Monthly Archives: February 2018

February 21 2018

Social media is quite an interesting medium. To Connect with people and “know” people without actually meeting or “knowing” them. At this years Manitoba Beekeepers Association 112th annual convention, I have been properly introduced to many of those I regularly chat over text.

The convention was well attended and I feel the content was awesome. I hope to be able to contribute towards next years efforts.
Beekeepers are an interesting bunch. Unlike any other industry, beekeeper’s focus on nutrition is small. With all the attention towards environmental change, you’d think the focus on nutrition would be a natural fit. My message to beekeepers is to “use bee supplement to complement their incoming forage, not to replace it.

It is quite intimidating standing in front of a crowd and express personal thought and direction. Up on stage it’s interesting how sensitive my feedback senses become. Constantly scanning the crowd for reflection and reacting to the feedback. During my presentation on Saturday I observed many engaged beekeepers to the thought I was conveying. But I picked up a lot of sceptical reflection which basically came from commercial beekeepers. Nutrition is not a hard concept to understand, so I believe the dismissal was based off ideology. I know the environment is changing, I know it’s not a circumstance of our creating, but pushback is not adapting with changing times. Sometimes acceptance and moving on is the most proactive strategy. Then tapping into that change… that is where our answers lay.

I pulled the truck into the morden truck wash yesterday to wash her down before I get into maintenance. Looking back, typically, the bee year starts NOW! Rock and Roll,

February 18 2018

The 112th Manitoba Beekeeper’s Association has come and gone, the crew put on a great show. Busy for me, accepting a seat on the board.
I also gave a presentation during their Beekeeper Workshop, aimed towards those beekeepers transitioning towards a commercial model. A topic that requires 6 hrs, I briefed into 1/2 hr of bare bone basic strategies which hinge on my success and growth.
Check it out!

February 14 2018

Saturday afternoon February 17, at the Hilton Airport Suits, Winnipeg MB, the MBA has put together a spring and summer management Beekeeping Workshop as part of their annual convention.

Johnathan Hofer, Elie MB
Scott Plante St-Nicolas PQ
Ian Steppler ( 🙂 ) Miami MB

The afternoon workshop is $25, which will buy you a Beekeeping Perspective from hobby right straight through to commercial Beekeeping management.

My presentation is geared from a commercial perspective but more so focusing on a few fundamental management techniques I use which enabled me to transition from a sideline to a commercial Beekeeping operation. I could talk for hours but Because of my time constraint, I’ll focus on three basic points which enables my success. How and why I assessments my hives during spring, my hive split method, and my insight into the importance of nutrition.

Hope to see you all there!

Manitoba convention and AGM information and registration!

February 13 2018

Here is the link to the presentation I did at the Pembina Valley Beekeepers meeting last night. You know, I yap yap yap, but the interesting parts of the presentation was from the conversation spurred from the continual group feedback.

Today Sandy and I spent the morning watching our kids curl. Nice relaxing morning followed by an afternoon of thawing stock waterers. I can accurately tell you the frost line is 5 1/2 feet down. Damn that wind today…

February 10 2018

I was invited to speak on seasonal disease and feeding management at the Pembina Valley Beekeepers meeting on Monday, February 12, 7:00 back door in the Morden library basement. I put a little something together. It’s going to be pretty casual, looking forward to it.

February 7 2018

Sandy and I have been pushing ahead with a major basement renovation project. We made a deal with the kids, purge the toys and we will move in the old family pool table. They called our bluff, cleared the toys out and sent them to MCC. Sandy and I followed through and brought in the pool table…but not before new flooring. That pool table sure forced our renovation commitment. We can’t put flooring down after the table is moved in!! New floor comes with new walls…so right now we are halfway through the painting project.
The room is going to look nice after we are done. It’s going to be a nice change from a basements full of old toys.

February 4 2018

I had a message come in today, with so many others, but laughed out loud when I read this one;

Iam vary pleased to here that you have accepted the nomination to the board of the MBA, and I am sure you will be elected and that you will do an outstanding job.

I, however would be dishonest if I didn’t say that with all your responsibilities this new task may overload you and the blog may suffer.”

Making this type of connection is a lot of fun.  Providing feedback for everyone is beginning to take a lot of time.  The videos are a double edge sword, they answer a lot of what is being asked, so I can simply refer beekeepers to specific videos, but the videos have garnered a lot of attention which compounds the incoming messages in my inboxes.  Lots of fun!

February 2 2018

As a Manitoba Corn, Soybean, Canola producer AND Beekeeper I’m going to submit a Canadian Farmers Grow Communities application to suggest support given to the Manitoba Beekeepers Association (not for profit)

Specifically in regards to helping the Association put together enough funds to build a business plan, the first step needed for the membership , to develop A Tech Transfer Team.

A Tech Transfer Team is desperately needed for the beekeepers in Manitoba. Bee health in our industry is at grave concerns and the beekeepers in Manitoba need an industry led function to help focus on the issues of bee health and bee disease down at bee hive level.

Beekeepers in Manitoba, like beekeepers all over the world, are having trouble translating all the latest research developments down to their Beekeeping operations. A Tech Transfer team would bridge the disconnect and with all the information available help build useful practical applications for beekeepers to help improve our hive management practices.

Anyone else who knows our Beekeeping challenges or anyone else who cares deeply about the state of our Beekeeping industry, consider suggesting the (not for profit) MBA as the Choice for the Canadian Farmers Grow Communities program.

I strongly feel Monsanto has a responsibility towards supporting beekeepers with their efforts of adapting to the new realities of Agricultural farming practice. The Beekeeping industry has been ignored as changing cropping practices greatly effect everything within our hive management. The tremendous success farmers achieve using Monsanto’s products negatively effect our bees, not so much through residue concerns but more so with nutrition. Farmers call them weeds, beekeepers call them food.
I applaud Monsanto’s attention towards these issues and hope we see unrestricted support ahead.

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