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The 103rd Annual Meeting Agenda is here!

IHPA Annual Meeting Agenda (pdf)


103rd Annual Meeting of the
Iowa Honey Producers Association
November 13th & 14th, 2015

Registration: 8am | Start: 8:30am

Queen Luncheon: Noon on Friday

Banquet: 6:30pm Friday night

October 22nd is the deadline to make hotel reservations at the $69 room rate.

Clarion Hotel & Convention Center
525 33rd Avenue, SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


The preregistration deadline is October 31st for the 2015 Annual Meeting. This registration form is also where you can order your Queen Luncheon and Banquet Dinner tickets.
2015 Annual Meeting Registration Form (pdf)


October 22nd is the deadline to make hotel reservations at the $69 room rate.


The IHPA Annual Meeting will be held Friday, November 13th & Saturday, November 14th in Cedar Rapids at the Clarion Hotel (319) 366-8671. Room rates are $69 per room plus taxes. You must tell them that you are booking your room for the Iowa Honey Producers Association Annual Meeting to get this room rate.


The IHPA Annual Meeting is our yearly opportunity to get together and discuss the wonders as well as mysteries of beekeeping. This meeting is open to anyone interested in beekeeping or honeybees. We have a variety of guest speakers from across the US come to speak on their expertise in the beekeeping world. For current beekeepers this is a great time to hear what is new in beekeeping or ask questions of those with a greater number of years’ experience. Those who are thinking about getting started in beekeeping will have numerous chances to ask, "what's it like to keep bees?" There will be no shortage of answers. Beekeepers love to share the stories, fun, and enjoyment they have found in beekeeping.


2015 Annual Meeting Speakers include the following:

Meghan Milbrath, Greg Haniford , Michelle Colopy, Mary Harris, and Adam Dolezal. Roy Kraft, IHPA VP, will be hosting a round table on "wintering bees in cold climates".  His guests will be Phil Ebert, Bob Fastbinder, and Meghan Milbrath. 


Please think about entering our photo contest, cooking with honey contest, mead contest, hive body paint design, or bringing items for the Queen Program and silent auction! Consider attending the banquet and enjoying fellowship with your fellow beekeepers!


Additional Annual Meeting information will be in the September issue of the Buzz Newsletter including contest and banquet information.












IHPA 2013 Awards

Distinguished Service Award Craig Greene

Craig Greene - Distinguished Service Award 2013Where to begin?  Craig Greene lives and breathes bees.  If it weren’t for Craig, Marion and Mahaska Counties wouldn’t have near the high number of beekeepers it does.  He was awarded the Education Award last year for his years of service teaching classes, but it’s his involvement outside the classroom that makes him an excellent candidate for the Distinguished Service Award. 


Once the classes are over and your bees have arrived, via truck that Craig has carefully driven from Iowa to California and back, he is often the one you can count on to help you install your first package, or he will help find you a mentor.  He’s the one you call when you don’t know what to do or have a question during your first year, maybe your second year and then his number is on your speed dial. Craig also receives countless calls about swarms and requests to remove bees from trees, buildings and homes.


Craig is blessed with creativity and the ability to work with his hands.  He’ll tell you he’s lazy but there’s nothing further from the truth.  He makes his own boxes, built his own bee vacuum and other equipment and is willing to share how you too can make your own.


Generous with his time is an understatement.  In addition to teaching two classes per week for five to seven weeks in winter, he is involved with two beekeeping clubs, the Back to Basics Beekeeping Club in Oskaloosa where he serves on the steering and planning committees and often leading the meeting, and the recently formed Red Rock Beekeepers club in Knoxville.  For the last two years he brought his 20-frame extractor in a trailer to the Red Rock Beekeepers club location and helped members extract honey well into the night.  Craig also serves as the District Director for District #5 where his input and insight have been instrumental in many ways.


Yes, Craig does have a job yet he also found time to volunteer at the Iowa State Fair this year where he also sold product.  He has hosted field days at his apiary and takes every opportunity to further his education by attending beekeeping related events and meetings.


You won’t find a more dedicated and passionate man about beekeeping than Craig. He has been instrumental in the education, support and leadership of so many in southern Iowa that his name is synonymous with beekeeping.


Distinguished Service Award Eve Vanden Broek

Eve Vanden Broek - Distinguished Service Award 2013Eve Vanden Broek and her husband have been bee keeping now for five years and have eleven hives at the present, She is very active in the Back To Basics Bee Club, she is our master of ceremonies and keeps the meetings organized and on track. She and her husband have hosted at least two field days at their home and as master gardeners it is a very pretty setting for people as well as bees. She was a reluctant beekeeper to start but once she got started she took off with them and got Theo addicted as well. They have hived swarms and been along on a removal in a building wall.






Distinguished Service Award Alex Ebert

Alex Ebert - Distinguished Service Award 2013Alex Ebert has been the editor of The Buzz newsletter for 10 years. He is responsible for laying out the entire newsletter and rounding up enough articles to keep it informative and interesting. He also developed and maintains the IHPA website.









Education Award Bob Wolfe

Bob Wolfe - Education Award 2013I would like to nominate Bob Wolff for the IHPA Education Award. Bob Wolff has been teaching beekeeping classes at the Indian Creek Nature Center for ten years. For our introductory series, every year he works with between fifteen and thirty individual beekeepers over eight class sessions, spaced throughout the year. He begins in January with how to build equipment and order bees. In April, he’s in the field with them teaching them how to install packages, in August he’s in the Honey House showing them how to decap the frames and extract the honey. In October, it’s back in the classroom for overwintering and spring management. He has expanded the Nature Center’s core beginner beekeeping classes in different directions. For experienced beekeepers he offers specific classes, including queen rearing and preparing entries for the state fair. For children he offers beekeeping as a theme for summer nature camps. He is the driving force behind Honey Fest, an annual event that brings hundreds of families out to learn from beekeepers and celebrate honey and pollination. Bob works tirelessly to share his passion and enthusiasm for bees and beekeeping. If visitors are wandering the paths near the apiary when he is working the bees, he always stops to show them what he is doing. He takes time off from work to promote beekeeping at Future Farmer of America events, county fairs, and the state fair. If a local beekeeper has a question, Bob goes to their apiary or invites them to his. Bob is dedicated to educating others about bees, whether it’s working directly with a child who is nervous about being stung or it’s with a group of adult students learning how to split a colony. I can’t think of anyone more dedicated to bee education.


Education Award Gerald Murphy

Gerald Murphy - Education Award 2013Two years ago Gerry walked into the Back to Basics Beekeeping Club and was blown over by the crowd of 90 people.  He noted that many in the crowd had attended beekeeping classes in Knoxville and that’s when the light bulb turned on ... Knoxville needed their own bee club.  In quick order he secured a meeting location, a meeting room in the Knoxville Hospital where he worked; he put the word out to others in the Knoxville area about starting a club – there was definite interest; and he visited with Craig Greene about general club organization and then the Red Rock Beekeepers club was born.


It’s a club with loose ties to Robert’s Rules but easily draws a group of 15 to 35 people monthly. Meeting topics are usually derived from something Gerry has read or heard about and he wants to know more.  He believes that if he’s interested in it, someone else probably is too.   He is energized when the topic at hand evolves into an engaging exchange of ideas and everyone walks away having learned something.  If he has read about something and can incorporate a piece of handmade equipment, Gerry lets his creativity take over the next meeting becomes part show and tell and part group discussion.


Of late he will tell you he can’t stop thinking about bees.  It’s probably because he’s recently retired, but most certainly it’s because he has found a new passion and he’s excited t  o share it with others. He’s been stung by the bees!  Gerry has also invested his own money into a lending library of several bee-related books. In addition, he has a great group of regular attendees who help him in areas where he lacks expertise (computer).  Meetings are open to anyone with an interest in bees and even those who are not.  Those who are not risk being converted.


Gerry is dedicated to making the Red Rock Beekeepers club a success and so far he is doing an excellent job. 


Youth Award Ben Van Wyk

Ben Van Wyk - Youth Award 2013We all know how important it is to educate our youth about our environment, its fragility and how we as humans play a major role in helping preserving nature.  When Ben Van Wyk needed to find his passion, it was the honeybee that got his attention, and that of his dad, his sister, and of course mom too.   In 2010 Ben applied for and received a youth scholarship.  Excitement abound when the package of bees arrived and was installed.  Each day was a new learning experience.  To further his education and help educate the public, Ben created a trifold brochure entitled Beekeeping 101 which included honeybee facts, featured beekeeping tools and explained how to install a package of bees.  He entered the educational piece in both his county fair and the 2010 Iowa State Fair and proudly took home two blue ribbons.


Ben has volunteered the last two years at the Southern Iowa Fair and thoroughly enjoyed discussing bees with youth at the IHPA booth at the Iowa State Fair this past year.  These venues provided the perfect opportunity for him to interact with his peers and showcase what he has learned over the last three years, in practical terms, and to share the lighter side of beekeeping, such as the time a worker bee decided to wander up the inside leg of his bee suit and the sensational scene that ensued, one which surely would have won top prize on America’s Funniest Videos.   And speaking of bee venom, in 2012 Ben put together a short program on the benefits and uses of bee venom and featured a short video on how the venom is extracted with the use of a small electrical current and a pane of glass.  This program was shown to a large crowd at the Back to Basics Bee Club and was very well received.


Ben recently join the new FFA group in Pella and has decided his project will focus on honeybees – what else!   He regularly attends bee club meetings in Oskaloosa and Knoxville and has attended several field day events over the last couple of years and has also attended the last two annual meetings.  This past summer Ben enjoyed talking bees and sharing photos to a smaller crowd at the Knoxville Farmer’s Market and he and his dad have been mentors to two other youth beekeepers.


Three years after he embarked on his honeybee journey, Ben is now a freshman at Pella Community High School. Since he cannot follow in the footsteps of his sister, the 2013 Honey Queen, Hanna Van Wyk, he’ll continue his education locally and share his passion with others in a closer knit circle.


Promotions Award Julie Swett

Julie has served as the promotions chair for three years now and has been instrumental in getting an entry in the Iowa State Fair parade the last 2 years. This year’s entry tied for 1st place in the Non-Commercial entries. She also promoted the IHPA in Boone at the Pufferbilly Days Parade. They also took 1st place at this parade.





The IHPA Annual Meeting is our yearly oppertunity to get together and discuss the wonders as well as mysteries of beekeeping. This meeting is open to anyone interested in beekeeping or honeybees. We have a variety of guest speakers from across the US come to speak on their expertise in the beekeeping world. For current beekeepers this is a great time to hear what is new in beekeeping or ask questions of those with a greater number of years experience. Those who are thinking about getting started in beekeeping will have numerous chances to ask, "what's it like to keep bees?" There will be no shortage of answers. Beekeepers love to share the stories, fun, and enjoyment they have found in beekeeping.


The Annual Meeting is also a time when we select the new Iowa Honey Queen. The IHPA Queen Program is an integral part of our public outreach. The Iowa Honey Queen attends many events across Iowa each year to promote Honey and Beekeeping. You can learn more about the Iowa Honey Queen by clicking on the Queen Program tab at the top of the page.


The Youth Program is a mentoring program that pairs current beekeepers with youth interested in beekeeping. While it is wonderful to have so many beekeepers with years of experience, IHPA also recognizes that to keep beekeeping strong in the state of Iowa requires active preparation of the next generation of beekeepers. Youth selected for the program are given a colony of honeybees for their study. The mentor will then be able to give hands on experience in teaching the basics of beekeeping. Upon successful completion of the program, the colony becomes the youth's to keep. Youth are selected for the program during the Annual Meeting, however application must be made earlier in the year so please check out the Youth Program page of the website for all the details.


These are just some of the reasons you should attend the IHPA Annual Meeting. There are many more. The meeting dates are usually in November of each year. This is a time when beekeepers are not quite as busy and can get away for fun and catch up with their fellow beekeeper.


We will post details on this page as we get closer to the next Annual Meeting.