Long Lane Honey Bee Farms is a family beekeeping business designed to encourage, assist and educate others in the wonderful experience of keeping honeybees. We are the one stop beekeeping shop, providing classes, beekeeping supplies, bees to those who are getting started in keeping honeybees. Perhaps you will be the next one! David Burns is an EAS certified Master Beekeeper.
Visit Our Website at: www.honeybeesonline.com
Call Us At: 217-427-2678
Hello from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. Finally we are in full bee season. It's a good feeling. Flowers are blooming, and more and more days are good for bees to forage.
If this is your first or second year to keep bees you have quickly learned that there's more to this beekeeping thing than you bargained for. Wouldn't it be nice to have a certified master beekeeper on the other end of the phone or email whenever you had a question. I started my new membership program and members are loving it. 90 beekeepers around the country have jumped on board. We still have room for more.
MEMBERS ONLY ACCESS TO:
- 1 New Instructional Videos Each Week.
- Personal Email & Phone Mentorship With Me. You'll be a phone call away from a certified master beekeeper.
- Picture/Video Evaluation Of Your Hive When Needed. Send me a video and/or pictures of what concerns you and I'll advise
you on the next step to take.
- Weekly Tips Of What You Should Be Doing With Your Bees.
- Your Choice Of 1(one) Item From Our Membership Gifts List
Below: (After 6 months subscribed)
- 1 Free class at our location per year (Does NOT Include Bee Institute)
We have 2 spots left in our Beekeeping Institute June 10-12.Read more...
We Have Queens Available
We hope to have more each week. Here's how it works. Once we know the number of queens we will have available for the upcoming week we place them online, usually over the weekend. If you want to pick up your queen, please call us on Monday. Usually the queens quickly sell out over the weekend. We hope to have more available each week as the season progresses. These are Illinois Northern queens. Click here to see if they are available now.
Can I Stop Feeding My Bees Now?
Yes. Once there is a strong nectar flow and plenty of flowers it is not essential to feed your bees. If you see lots of ants going for your sugar water, stop feeding. The bees should become familiar with foraging rather than relying on your sugar water.
These classes were very popular last year! Come and spend 4 hours in the bee yard and learn from certified master beekeeper, David Burns. Ask questions and learn how to manage your colony. We still have room for a few more.
Your Hive Is Telling You Now If They Will Survive The Winter
Sounds impossible, right? But it's true. If mite levels are not kept below 3% your colony will most likely die in March. If your queen is failing...dead in March. It's still time for you to intervene and take action to help your bees survive. Be proactive. Know what you are doing to avoid being sad and depressed in March.
Hello from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms we are David and Sheri Burns. We live in central Illinois and boy are we enjoying this beautiful spring.
Seems like no matter where I go, people recognize me from YouTube or from speaking about Honey Bees. Many people tell me that I am their main source of beekeeping information. That is very humbling. Over the last few years we have reached nearly 2 million people through our online videos, podcasts and beekeeping lessons. That's amazing.
I receive hundreds of phone calls and even more emails per month from beekeepers around the country seeking answers on what to do next with their hive.
We are launching a new subscription service to the first 200 members. As an EAS Certified Master Beekeeper (2010) I want to help you navigate through your new hobby of beekeeping.
Starting May 1st, I will be offering a premiere beekeeping training opportunity to the first 200 people who subscribe. For less than $5 a week here's what you will receive as a team member:
MEMBERS ONLY ACCESS TO:
- 1 New Instructional Video Each Week.
- Personal Email & Phone Mentorship With Me. You'll be a phone call away from a certified master beekeeper.
- Picture/Video Evaluation Of Your Hive When Needed. Send me a video and/or pictures of what concerns you and I'll advise you on the next step to take.
- Weekly Tips Of What You Should Be Doing With Your Bees.
- Your Choice Of 1(one) Item From Our Membership Gifts List Below: (After 6 months subscribed. Only shipped within US)
- 1 Free class at our location per year (Does NOT Include Bee Institute)
Some Municipalities Requiring Beekeepers To Be Certified
Does your city, village, or municipality require you to be a CERTIFIED beekeeper before you can keep bees? We are having a LAST MINUTE to the rescue course just for you!! Maybe you did not know there were certain requirements in some cities or towns for beekeepers to be certified and now you've waited too long? We are having a special class just for you where you will receive certification that you have completed a beekeeping course with a Certified Master Beekeeper which you can attach to your city (or state's) registration paper. Minimum number of students required. Sign up now.This class is good for any beginner, even if you don't need certified. Sat., May 7.
Why Is There A Bunch Of Bees On The Side Of My Hive?
What's going on with all those bees plastered on the outside of your hive? Well, if it's not hot and humid it might mean that your colony did, will or is thinking about swarming. Yikes! Sometimes the queen lands there with her swarm. Sometimes afterswarms, or in other words, a swarm after the main swarm will land out there with a virgin queen. What should you do? You should inspect your hive to see if you still have your queen. Are there queen cells? Usually if you just wait a few days, things will return to normal.
These classes were very popular last year! Come and spend 4 hours in hives and learn from certified master beekeeper, David Burns. Ask questions and learn how to manage your colony. We still have room for a few more.
Queens For Sale
We are excited to be offering queens in a few weeks. Our fingers are crossed that we'll have queens the first week of May. We will place them online for sale and ship them out weekly. So keep an eye on our main website at: www.honeybeesonline.com
SWARM RETRIEVAL: CAN YOU REALLY DO IT?
Here's how it goes down. You get a call from a stranger that hears you are a beekeeper. "I've got thousands of bees hanging on a branch on my tree. My children are afraid to go outside. Can you come get them?"
1. Ask the caller to send you a picture so you can make sure they are not wasps
or yellow jackets.
2. Take a small 5 frame nuc, protective gear and head out.
3. Keep in mind that the swarm may be gone by time you arrive.
4. Upon arrival determine how you will shake the branch so the bees will fall
into your empty hive.
5. Give it two strong shakes. Bees fall into the hive and you can place the top
partially back on top, allowing bees to gather inside.
6. Once most of the bees are in, screen off the opening and head home.
7. After three or four days inspect the nuc for the presence of the queen. If
she's not there, raise one or order one.
8. Good job!
SWARM RETRIEVAL DON'TS
1. Don't stand on strange things or climb dangerously into trees. It's not worth
2. Don't leave without getting a picture. No reason to chase yellow jackets.
3. Don't expect it to go fast. Sometimes when you shake the branch lots of
bees will fly back up on to the branch. You may have to spend an hour
shaking bees out of trees.
4. Don't miss this opportunity to teach your audience about the necessity of
Hello from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. We are David and Sheri Burns and we are giving away some cool beekeeping things on our Facebook page. We've given away a smoker, T-shirt and hive tool, a 5 frame nuc and more.
We are also giving away another 5 frame nuc from our Beekeeping video blog (Vlog). Watch this video and subscribe and comment that you want the nuc and you could win a nuc (bees not included). It's just our way of saying thank you to our great customers who follow us online.
We'll be presenting our 4th Basic Beekeeping course of the year this coming Friday (sold out) and our first Spring Management class is coming up this Saturday (sold out). We are looking forward to both classes and with spring right around the corner our new Spring Management course will be just in time to learn what to do for your hives that survived the winter.
We have lots of classes still to come with openings for the year:
Very popular last year! Come and spend 4 hours in hives and learn from certified master beekeeper David Burns. Ask questions and learn how to work and manipulate a hive.
Starting with 2 hives is better than one. There is an old saying that two is one and one is none. Starting with 2 hives gives you more resources to share between hives to keep both strong. We still have Freedom Kits with bees, but these are selling out fast.
Remember our hives are built right in central Illinois. Thank you for supporting our family business... old fashion hard work!
Almost Daily YouTube Videos Have Started!
On January 1st I started producing my almost daily Vlog. A Vlog is a video blog.
I have produced some on how to feed bees, propolis, beekeeping vocabulary, comb honey, honey and more.
Subscribers are growing and I am hoping to reach 50,000 subscribers by the end of the year. Please introduce our channel to your friends.
Check out my recent one below on how to make comb honey. Please subscriber afterward. We are almost at 5,400 subscribers now.
Feed Your Bees The Right Way This Spring
Leave it up to our EAS certified master beekeeper, David Burns to create an awesome feeding system. Several years ago he nailed it with our Winter-Bee-Kinds and last year he nailed the perfect spring and fall feeding system. Our Burns Bees Feeding System. He has continued to modify it over the last year. The jar holes now are both in the middle rather than side by side as in the picture. We have sold a bunch of these. It's a great way to feed your bees in the spring and fall.
The feeding ports are screened to keep the bees from flying out when you add more sugar water and patties. Get yours in time for spring. It is especially good when installing new packages. It's essential to strengthen your fall colonies for winter.
Be sure and give us a call, and get started in beekeeping today! We are looking forward to hearing from you for all your beekeeping needs. Thank you.
Hey, before you get too excited about the upcoming warm up outside, it may not be as good for the hives as you might think. I'll tell you why, but before I do, I have a few things to share.
Our YouTube almost daily Vlogs have been a huge hit. People from around the US and around the world are enjoying them everyday. In one of my vlogs I talked about different flavored honey and why honey is different colors and why and how it crystallizes. It is a fun video and in that video I mentioned that I am giving away a Long Lane Honey Bee T-Shirt like the one I am wearing above.
Here's how we are picking the winner. If you go to that particular video vlog and subscribe and leave a comment letting us know you want the shirt, we'll randomly select a winner in a few weeks. So watch that video and subscribe and leave us a comment that you'd like to try and enter the drawing for the shirt. Here's the video:
If the video above didn't play right, here's the link: https://youtu.be/eeGwskCy_X4
OUR BEE KITS ARE STILL AVAILABLE BUT GOING FAST
We still have hive kits that include a package of bees with a mated queen. But they are going very fast and we have less than 80 kits that include packages of bees available. If you are considering getting started in beekeeping and sitting on the fence, get off the fence and jump in with both feet.
Once we run out of bees with our kits, we recommend you buy our kits and find packages from other places. But they are selling out fast. I do not want you to be disappointed from procrastinating.
Nearly a decade ago we started building and selling hives. Our completely assembled and painted hive is still a big seller. Comes with frames and foundations. Ready to be placed in your yard or field. Check it out today.
And if you want me to put my special touch to your hive, check out my David's Ultimate Wish List Hive. Comes with scored inside walls, extra wax added to frames, beetle traps and green drone comb traps.
Hey women, we've got a beautiful hive tool just for you. It's pink! Ok fellows, if you want a pink one you can buy one too. A Pink Hive Tool.
How much easier can it get? We know you're busy and maybe you've been confused by what you need. Our Busy Bee special takes all the stress out of getting started in beekeeping providing you with a completely assembled and painted hive, and a 3 pound package of bees with a mated queen. The hive (Woodenware) is shipped soon after you place your order, but the bees must be picked up at our farm in central Illinois in May (see below for more info). Our complete hive comes with: 1 screen bottom board, two deep hive bodies(each hive body contains 10 wooden frames with foundation, beeswax coated and one medium super containing 10 wooden frames with foundation bees wax coated, one inner cover, one telescoping top cover with metal covering and a front entrance reducer. The box corners are rabbet joint corners. Also includes one feeder (styles vary).
PACKAGE BEE INFORMATION: This kit couldn't get any easier. You receive the hive at your house, then you come to the Training Center at LONG LANE HONEY BEE FARMS to pick up your bees. The estimated date for pick up is May 7/8 from 9 - 3 in Fairmount, IL. You will receive an email with detailed information, so you must register here with a valid email and check it to read all information. While we will do our best to hit the targeted date, and keep you informed if it changes, it is your responsibility to put the date on your calendar. We suggest taking a beekeeping course so you understand how to hive, maintain, inspect, and feed your bees, as well as understanding overwintering conditions and pests and diseases. We also suggest a minimum of a hat with veil, hive tool and smoker to complete your set. Click on videos above for installation instructions.
Our first beekeeping class of 2016 will take place this Saturday! We are working our fingers to the bone preparing for another great year of classes. I'll be doing some filming for upcoming vlogs too. We have some special hive kits available for class students. Take a class, buy our student kits and save a buck! If you are coming to our class and still need a hive and some bees, call Sheri for the special deal. 217-427-2678. Check out all of our classes.
DON'T GET TOO EXCITED ABOUT THE WARM WEATHER
I've seen the forecasts and it looks like a warm weekend here in Illinois and maybe where you live too. This would be great if there were nectar sources available but there is nothing out there. This would be great too, if it remained warm the rest of the year. Here in Illinois it will get very cold again.
Bees will break cluster, eat more and feed the queen more which means there will be more larvae that will require much more food in a few weeks when it might be very cold again. I like to feed my bees liquids if they can fly. While it will be warm, it is predicted to be very windy here so I am not going to feed them liquids in fear that the winds will hold them in the hive.
For those of you who have wrapped your hives with insulation, I would recommend you remove the insulated wraps on sunny days above 40 degrees (f). Insulated wraps can block the warm sun from warming the hive. If you used roofing paper to wrap your hive, the warmth will penetrate through the paper, not need to remove it. But when temps drop below freezing, be sure to wrap them back up.
A mild winter means that bees consume more food and transfer more food to each other which means viruses spread more when the bees feed each other. I'd rather see a cold winter where temps remain from 15-30 degrees (f) until March and then an early spring. That would be perfect.
The main thing to remember is continue to feed your bees until you have a good source of nectar in the spring. The bees need your help over the next 8 weeks. This is the time weak hives begin to die no matter how warm it gets.
Someone said they read that it is good to keep water in the hive in the winter. WRONG! They have plenty of moisture in the hive in the winter. Do not add any. We work hard to reduce moisture in the winter time. Healthy colonies do a great job at keeping the moisture where they want it.
Be sure and spread the word and try and get your friends and relatives into beekeeping. We need more beekeepers to increase the number of hives in America for pollinating our fruits and vegetables. Thank you for sending them our way!
As always, thank you for doing business with us. We appreciate it.
David and Sheri Burns www.honeybeesonline.com 217-427-2678
Hello from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. We are David and Sheri Burns and we operate www.honeybeesonline.com
I've been sending this blog out for nearly 10 years. It's been my humble effort to help beekeepers keep bees better. People from around the world have told us how much this blog has helped them so I feel like it is doing some good!
The weather has been very nice for winter. Here in Illinois it has been very warm and I have not ran my snow plow once. It's hard to believe because now we are in to February and I haven't had to turn on my big house furnace. Wow!
So how does a warm winter effect honey bees? It's not good. But before I explain this in more detail, let me share some other cool stuff.
Are you losing your colonies every winter to mites? Varroa destructor is the leading cause of why bees die in the winter. They carry various viruses that can spread quickly through a hive during winter months. Watch my recent video on how you can use Green Drone Comb to help control mites. We teach this in greater detail in our beginner classes.
Over the years we have worked hard to educate and encourage more and more people to become beekeepers. I spend a great deal of time speaking at various groups like 4-H, FFA, home schools groups, Lions and Rotary clubs, Park Districts, bee clubs and school groups. Any opportunity I get to encourage the younger generations to keep bees is exciting to me. Anyway, as a result I see more and more people becoming interested in beekeeping.
Now, almost anywhere you go you see something about beekeeping. It wasn't always that way. In fact, in the early 90s I'd say beekeeping was practically on its way out. But now, it is "cool" to keep bees.
For those of you who are currently keeping bees you too play a huge role in helping others get into beekeeping. You can introduce a neighbor or a friend into beekeeping. Maybe you can encourage a grandchild or relative to start keeping bees. It's only February so there is plenty of time to help more and more people jump in and enjoy keeping bees. We have a website dedicated to "How To Start Beekeeping."
Those square, white boxes gracing the countryside is a beautiful sight and has been featured in many picturesque photos and paintings. It's a peaceful scene depicting the balance of nature. Bees are pollinating flowers and plants ensuring that we will have our next meal.
Those white bee hives were once much more common than they are now, although they are making a come back. Years ago I remember seeing those white bee hives and wondering how in the world I could ever keep bees. Maybe you've wondered that too.
Now it is practically a prestigious thing to own hives. A common mistake many beekeepers make is that they never have enough empty hives to catch their own swarms or the swarm calls that will come their way in just a couple of months. All beekeepers need to have a few empty hives on hand to help rescue swarms. The faster we can rescue swarms the better image honey bees and beekeepers have among the non-beekeepers of our communities.
One of our most popular kits is our Freedom Kit. Starting with 2 hives is always better than starting with one. There is an old saying, " One is none and two is one." It means that if you have one and lose it, you have none. But if you have two and lose one, you still have one.
Our Freedom Kit is fully assembled with frames and foundation, and it comes with 2 hives and 2 packages of bees. This kit also comes with a hat and veil, hive tool, book, queen excluders, a smoker and smoker fuel. Click here to view our Freedom Kit
I believe this has become a very popular kit because it removes much of the guess work out of beekeeping. What do I buy? How many? If I buy my hives at XYZ place, then where do I find bees to go in to my new hives? The Freedom Kit solves these problems.
Classes are very popular today. Not just beekeeping classes, but classes on just about any subject. My wife recently flew out to San Francisco to take a class on becoming a Chocolatier. Taking classes is enjoyable because as we get older we realize we need to keep expanding our horizons. We need to keep our minds sharp and it's enjoyable learning something new.
I cannot imagine starting beekeeping without taking a class. Be sure and visit www.honeybeesonline.com for our class schedule. We put so much effort into our classes and we'd love to meet you. Our classes are filling up so fast this year. Every spring people are disappointed that all classes are full. So sign up and take a class before the spring rush. Review all of our upcoming classes.
Our next Basic Beekeeping Class still has a couple of spots available. It's on a Friday from 8am - 1pm. Take off work on Friday and come join us! Click here for more details.
We have 3 spots available in our spill over, new class on how to manage your hive in the springs. People are always wondering about making splits and how to prevent swarms. This class is on March 26th (Saturday) 9am-1pm. Click here for more details.
Now, is this warm weather good or bad for honey bees? Normally we would think it would be good for bees because they are flying. There are some good benefits to a few warm days each month in the winter. Bees are able to break cluster, move closer to stored food in their hive and take a potty break. However, a prolonged warm spell means that bees are moving around much more, laying more eggs, raising more brood and consuming food at a faster rate. A prolonged warm spell could cause the bees to starve because even though it is warmer and they are flying, there is nothing to go and gather. The more they fly and move around the greater the food requirement is. Most of us would love to see the temperature stay in the 30s all winter. This is the optimal temperature for bees to coast through winter.
One way to calm your concerns during these unusual warm spells is to make sure your bees have plenty of food for the next two months. Most colonies starve in February and March. Keep a fresh Winter-Bee-Kind on top of your clustered colony all winter long to ensure they have the protein and carbohydrates they need. Colonies are consuming an unusual amount of food this winter because our customers are ordering more Winter-Bee-Kinds and bringing an unusual amount back to be refilled. Stay alert and meet the nutritional needs of your hives.
Finally, we provide many entertaining ways for you to stay current on beekeeping trends.
Hello from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms we are David and Sheri Burns. You can run out to the farm store and buy a hive, order a book on beekeeping, and get a package of bees from Billy Bob’s truck whenever he comes through town. But is that really what you want to do? Why not start with one of our brand new, clean hives, fully assembled, American made right here in Illinois, painted and sturdy, built by beekeepers! We provide a fresh 3 lbs package with a mated queen that you pick up only a couple of days after it is packaged. And take a class by a certified master beekeeper when you pick up your hives . We are here for you. IMPORTANT NOTICE: Some of our customers desire to purchase equipment online but want to avoid shipping cost by picking items up here locally. Many of our online items have fixed shipping. It is best to call us to place a pick up order. 217-427-2678 With gas prices so low, consider coming over and picking up your hives. Thank you!
This year has started out as a phenomenal year with interest in beekeeping. I have never seen such a huge interest in beekeeping. It is very exciting. Not only are we seeing this surge in people buying hives and bees from us, but our classes are filling up like crazy! Our first two beginner classes in February and March are sold out. If you are thinking about taking a class I would suggest you secure your spot quickly.
New to our class menu is: Spring Management. We scheduled this class for March 19th and it quickly sold out. So we added another one last week for March 26th and it is now over half filled. If you’d like to learn what to do with your hive in the spring such as making splits, swarm control and more, sign up now Spring: Splits, Swarms, Supering and Survival (Spots Still Available).
INFO ON ATTENDING ONE OF OUR CLASSES
People from around the US have taken our classes and even a few from other countries. If you live out of the area, we are only a couple hours from O'Hare International airport in Chicago and only an hour and fifteen minutes from the Indianapolis International airport.
There is a beautiful winery less than a mile from our farm where you can stay. Some of our students have stayed there and it is new, and can sleep 5-10 people, and has a full kitchen etc.
Check it out: Sleepy Creek. But there are also name brand hotels near by. If you live far away, make it into a working vacation and come take a class.
If you are still undecided about taking a class consider breaking up the monotony of winter. The winter doldrums can really get us down. This is a great time to take classes, socialize with other beekeepers and just see something different than your frozen yard.
By taking a class you WILL avoid making many mistakes. Some mistakes your bees may not recover from and you will regret losing your bees to your mistakes. A state inspector informed me that the best hives that she inspected were from my students. The right information is powerful.
Here’s a few ways you can help make this a huge success in promoting beekeeping:
1. Send us your questions, or submit your questions at the bottom of each video. I’ll try and answer them as quickly as possible. 2. Leave your positive comments below our videos. 3. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. 4. Feel free to stop in and visit us during business hours and with your permission we’ll add your visit to our vlogs. 5. Tell others. Word of mouth is powerful.
Five words to learn are:
Precocious- When bees develop certain abilities at an earlier age than normal, usually out of necessity. Trophallaxis- The exchange of food from one bee to another. Polyethism- Describes a division of labor within a colony carried out at different ages. Thelytoky- A type of parthenogenesis in which females are produced from unfertilized eggs. More common among cape honey bees but it is possible among apis mellifera (Our European Honey Bees) Parthenogenesis- With honey bees, it is when a drone develops from an unfertilized egg.
Now you can really show off at the next association meeting.
In the next few months colonies in the north will slowly start raising more and more brood for spring, thus increasing the demand for more food and heat. In other words, February and March are when most colonies crash because they simply starve out. And the number of bees are lower resulting in less heat in the hive. Keep Winter-Bee-Kinds on your hives during these critical months. Once it warms up and bees fly, you can switch to our Burns Bees Feeding System and feed 1:1 Sugar water for spring build up.
We are still selling lots of Winter-Bee-Kinds. It’s never too late to add one to your hive as long as it is cold outside. As soon as your bees finish one be sure to refill it with the recipe we provide or purchase another one. Do not think that one is enough if they eat it all early in the winter. Keep feeding your bees for maximum spring build up. Visit our Winter Feeding Solutions now.
PACKAGE BEE UPDATE
We sold out of individual packages of bees in less than 20 days. A new record. Because of the surge of new beginners taking classes and seeking equipment, we have reserved packages of bees only with our hive kits. So if you are looking for a complete kit with packages of bees (pick up only), then click here. If you are looking for just individual packages without hives, we do NOT know of a source we would recommend at this time.
WE HAVE EXPANDED OUR HOURS
We have expanded our hours to help meet the needs of those who cannot call during work hours. Mon 9am-6pm Central Time Tues-Thur 9am-4pm Central Time
We work so hard that we are closed to the public on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 217-427-2678
Before you visit us, please be sure we are open and if you are coming to buy certain equipment please call first to be sure we have what you want in stock.
Now, since we serve the entire US, please remember we are in the central time zone. So check out what time it is here if you live outside the central time zone or you may be calling outside of our hours.
BEEKEEPING EXPERTS AVAILABLE 4 DAYS A WEEK
Four days a week we have beekeeping experts available to answer your questions. Recently I saw a big box store bragging that they had a beekeeping expert one day a year. To be successful, you need more than one talk. You can call us Mon-Thur and we are dedicated to help our customers. In fact, our customers prefer to purchase their bees, hives and equipment from us and pick it all up when they take a class. Daily we have prospective beekeepers who call us, not knowing anything about beekeeping, and we are able to walk them through the entire process. There is no reason to stumble around not knowing what to do next.
OUR FACEBOOK PAGE IS A COOL PLACE TO HANG OUT
Stop by and visit our Facebook page. Almost daily we share cool photos, videos and important beekeeping tips, discoveries and important facts. Be sure to check us out.
Thank you for making Long Lane Honey Bee Farms a fun, family business!
David and Sheri Burns
Hello from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. We are David and Sheri Burns and along with most of our family we have been helping beekeepers for a decade. We are located in central Illinois and we are a small, American, family business.
We’ve dedicated our lives promoting beekeeping and doing our part to ensure honey bees have a bright future. We are winding down another successful year thanks to our fabulous customers. We are more excited about 2016 than ever before. In 2006 we thought the interest in beekeeping had reached its peak. Boy were we wrong. Every year thousands join the clan of people that want to do their part to save our major pollinators and improve our precious fruits and vegetables by becoming beekeepers. We are stoked about dreaming what 2016 will be like for beekeeping.
Today, I want to encourage you to pursue your dreams whether your dream is to start keeping bees, become a doctor, take up a musical instrument, or to retire. Before I do, let me share some things going on around here.
I’ll be speaking at the American Beekeeping Federation at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach (Jacksonville), Florida January 5-9. Leave winter behind and come get some sun and learn more about beekeeping.
I’m a Christmas junkie. I love Christmas music and start playing it on Thanksgiving Day. Sheri loves it too, but she is not as fanatic about it as I am. I catch her toning down my Christmas music. I love Christmas because my mom and dad always made it a special time to remember the birth of Christ and to be with family. My mom would cook all sorts of foods and candy and my dad always hung lights and decorations. My apologies to the few of you who can’t understand my obsession. To be honest, Sheri is the one who hangs most of the decorations and certainly the only one who cooks all the candy and food. Yep, might as well call me the drone bee.
We hosted our annual Christmas luncheon for our workers last week. We handed out some gifts and thanked them for all their hard work. Haley Watts made a cool Christmas tree out of cake pops. Haley has been helping us ship your items and sometimes answer the phones. The top pop is yellow like a star. Our 8 year old son, Christian, said he wanted to eat that one. He grabbed it but handed it to his nephew JD. I thought that was sweet.
We all worked extra hard to get caught up on all Winter-Bee-Kind orders and we did it. More orders are coming in, but being caught up now means we can ship them out within several business days after the order is placed once we get back to work after the holidays.
I made a commitment not to put WBKs on my hives until I took care of all customer’s orders first. We were aiming for the day before Thanksgiving but we missed that deadline so my next goal was the Tuesday before Christmas and we made that happen. Thank you for all your orders and it is definitely not too late to purchase a Winter-Bee-Kind. I’ll be putting mine on in a few weeks. If you have not ordered one for your hive yet, try it out this year. Click here for more information on our Winter-Bee-Kinds.
This year Sheri and I enjoyed hanging out a day in Indianapolis where we enjoyed a Christmas dinner theater with another couple. We rode around Indy on a horse pulled carriage. It was beautiful! Sheri also surprised me with tickets for us to see Mannheim Steamroller. They are known for their Christmas music and decades of Christmas tours. Their website boasts, “Mannheim Steamroller is the #1 Christmas music artist of all times, selling over 27 million albums. The second highest Christmas artist is Elvis Presley.” They were awesome. We did not get anything free or reduced for mentioning them here. It was just fun.
Package Bees Soon Going Online
Packages of bees will go online late on December 31st, this coming Thursday. I don’t want to stay up late and put them online at 12 midnight, so that’s why it will be late on the 31st. We’ve already sold a bunch of packages of bees with our hive kits and we always reserve lots for first time beekeepers who attend our classes so what we put online is limited. Just watch from our main website: www.honeybeesonline.com and you’ll see a link from our main page on the 31st. Please send us your business. We know you can get your hives and equipment at other places, but we need your continued support. While buying bees, why not buy the kit with bees. Thank you.
Starting January 1st I’ll be producing a daily vlog. A vlog is a video blog. These will be posted every day on YouTube. So I want to let you know what to expect and what not to expect. This daily vlog will vary in length. It might be 4 minutes one day and 30 minutes another day. Some might be nicely edited and others simply raw video.
Now about content. The content may sometimes have something to do with bees and at other times nothing about bees. Some days may have themes and some days you will just be hanging out with me. This is a huge commitment to produce 365 of these, and I’ll do my best. There are several ways you can make the vlog much more enjoyable and entertaining:
1. Send us questions we can answer on the vlog. Questions can be related to beekeeping or something else if you want. You can also send us pictures. Lots of beekeepers will write to us and include cool photos of their hives. Send them to Long Lane Honey Bee Farms, 14556 N 1020 E. Rd, Fairmount, IL 61841
2. Leave positive comments at the bottom of each new vlog.
3. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. By subscribing you’ll have easier access to the daily videos and you’ll help boost our efforts. Feel free to subscribe in advance of our first vlog episode. After you follow our link, you’ll see a picture of Sheri and me and to the right of us is a red subscribe button as shown in the picture to the left. Here’s the link: click here to subscribe to our daily video blog (vlog). We are at 4,947 subscribers now and our goal is to reach 50,000 subscribers by the end of 2016 with your help.
4. Feel free to stop in and visit us during business hours and with your permission we’ll add your visit to our vlog.
5. Tell others. Spread the word and encourage others to come along with us in 2016.
The Pursuit of Life’s Dreams
Cat posters always have catchy phrases promoting positive living and the pursuit of dreams. Most children dream of being a famous athlete or actor. When we are young we have high hopes and aspirations. As we get older our dreams are usually met with unanticipated challenges, obstacles and road blocks. I’ve been a dreamer ever since I can remember. I’ve had a ton of dreams dashed against the rocks. Early on it was easy to let people hold me back, you know the folks that say you are crazy for trying something so outlandish.
Beekeeping at one time was a dream. When I wanted to start, I was my worst enemy. I was worried I couldn’t do it and was uncertain about it all. Then, a friend helped me jump in with both feet. Years later I had a dream of making a living from beekeeping. I first pursued trying to have enough hives to make a living from honey, back when honey was a dollar a pound. That was challenging. But I held to my dream and simply changed my approach. In the early years I lost and wasted lots of money. But I continued to hold to my dream of making a living in beekeeping. I love beekeeping so much that I was determined to make a living beekeeping. That dream was slowly realized over the last decade but I had to do many things I did not know about. Had I known about all of those challenges I think I would have thrown in the towel.
I took baby steps. First I dreamed of making my own hives. I did and they looked nice so I sold a few on EBay 10 years ago. Then around 2005-2006 I started sharing on my blog what I was learning about honey bees. The following of interested people grew very fast.
Then my dream was to sell more hives we built on EBay and I quickly became a power seller. Then I used my web skills and designed my own website. Then I wanted to teach others about beekeeping but I felt I needed to know more, so I studied long and hard and went to conferences and classes. Even then I felt like I didn’t know enough so I knew that if I pursued becoming a certified master beekeeper it would force me to learn in areas I was weak in. So I spent 2 years reading and studying more and more. Finally in 2010 I passed all my certifications. That was a huge accomplishment for me, and another dream fulfilled.
In 2010 the pursuit of becoming a certified MB was taking its toll. I was low on money and time. I had convinced myself that if I couldn’t get certified in 2010 I’d forfeit trying. But I passed all four modules. So you see where I’m going with this, right? A dream costs so much. But if it is really what you want to do, why not spend a decade of hard work and make it happen.
Slowly over the years Sheri and I continued to be loyal to our customers and class students and they appreciated our sincerity and stuck with us and new customers and students continue to support us and our dream is being fulfilled. It is very rewarding.
Look at my dream to have 50,000 subscribers on my YouTube vlog. I have no clue if that is outlandish or possible. But I’m going to work hard at it all year and see. If I don’t reach that dream at the end of this year, I’ll just adjust my end date further out. But never give up on a dream. Maybe I’ll reach 100,000 by the end of the year, that’s the way dreams work. Sometimes you reach them fast, and sometimes you spend a life time. One thing I have learned is that the pursuit of a dream is probably more rewarding than finally reaching it.
What is your dream? I’ve learned a bunch about pursuing dreams from the honey bee. I know it may sound silly, but sometimes if we overcome one area in our lives, like finally becoming a beekeeper, it builds our confidence to pursue other dreams. 2016 is around the corner. Don’t give up on that dream of yours no matter what it is. Stick to it. You’ll have plenty of people who will be jealous, and try to pull you down but don’t give up. When you hit an obstacle, climb over it. Be encouraged!
Happy New Year!
David and Sheri Burns Long Lane Honey Bee Farms 217-427-2678 www.honeybeesonline.com