Hello from Long Lane honey Bee Farms. We are David and Sheri Burns. We specialize in making beekeeping for beginners as easy as possible. Today, our lesson focuses on Beginners: 4 Tips. Then, our next lesson will be, “What Did My Bees Die From?”
With a little 5 year old son, Christmas at our house is always special. We enjoyed having family and friends over, eating delicious food, a candle light service, gifts given and received and the time off to relax. We hope all went well for you this Christmas season.
Sheri and I rain up to Chicago to pick up our Marine son, Seth, who flew home for Christmas. Seth is out at Camp Pendleton, California and will graduate from the School of Infantry later next month. Seth’s Military Occupation Specialty is rifleman in the infantry.Our prayers go out to all our service men and women and their families.
Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to teaching a private bee class. I was asked by a family to teach a beginner’s course at their home to family and friends interested in beekeeping. The number is up to around 20 now! While we offer most of our classes here at our honey bee farm, we are always open to travel and offer a class in your area. Whether it is a beginners, advance or queen rearing class, give us a call and we might come to your area or local bee club.
We offer beekeeping classes, bees and equipment. We’re on the phone all day speaking with current and prospective beekeepers. So many people call us and say, “I found your site and we’re interested in getting started in beekeeping”. We live for calls like this. We want to share our passion and love for bees with you. For 2013 we’ll have more experienced beekeepers available to take your calls. We’ve also increased our production of hives which should mean faster order fulfillment. We work hard to encourage more people to become new beekeepers, and we want to thank our customers who share us with others. You can also forward these lessons to others, or send them a link to our website: www.honeybeesonline.com We appreciate it so much!
LESSON 127: Beekeeping For BeginnersLet me be perfectly honest. I did not start keeping bees the right way. I started without taking a class or studying how to do it. I thought I could just learn as I went. Oh I learned as I went along, but I paid the price in many ways, unnecessary stings, wastefulness in harvesting honey, lost some hives due to a lack of management knowledge etc. Almost all of my early mistakes could have been avoided had their been beekeeping classes offered back then. Now, every year Sheri and I teach a dozen beekeeping classes. We invest so much of our time preparing the best information to provide to our beekeeping students, whether we are teaching a beginners, advance or queen rearing course.
I remember the first time I started keeping bees. It was nearly two decades ago. I was invited into beekeeping by a friend who kept bees. A tree with bees had fallen. We cut the tree open, transferred the bees into one of his empty hives and I became an eager but totally clueless beekeeper. Though many people start keep bees the way I started, it is not the best way. It’s difficult and sometimes painful removing a live hive from their natural nesting place, a tree. A better way is to start with new equipment and a 3 lb package of bees.
The same year I started keeping bees, I also started tagging along to bee association meetings, reading the limited books on beekeeping and learning to keep bees the hard way, trial and error. There was no YouTube or Internet back then. Even though I made many mistakes my bees from the tree did well. I lived in central Ohio in an Amish community surrounded by large fields of clover. It was beekeeper heaven. My bees were pretty defensive. I thought all bees were that defensive. I’ve never had another hive that defensive. They always found a hole in my suit or the distance between the bottom of my suit and the top of my shoe, stitching my socks to my ankles. I got in and out as fast as I could. Even though I didn’t know what I was doing, I had more honey than I knew what to do with. Now, we do our best to provide gentle bees. We all get a hot one now and again. After all they are bees.
Beekeeping for beginners is much easier now. There are so many local clubs and beekeeping classes to help people learn to keep bees. Today I want to put out a clarion call for new beekeepers! Those of us who are experienced beekeepers must rally the troops to see if we can help encourage more people to start keeping honey bees. Our honey bees are vitally important to our fruits and vegetables, not to mention that honey is so good for us. I can’t imagine my coffee without honey. Each week we roast our own green coffee bees, grind them and make fresh coffee every morning. For years friends told me how great honey is in coffee, but I failed to try it. Now I cannot drink coffee unless I have my own honey to add to it. When I travel I have to travel with my own honey. I believe in eating honey and cinnamon on my toast every morning. I’m not making any kind of medical claim, but my opinion is that honey has been good for me. And keeping bees has been even better for me.
I love everything about beekeeping. The smell of wax, propolis or a package of bees. Such unique and pleasant smells. The joy of seeing the hive grow. The thrill of catching a swarm and the excitement of observing more frames being drawn out into full combs is so fun! But the greatest thing is harvesting the honey. Cutting off the cappings and spinning out the honey and pouring it into bottles seals the deal.
As a beginner beekeeper, let me give you three important tips.
First, chill out!Don’t take everything so seriously. Relax and appreciate what you are doing. It’s fun watching your bees fly in and out of the hive, working to carry in all that nectar and turn it into honey. There are some beekeepers who are very negative and they’ll almost scare you out of keeping bees, always talking about how bad everything is. Don’t pay them any attention. Sure it can be challenging but even the challenges make it more fun. So make a commitment that you will enjoy your new hobby.
Secondly, learn as much as you can.The 2013 new bee season is only 16 weeks away. There is much to do between now and then. The first thing you should do is start learning. Read all of these lessons starting with Lesson One. You’ll especially want to read Lesson Seven, as it tells you step by step how to install your package of bees. Take one of our classes. For a complete listing, click here or go to: http://www.honeybeesonline.com/classes.html
Our next beginners class is February 9, 2013 in our new educational center. Click here for more information or go to: http://www.honeybeesonline.com/servlet/Detail?no=151
Thirdly, DO NOT WAIT UNTIL SPRING!So many people decide to start keeping bees in the spring and by then, almost all bees have been sold out. Make sure you purchase your equipment and bees in the winter. Currently we are selling three different kits, which are fully assembled and painted. CLICK HERE or go to: http://www.honeybeesonline.com for our complete easy to following listing of hives, bees and other beekeeping supplies. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL SPRING. It will most likely be too late.
Fourthly, continue learning.There is so much to learn about the honey bee. The longer you keep bees, the more you’ll learn and the better beekeeper you’ll become. It is an amazing creature. They fly out two or three miles to gather nectar and yet fly right back to their hive, even when there are many other hives near their own. The queen lays over 1,000 eggs a day. Drones, the male honey bee, does not have a stinger. Bees make their own wax from wax glands. They never go to the bathroom in the hive. Everything is always clean and tidy. So much more to learn about the honey bee. You’ll find it very enjoyable to attend conferences such as the Eastern Apicultural Society Conference. Read beekeeping articles in Mother Earth News and Country Woman Magazine or see what the national news is saying about honey bees. Read about bees in the big apple. There are so many ways to continue learning more about honey bees.
TIP OF THE DAY: Do not leave a queen excluder in an overwintering hive. The colony may move above the queen excluder and strand the queen to freeze to death below. And, never leave a partially filled medium super on an overwintering hive. Only leave the super on top if it has a minimum of 7 frames of sealed honey, otherwise the colony may move up but quickly run out of food.
EMERGENCY FEEDING: In the event that your weak hive goes into winter, but runs out of food, we suggest you use one of our WINTER-BEE-KIND boards that feeds the bees, provides insulation of the top to reduce moisture and allows trapped moisture to escape through the top. Order our Winter-BEE-Kind board by clicking here. You can put them on quickly even during the middle of the winter.
LONG LANE HONEY BEE FARMS PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT! OUR ROYAL HIVE KIT and our TRAVELER’S SPECIAL KIT!
Thanks for joining us today and please pass this on to others who are interested in starting beekeeping.
Feel free to contact us at:
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
14556 N 1020 East Road
Fairmount, IL 61841
Thank you in advance.
David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
217-427-2678 Website: www.honeybeesonline.com