Saturday, February 4, 2017

Hello Friend! You are reading this either because you are a beekeeper or you are interested in beekeeping. Hi, we are David and Sheri Burns from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms and Honeybeesonline.com. We are located in East Central-Illinois. Customers drive from many hours a way to purchase hive kits and bees. Why not save some shipping cost and drive over this week and pick up your Freedom Kit. Includes two hives and two packages of bees and mated queens and the equipment you need to get started. You can pick up your hives and equipment this week and then pick up your bees in the spring. Come on by and meet some nice folks who know about bees. We are opened an additional day, the first Sunday of each month. We are open this Sunday Feb. 5th noon-5pm.

Sign up for one of our upcoming beekeeping classes. Click here for the full schedule. We also teach beekeeping classes at Heartland Community College in Bloomington, Illinois and at the Danville Area Community College in Danville, Illinois.

We've created two new videos, one for beekeepers who are wondering how to feed bees in the winter and one for prospective beekeepers who are staring this spring:


How To Put A Hive Together In 60 Seconds



Feeding Bees In The Winter
SHOULD YOU TEST FOR MITES IN THE WINTER?

Normally, treating for varroa mites during the winter is not practical. It is true that oxalic acid and powdered sugar works better on broodless colonies. However, I would never recommend disturbing a colony during the winter by administering some sort of treatment. A better approach is to keep mite levels below 3% all year so as they enter winter they are healthy and do not need treated.

COME BY AND SEE US

We are located in East-Central Illinois between Danville, IL and Champaign/Urbana, Il, about 5 miles south of I-74 exit 206.
HOURS

Mon 10am - 6pm  
Tue   10am - 3pm
Wed  10am - 6pm
Thu   10am - 3pm
                                                              Fri       9am - Noon
                                                        1st Sunday of Each Month Noon-5pm

You Can Still Wrap Your Hive Even In The Middle Of Winter
Even though I filmed this video in late summer, you can still wrap your hive in the winter.

What If You Could Call, Email Or Text A Certified Master Beekeeper To Help You With Your Hive?
Knowing when and what to do is the tricky part of beekeeping. Let me be your mentor. I have a special mentorship program called BeeTeam6 where you can call, email or text me concerns or questions they are having about your bees. Plus you receive a weekly tip and a weekly instructional beekeeping video. Even if you are not keeping bees until spring, this is perfect to help you gain the education you need before your bees arrive.

 


I'm glad you are keeping bees or thinking about it. Thank you for supporting our family business for all your beekeeping needs. Let us help you make a good decision on equipment such as our Freedom Kit, which is one of our very popular kits to get started in beekeeping. Click here to learn more about our start up kits.

Here are a few important articles to help you prepare for spring:

Help your bees make it through winter by making a few changes now...read more

Let me tell you how to test for varroa mites on your bees...read more

Get ready to make some spring splits...read more

Are you installing a package of bees this spring? Do it the right way...read more

Sincerely,

David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms217-427-2678

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Greatest Chance Of Your Bees Dying Is The Next 90 Days

Hey everyone! We are David and Sheri Burns and we've been teaching beekeeping classes and online lessons for a decade now! I started this blog in 2006 way back before blogs were cool. I turned 57 last week! I don't know what happened. I was just enjoying life and doing my thing when all at once I turned 57! I started keeping bees in my early 30s which really just seems like yesterday. Our passion has always been, and still is, to help the typical new beginner beekeeper get started the right way.

A very common and wrong approach to beekeeping goes something like this: A well intended individual looking for a new hobby decides to try beekeeping. They watch a few YouTube videos and run out to their local farm store and grab some equipment and bees, dump them into a hive hoping for everything to go well. If their bees do not die by fall, they die during the first winter.  If not the first winter, the second winter due to mismanagement by the new beekeeper. The sad thing is they don't know what they did wrong which means they will repeat their same mistakes next season.

This scenario is very common but very sad because many of the colonies that perish during the winter die under the "care" of the untrained beekeeper. You're probably thinking, "How does he know who I am?" It's because for over 10 years I have watched this happen to beekeepers over and over again. There are two ways to improve your beekeeping results: 1) Take a class and 2) Do what is taught in class. I'm not just trying to get you to fill up our classes. Our classes always max out. I'm trying to motivate you to take a class so you can learn to be a successful beekeeper and enjoy a lifetime of learning. Can't take a class? Let me be your personal mentor. Click here for more mentorship information.

Getting frustrated or feeling depressed or sad is a normal and understandable response when you discover your bees are dead. I remember losing my first hive. I couldn't believe that my bees would die...Read more

The bee season has began with a phenomenal start. We sold out of individual packages again in 17 days. We still have packages available which come in kits. So if you are new to beekeeping, you can always purchase a hive kit with bees and come join us for a class.

The Greatest Chance Of Your Bees Dying Is In The Next 90 Days


The greatest chance of your bees dying is the next 90 days. Even if it warms up and stays warms your bees are at risk.

Here in Illinois we've had a weird winter so far. We've had some very cold weather followed by warm weather followed by cold weather and the cycle goes on. My poor bees must be totally confused.

The ideal outside temperature for bees in the winter is around 40 degrees (f). Why? Because they are consuming very little food to produce energy to stay warm at this temperature. At colder temperatures the colony must consume more honey and pollen to operate their muscles to generate heat. On warmer days, like we had here on Saturday, bees become very active and take flight. This requires an enormous amount of food consumption for bees to break cluster and fly outside the hive. Now it is cold again. But on the warmer days the bees consumed more of their winter stores than if it had stayed cold. So now I'm having to monitor my Winter-Bee-Kinds on my hives more closely, about once a week.

It can be detrimental to feed your bees at the start of winter, but not follow through for the remainder of winter. Keep feeding your bees all winter. Make sure there is an ample amount of candy in your boards above the cluster. Refill your Winter-Bee-Kinds when needed with the recipe we provided or purchase a new one by clicking here.

Each day we gain a small amount of daylight. This too causes the queen to slowly begin laying more brood which requires more food. We've received several inches of rain this winter, not snow. This means that on those foggy and rainy days moisture in the hive likely increased as well which is never a good thing in the winter for bees. These factors combined means that the next 90 days are very critical, and that bees must be well fed with both sugar and pollen.

I checked on the bees here at our training center and they are all doing exceptionally well. Each one has one of our Winter-Bee-Kinds, providing protein and carbohydrates as well as providing insulation/ventilation to prevent excess moisture build up in the hive.

Watch my video I made a few days ago, January 21, 2017 as I checked on my bees in the middle of the winter. Click on the video image to play.

PLEASE DO NOT open up your hives in the winter to move frames around if the temperature is below 60-65 degrees (f). It's fine to open the lid quickly and change a Winter-Bee-Kind in any temperature because it takes less than 30 seconds and you are not moving frames. But I no longer open up and move frames around until winter is over no matter how warm it is. If you have prepared your bees properly for winter they should not require any frame manipulation during the winter months. Be patient for spring.



This Freedom Kit is our most popular kit. Can be purchased with or without bees. To view all of our kits, 


INDIVIDUAL PACKAGE BEES are sold out. We still have packages available with our hive kits such as the Freedom Kit above.

Are You Ready For Spring? Do You Know What To Do With Your Hives To Prevent Swarming Or To Make Splits?

We are offering two spring management classes and they are close to being sold out. Will you make the mistake of rotating your two deeps at the wrong time? Should you treat for mites in the spring? How soon should you try and capture the spring honey flow? Is your hive strong enough to make a split or will both the split and your hive collapse?  What is the best time and way to split hives? How soon should you worry about mites?

Here are the dates and times:



David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
www.honeybeesonline.com
217-427-2678


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Discovery: New Bacterium May Be Killing Bees In The Winter

3 Pound Packages are available online for purchase, but only around 50 left. Click here to order now. Don't wait too long to order or we may be sold out.

Hello, we are David and Sheri Burns at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms/www.honeybeesonline.com

Serratia marcescens strain sicaria: Killing Bees In Winter?

Class2
I worked hard to become an EAS Certified Master Beekeeper so that I can better equip beekeepers on how to do it right. A good master beekeeper is constantly studying new discoveries and reports on honey bees.

Beekeeping is no longer hands-off. You cannot just throw bees in a hive and wait a few months and harvest gallons of honey. 

Beekeeping is more challenging now than it ever has bee. A new bacterium called, 
Serratia marcescens strain sicaria, more simply named sicaria, which means assassin, and Ss1 for short. This bacterium has been found in bees that die in the winter, and in varroa mites. The dying bees seem to drift away from the winter cluster before dying. It still deserves much more research. This should emphasis how important it is to take a beekeeping class. It sounds like keeping mite levels low all year could reduce this bacterium during the winter. Learning how to keep mite levels below 3% all year is essential for the well being of bees.

List of a few of our 2017 beekeeping classes:

Beekeeping For Beginners Feb 18th 1pm-6pm (Only a couple of spots still open)
Beekeeping For Beginners Feb 25th 1pm-6pm
Spring Management March 4th 9am-1pm
A Day In The Apiary With David May 27th 8:30am-11am

See additional classes we are offering for 2017 by clicking here.


  

Our Freedom Kit has been a top choice for new beginners. Starting with 2 hives is always a better idea. You can share resources between hives and observe difference between hives. Many years ago when we first started beekeeping (24 years now) we called a beekeeping supply company and admitted on the phone that we didn't know what to buy.  The response we got was, well, less than stellar:  "when you figure it out, call us back".  We decided that when we started our company, our customers would never be left to "figure it out".    

After seeing what's out there on the market, our customers come here looking for quality, well constructed, made in America Hives....made right here in Illinois. 

Our hive kits are assembled and painted.  Made by master craftsmen.  These workhorses will outlast your lifetime. Our boxes are rabbet joints to expose LESS wood to the elements, which eliminates cracks and buckles caused by finger joints. Our telescoping top covers are covered with painted aluminum --which will never rust and will stay looking nice for a long time. We do not cut corners with our inner covers either, these will NOT fall apart on you after the first year as some others do. 

Hive boxes come complete with all the frames and foundations so you don't need to spend time trying to figure out which frames go with what foundations and what sizes you need. Complete kits, come with FREE entrance feeder! Allow 2 - 3 weeks for delivery. Pick up available, just call! 217-427-2678 or see all of our hive kits at www.honeybeesonline.com

Test Your Beekeeping Skills

Take our beekeeping test and see how well you do. Answers are available by clicking here. Jot down your answers on a piece of paper then click the above link to compare and see how well you did.
1. What is the main cause of viruses in a colony?
2. How often should you inspect your hive to verify your queen is laying?
3. List three ways to reduce varroa mites without the use of chemicals or
    acids.
4. List two ways to combat small hive beetles.
5. What does one queen cell on the upper section of comb represent?
TRUE  OR   FALSE
1. Small hive beetles can not fly, only crawl.
2. Small hive beetles cannot survive a winter inside a clustered colony of    honey bees.
3. Oxalic acid does not kill varroa mites below the capped cell.
4. The universal queen color for 2017 is blue.
5. Honey bees are not on the endangered species list.
6. When a colony swarms they always leave with a new queen and the old
    mother queen remains behind with the original colony. 


Do You Know What This is?
One of the great things about being a beekeeper is that we can continue to learn and become better at what we do. I read that more pilots crash after they have 300 hours of flight time because their confidence exceeds their experience. It's the same for most beekeepers. Keeping bees for a couple of years causes many beekeepers to believe they know every thing there is to know.



One of our subscribers recently sent this photo to me wondering what it means to the overall health of her hive. Wouldn't it be nice to have a certified master beekeeper you can get answers from right away?

Are you sure you know what you are doing? Once you start beekeeping you will have a ton of questions. Every time you inspect your colony you will have twenty question marks floating above your hat and veil. Is the queen laying enough? Why aren't they building up faster? What does that queen cup mean? What is that worm? When do I put my queen excluder on? Why are they clustered under the hive? Yikes, no eggs!

I have expanded my mentorship program to include twenty more subscribers. When you subscribe you become part of our BeeTeam6 mentorship program. Here's what you get for less than $5 a week:

    - Access to my personal cell phone to call me when you just don't know
      what's going on or you don't know what to do next.
    - Access to my personal email to send me photos, videos or questions.

    - Access to my cell phone to text question.

    - My weekly instructional video.

    - A weekly tip, two pages full of new discoveries, best management practices
      and more. Example:
With spring approaching gain the spring management tips you need to keep your hives healthy. Sign up now for one of these twenty openings before they are taken. Click here now for more information. 

Sheri and I want to thank you for the opportunity to help you with all your beekeeping needs. Thank you for supporting a small, family business.

We are located in east-central Illinois, about 40 miles East of Champaign/Urbana, Illinois

217-427-2678  or visit us online at:

       

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Watch Bees Eating In The Winter

Happy New Year! It's 2017. Hello from David and Sheri Burns and honeybeesonline.com 

Here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms we are gearing up for the 2017 beekeeping season and we hope you are as optimistic and excited as we are. Some of you are brand new to the idea of beekeeping. Good for you. Our ecosystem could stand a boost in honey bees. We need our honey bees to pollinate all the food that is good for us, like fruits and vegetables. We know you have lots of options when ordering hives and bees. We hope you'll choose us. Choosing a small, family business is important. It's not always about saving shipping cost or buying sale items. It's about purchasing hives made here in America, right here in Illinois by hard working family. We hope you'll honor our business. Thank you.

PACKAGE BEES are available online now. They always sell out fast so CLICK HERE to order now.


Your Hives Are Hungry Even In The Winter: We are just barely into winter and your bees are hungry. With several more months of bitter winter left, colonies need a lot of protein (pollen) and carbohydrates (honey) in the winter. We hear so many horror stories of how hives did not have adequate food stored up for winter back in September. Some hives are beginning to perish now from starvation.
Feed your bees in the winter. Watch our video below showing one of our Winter-Bee-Kind boards at work, reducing excess moisture in the hive, feeding bees and allowing an upper entrance.

Winter Bee Kind At Work
Winter Bee Kind At Work

Click here to order your Winter-Bee-Kind now. These will only be available a couple more weeks.
Without Taking A Class You Are Taking A Big Risk
It's never too late to learn something new. Beekeeping is more challenging now than ever before. Arm yourself with the knowledge and education you need to give your bees the best chance of making it. Take one of our classes, taught by EAS Certified Master Beekeeper, David Burns.

Beekeeping For Beginners Feb 18th 1pm-6pm
Beekeeping For Beginners Feb 25th 1pm-6pm
Spring Management March 4th 9am-1pm
A Day In The Apiary With David May 27th 8:30am-11am

2017 Beekeeping Institute
The Bee Institute is taught over two days covering in depth teachings on honey bee anatomy, understanding the colony, specialized beekeeping equipment, package bees verses nucs, how and when to feed bees, pests and diseases, best seasonal management practices for each season, how to raise and sell queens, swarm prevention, making splits, field work, mite tests, how bees communicate via pheromones, bee stings and reactions and more. You'll learn how to find your queen, how to mark her, and how to perform a thorough hive inspection, how and when to best add supers for maximum honey production, understanding the waggle dance, catching swarms and removing bees from structures, hive placement, how to work bees with minimal protection, how to move a hive to a new location, robbing and how to prevent it, reversing hive bodies in the spring, what to do about laying workers, royal jelly, characteristics of the different types of honey bees, how to keep bees in the city and much, much more. Sign up now. It fills up fast. 
Order Your Bee Hives And Other Equipment From Us
Several customers dropped in last week and purchased our Freedom Kit. Before you run out to a big box store, why not purchase your beekeeping equipment from us? We are experts in the field. Get started on the right foot. Thank you for supporting our family business for all your beekeeping needs. We do it all. We will educate you through a class, provide the bees and yearly queens and supply you with the hives and equipment you need to be successful.  Here's our most popular Hive Kits:
Our Freedom Kit has been a top choice for new beginners. Painted and assembled our hives are made here in Illinois under David's watchful eye. Starting with 2 hives is always a better idea. You can purchase it with or without bees. And comes with the equipment you need to keep bees. 

2 Hives gives you the advantage to move resources around to keep both hives going strong. Lose a queen? Just move a frame of eggs from the other hive. In a good year you can harvest twice the honey! For more info on our Freedom Kit follow these links:

Freedom Kit With Bees (Bees Are Picked Up Here In Spring)

Have a great day!
David and Sheri Burns
www.honeybeesonline.com
Tu-Thu 10-4pm
217-427-2678

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pheromone Response Of Honey Bees

Hi, we are David and Sheri Burns at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms and www.honeybeesonline.com and we are excited for the 2017 upcoming beekeeping year. We expect another record number of people to begin keeping bees.

We are also excited about our classes for the new year. Each year we keep increase the number of our classes and we are offering additional speciality classes in beekeeping. Thinking about starting your own business? Join us as we discuss different kinds of bee businesses, along with a discussion on information all small businesses need to know.  We'll touch on employees, advertising, contracts, taxes, and more. This class is on June 11th from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.  Please seek the advice of your own legal counsel when starting your own business.

Our first 2017 Beginners Class will be held February 18th 1pm - 6pm here at our training center.


PACKAGE BEES FOR 2017

PACKAGE BEES go on sale online in just 12 days, January 1st. They always sell out fast so put it on your calendar. Order online on January 1st as fast as you can. Follow this link that will be updated at midnight Jan. 1st.

Christmas Gift Cards

Maybe you are wondering at the last minute what to get someone for Christmas. Maybe it's too late or you're too exhausted to think anymore. Why not give them a gift certificate from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms and get them started in beekeeping. It is a gift that will entertain them the whole year. In just 4 days it will be Christmas Eve. Now is the time to take advantage of our special Gift Certificates. Sometimes it's hard to know just what to get someone. Beekeeping has always been a huge surprise as a Christmas gift. A gift certificate from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms will give them the pleasure of getting what they have really wanted not just another coffee mug or candle.

If you are considering giving that special someone an entire hive kit with bees, they are available online. However, we can no longer ship hives in time for Christmas. So please use the gift certificate link above.  Remember, our hives are built right here in Illinois. Help keep American, family businesses strong.

Phenomenal Response

Last spring Certified Master Beekeeper, David Burns, began a mentorship program for beekeepers. This program affords the member to have access to David's years of knowledge and skills either by email, his personal cell phone or text.  David didn't expect too many to sign up but the response has been phenomenal. There are still a few spots open to reach David's maximum number he is willing to take. This could be a great gift as well. For more information, visit our Membership Info page. Here's what David says about it, "You'll have access to my personal cell phone and private email. And you can send me videos or pictures of your hive when it just doesn't seem right or you don't know what's going on. You'll also receive a weekly instructional video and a weekly beekeeping tip."

Winter-Bee-Kinds Production Will Soon End For The Year
We will complete our production of WBKs for this year in a few weeks. So if you are on the fence or need another one, please place your order now. Remember it's never too cold or too late to place a Winter-Bee-Kind on your hive. You've worked hard to keep your bees healthy.  Don't let them starve in the winter.


Did You Know This About Bees?

Bees do not have ears. If that's true how do they hear the lawn mower coming? They have vibration sensors throughout their body. Sound waves produce vibrations. But without ears how do bees talk to each other?

Through pheromones. Pheromone glands are located at various places on bees. These highly volatile vapors are mixed and dispersed throughout the colony and are received by the antenna of the honey bee.

For example, we've all heard of the alarm pheromone. This is a chemical substance located on the sting apparatus of the honey bee. When we are stung the venom sac releases alarm pheromones on the sting site. This alarm pheromone becomes an indicator to other bees where the trouble lies.

Another commonly understood pheromone is the Nasanov gland located near the end of the abdomen on worker bees. You can actually see this gland open and with a good nose you can smell the scent. Nasanov pheromone has several uses, one is to tell other bees where to land during a swarm.

A virgin queen releases pheromones in her mating flight to signal her location to drones. After she is mated this same gland releases a pheromone that prevents workers from laying.

Even developing larvae release pheromones indicating they need fed. There are so many more interesting facts about pheromones!!

Order Your Bee Hives And Other Equipment From Us
Before you run out to a big box store, why not purchase your beekeeping equipment from us? We are experts in the field. Get started on the right foot. Thank you for supporting our family business for all your beekeeping needs. We do it all. We will educate you through a class, provide the bees and yearly queens and supply you with the hives and equipment you need to be successful.  Here's our most popular Hive Kits:
Our Freedom Kit has been a top choice for new beginners. Painted and assembled our hives are made here in Illinois under David's watchful eye. Starting with 2 hives is always a better idea. You can purchase it with or without bees. And comes with the equipment you need to keep bees. 

2 Hives gives you the advantage to move resources around to keep both hives going strong. Lose a queen? Just move a frame of eggs from the other hive. In a good year you can harvest twice the honey! For more info on our Freedom Kit follow these links:

Freedom Kit With Bees (Bees Are Picked Up Here In Spring)

Our Liberty kit is similar to our Freedom kit only the Liberty kit is for one hive. You can purchase it with or without bees. All our hives are painted and assembled, ready to be placed in your yard. Comes with equipment you need to get started.

For more information on our Liberty Kit, follow these links:


Don't get sucked in to all the "new fangled gadgets and concoctions" on the internet. Stay with science and proven methods. Let us help you in all your beekeeping needs.

Sincerely,

David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
Visit us online at: www.honeybeesonline.com

Or Call: Tues-Thurs 10am - 4pm 217-427-2678



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hive Kits Available Now With Bees

We are David and Sheri Burns from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms and Honeybeesonline.com. We've just placed our 2017 Hive Kits With Bees online for purchase. This is just in time for you to get that special someone a Christmas gift that will TRULY be a huge surprise. Click here to see our 2017 hive kits. Remember, when our hives are built right here in Illinois. Help put small American businesses back on the map!

For those of you waiting on your Winter Bee Kinds to arrive, due to warmer weather this week, we had to postpone shipping until next week. But remember, your WBK will be shipped in the order the order was received. Many people placed their orders in August-October, so if you are just now placing your order, please be patient. Also, the WBK will arrive wet or syrupy. That is fine and the bees will enjoy that. This does occur in shipping and is perfectly expected and normal. If we made them so hard that they did not do this, the bees would not be able to consume the food. It's not too late to order your Winter Bee Kind now. Don't let your bees starve this winter.

Our 2017 class schedule is online now. The two classes that sell out the fastest are the Beekeeping Institute and How To Raise Queens. So if you are interested in making it to these classes, sign up now to reserve your spots. 

Check out all of our classes for 2017 at:

Another Great Christmas Idea

A Six Month's Mentorship
Purchase a 6 month membership to be mentored by EAS Certified Master Beekeeper, David Burns. Each week David sends out instructional tips and a video. Also, this mentorship includes access to David's private cell phone and email so you can personally talk to David about your hives. This makes a great Christmas gift. Click here to sign up. Leave a comment in the note section so that we can send a special Christmas card explaining everything to go under the tree.  

HIVE KITS AVAILABLE WITH BEES NOW!

Planning to start keeping bees in the spring or maybe you'll need something to put that new swarm into in the Spring?Buy your hives now and you'll avoid the spring rush on hives.

Our Freedom Kit has been a top choice for new beginners. Starting with 2 hives is always a better idea. Sometimes you need to share resources between colonies. With two hives you can transfer frames and keep each hive equally strong. This kit comes with 2 Packages of Bee (Bees Picked up here in the spring). Painted and assembled here in Illinois. 

Also included are the supplies necessary to start keeping bees. Beat the spring rush and order now. 



Our Liberty Kit comes with one hive and one package of bees (Bees picked up in spring at our location) plus supplies. All our hives are painted and assembled, ready to be placed in your yard. A great Christmas gift. Order now to receive the hive before Christmas.

We know you have other options for purchasing your beekeeping equipment, but we appreciate you honoring us with the opportunity to meet your beekeeping needs. We are a hard working, American small family business. We appreciate your business.

DID YOU KNOW THIS?
Drone - A male honey bee, produced by a queen laying an unfertilized egg, usually in a larger cell. Drones do not forage or build comb. They merely mate with virgin queens and die shortly after mating. They do not have stingers. Their eyes are so large they touch in the middle of their head. They have one extra antennae section than workers, used to locate the virgin queen in flight. Most colonies have between 200-2,000 drones. Drones do not have a father, but they do have a grandfather.
Be sure and give us a call 217-427-2678 or stop by our website at: www.honeybeesonline.com