I have made a point to keep all my MBA rambling thoughts and going ons off my blog and vlog posts…mostly. A shoot from the hip loud mouth director doesn’t fit association work very well. I try my hardest to respect the integrity of our association.
I do however channel all this energy through the board into communication projects to convey our message by maintaining a constant narrative. We have just gotten started. One of my most recent pet peves is speaking with Manitoba Beekeepers who don’t know what the MBA represents and don’t know what our industry needs from our government and industry. This is one line of communication we are addressing through social media, news media, events and our newsletter. The MBA needs to drive the narrative to its membership in order to keep the membership privy of our issues and ongoing business, so that the membership can inturn provide direction of our industry work!
Check out or Manitoba Beekeepers Association Facebook page to keep up to date news, issues and events happening in our Manitoba Beekeeping Industry.
We’ve missed the rains that have scattered across southern Manitoba. Getting some right now would sure help perk that nectar flow up a bit. Everything is adding up. I have the bees, I have the boxes, I have the staff, I have the crop, I have that early nectar flow…all I need now are those continued timely rains.
We were later rearing queens this year. Our queen checks will take us right through first week of July. This will put us late for collecting a lot of summer honey off them but the intention is to build excellent hives for next year, a honey crop from this year is merely bonus. These queens look to be mating well. Roughly 80-85% success with excellent laying and vigour. Most are taking their full 2 weeks after hatch to start laying though…, which isn’t a bad thing but reminds us that patience is our asset here.
Bee beard selfie with Provincial Apiarist Rheal Lafreniere at the Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association Bee Field Day.
His exact words were “this is the closest I’m getting to a bee beard” lol
We are just about finished inserting excluders, three yards tomorrow and then onto supering the nuc yards as they come ready with their queen checks. The flow has started hard right off the mark and these boxes are plugged with honey already! To me these hives look too strong but according to the brood nest, I’m right in target. I think the abundance of honey within the nest makes it appear massive. Time will tell, swarms will tell the truth on this matter. Fourths are heading out ASAP and then followed by assessments on 5ths. If this honey flow pace continues, the projected honey pull will start July 16th…so there I said it, let’s see how close I get to that start date!
As time flys by, Miami Fair has come and gone. I’ve not only kept myself busy with the farm but I’ve also kept my thoughts busy with bees lately. Making time for the family is one thing I’ve tried my hardest to make priority for but making time for the family on the farm has been another challenge I’ve struggled at. As the dynamics of farm business change, so does the separation of farm from family. Except with 4-H.
4-H forces us to make the time “off the farm, on the farm” to work with our kids on farm projects. In our case, showing cattle. It’s a Connection to agriculture that will last a lifetime. It’s also time we can dedicate to involve our kids into the farm from our busy farm lives.
Here is a video of the bee beard I grew at the MBA field day event. Might be a while TIL I do this again!
The flow has hit, the second is FULL! Supers are going out as we insert excluders. I am happy with the way the hives look. I’m almost thinking they are too big, I guess swarms will tell if I got their set up right.
Getting the 4-H stock ready for Miami Fair, typically it rains during the fair, I hope we get some rain!!
Might be a while before I do this again 🙂. After attention like that it takes me awhile to decompress. I’m planning a slow day today.
The MBA field day attracted 117 beekeepers of all stripes along with 37 children. We had a beekeeper attend straight from Carcross Yukon! The farm was a buzz! Generous donations brought in nearly $1600 towards the Barry Fingler research fund. MLA Blaine Pedersen and director for primary Agriculture Miles Beaudin both were in attendance. We had Allan Dawson from the Manitoba Cooperator and Harry Siemens from The Farm Show to cover the event.
It was a day that I wanted to show to the Beekeeping Community what we are all about. All types of beekeepers from all corners of the province coming together and sharing their Beekeeping experiences. Pushing ourselves to take that extra step to support our industry to raise healthy bees to provide for our livelihoods.
Thank you all who spent the time to attend along with countless guests who supported the event online from abroad.
Tomorrow I’m back into the bees!
Miles Beaudin- Director for Primary Agriculture, Paul Gregory- Vice President of the Manitoba Beekeepers Association, Hon. Blaine Pedersen-MLA Midland, Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade
Today I was practicing growing a bee beard. I had to figure out the logistics behind growing a bee beard to help settle my nerves for the upcoming event.
I will be holding the Manitoba Beekeepers Association field day event at my farm, Saturday June 16 2018
Honey house tour will start at 11:00,
Complementary burgers at 12:00 provided by Steppler Farms, Complementary drinks will be provided by BeeMaid
I will give a membership presentation at 1:00 with Hon. Blaine Pedersen, MLA Midland, Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade and Miles Beaudin, director of Primary Agriculture in attendance. We will have a photo op to follow with Blaine and Miles suited up in a beekeeping jacket holding a frame of bees with our MBA VP Paul Gregory.
I will attempt to grow a bee beard after the photo ops, hopefully to follow with further photo ops with Blaine and Miles with my bee beard.
A “Go Fund Me” link will be available on our website
Beekeeping demonstrations will follow at 2:00, spitting hives, making nucs, running multi queen hives, commercial queen rearing, small scale OTS queen rearing presentation. A hands on grafting tent will be open at 2-4
I will provide a hands on demonstration of my Ezyloader at 3:00 after the beekeeping demonstrations
Activities to follow at 4 to end off the day, light the smoker contest.
Silent auction and in kind donations at the gate towards the Barry Fingler fund
All are welcome, bring your veil, a lawn chair and get ready to submerse yourself into everything bees!
Directions can be found at www.stepplerfarms.com/Contacts.html
Building nucs and planting queen cells. Terrific queens raising terrific nests. Our attention towards queen quality, supplement and disease control pays off when that extra frame of brood is skimmed off these nests.
Three years into our breeding program and I think we see seeing progress on our chalkbrood infection. Nice weather also helps minimize symptoms, But I feel my breeding efforts are making great strides. I am fully implementing our bio security program. It’s not just pests and disease, it’s the compounding problems that follow the different strains.
The South Central Beekeepers’ Association have invited Brad Hogg and Bev Clark to speak on queen rearing. Brad will speak on a non grafting method to develop queen cells called OTS. Bev will bring his lifetime of experience with commercial queen production. I’m looking forward to the QandA afterwards.
The meeting will be held in the Morden Library meeting room (back door), 7:30-9, Tuesday June 5th.
For those interested in joining, like our Facebook page and come attend our monthly meetings. We are a small group of beekeepers which range from hobby, sideline to commercial operations. We meet the first Tuesday of each month to CHAT BEES! All are welcome 👍