Nick filled out the application to participate in the program. He put it in the mail and we waited to hear if he would be accepted. It wasn't long before we were invited to attend the annual meeting of the IHPA in Marshalltown. It was there that we learned that Nick and 11 other youth from across the state of Iowa had been accepted into the program!
Nick received a hive body, bees, all necessary equipment (smoker, hive tool, veil and gloves), 1 year membership to the Iowa Honey Producers Association, beginning bee classes and was assigned a mentor to guide him through his first year of bee keeping! In return, Nick agrees to attend bee classes, keep a written record of his bee keeping adventure and present a final report at the IHPA annual meeting.
I think that one of the most important parts of the program is the mentor. Nick's mentor is David Hayes, of Prairie Creek Honey. David has graciously offered to help guide Nick through his first year of bee keeping. Being a beginning bee keeper can be a little intimidating. Having someone to guide you along the way and answer a beginner's questions is a great thing to have. I have to admit that all this has been just as exciting for me as it is for Nick. I have been attending the bee classes with him and am learning as much as he is. So far, it has been a lot of fun and I think this could develop into a lifelong hobby for both of us.
The bees arrived this past Tuesday afternoon and with Mr. Hayes help, are now home in their new hives. Let the bee keeping adventure begin!
|Nick opening the package of bees with mentor David Hayes guidance.|
|Putting the bees into the hive body.|
|Nick showing off his new queen bee.|
|Closeup of the queen.|