This month our featured beekeeper is Andy Joseph
wife Catherine and new son live in Des Moines, Iowa.
Andy works for the Iowa Department of Agriculture Land Stewardship as our State Apiarist.
honey under the name Meadow Blazing Star Honey.
beekeeping career with 2 hives on a hillside in Lewis County, Kentucky almost 10 years ago.
The reason, he
was curious about bees and knew nothing about beekeeping.
This year he
has 20 or so colonies and plans to grow his
numbers to about 50 or 60 colonies in the next two years.
put out a few hives for small-scale local vegetable and fruit pollination this past year.
Catherine and Andy
sell their honey while it lasts.
really enjoys working with bees and beekeeping.
says, "The more I learn aobut these insects, the more fascinating they become.
I feel fortunate to do what I do and I'm lucky to have Catherine, who tolerates all this."
Looking towards the future, Andy
is excited to be involved with the IHPA
youth mentoring program.
and John Johnson are looking forward to the Ankeny Bee School
again, and further down the road Andy
is hoping his
son, Harlan, will want to get caught up in all this beekeeping too.
belongs to several beekeeping groups.
One is Central Iowa Beekeeping Association
, in Des Moines.
That group handles the equipment auction for the honey producers.
Another is Back-2-Basics in Oskaloosa.
They hold informative monthly meetings and a summer field day.
says, "I like to sit back and learn something at the meetings.
There are a good number of experienced and skilled beekeepers around here with tons of knowledge.
also reports on what he
and others are seeing around the state.
As our State Apiarist, Andy holds a position on the Iowa Honey Producers Association board and is always around to do what he can.
is involved with the IHPA Beginning Beekeeping Schools
mentoring the youth.
give "Bee Talks" to many groups and tries to spend a good amount of time at the IHPA booth at the State Fair.
When asked about his
beekeeping experiences that would be of interest to others, Andy
is humble and says, "I doubt there's much about my own beekeeping practices that would be terribly interesting or unique to others' experiences.
Generally, though, it's been more fun than work and I've met tons of good people all through bees."
Thanks for all you do for the Iowa Honey Producers Andy.