President’s letter time again. It’s the middle of winter so I guess the letter is for the spring newsletter. I am writing this on Feb. 8th. In a few days I will be heading to Texas to start the year’s work. Feb. 15 is the target day for setting up my queen mothers. First day of grafting is almost always on the 19th. Been on this schedule for 22 years now. Reports of high colony losses in California are coming in. I hear bad over wintering predictions coming out of Canada. Probably will be the case here in MN as well, considering the high mite levels late summer and fall of 2015 we should not be shocked. Most people are aware that low honey prices low and are predicted to stay low for new crop honey. Guys are hoping for $1.75 a pound. Strong U.S.dollar and large stocks of unsold U.S. and Canadian honey sitting out there. (90 million pounds of U.S. is still in beekeepers warehouses) Foreign honey is coming in for .95 cents to $1.10 a pound. Not a rosy picture.

Positive news! Our summer meeting with Wisconsin (and possibly Iowa) is going to be a fun one. Should be a meeting with something for all beekeepers. Jack Hoffman, Liz Schroeder and our convention committee members have been working with the other states’ convention people to pull this off. Please give Liz a big thanks. She is the point person who is coordinating all this. Another big thank you needs to go out to Sara Keskey Rufer. She is our new treasurer as of Jan. 1. It has been a smooth transition from Conrad to Sara. We are in good hands. She knows her stuff.

More good news. I believe that big improvements in honey bee and pollinator habitat is on the horizon. There is a lot happening this month (Feb.) on the pollinator front here in MN. This is the best chance we’ve ever had at addressing honey bee forage issues. The MN dept. of Ag has approached the MHPA on the issues we’ve been bringing up for years. Especially early roadside mowing/baling and blanket spraying issues. The MHPA leadership has been working on this for a long time. Certainly for the 6 years I’ve been vp and president. I have been to so many meetings and events with so many different MN beekeepers and written letters, to express our concerns and needs, I lose track of it all. I believe our hard work at getting out the message might finally be paying off. We’ll see what comes out of these meetings. At some point we might need to pressure our state reps and senators. Will this be in 2016 or 2017? Need to wait and see. I’d personally like to thank Dr. Marla Spivak, Dave Schroeder, And Rand Honl for attending meetings with me and making a couple I couldn’t attend. Down below is a link to 2 pilot project ideas I started to float back in September.

Fingers crossed people,

Dan Whitney
President, MHPA  

Click here to read about Minnesota Honey Producer’s Association (MHPA) proposed honey bee habitat pilot projects!