CIBA Members' Community Engagement
We Make a Living by What We Get, but We Make a Life by What We Give.
We believe that giving back to our community is important. As an organization, we do that by promoting the art of beekeeping and the plight of honeybees, and helping our members become better beekeepers.
Likewise, many of our members are active in their own community. They share their craft. They teach. They set up demonstration hives. They volunteer their time for others.
Here’s a peek at ways some of our members are giving back, and we thank them.
Ray Meylor providing educational opportunities to our youth.
Ray and Sue Meylor
The Meylors operate Cherry Glen Learning Farm dedicated to providing education related to conservation, soil and water quality and sustainable agriculture. The 10-acre working farm has community gardens, a bee yard and building used for hands-on classes, demonstrations and other community events. Among the farm’s many partners are the Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District that has set up a watershed mitigation demonstration at the farm.
Jamie Beyer on the far right, and Linn Wilbur on the far left - at Iowa Honey Bee Day at the Capitol Building.
Jamie Beyer mentors the Ames High School Bee Club, helping them set up and maintain three hives in a field near the high school in the city limits. The club is involved sells honey donated by central Iowa beekeepers to fund a number of pollinator conservation projects. More information about this active group: Ames High Bee Club.
Beyer also is a volunteer legislative representative for the Iowa Honey Producers Association. He works with paid lobbyists to promote and protect honeybees in Iowa and has organized Iowa Honey Bee Day promotion at the Iowa State Capitol.
Linn maintains the hives he donated to the Iowa Arboretum, and this picture displays the 2020 Arboretum harvest that is sold in the gift shop.
When you visit the Iowa Arboretum in the Des Moines River valley near Luther, look for the beehives. There are four of them, located in a out-of-the-way spot in the 160-acre park. If you’re lucky you might see Linn Wilbur tending the apiary. He placed the hives there in 2018 to be used for education. He donates honey from the hives, which the arboretum sells in its gift shop.
See a picture of Linn with Jamie Beyer at Iowa Honey Bee Day above!
Jeremiah Kusel extracting honey in his mobile honey extractor.
Jeremiah Kusel has a passion for helping veterans get started in beekeeping. When he learned that out-of-state veterans were paying large sums to have their honey processed because they did not own the equipment, Kusel decided to build a mobile honey extractor. He was able to take the trailer on the road only in limited fashion in 2020 due to the pandemic, but hopes it will help him serve more veterans who raise honeybees.