Abigail’s Presentation for the 2018 IHPA Conference

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.





Abigail’s First Year of Beekeeping

This past weekend at the Iowa Honey Producers Association’s annual conference Abigail received her official certificate of completion of the IHPA Youth Scholarship Program.  Abigail made a tri-fold to share about her first year of beekeeping.  All of the following pictures and captions were on the tri-fold.


My name is Abigail Kelly and I am a 2018 Iowa Honey Producers Association Youth Scholarship Recipient. I became interested in beekeeping when Mike and Julie Sander placed two hives on our property in 2016. The Sanders let my siblings and I inspect the hives with them. This started my love for beekeeping. In 2017, the Sanders told us about the IHPA Youth Scholarship Program and my sister, Bethany, and I applied. I received the scholarship. The Sanders became my mentors. Bethany got one of the two packages we got this April and I got the other. My first year of beekeeping has been a wonderful experience. I have gotten to see the queen lay eggs, bees emerging, and my hive grow. I got to split two different hives for a total of three splits, harvest and extract honey, and treat bees for varroa mites. A huge thank you to everyone who has made the IHPA Youth Scholarship Program possible and to my mentors who have taught me so much. As part of my IHPA Youth Scholarship experience, I have kept my record on my blog, DasselAcres.com.




Here we are picking up our packages from Spring Valley Honey in Perry, Iowa.

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Me with my suit after it arrived in January.




Me pouring my bees into their new home.




Julie Sander, Olivia, Bethany, and I after a hive inspection.




A queen! We spotted queens quite a lot while checking our hives, but, of course, we never could spot her when we were looking for her.




I gave a presentation to my 4-H group on beekeeping in March.IMG_3017



The Sanders helping us inspect our hives.






Mike and Julie helped us extract our first honey harvest. We ended up with about one hundred and ten pounds of honey.