Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lesson 142: Storing Honey Supers Over The Winter 217-427-2678


Hello everyone! We’re David and Sheri Burns at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms located in central Illinois. Today’s beekeeping lesson focuses on correctly handling your honey supers over the winter. But, before we get started, let me invite you to join Jon Zawislak and me for our next beekeeping radio program this Wednesday night, Oct. 30th, starting at 6:30 central time. It’s fun and you can ask us any beekeeping question you can think of. This week, we’ll be looking at the pros and cons of different hives such as the Langstroth, Warre and Top Bar. We’ll through in some humor. You can call in and join us live, here’s how:

The number to call is: 1-724-444-7444. This week we'll be discussing pros and cons of different types of hives. To join our show, you'll be asked to enter our SHOW ID which is: 129777 followed by the # sign. Then the automated system will ask you for your Pin number which 1 followed by the # sign. At that point, you'll be on the show with us so you can ask your questions. You will be muted unless you press * 8 on your phone and that will allow us to unmute you so you can ask your question. Call in around 10 minutes prior to broadcast, at 6:20 p.m. central time. The show starts this coming Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. central time. If you want to just listen from your computer, go to:

If you don't call in, Jon and I will make a shameful attempt to be entertaining! Help us out!! If you use a smart phone you can add the Podcast App and have our shows sent to your mobile device every time we produce a new one. Just go to iTunes and search for Hive Talk, scroll down to podcast and you'll find us there.
Or listen to our past episodes by clicking here or by copying the link below and pasting it into your internet browser.

shipping We have added some new helpers! Leah has been added to our shipping department. Leah is engaged to our middle son, Seth who is serving as a marine in Afghanistan. I think I’ve told you before about Zach. The beekeeping year is already starting off with a blaze of interest and purchases of hives and it’s only October! This is great and we are doing our best to keep up with the overwhelming enthusiasm over our hives and Winter-Bee-Kinds.

Sheri and I have finished our beekeeping classes for 2013 and we are plotting out the calendar for 2014. People are already calling to book seats for our upcoming 2014 classes, but we need a little time to think through the schedule. Also, we are being flooded with phone calls for our packages of bees. We do not post dates or prices for our packages until Jan. Keep watching our blogs and website for updates.

winterbkind As winter quickly approaches, we hope you’ve heard about our Winter-Bee-Kind board. This board provides insulation at the top of the hive to reduce the contrast of cold temperatures outside the hive and warmer temperatures inside the hive. This greatly reduces the condensation that often develops above the winter cluster and causes cold water to drip down on the bees. Plus, the board is filled with carbohydrates, protein and Honey-B-Healthy. That’s not all! The board also provides an upper vent to help reduce stale, moist air from the winter hive as well as giving the hive an exit that is closer to the cluster for the much needed winter cleansing flight. This is our third year to produce these Winter-Bee-Kind candy boards and not only is their overwhelming enthusiasm from new beekeepers wanting to purchase this product, but returning customers are buying more. To make your purchase CLICK HERE or go to:

Check out our Video on our Winter-Bee-Kind:

LESSON 142: Storing Honey Supers Over Winter

By now your honey supers have been removed from your hive and I hope you had a good honey crop this year. But what’s the best way to store these supers over winter.

1. If possible, try and freeze your supers prior to storage. Wax moths and small hive beetle can lay eggs in the supers that are not noticeable to the naked eye. If you fail to freeze the supers prior to storage, under the right conditions, these eggs can hatch and your supers can be destroyed. Freezing kills all stages of egg, larva and adults. A chest freezer works nice because it can hold several full supers at a time. I usually keep the supers in the freezer for 2 days.

2. Moth balls are no longer recommended to use on honey supers. A similar product (PDB) is often considered to fumigate the supers against wax moths, but it does not kill eggs. Please read safety labels on any product you use and make a wise decision about using chemicals on your supers where honey is produced.

3. DO NOT store empty honey supers on the hive for winter. This may fool the winter cluster to move up into an empty food source. Also cluster heat will rise up and away from the cluster into the super. If you do overwinter a filled super above the cluster be sure to remove the queen excluder so the queen can go where the warm cluster goes.

4. After freezing your supers you can store them in a room which is free of mice and other pests. You can store them outside in a short column in colder climates, but be sure all cracks between and around boxes are sealed to prevent mice from making this into a high rise apartment.

Thanks for joining us today for another lesson in beekeeping and we hope these pointers were helpful. Be sure and join us tonight at 6:30 on our call in, live, radio program on beekeeping and we’d love to take your questions tonight. Our program is about various types of hives, but ask any question you want. Information on how to join our call tonight is located at the top of this lesson.

That’s all for now and thank you for joining us for another beekeeping lesson! Please let others know about these lessons and our business. We appreciate you spreading the word! 

Thank you!
David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
217-427-2678 Website:

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Monday, October 7, 2013

LESSON 141: I’ve Always Wanted To Keep Bees, But…


Hello, we are David and Sheri Burns at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms, located in central Illinois. For years now we’ve been making and selling hives, nucs, packages, queens, beekeeping supplies and holding beekeeping classes at our bee farm. In today’s lesson we want to speak to those who have always thought about keeping bees but have never taken the plunge due to obstacles or concerns. We want to resolve those hindrances so you can finally start keeping bees.

This year we’ve held 14 classes in our new education center with one more Basic Beginner class coming up on October 19th. THIS CLASS IS FILLED TO CAPACITY. This year we held classes in many other places such as community colleges, bee associations and clubs. We are excited about the increased enthusiasm toward our classes and the success beekeepers are having once they are equipped with sound and proven beekeeping instructions.

Not only do we offer beginner, practical, advance and queen rearing classes, but we also offer these free online lessons as well as podcasts.

Our newest addition is HIVE TALK, a call-in beekeeping internet/radio podcast. Each week I join my good friend and bee expert, Jon Zawislak for a 30 minute program. Last week was our debut episode and the response overwhelmed Jon and me and our engineer, Jesse March. We had some glitches with the technology but the program turned out fine and we had many nice responses from those who either called in or listened live from their computers. If you missed the program, it’s available in two ways:

If you have an iPhone or use iTunes, download the Podcast APP from iTunes. Once the app is downloaded, search for Hive Talk. You can even have new episodes downloaded to your smart phone automatically to listen at your convenience.

On TalkShoe by clicking on the link below:

Our next episode is tonight at 7pm central time. Please help us promote this new beekeeping program by inviting others to join in. Send out a group email to your bee club with the information below.  The success of this program depends largely upon you, callers who will call in and ask beekeeping questions. Here’s what you do. Around 6:50 p.m. central time tonight, Dial 1-724-444-7444. A voice recording will ask you to enter you “CALL ID” for our show which is: 129777, then press the # sign. When asked to enter your pin, enter 1 followed by the # sign.  It’s that simple. Signing in again is simple:

  1. Dial: (724) 444-7444
  2. Enter: 129777 # (Call ID)
  3. Enter: 1 # or your PIN

For our call in guests, if you’d like to ask a question you must select * 8 from your phone keyboard when you are ready to ask your question. This will indicate on our screen that you’d like to ask your beekeeping question. Otherwise we will keep your mic muted.

If you want to just listen from your computer, go to: Hope you can join us!

LESSON 141: I’ve Always Wanted To Keep Bees But …

Beekeeping has really taken root in recent years. More and more people are starting to realize the importance of honey bees in pollinating our fruits and vegetables. Some people might only view honey bees as just another annoying stinging insect. Yet, without honey bees our diet would change drastically. Here are a few foods that we’d have less of if we lost our honey bees: coffee, milk, ice cream, melons and most of our fruits and vegetables. So many of our students are from large cities, so it isn’t just rural people with lots of land. More and more people want to do their part in saving the honey bees and the best way is to become a beekeeper. But maybe you’ve thought about it but you have never taken the plunge because of concerns.

In our class on Saturday, a new beekeeper said he has been putting it off year after year and finally his wife told him to take our class and get started!

Here are common concerns we hear.

1) I’m not sure if I have the time.

We always find time to do the things we enjoy. Beekeeping really isn’t all that time demanding. We have dogs and chickens and they always need fed and watered. But bees don’t require daily attention. You can even take a three week vacation and never worry about your bees. We recommend you check on your queen every two or three weeks to be sure she is laying good. Even though time is a concern for some people, most find themselves enjoying spending time with their bees. You can even wait until fall and take off the honey all at one time and enjoy the fall harvest season bottling honey.

2) Will the bees bother my neighbors?

Whether you keep bees are not, bees are still flying around all summer pollinating. There are hives all around, in trees, abandoned buildings and barns. These are called feral colonies because they are not kept by a beekeeper. These feral bees are still making visits to your neighbors flowers even if you do not keep bees. Bees fly up to 3 miles on average to gather pollen and nectar so imagine how many potential feral hives are within a 3 mile radius of you. Honey bees outside of their hive are rarely defensive. They simply travel from hive to flower, in a bee line, gathering resources.  Usually by offering your neighbors a free jar of honey each year you can keep the relationship sweet.

3) I’m still afraid of being stung.

Honey bees are not to be compared to more aggressive insects such as yellow jackets and waps. Honey Bees are bred to be manageably gentle. They do have a stinger, and it does happen occasionally, but we teach our students how to best work a hive to avoid most stings. Of course you can always purchase protective suits, gloves and head gear to put your fears to rest.

4) Can I afford it?

Beekeeping, like any business or hobby, does have an initial investment. Our complete hive and a package of bees with a queen will run you just over $300. We sell our honey for $6 per pound and our average hive produces around 70 pounds a year. That’s $420 in honey a year for one hive. The second year that hive is paid for and makes more profit. And once you gain more experience you can sell nucs, queens, wax and pollen from that hive and make more money if you want. It’s not only affordable but can actually turn into a nice sideline money maker.

5) I don’t want the honey. I just want to keep bees to help with pollination.

Yes, you can keep bees just for fun or for pollination without harvesting the honey. Many people do just that. Some people have found a tremendous property tax savings from having hives on their property.

The new season is fast approaching. Beekeepers are purchasing their equipment now getting ready for bees to arrive in the spring. Do NOT wait until spring to order your equipment and bees. They will be sold out. Order your equipment now, and your bees in Jan-Feb. Call us at 217-427-2678 or visit us online at:

Take the next step! Get started in the spring of 2014 finally becoming a beekeeper. We are here to help!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Introducing Hive Talk: Internet/Radio Program on Beekeeping

(Last week’s blog had the call in number incorrect. Please use the correct number below).

HiveTalk New to the beekeeping community is our new beekeeping internet and radio program called Hive Talk. My good friend and bee expert Jon Zawislak and I will be hosting this weekly call in beekeeping radio program. Our opening episode is tonight (Oct. 1, 2013), 7:00 p.m. central time.

The success of this program depends largely upon you, callers who will call in and ask beekeeping questions. If you don’t call in with questions, Jon and I will be left to ramble on and make a miserable attempt to be entertaining. Here’s what you do. Around 6:50 p.m. central time on Tuesday, Dial 1-724-444-7444. A voice recording will ask you to enter you “CALL ID” for our show which is: 129777, then press the # sign. When asked to enter your pin, enter 1 followed by the # sign.  At that point our engineer will chat with you and get you ready to ask us a question. We recommend that you log in to our show 10 minutes prior to 7:00 p.m. central time. Signing in again is simple:

  1. Dial: (724) 444-7444
  2. Enter: 129777 # (Call ID)
  3. Enter: 1 # or your PIN

If you want to just listen from your computer, go to:

Click here to view our full cover sheet on tonight’s program.

Hope you can join us.