Monthly Archives: January 2017

January 27 2017

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Working the photo shop today trying to put something together from my photo library to make a new hiway sign. We want something different, simple and representative…not sure if this will win over my brothers but I’m going to use it to cover page all my farm documents from now on.

January 25 2017

Just one gem from the library of beekeeping vids from the University of Guelph Honeybee Research Centre.  I stumbled upon this webpage after following a link posted on www.beesource.com and have taken in a few of the Queen rearing and hive splitting videos. Watching the vids makes me want to get back into the bee yards. Basics is what beekeeping is all about. With the growth of my business I find myself spending more time towards business management and operational logistics than GOOD OLD FASHION BEEKEEPING! I kinda miss the peacefulness and solitude of the beeyard. Good old fashion beekeeping, don’t let hype stray your attention from the basics.

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January 23 2017

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Beemaid has brought in a few of these ProVap 110 OAV devices and have them available for sale. I have no experience with this unit but I think I’ll buy one and try it out. The price is right, the treatment period seems quick, the device looks simple and built tough. I like the controlled dosage this device administers, no second guessing and the peaceful nature while using it is quite appealing. It will be interesting to see how this product stands up to a few thousand consecutive treatments. I guess the unit’s simplicity cheapens the price and almost gives it a disposable nature. Stock parts make repairing it quick, cheap, and practical. Worth a try.

January 16 2016


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This spring I’m going to test the market and sell up to 200 early May hives. Ive set a firm price of $225 per single (4-6 frames of brood and bees, laying queen in a single used box top and bottom.  Fed and treated.   With the hive comes the opportunity to purchase up to 4 honey supers, $65 per box, used boxes, good white comb straight from my inventory and comes with a used plastic queen excluder.
10 hive minimum purchase, 10% deposit, I will deliver within reason

stepplerfarms@hotmail.com

January 13 2017

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Roughly 100 cm+ of snow so far this winter compounded with two more days of 70-80km/hr winds and bitter cold has wiped away that warm happy fuzzy feeling I get after the year’s first snow fall. Thank goodness school was cancelled again today, a stuck bus full of kids on a -34 degreesC -45 WC morning would be serious trouble.  Our road is blocked down one side which leaves access out of the farm one way. We’ve been working to keep access cleared with our snow blower but in places the road side ditches are walling up which blows in easier each time.  There is a lot of winter to go yet…we can manage it without this wind.

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The calving barns are at max capacity right now, holding nearly 100 new born calves inside sheltered from the wind.  Soon as this cold weather breaks we will send them out to loose housing shelters.  We bed our farm heavy with straw everyday to make sure a nice straw pack forms for the calves and cattle to bed into.  If the straw packs are made up properly over time, they give off tremendous warmth just as the cattle  were lying on a heated blanket.  Some calves dig in deeper than others lol.

January 12 2017

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Four sets of twins today, because of the cold the calving barn is packed with 40+ calves. -35 degreesC and -45 windchill, extra bedding today and a bump in ration.  Hope the cattle’s udders don’t freeze tonight.

…i remember why I became a beekeeper…

January 11 2017

Oxalic, Glycerin, Shop Towels – a promising stopgap flyswatter

25 ml food grade glycerin warmed, 25g of Oxalic mixed til dissolved, soak in per shop towel then press out excess. Each towel should hold 25g treatment, total towel weight of 30g. Place towel ontop bar of hive which will be removed by the bees over 3-4 weeks.

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If your wondering what this is all about, pick up a copy of the January edition of the American Bee Journal and check out Randy Oliver’s latest article “Beyond Taktic, Beekeeper Funded Research”. If you don’t subscribe, check Randy Oliver’s website, www.scientificbeekeeping.com for his latest updates.

I think I’ll try this treatment In my apiary this next year. I think the best timing with this Oxalic Shop Towel treatment is early fall. I plan on using Apivar through the spring as I typically do, spring treatment is best suited for Apivar IMO.  As I pull off the last honey boxes in fall (mid August) I’ll apply the Oxalic Shop Towel treatment to clean up the mites for winter.  OAV can be done later in the fall if needs be.
I’ve used OAV last fall with great efficacy but the hives needed to be brood free which runs my work late and the novelty of the application sure wore off after the second yard.

Like Randy implied strongly, IPM, treatment rotation is part of good operation management. Right now I’m using only one mite control product. Adding Oxalic shoukd mix things up a bit.  It will be  interesting to see how this plays out…

Snow, wind, cold,...taken in stride

Snow, wind, cold,…taken in stride