Monthly Archives: October 2017

October 31 2017

I always figured as soon as the snow falls, work takes twice as long to accomplish. This morning I battled drifts into my bee yards and a neighbour spent 1 1/2hrs clearing a snow drifted lane to allow me access to my bee yard. More snow ahead, I think this move might be a challenge. The four yards I picked today were set outside on the cement loading pad. These are the last hives to be treated with OAV which will be done tomorrow before I stack them inside.

October 29 2017

Rubbing shoulders with influential prople in the Beekeeping industry. A Kelowna Beekeeper friend (Rudolf Bankowski) invited Randy Oliver, Liz Huxter, Sandy and myself into his home for a fantastic salmon supper prepared by his wife Rita. Wow, have Sandy and I stumbled into quite the interesting weekend!

October 29 2017

Wow that was an experience. My presentation seemed to go well yesterday. I’ve never presented anything infrount of that sized of a crowd before. I think I conveyed my message well enough but there was at least one time through the presentation where I just about lost the crowd as what I was presenting didn’t quite translate to the audience the way I hoped and all of a sudden questions were being asked and round table discussions all of a sudden erupted into debate! Lol! I’m not experienced enough to know how to handle a leaching audience member with his continued “I don’t understand” questions but I think I was able to whip the attention back to me to where I could again drive the point I was making. I found this moment extremely interesting. I had been able to draw the attention of the crowd to a totally different perspective on a common Beekeeping practice the point where they all standing on their heads trying to understand what I had to demonstrate. Neat stuff!
I have two presentations today, and then back home to move bees inside on the frost 👍

October 24 2017

Subscribe to our farm YouTube channel, Steppler Farms Video Blogs, to see the day to day happenings around the farm!

I’ve been running tractor this past week to help bring along some of the need to get done jobs before the frost sets in. Who knows when it will freeze up, sometimes a sudden week of cool weather this time of year will set in and freeze everything up for winter. While I was sitting on the tractor fussing the forecast and about the work that is needed to get done, I started counting the jobs that were being accomplished at that moment:

-Andre loaded his show string up for Brandon AgEx and headed out
-a hired man pretty much works steady at daily chores now, milling feed and mixing rations
-we have a hired man steadily hauling straw bales in
-we have a hired man running the heavy harrows preparing the land for next spring
-I’m steady on the deep tiller finishing up the last of the fall work
-we have a hired man steadily hauling out our October canola contract (2 loads per day)
-dad is out combining corn (100 acres left, test running 17%)
-Adam is running semi from the corn field and is scrambling to shift crop around in the bins to make room for the in coming corn crop
-and I have a hired Gal treating our hives with OAV (she got through 240 today)

So, ya, we are getting a **** tonne of work done everyday!

October 21 2017

Well, I’m a grain corn farmer now. First grain corn crop on this Farms. With the introduction of silage corn to our farm a few years back, we’ve learnt how to grow it. With some short season varieties along with the addition of some machinery we have been able to squeeze our Farms heat units to grow us a nice 125-150 bushel corn crop. It’s testing 20% right now. The grain drier is running 24hrs.

October 20 2017

Today was a true test of the ProVap as conditions were not so rosy. Like with the VM, wind makes application nearly impossible. One disadvantage of administering the OA dose as we do with the spoon is wind makes this process near impossible… Also the wind severely restricts the bowls ability to recharge its operating heat. I’m thinking an insulating cover might be helpful. Today a 25 second treatment took 1 min plus. Only 4 yards through today, one had to be abandoned because of the wind.
So we will just have to pick our days better now.

October 12 2017

I spent the day spraying some late season burn off to dig deep and kill some of those hard to kill perennials. We upgraded our sprayer to a JD 4930 and today was my first chance to get on er. Now to winterize the machine as freezing temps tease the forecast.

More and more feedback on my video blog. I thought I’d post a quote from one of my messages:

“getting a little dirt on the hands, the heart of the fun of it all.”

^^that is exactly what I’m all about ^^

October 11 2017

I’m hearing a lot about honey contamination lately. I’m not happy to hear this, because I pride myself on producing a pure product. But testing is getting so specific that we are looking at parts per billion now. To frame ppb into references, one ppb is 3 seconds counted within a century… Instead of sitting in the dark on this one, I’ve decided to send a sample of my honey away to be tested by the National Bee Diagnostic Centre. They provide chemical analysis services to beekeepers wanting bees, honey, or pollen tested for chemical contamination and measure down to 1 ppb. All the noise currently is claiming 1-2 ppb of neonics, so the service the NBDC can provide should help determine if my honey falls under the same criteria as what is being claimed.
I’ve said it before… it’s nice to have a Diagnostic Centre at my fingertip to achieve answers to such questions. The service is here, beekeepers just need to make time to use it.

October 10 2017

Today I jumped onto the field tractor and tilled some land. It feels good to turn some earth. Looks like I’ll be running machinery for the rest of the week.

……………

“Ian, just relax. Beekeepers watch beekeeping videos and beekeeping presentations to learn about Beekeeping… not so much about how it is presented.
…Keep on the same path you are on. Even though I will never be able to replicate your commercial scale methods I follow your blog because it is interesting to me as a beekeeper. Seeing other points of view and listening enhances my beekeeping experience. My only tip for you would be that managing both the camera, and the content is hard. I recruit my wife, or a kid, or a tripod to make things a bit easier.”

“Great job on your videos ! Nice to see operations and their ways of doing things through video.”

“I follow you on Facebook and I appreciate all your Beekeeping contributions….I don’t agree with most of your ag related positions but I appreciate hearing it as it adds perspective for me. Thanks a bunch don’t worry about posting too many video blog clips.”

……….

These are three comments I’ve gotten from the many in feedback from the video blogging I’m now doing. I think that first comment is right. Guys aren’t paying attention because of my extraordinary production skills. It’s content they are after. Steady as she goes. One positive is that I’m more comfortable in front of the camera now. It’s not as intimidating anymore.
Interesting stat, since I’ve started video blogging there has been 7000 hits to my videos and 20,000 min of video watched. Quite the fun project!