Speaker Date Topic
Mathew Fassbinder Jan 22, 2019
The Art and Science of Beekeeping

DRC Sponsor: Ward Budweg

Matt Fassbinder, a Beekeeper with Fassbinder Apiaries, will be sharing his facinating insights and experiences into the art and science of bees, beekeeping, and their importance to our environment and economy.

Fassbinder Apiaries has been a beekeeping business in northeastern Iowa since 1976 with its headquarters located near Elgin. Matt, his family, and their employees tend many hundreds of hives, each with about 30,000 bees, in the river valleys between Eldorado and Garber. The remote, natural Iowa settings provide excellent bee forage, as well as separation from most agricultural pesticides. Fassbinder Apiaries is focused on promoting increasing interest in beekeeping, expanding the prevalence of pollinator plants in rural landscapes, and introducing strains of honeybees that are genetically resistant to parasites and disease. Since 2006, when colony collapse disorder came to widespread public attention, the number of beekeepers in Iowa has tripled from 1,500 to 4,500. To maintain the domesticated populations and reintroduce wild bees, Fassbinder Apiaries is raising its own queen bees and experimenting with hearty bee breeds from around the nation and world that have improved odds of survival. The family bee business now extends well beyond the slopes of the Turkey River Valley -- Yellow River Apiaries near Monona and Highlandville Honey Farm in Highlandville both grew from the extended family's passion for bees, a passion with a strong connection to the region given the vital role bees play in pollinating food crops.

Paul Roeder Jan 29, 2019
Development of Wind Energy

DRC Sponsor: Larry Grimstad

Please note the 1/29 meeting starts at noon rather than as an evening 5th Tuesday event.

Paul Roeder is a developer and owner of utility-scale, community-based wind power generation systems in the State of Iowa. He plans to speak to our club on aspects of the wind power generation industry and his experiences and insights into the wind energy generation business.

Iowa is #1 in the U.S. in wind power generation in terms of kilowatts per square mile, with wind generated electricity comprising over 35% of the total. That figure is expected to top 40% by the year 2020. In terms of total wind generating capacity, Iowa is second only to Texas. The wind energy industry employs between 8,000 and 9,000 Iowans, including manufacturing, operations and maintenance, design and engineering professionals. Wind energy accounts for at least $13.5 billion in capital investment in Iowa, according to the U.S. Wind Industry's Annual Market Report. Some of the largest technology companies in the world, including Google and Facebook, have identified the availability of low-cost wind energy as a leading reason to locate new facilities in Iowa.

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