Monthly Archives: January 2012

January 2012

January 29, 2012

January 2012

I attended the Annual Canadian Honeybee Convention that was held in the famous Fort Garry Hotel down town Winnipeg. The event was held on the famous 7th floor, and boy what a place.  The event was very well attended and I think everyone felt a bit spoiled taking in the event in such a classy arena.  Talk about a high end convention hall.  The acoustics were fantastic, and the floor plan is set up logistically perfect allowing for a trade show and step aside lounge rooms which allows for easy semi private conversation at any time during the show.  The only thing I didn’t like was their coffee.  STRONG!! I switched to the tea.

Now for some general comments on the convention itself.  Hats off to the association for a very well run event.  They filled the day with half our presentations which I noticed flowed well into each other.  It helped keep the interest of the crowd while each speaker kind of built off each others presentation.  And the best thing is they kept to a strict time line, half hour talk and one or two questions and that’s it.  It kept speakers from droning on and on about irregularities of their work and forced them to focus the talk on their point.  Review of the study material is very important for the relevance and accuracy of any study but I don’t have to hear about all that stuff in a convention.  Just give me the gist and show me the results.

Posted by Ian Steppler at 10:29 AM | Permalink

January 24, 2012

January 2012

I have been feeling under the weather for the last couple of days, so under my wife’s strict instructions I’m to take it easy for the next few days. She has a lot of pull around here! In my “easy” day I made it to the winter shed again this month. Sure is a lot of bee drop on the floor. Last sweep up I took out a barrel and a half, looks like another half barrel already on the floor. I’m not too worried about the seemingly high bee drop becasue when I look into the hive entrance’s I see hives bulging with bees. I did another walk around and only spotted a hand full of “non bulging from the bottom frames bees hives” It gives me a very satisfying feeling. Also, as I mentioned earlier, the bees sit motionless, quiet, and peacefull.  I have noticed in the last couple of winters more of a restless sense when looking at the hives in storage. Anyhow its all good so far.

I couldn’t help myself again, and looked into a few hives again. This time it was into my double queen single hives. I had big plans for this new arrangement in my operation last summer but good old mother nature stood my plans on its head! Any successful business man can react and perform in any condition, and so did I but in the mean time a lot of my nucing plans were halted. However I was able to make up a good number of double queen hives/nucs mainly to experiment and gain some experience. I have commented on this in an earlier post so I will not reiterate. What I did find in the winter-shed was good looking nucs. Wall to wall bees in both sides of the divider. To be honest I kind of wrote these bees off becasue of all the bother they caused me trying to fight the weather. They actually look great! so good I’m wondering if I’m going to have to feed them a bit of syrup before winter is over. So now again, I’m in the planning type of mood. I think I’m going to try this nucing thing again, just modified a bit from the experiences I had over the summer. I’m also looking at a few alternative treatments that might work good in nucs that will carry my nucing strategy on ward.

lots to think about, winter is disappearing!

Posted by Ian Steppler at 12:30 PM | Permalink

January 19, 2012

Jan 2012

I just got word from our provincial Apiarist that the long waited MAQS has now achieved registration in Canada; >>NOD Apiary Products announced today that they received notification from the PMRA that Mite Away Quick Strips™ (MAQS) has been granted registration in Canada. For more details and a short 2-minute video demonstrating application check out NOD’s website at www.mite away.com. NOD Apiary Products does have a booth at next week’s 2012 Canadian Beekeeping Convention.<< I expect the booth at the 2012 Canadian Beekeeping Convention to be busy, I hope they are ready to field some questions. I have been watching this product over the last couple of years, and like everything I hear about it. This product has gone a long way from its predecessors. Its much easier and safer to use and apperently its much easier on the bees aswell. They claim the treatment can also be performed during the honey flow without any fears of residues in the honey. They also claim the efficacy of the treatment to be over 90% working during day time temps of 10-30 degrees C. This product seems to have eliminated all the problems of its predecessors. I am really interested in testing this treatment out in my own hives!

Posted by Ian Steppler at 06:00 PM | Permalink

January 18, 2012

Jan 2012

The 2012 Canadian Beekeeping Convention is being held in the Fort Gary Hotel, Winnipeg Jan 27th and 28th.  Anyone who has not planned to attend should seriously think about going.  Looks like a great speaker and topic line up! I will be attending most presentation both days.

Hope to see you all there too.

Come up and say hi !

Posted by Ian Steppler at 11:07 AM | Permalink

January 08, 2012

January 2012

Swept my wintering shed today. I swept up 1 1/2 barrels of bees. Seems like a lot but I usually have at least 1 barrel this time of year. I have the hives spaced a lot better this winter as compared to others. It makes my work go twice as fast. The reason being I have most of my hives on 2 way migratory pallets allowing me to stack tighter. Its a huge improvement over moving the hives with old farm pallets. I’m glad I got back into the shed today to see the bees. Im kind of impressed with the shear size of my hives this winter. I had trouble with bee stings today because most of the hives were bulging from the entrances. Working beside hives with bees that close makes it difficult not to brush up against them. I also notice something different than last year, they seem calm and quiet. Last year I heard a roar in the shed all winter, this year its quieter. I also have not found any restless “drifters” in the bunch. When I say drifters I mean a hive that seems agitated all the time which keeps sending drifters into the darkness. No such hive that I have noticed this year. Everything seems quiet. So curiosity got the better of me again and I opened a few random hives. Half of them were wall to wall bulging from the top and the other half held a nice large cluster. I walk around I peer into the entrances with a light, most all hives show a nice cluster hanging from the bottom frames, if not bulging from the front. Its nice to see hives full of bees this time of year. A Lot of winters I start finding dead hives about now.

I had a fellow beekeeper stop by to day to chat. I think he is poking around looking for ideas on how to develop his operation. Every beekeeper does things differently and gathering ideas can be very useful before shifting things one way or another. I think I extracted more information out of him than he got from me. This business is very interesting and I love chatting about honey bees. This beekeeper is from a family that has been with bees forever, and with that comes a general instinctiveness and awareness of the bees that guys like me don’t have. I have it with grain and cattle, that’s our family business, but not with bees yet. Hanging around some of these guys gives me so much insight of the business.  I know I’m starting to get a feel for thing because I can kind of carry on a conversation about bees with these guys for a little while.

Posted by Ian Steppler at 04:32 PM | Permalink

January 05, 2012

January 2012

The temperature hit 10 degrees C today, feels like spring here!  The fans in the shed were full blast and the bees were nicely bearded.  I bet outdoor wintered hives would of had some flight today.  Funny thing is my hives inside wouldnt know if it were 10 degrees today or -10 degrees other than humidity differences. Wow, I’m going to take this January weather !

Posted by Ian Steppler at 05:41 PM | Permalink

January 01, 2012

January 2012

Hmmmm , still working on those vids!

Took a peek in the wintering shed the other day.  The fans are running their cycles like planned and keeping the temp at 7-8 degrees nicely.  We have not had a lot of cold weather yet, so the fans have been running steady since I put them in.  At least in the shed they don’t have to battle the winds we have had so far this year.  Sometimes I think its the wind that stresses the hive more than anything.  Anyway, lots of bees on the floor.  Im going to sweep them next week to see how things measure compared to other years.

Been busy with the fam this last month.  I have done very little bee or farm work.  Mostly farm books and account management work, house renos and family time.  Finished this years Christmas ski camp, 4 days of skiing right after boxing day to start off the new ski year with the La Riviere Ski Club.  The hills have great snow considering the weather we have had and the weather couldnt be nicer.  Lots of fun!

Bee work will start again tomorrow.  I have bartered some newly made boxes for a bull calf.  The first bunch is ready to pick up and I will start off my honeybee winter projects tomorrow with that.

Time away from the bees has been needed but I am really looking forward to getting back to bee related work.  Lot to do this winter!  Cant wait to get started.

oh, and as I keep saying, Ill get these vids up loaded soon as I can get things to work for me!

Posted by Ian Steppler at 01:45 PM | Permalink