- Crop Production: pollination, pollinator habitat, pollinator health
The results of the grant to this point have exceeded my expectations. The successful implementation of two field days and the successful work of the two technicians have also met and exceeded my expectations. The activity has been noted by the Iowa Honey Producers Association and the state apiarist of Iowa, and portions of the work implemented through the grant are under consideration for replicating in other regions.
The new regional beekeeping association (Siouxland Beekeepers Association) has a growing membership. There are about 35 dues-paying members, but the monthly meetings are open to anyone who wants to attend. There are approximately 50 individuals in attendance at each monthly meeting.
The grant has been extended into 2017.
Two technicians were employed, trained, and supervised during the summer of 2016. Weekly progress meetings were held to discuss issues the technicians dealt with as they sought to help beginning beekeepers address problems they encountered on-site. The technicians served the beginning beekeepers with on-site visits totaling 65 individual visits in IA, SD, MN, and NE. An individual report was submitted for each visit.
Two all-day field days were successfully implemented on June 4 (51 participants) and July 30 (40 participants) that addressed needs of the beginning beekeepers. Some of the field day content was derived from the situations that the technicians encountered on their visits. Participants came from South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri. Assessments of both field days provided excellent reviews.
A revised beginning beekeeper course was revised and implemented for 35 students, one group in the summer of 2016 and one group in the spring of 2017. Revisions were made based on the evaluations of the students and the feedback provided by the technicians.
A solid new beekeeping association has been formed that is vibrant and is operating independently without outside support.