Bees are our business and there never seems to be enough of us to go around. I find myself doing what I tell you never to do, work hives in the rain or late in the evening. Even though Jesus is perfect, we still live in a fallen world. Nothing is always perfect in beekeeping either.
The other morning I woke up and noticed a queen bee on my wife's desk, just walking around. I guess the queen emerged from her cell, escaped out of her cage and walked out of the incubator. Or maybe by accident I left a queen cell laying around. Which gives me a good opportunity to share with you something my wife mentioned to me the other day.
My wife mentioned that we do not want to give the wrong impression to people, that we have some huge, multi-building business with hundreds of employees and lab technicians walking around in white doctor coats in a bee lab. As I have said in previous posts, we are a family business, simple folks and that our operation is a functioning bee operation. The pictures probably make it look better than it really is. Probably all beekeepers who have a lot of hives are usually short on time to get everything accomplished. Certainly that is our situation.
We are currently revamping our old garage into a store/lab/learning center. Since it is only our family doing all the work, it is going slow. Any carpenters in Central Illinois that want to volunteer some work? But until that building is completed, most of our queen rearing operation is in our kitchen/dinning room.
Usually queen cages are scattered throughout the house.
By the way, the frame in the picture is for banking queens until mating nucs are freed up. It just so happened that the bees took advantage of only 4 queen cages and put comb everywhere else.
Now the outside is even more of a challenge to keep everything organized and straight. There is bee stuff laying around everywhere. Don't get me wrong, it is important bee items, like feeders, queen excluders, feeding jars, bottom boards, lids, inner covers, tie-down straps, smokers, hive tools and on goes the list. Trust me it's EVERYWHERE!! But I really do use it and need these items on a regular basis. I even have much of the equipment stored in a storage facility.
The yard! We have a real nice John Deere riding mower, but I can't bring myself to mow our yard because of all the clover! So we have some areas that look real pretty and other places look like no one has lived here in 5 years.
Here's my middle son, Seth, helping extract our first run of honey for 2008!! YEA!!!
So, I just want to bust your bubble if you think we are more than we are. We are a small, family operation, slowly trying to expand. Until we do, we are making do with the resources that God has give us for the moment.
Having said that, let me say we are proud of our humble operation and we do take beekeeping serious. We work hard both in physical labor and in research and development.
Last year, we had some people with arthritis claim that our honey and our honey comb had greatly improved their arthritis. I would not, nor cannot make such a claim but a lot of people do say that about honey. Nonetheless, more and more of our customers are requesting honey comb, they kind we had back in the good ole days. Comb honey is mentioned in the Bible. "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones" (Proverbs 16:24). The Bible does seem to imply that honeycomb brings healing to the bones.
So when you visit our honey bee farm, just remember that we're hard workers doing the best we can to keep up with the ever growing demand of helping more and more people enjoy beekeeping!
Please visit our web store at: http://www.honeybeesonline.com/
Remember to Bee-have yourselves! David & Sheri Burns