March 29 2019

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The nights are still dipping to -10’s, the day time highs are hardly reaching 2… A good old slow and steady melt which is great for the land but slow for the bees. Patience is the trick! If the 2 hives I had set out earlier and brought back in, I fed them some protein supplement. They devoured that which means they are looking for protein! The sooner I can get them out, the sooner I can get supplement protien on them and the sooner they can ramp brooding into spring production!!

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March 28 2019

It’s interesting to continually get updates from beekeepers of the conditions within their hives as I’m observing the conditions within mine. Especially feedback online where Anonymity helps keep everyone’s observations closer to the truth than gloating 🙂

I’ve found a few starved out nucs in my shed…certainly doesn’t help my stress levels. In good time I will have these babies back outside.

“Hi Ian,

So I just wanted to send you a bit of an update re the video of you looking through those hives you pulled out of the winter shed. We winter all our hives outdoors in 4 packs and doubles. We have being putting out patties because its being about 10 to 12 outside most days. (not the last week) As for brood in the hives the strong once about +6frames of bees have basically the same amount of brood as what you are seeing. Its really interesting. The weak hives have roughly the same as what you are seeing. As of March 17th when we looked last. We have being through about 1200hives so far and basically there is a larger patches of capped brood then a week early. Anyway thought that video of the hives was interesting.”

March 27 2019

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The hives are still inside. Why? Who knows, I haven’t been excited enough over the weather to start the year…does It make any difference?? Probably not, but I like to think it does. The big hives can handle pretty much anything, the smaller hives need to work a bit harder to maintain any type of momentum gained. And as expected from last fall’s assessment, I’m anticipating smaller hives coming out of the shed. So my girls will be fussed over that little but extra.
Fussed over with fresh patties aswell. I’m keeping Carrie busy with mixing patties during this waiting time. It’s good keep busy work.

March 23 2019

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I’m still sitting on my hands, the bees are still inside. A few nice days have passed, but nothing to actually get me motivated or excited to move in March. If it were April, everything would be moved on those days!
The hives bearded heavy one day last week but after I cranked up the ceiling fans the bees have been calm and tucked inside. I have the bee truck loaded with nucs and backed into the shed ready to go. This time of year typically is hard on my nerves, this year is no different. I have other things to help keep me preoccupied which helps with the anticipation of starting the bee year! All the yards are blown out and cleared. I’m looking at Monday.

March 19 2019

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At Asessippi Ski Area and Resort taking in three long days of competition! Our youngest came up to Sandy and exclaimed, “this is the best day of my life!” Lol
These kids have learnt so much style and finesse from their coaching.

Our winter sport, loving it!

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March 19 2019

There was a time people talked right through me. I seemed invisible, but I had lots to say. It engrained into me the deepest appreciation for being heard. Our voice is powerful and simply being heard is the most powerful thing in the world. For some reason people don’t talk through me anymore, and they are listening. Below is an email I received this evening, much like the others which fill my inbox every morning.
Our voice is power.

“You are something else, Ian Steppler. I have been binging on your videos. They are great. Some more than others. I enjoy the vids that you are showing us how you manage your apiary, but I especially enjoy your videos in which you sit down and just talk about things that folks are interested in. One especially I was drawn to. You opened up about your family’s farming business and how new technology has increased production. You pointed out that things are changing and we need
to change to make sure our bees are receiving what they need. YOU are very intelligent, Ian. I could and will listen to you for hours. Some things, don’t apply to me as a novice backyard beekeeper, but I enjoy your knowledge. I hope I learn and can remember just .01% of what you are teaching us.
Yes teaching us! Thanks so very much.

blessings & Peace,”

March 18 2019

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Final race weekend of the winter! The kids achieved some impressive accomplishments this year. Looking forward to next year’s ski season. Who knows, maybe even ski locally again, but I doubt it, so off to Frost Fire!

March 16 2019

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Today Ian Steppler (Director), me 🙂 and Daryl Wright (Secretary) of the Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association sat down with Miles Beaudin, Director of Primary Agriculture Manitoba Agriculture and Rheal Lafreniere, Provincial Apiarist for a full day meeting around our industry support, growth and development.

This was our second meeting with Miles in regards to a number of industry objectives the MBA has set out as priorities to protect and to move our Beekeeping industry forward. There was a lot accomplished today!

Our provincial disease inspection service has been negotiated for a 3 years term with further investment into the program to help achieve our 5% target. This will ensure our commercial operations are adequately covered and it will provide the flexibility to include smaller hobby type beekeepers to be included into the program. We are extremely happy to have this program in place again and to have the increased investment to adapt this program to recognize our changing industry dynamics.

We have been negotiating extensively to bring honey bee diagnostic services back to Manitoba Beekeepers. Details are still getting ironed out by Rheal but it appears that we will have access to AFB, rAFB, EFB, varroa, Nosema and viral analysis (DWV, KBV, IBPV) analysis as a cost recovery service. This is still in its development stage but this investment into progress is a big win for Manitoba Producers.

With the resignation of our provincial pollination specialist, we have been lobbying hard to ensure our industry does not fall short on support services if the position gets cut due to attrition. Within our lobbying efforts and negotiations there have been discussions around “thinking outside of the box” and to evolve our industry services to better serve and bring more value to our honey industry. We have requested the development of a technical transfer program to serve our Manitoba Beekeepers. A service that would work at arms length from the government and the association to work directly with beekeepers on extension, research and any such activities needed or supported by Manitoba Beekeepers.
We have developed a proposal to hire in a consultant to help draft a business plan for this Technical Transfer Program. As it’s developed, we plan on using the direction from our membership (survey) to identify objectives and priorities that are important to Manitoba Beekeepers and develop the Tech Transfer Program to best suit OUR needs.
With a plan at hand, we can then reach out to government and industry to support this initiative. We are such a small industry with such big problems. Our role within agriculture and to everything around us is important. We need help from everyone around us to find the answers to many of our problems. We are being heard!

Today was a good meeting,👍

Today was the reason why the MBA needs to be supported. The Function of the MBA trurly stood out at today’s meeting. The MBA is our Beekeeping Industries channel to communicate through all levels of government and supporting industries. Our collective voice, instantly amplified as it’s directed to the right people who can act to help accommodate our objectives. Last year’s update on our strategic planning document has already yielded huge results, before we have even had a chance to finalize it! Our association has been working hard on baseline board development, short term and long term industry planning. Through this document we have been able to clearly communicate our industry objectives and yield action on all fronts. By working collaboratively on the issues that are important to our membership, our voice is heard.

The way I relate to this is very simple; I have 5 kids in the back seat of my car, they all want to go to 5 different restaurants…I then drive to where I want to go, nobody is happy and everybody is fighting. If my 5 kids negotiate and agree on one restaurant, I damn will be going to that restaurant, they got what they wanted, my kids are happy I’m happy.

March 13 2019

I spent the day at the University of Manitoba in the Agricultural Building and sat as a panelist to challenge this year’s Diploma students on their Ag Diploma Oral Presentations.
8 presentations today, all very well completed 👍
The Ag Dip program is alive and well! Aggies once,Aggies twice!

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March 11 2019

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Thank you all who came out to our Steppler Farms 8th Annual Bull Sale held yesterday, March 10 2019. The barn was full, our sales management was busy on the phones and online. We missed the weather and lucked into a beautiful day to hold a bull sale. I even had a cattle woman come up to me to talk bees! It was a great day 👍🙂

Top seller:
$21,500 Fischer Charolais Irma Alberta
$15,000 Bina Charolais Lawton North Dakota

75 yearling bulls ave $6335
20 Two-year old ave $6643
95 Lots total ave $6400

We will be in touch