Monthly Archives: September 2017

September 28 2017

Four inches of rain disappeared into land like a spounge. Our lawn is green again. We are lucky this cool wet weather pattern didn’t fall during our wheat and canola harvest. I’ve started a video blog, see the YouTube link below. A bit of commentary on work around the farm. I’ve been getting all kinds of feedback on my blogs.  This has turned into an interesting project. Blogging takes an extraordinary amount of time,  video blogging is no less. But I like doing it. To be honest, the reason why I’ve started video blogging is to practice speaking in front of a crowd. The BCHPA is a few weeks away and I’ve never presented in front of a large crowd before. My presentations are nearly complete now. I’m actually going to run long on time if anything! Lol

September 22 2017

It interesting how far this blog reaches around the world. I respond to every email I get and I do my best to provide adequate feedback if it’s asked for. I don’t do phone calls…otherwise I’d be spending my evenings on the phone rather than relaxing on the couch after a long day at work. But I think what I might try to do is dedicate video blogs to some of these email inquiries. I’m definitely not comfortable speaking into the camera, but hell, it seems to be reaching out to beekeepers;

“Ian,
It’s great to finally have a fellow bee keeper/farmer that has common sense. I am primarily a dry land wheat and red proso farmer here in Eastern Colorado…”

“Hello Ian,
I have an apiary in Ohio. I am just amazed at the huge number of hives you maintain. I love your blog on your website. Please keep it up. I have read it every day for a few years now. I have used many of your ideas.
The reason for my email is to inquire…”

“Hi Ian,
I have been an avid follower of your blog for a number of years; thanks for all the great information!
We have (accidentally introduced) wasps…”

“Hello Ian,
I am a commercial beekeeper from New Zealand.
I have seen your video online as to wintering beehives indoors and I am interested to know more on how this works…”

“Ian,
Been following your honeyblog, and I have learned a lot from it, thanks!
I keep bees myself in Ontario,…”

“Hello there Kid
It takes a lot of time and dedication to keep up a written blog especially considering your workload and family commitments. I know why you do it, and I appreciate the passion you share with others in the industry. I read you blog everyday with my morning coffee. I especially like those videos you have started. It’s funny because you don’t look or sounds at all like you did I’m my head all these years!! but now your presence is natural.
The reason I’ve emailed you is because I find it interesting how you manage…”

“Hey man you do not understand enough chemistry to comment so confidently that it is not killing our bees.
One day you will wake up with dead hives and join the chorus…”

September 21 2017

These last couple of weeks I’ve been finding myself home by 6 for supper with the family again. I’ve had evenings home and down time on the couch again. I’ve been able to spend more time in the office and I’ve been able to dig into core farm business again. Every year its the same. It’s this time of year when that huge pressure of immediate work is lifted and it feels like I’m an over revving engine. My wife, my governor, brings me back to a steady idle. Lol. That sounds corny but it’s exactly what happens. Lots of work going on the farm right now, just the frantic relentless pace has lessoned

September 18 2017

The second load of syrup came in last week and I plan to have it fed away by the first week of October. As September wears on I start to get a good look at my wintering nest. So far I’m pleased. I have not seen any evidence of crashes yet…we are looking… My nosema counts came back last week and I’m pleased to see a low 1.5m spore count. This will be my baseline for the winter.
The wasps are bad this fall.  It seems as if there are swarms of them in the yards but the hives seem to be able to fend them off.

September 17 2017

Andre Steppler and I have started a new project where we will be compiling video blogs of our daily farm work to our Steppler Farms Video Blog youtube channel. If you are interested, subscribe!
I already keep a daily blog here on our www.stepplerfarms.com website and will continue to keep it up. This video blog project maybe will help convey and demonstrate more of what we are doing and perhaps provide more perspective.
Who knows, I think it will be fun. We will see where this leads.

September 16 2017

British Columbia Events

I’ve been invited to speak at the BCHPA conference later on in October. They want me to bring a beekeeping perspective from the prairies, single hive management and the year structured around it.
I’ll apparently speak Saturday and Sunday. I have no idea why I accepted the invite because I’m not at all comfortable with speaking infront of “PEOPLE”, but my wife is ecstatic and I’m actually looking forward to the event. As a prairie beekeeper I don’t do ANYTHING different from the rest out here. I’m just a beekeeper with a blog who speaks his mind…and who has lots of pictures Lol. The old addage says, speak about something you know. I know about beekeeping except I’m not very good at speaking!
I facebooked my acceptance of the invite as soon as I had made my mind. It has kinda forced me to hold to my decision…because otherwise I would of backed away 4 or 5 times already!!! Lol.

September 11 2017

Nine men, eight or nine different job directions today.  We are caught up with harvest.  The cereals and canola are done, just waiting on the soybeans and the silage will be within days.  Cattle are being pulled from pastures now because not only has the grass dried up but so has their water sources.  We opened our reserve silage pile to feed the incoming cattle.

We are half way through our pail feed round and I feel like I’m getting late.  The hives seem lighter than last week…funny thing because I’ve already fed half a triple to them already.  I spend so much fuss on these fall nests and I still straddle the line…  I’m expecting another semi load of feed this week.   I should have all the feed pails out by the weeks end, to start the second roUnd on Monday.