GFM Network News


Ontario extends lost-labour production insurance

COVID-related coverage held over for 2021 program year

A temporary expansion of Ontario’s AgriInsurance program, to cover losses caused by COVID-19-related short-handedness on the farm, will be held over. The province and federal government on Dec. 22 announced the expansion of coverage will be extended to cover the 2021 program year — and that it will insure production of “additional commodities.” Further details

Editorial: Labels and legalities

It’s often said that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But does the same apply to honey cut with high-fructose corn syrup? If would seem so, according to the front-page story of our Farmit Manitoba section, where Alexis Stockford digs into the sticky issue of honey adulteration. The problem for regulators


Adulterated honey imports to North America disadvantage local honey producers.

Smoking out Canadian honey fraud

The CFIA found less adulterated honey in 2019-20, although beekeepers say those numbers only encompass a part of their market reality

[UPDATED: Dec. 21, 2020] The newest numbers are in on Canadian honey fraud, although beekeepers say they don’t fully capture the reality of the sector. The most recent bout of official testing did see less honey fraud compared to similar surveillance the year before, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). In a report

Two more ‘murder hornets’ turn up on B.C. mainland

One nest found last month in neighbouring U.S. town

Beekeepers in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland are asked to keep an eye out for so-called “murder hornets” after two were found in the region within a week. A single Asian giant hornet was found Saturday at Aldergrove, near the intersection of Fraser Highway and Highway 13 — about five km from where

Ian Steppler accepts his award during the virtual North American Pollinator Protection Campaign conference on Oct. 20.

Manitoba beekeeper receives recognition for protecting pollinators

Ian Steppler uses a thriving YouTube channel and speaking engagements to share his philosophy

A Manitoba beekeeper has received national recognition for his work advocating for and protecting pollinators. Ian Steppler accepted the 2020 North America Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) Farmer-Rancher Canada award for pollinator conservation during a virtual conference on October 20. “I’m quite flattered and really happy to be able to accept this award,” said Steppler who


Province, Manitoba Beekeepers announce knowledge transfer program

Applied research and technical support will help beekeepers struggling to keep up with changing agricultural landscape

A new knowledge and research transfer program will bring Manitoban beekeepers applied research and on-the-ground support that’s badly needed said Manitoba Beekeepers Association vice-chair Ian Steppler. “It’s a direct investment into the grassroots of our industry. We’re quite excited about it,” Steppler said. The Knowledge and Research Transfer Program (KRTP), which should begin January 1,

Tim Wendell has raised bees since he was a teen, and has been rearing queen bees for about 30 years.

Queens, drones and bees that fly backwards

Three beekeeping experts explain honeybee breeding in Manitoba

To most of us, a bee is probably just a bee. Sure, there’s honeybees, bumblebees, and whatever that bee is that lives in huts on farmers’ fields (leafcutters, of course). But otherwise, a bee’s a bee, right? No, as it turns out. Like cattle ranchers and horse breeders, beekeepers pay a lot of attention to

More ‘murder hornets’ found in B.C., Washington

Findings suggest some were able to overwinter

Reuters/Staff — Officials in British Columbia and Washington state have confirmed new sightings of the Asian giant hornet, dubbed the “murder hornet,” indicating the invasive, predatory insect survived the winter in the Vancouver area and U.S. Pacific Northwest. The stinging hornet, whose queens can grow as large as 2-1/2 inches in length, could potentially pose


Disappearing natural habitat threatens bees’ diet

Maintaining pockets of nature among cropland allows bees to thrive on a balanced diet, says beekeeper Ian Steppler

Cropland’s encroachment on nature threatens to starve bees and pollinators, beekeeper Ian Steppler told those at a Manitoba Conservation Districts Association conference on December 4. “Where we find a balance within our countryside between agriculture and nature is where we find tremendous growth and prosperity,” Steppler said. Why it matters: Bees and other pollinators are

Beekeepers see shorter season

Beekeepers have seen their honey supply dry up sooner than usual this year. Ian Steppler, vice-chair of the Manitoba Beekeepers Association, said almost every honey producer he’s spoken to has had a shorter crop than usual this year — especially in the Interlake. Steppler, who farms near Miami, said he usually has honey to late