen a lot of capped brood, nectar, pollen, honey, and capped honey!
Overall this experience has been a learning process for our beekeepers. They have thoroughly enjoyed the process and can't wait to see what the future holds for our bees and chapter. With over 60 kids in our chapter, our current beekeepers are excited to teach the other chapter members about our bees. Our FFA Chapter has a lot to offer for our members with beekeeping being the newest opportunity. Other opportunities our members have are different planned events, meetings, outings, Career Development Events, Supervised Agriculture Experience Projects, and Fair Projects.