Thursday, March 16, 2017

How Soon To Make Spring Splits

We are David and Sheri Burns from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms and Honeybeesonline.com. Our 2017 classes are going well. I'll be teaching a class this Friday "Spring Management" and then on Saturday I'm teaching a Beginners Class at Heartland Community College in Bloomington, Illinois. Click here to join me in Bloomington this Saturday. I believe there are several spots still open.

Check out all of our classes for 2017 at:

COLD WEATHER!!It recently turned cold again in much of the US. We had temperatures down in the teens the last couple of nights. This is especially hard on bees that were flying on warmer days several weeks ago eating up all their winter food. Keep an eye on your hives, especially in March if you are in colder climates. Bees need fed during the months of March and April. 

Need Some Quick Help On Common Questions?:






ARE YOUR BEES OUT OF FOOD??
It is essential that we feed bees in the spring. Even if fruit trees are blooming why not give your hive an added boost. Our feeding board is perfect for fall and spring. Holes are lined with screen to make changing jars easy. Feeding your hive will speed up drawing comb out on new foundation. Remember, in most of the US March and April can be cold and rainy. Your new package or nuc needs fed! Order Your Feeding Board Now By Clicking Here.

HONEY BEE TRIVIA

Honey Bees Are Amazing
It's fun to know interesting facts about bees especially when you are speaking to a group of children about bees or anyone for that matter.

-It takes approximately 3,500 bees to weigh 1 pound.
-Honey bees that collect nectar from flowers are called foragers and visit 50-100
    flowers on one flight.
-A male drone bee has a grandfather but not a dad.
-The bees gather 10 pounds of nectar to make 1 pound of honey.
-A honey bees will only gather 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her life.
-A foraging honey bee can carry 80% of their weight in pollen or nectar.
-Honey bees make up 80% of all pollinators.
-Honey bees use several dances in the hive to communicate the location of nectar
    and water to other bees. One well known dance is called the waggle dance.
-Honey bee pollination has an agricultural value of 15 billion dollars a year in the
    US.


Hundreds Of Desperate Beekeepers Will Call Us Needing A Hive In April And May. Beat The Rush!
If you can, start with two hives. You can swap frames to balance your hives during the year. If a queen dies, just move a frame of eggs over from the other hive. Comes with or without bees. We are still selling kits with bees. Bees are for local pickup only. These kits with bees are only available until March 31st then we will be out of bees. ORDER NOW! Check out our Freedom Kit by clicking here. Or call today to ensure you beat the rush. 217-427-2678 Be sure to call us for better shipping prices for what you might find online.

Making Early Spring Splits
Click On Video Below
Watch my popular video answering common questions. Please subscribe to our beekeeping YouTube channel. At the bottom right of each video you can subscribe. We are at 9,000 subscribers with over 2.5 Million Views!!  But 10,000 subscribes will help us have resources to produce additional Youtube videos on beekeeping such as mobile live beekeeping videos. Help us with getting our next 1,000 subscribers. Thank you in advance!

Yikes! Your Bees Are Coming Soon. Are You Sure You Are Ready?
Knowing what to do and when 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 you 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. Get yourself prepared before your bees arrive.
 
IF YOUR HIVE SURVIVED THE WINTER THEY WILL SWARM. DO YOU HAVE A HIVE READY TO PUT THEM IN?

Every year beekeepers call us in desperation needing a hive to put a swarm in. If you do not have a hive ready, and you place the swarm in a makeshift box, they will likely leave for good. Have a hive ready. Swarming is going to happen. Be ready. Order an extra hive today. 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 hive now and you'll avoid the spring rush on hives.

Be sure not to get caught without needed supplies. Order things early and be ready!

David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
217-427-2678

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

It Is Warm, But Is It Too Early To Add Honey Supers?

When To Add Your Supers

Is it too early to add honey supers? The recent early warm up has all of us confused and probably our bees. If it doesn't turn extremely cold again all will work out. Fingers are crossed.  So does this mean we should add our honey supers earlier?

Scenario One: It stays warm, we add supers and our colonies gather up the early spring harvest of nectar. Great!

Scenario Two: It doesn't stay warm, we add supers and the colony moves up into the empty supers for food and nothing is there. You might consider feeding them, but this means your sugar water will be added to your honey supers where you'd rather have real honey not sugar water. Not Great!

My rule of thumb is not to add supers until dandelions are blooming everywhere. You might see a limited number of early ones, but once my yard is full I add my supers to my overwintered colonies. If you need honey supers, click here.

AMISH BUILT 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 our customers would never be left to "figure it out".   
 
After seeing what's out there on the market, most of our customers come to us looking for quality, well made American hives.

Our hive kits are assembled and painted.  Amish made 
right here in Illinois by master Amish craftsmen. These are NOT mass produced. We do not resell other companies' hives. These hives are always under the close scrutiny of David's Certified Master Beekeeper's picky demands. These workhorses will outlast your lifetime. Our boxes are rabbet joints to expose less wood to the elements, which eliminates cracks and buckles.  Our telescoping top covers are covered with painted aluminum --which will never rust like traditional tin covers. We didn't cut corners with our inner covers either, these will NOT fall apart on you after the first year as some others do. 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. Our complete kits include a FREE entrance feeder! Allow 2 - 3 weeks delivery. Pick up is available, just call to avoid shipping charges.  Other places sell kits that lack all the boxes you will need. We are looking out for you. We appreciate your business.  


MAKE THE INVESTMENT AND TAKE A CLASS

Now that the beekeeping season is just about ready to start buzzing, beekeeping classes are in big demand. We've held two beginner classes the last two Saturdays at our training center and our Spring Management Class is this Saturday with two openings remaining. This class will address making spring splits, adding honey supers, cleaning up winter die-outs, reversing hive bodies for maximum brood production, spring feeding and more. If you are interested click here or call us. 217-427-2678. 

We have other dates and classes available. See a list of all of our classes here. Our training center is located in central Illinois between Champaign and Danville, Illinois, 5 miles south of I-74. Come see us!

Since My Bees Are Bringing In Pollen Do I Need To Feed?
It's good to see bees bringing in pollen from trees in late winter. But depending on where you live it may be short lived. Many trees such as maples and oaks will produce pollen in late winter only to be short lived when another blast of cold weather moves in. If you are in the south and there are many other sources of nectar and pollen then winter is almost over for you. But if you are in the north and there are no dandelions or other significant nectar sources you will likely need to feed your bees for the next few weeks and even longer if the weather turns cold.
We suggest removing the Winter-Bee-Kind and begin using our Burns Bees Feeding System. Take a look at our suggestion for feeding your bees in late winter and early spring by watching my video below:


A DAY IN THE APIARY WITH DAVID
One of our most popular classes is A Day In The Apiary With David. Come and spend a few hours in a hive with David, EAS Certified Master Beekeeper. You'll learn how to find the queen, how to mark your queen, how to evaluate brood and your queen's health. You'll also learn how to inspect a colony and how to identify pests and diseases. Learn how to know what's healthy and what's not. We have two dates available. Click on the dates below for more information. Isn't it time you step up and learn to really know your hive?

Will Adding A Honey Super Prevent Swarming?
No. Bees swarm when they are congested in their brood nest area and this is what triggers a swarm. DO NOT make the mistake of thinking a honey super will give them room not to swarm. I'm a Certified Master Beekeeper and I see beekeepers constantly making big mistakes that often cost them their hives. Knowing what to do and when is the tricky part of beekeeping. You need a beekeeping mentor. I want to help navigate you through the challenges of spring. I have a special mentorship program called BeeTeam6 where you can call, email or text me your concerns or questions about your bees. Plus you receive a weekly tip and a weekly instructional beekeeping video. 

IS IT BETTER TO START WITH 2 HIVES OR JUST 1 HIVE?

If your budget allows, it's always better to start with 2 hives. Here's why:
1) You can share resources between the two hives, such as eggs, honey etc.
2) If you lose one hive you are still a beekeeper.
3) You can potentially have twice the production of honey.

This year many customers have purchased our Freedom Kit because it comes with two hives and all the equipment. You can purchase any of our kits with or without packages of bees. We still have kits available with a package of bees and a mated queen until March 30th. Bees are for pickup only at our location. Check out all of our hive kits by clicking here.

Sincerely,

David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
( Located In Central Illinois 40 Miles East Of Champaign/Urbana)
Just tell your smart phone to "Take Me To Long Lane Honey Bee Farms"
217-427-2678
www.honeybeesonline.com

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: