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From Bees to Honey

One of the first signs of fall is the harvesting of honey! Once the bees have filled the frames in their honey supers and covered them in a white wax cap it is time to prepare to harvest.

An escape board is used to separate the bees from their honey, the bees can move down through the maze into the brood chamber (the lower boxes where they live). The board is placed between the supers and brood chambers and after a few days the bees should have left and the frames of honey can be removed.

Once the bees have left the honey supers through the escape boards the frames of honey can be removed.

First the honey is tested using a refractometer, the refractometer measures how light passes through a fluid to determine its moisture content and therefore its ripeness.

If honey is bottled while unripe it can spoil.

The honey is brought to the kitchen for processing where the wax capping is removed with a warm knife, this is known as uncapping.

The uncapped honey is placed in the extractor which spins the frames launching the honey out onto the walls of the extractor, the honey is then passed through a two stage filter and is ready to eat!

Audubon Golf Certification – All 6 Categories approved

NCC Logo

All 6 categories approved and certified: 

  1. Environmental Planning
  2. Wildlife and Habitat Management
  3. Chemical Use Reduction and Safety
  4. Water Conservation
  5. Water Quality Management
  6. Outreach and Education

Certification in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP) is a significant accomplishment. A Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary designated golf course demonstrates environmental leadership in the golf industry.

Golf course staff and members can take pride in knowing that Niakwa Country Club provides significant wildlife habitat and is maintained in an environmentally responsible manner.

By managing the property with a high degree of environmental quality, certified courses provide green space for people and wildlife while contributing to climate conservation for future generations.

Niakwa Country Club has done an exceptional job by completing all 6 certification requirements before the end of the 2022 golf season.

Niakwa Turf Team’s Milo wins 2022 Dog of the Year

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Dog of the Year honours are awarded annually at the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of  America Conference and Trade show in February with Milo taking top honours over 12 other  calendar finalists and featured on the cover of the 2022 calendar. Milo is a 1-year old German  shorthaired pointer who was just 10 weeks old when he joined the team at Niakwa.  

Milo starts his work days running from hole to hole, looking for an opportunity to chase resident  squirrels, deer and geese. In the afternoon he catches a ride in the cart with his owner and  NCC Assistant Superintendent, Shane Bell, or catches up on sleep in the office. Outside work,  Milo can be found chasing rabbits from the garden or cuddling on the couch!  

Shane is an assistant superintendent at NCC and a valued member of the turf team where he  has worked for nine years. A graduate of the Greenspace Management Program at Red River  College Polytech and a 4-year member of the GCSAA, Shane enjoys ice fishing and winter  camping.

Friends of Farlinger Raise $2500

Niakwa Country Club Members recently raised $2500, to support Audubon Society Certification, in memory of Dave Farlinger. Dave’s friends and associates got together to buy a memorial bench and contributions far exceeded the cost of the bench.

As Chair of the Course Committee, Dave made a significant contribution to the design and installation of the slit drainage that is so important to the condition of our course. As a civil engineer with extensive experience in flood control, and government relations, Dave managed the building of the dike on the 13th hole. His ability to steer the approvals process through multiple government departments was critical. Dave’s memorial bench will be placed on the 13th tee.

Dave Farlinger

Dave was a committed environmentalist and the profit from his bench donations will be used to help fund several projects that are part of Niakwa’s Audubon Certification efforts. These projects include a monarch butterfly habitat preserve near the 12th tee monarchsintherough.org and the development of beehives in the waste area left of the 5th green.

The Audubon Certification Committee will be raising additional funds in the future, but if any Member wants to make a contribution in Dave’s memory, please e-mail Wade Nybakken. A contribution can be charged to your account.

Niakwa Partners with Save our Seine

As part of Niakwa Country Club’s effort to obtain certification under the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf, Niakwa Country Club has entered into a partnership with Save Our Seine River Environment Inc. www.saveourseine.com The word ‘Niakwa’ comes from an indigenous term for ‘winding river’. The Seine meanders for two kilometers through our property.

Save Our Seine is one of the most prominent and successful non-profit environmental groups in the province. The organization’s mandate is “to preserve, protect, enhance, restore and repair the Seine River greenway, to raise public education & awareness of and improve public access to the Seine River greenway, and to work in partnership with governmental, business, and other non-profit organizations for stewardship planning of the Seine River greenway.”

This mandate is perfectly in tune with the objectives of the Audubon program. auduboninternational.org/acsp-for-golf/

Opportunities for cooperation include:

  • Coordination of environmental projects
  • Knowledge sharing and technical support
  • Shared resources for weed removal and native tree and shrub planting
  • Coordinated public outreach
  • Assistance and cooperation in funding projects

Niakwa draws water from the Seine for our irrigation ponds. The Club is committed to the responsible use of that resource through water conservation and through careful management of water quality. Preserving and enhancing the natural habitat along the Seine is good for the environment and enriches the golf experience of Members and guests.

Niakwa CC Commits to Obtaining Audubon Certification

The Niakwa Country Club Turf Team is working toward certification of the Course under the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf. The ACSP is “an environmental education and certification program that helps golf courses protect the environment, preserve the natural heritage of the game of golf, and gain recognition for their efforts. “

Certification under the program reflects Niakwa Country Club’s recognition of the golf course as an important green space in an urban environment. The program involves preserving and enhancing habitat for native plants and animals and practicing sound environmental stewardship in all management practices.

To date 100 of the top golf courses in Canada are certified under the ACSP program. The Turf Team, led by Jon McMorris, Shane Bell, and Daphne Stapley, with support from our Course Superintendent Shawn Major, hopes to attain Certification in time for Niakwa’s Centennial in 2023.

The Turf Team has already achieved certification from the Audubon Society in several key Categories. These include: Chemical Use Reduction and Safety; Water Conservation; and Environmental Case Study. The remaining Certification categories include: Water Quality Management; Wildlife and Habitat Management; and Outreach and Education.

To support the Turf Team in its efforts to obtain Certification in these Categories, a group of Niakwa Members has formed a support committee. The Support Committee is chaired by Rob Sproule, with Members, Al Kowalec, Karen Yamada, Cory Frank, and Dave McMillan.

The Committee will be assisting the Turf Team with Member liaison and communications, community outreach and education, fundraising, project assistance, and tracking, and recording wildlife.

To date, the Committee has created a website, www.NatureOfNiakwa.ca , started construction of cavity bird boxes and bat boxes, developed a partnership with Save our Seine, and has begun fundraising with a $2500 profit from fundraising for a bench in memory of Dave Farlinger.

Audubon Certification will be a significant achievement for Niakwa. Enjoying the game of golf in harmony with the natural environment enhances the experience for all.