For the Iowa Honey Producers Association’s Youth Scholarship Program, Abigail gave a presentation during the Youth Scholarship Luncheon. Our first year went well all and we learned a lot. Abigail enjoyed sharing about her year with everyone at the luncheon. Below is her presentation.
My name is Abigail Kelly and I live in Polk county. I would like to thank everyone who made the Youth Scholarship possible for me. I would not be able to be the beekeeper I am without the Youth Scholarship Program. I would also like to give a huge thank you to my mentors, Mike and Julie Sander. The Sanders were the beekeepers who originally got me interested in beekeeping and have been amazing mentors.
My equipment came in January and I assembled it with the help of my mentors. I attended the FBI’s beginning beekeeping classes this past winter with the Sanders and my sisters and Mom. I learned a lot from the classes and really enjoyed them. I got two packages in April. One of the packages became my hive and the other package became my sister, Bethany’s, hive. We installed our bees in April. My younger sister, Olivia, manages one of our mentor’s hives that was on our property this year. I enjoyed inspecting all our hives this spring, summer, and fall. In April, I worked the Central Iowa Beekeepers Association’s auction. I enjoyed talking to the beekeepers and seeing some interesting equipment including an uncapping machine. My sisters and I split one of the hives twice and Bethany’s hive once this summer. We harvested honey in July and extracted it in August with my mentors. We harvested about one hundred and ten pounds of honey. I entered honey, beeswax candles, a wet frame, and a honey frame in the State Fair. I received second for my honey in the youth category, fifth for my wet frame, and sixth for my honey frame. I also worked the IHPA booth at the State Fair. I really enjoyed talking about bees with fair goers and meeting other beekeepers. We treated the bees with Apiguard this fall and fed them with sugar syrup. I put the winter boxes on them last month. We am going into winter with five hives. For my record keeping, I kept a blog all year at DasselAcres.com. I am really looking forward to my second year of beekeeping.
My advice to this upcoming year’s Youth Scholarship students would be to join a beekeeping club. Beekeeping clubs are valuable sources of information and advice. My second piece of advice is read books about beekeeping now before you get your bees. Reading beekeeping books now will help you prepare for your bees. Thirdly, be in contact with your fellow IHPA Youth Scholarship Recipients. Ask about what they are up to and how their bees are doing. Share about your experiences. Finally, give back. You and I have been given so much. Find a way to give back. You can work the IHPA booth at the State Fair, help at the IHPA Summer Field Day or Annual Conference, or help your local beekeeping club.