Thursday, December 26, 2013

LESSON 146: Using Old Beekeeping Equipment vs. New Equipment

DavidSheriWe are David and Sheri Burns from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. We hope you had a Merry Christmas. The new year is around the corner and with the new year comes the hope of another great year for beekeeping. The early months of a new year makes us consider our beekeeping equipment. Do we have enough hives if we catch swarms or want to expand? Do some of our rotting bottom boards need replaced? 

Maybe you are just now getting into beekeeping and you are trying to round up used equipment from family or friends. Did you know that used equipment can present some serious problems for your bees? Today I want to share the difference between using old equipment and new equipment.

Christmas 2013 Before I do,  let me tell you what’s been going on around Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. We manufacture beekeeping equipment. We make hives right here, paint them and ship them out to customers. We DO NOT buy kits or someone else’s hives and assemble them. Nope, we buy lumber and build the entire hive, hand made. That’s why our hives are completely assembled and painted when you buy from us. We really enjoy cranking out hives from our shop. We took Christmas week off to enjoy rest, family and the holidays. We’ll get back at it on Monday Dec. 30th.Truckwreck

So here’s what been going on. Sheri hit some black ice and totaled our business truck. She rolled it but Christian was strapped in good in the back so they were all fine. Sheri was sore for a few days and busted her lip, but minor injures only. Christian wasn’t sore and didn’t get a scratch. We were all worried until we found out they were okay. Because the truck was on it’s side firemen had to prop the truck up and work at getting them out the topside window. I thought maybe they could just push the truck back on all fours and I could drive it home…no! Accidents happen.

Yellowbelt Christian earned his yellow belt in Taekwondo. It’s fun watching him learn, exercise and excel. He broke a board in half at 6 years old. Though we have 6 children, for some reason, Christian is the first one to ever participate in Taekwondo. It looks like something I would enjoy.

SethAfgh Speaking of belt colors our middle son, Seth, will be in Afghanistan for another 3 months and he has earned his gray belt. He’s in the Helmand province where we’ve recently lost two marines in the last 10 days. So please keep those serving our county in your prayers. Seth is the one kneeling in the photo. Our men and women in service endure so much as do their families. You really do not realize the gravity of the sacrifice made until you have a loved one in a combat zone.


Class Our first Basic Beekeeping class for 2014 is coming up January 24-25, 2014. This class opens with our Friday night dinner buffet at 6pm and then the workshop continues on until 9 p.m. This is a two day beginning beekeeping course and continues on Sat. 9am-noon. This class will benefit those interested in keeping bees, as well as those who have been keeping bees for a couple of years. Topics include: basic bee biology and anatomy overview, package installation procedures, winter/spring/summer/fall management, integrated pest control, equipment and hive inspection techniques, registration/licensing/zoning requirements, and honey extraction. We teach you how to do it from start to finish. Click here for more information. Come spend some time with us learning about bees. Check out all our classes at:

Snow2013 As beekeepers we worry about our bees during the cold days of winter. I realize many of you live in warm climates, but in central Illinois bees face cold months and go weeks without ever being able to break cluster. We’ve already received our share of ice and snow. I rest a bit easier knowing our Winter-Bee-Kinds will help our bees should they run out of food. Remember it is NEVER too late to place our Winter-Bee-Kinds on your hive. You can do it quickly on the coldest of days. In fact, many people continue to purchase these candy boards/ventilation/insulation boards way into March. Click here to watch our video on our Winter-Bee-Kinds. We sell both 8 Frame and 10 Frame WBK so be sure to select the proper size for your hive.

busybee1 Finally, before today’s lesson, let me tell you about a special offer. While we are NOT shipping bees in 2014 (Pick up only), we do have a BUSY BEE SPECIAL where we ship you the hives and the bees are shipped to you. The hives are custom made by hand right here in Central Illinois. The packages of bees are shipped to you from Gardners Apiary in Georgia, who have agreed to help us help you fulfill your dreams of becoming a beekeeper in the spring 2014. Your hive will ship first from Illinois, then bees will ship approximately in May of 2014. CLICK HERE to read more about our BUSY BEE SPECIAL. VERY LIMITED NUMBERS.


BeewithPollen With spring only 84 days away, it’s time to get into swing of the 2014 beekeeping year. Our 3 lb packages of bees with mated queen are selling faster than ever. Please order your bees right away. Remember they are for pickup only. Click here. You MUST order your bees in the winter to ensure you’ll be able to pick them up in the spring. Every year some people make the mistake of ordering their bees, but they forget to order their hives. Big mistake. Once you receive your bees they should be placed in your hives as soon as possible. So now is the time to order your new hive equipment. But maybe you are someone who remembered that a friend or grandpa has a bunch of hive equipment in the barn that hasn’t been used for years. Think of all the money you could save by using old equipment.  Many people call and ask us about the risk of using old equipment. The only answer I can give is that it is a gamble. You really don’t know until your new bees get sick and die.

oldequip1 It seems so innocence using old equipment. Throw a new coat of paint on them and all is good, right? Maybe on the outside but it’s what lurking on the inside that could be a risk, especially on used frames and comb. What we all fear is American foulbrood. AFB spores are known to live a long time on infected, used equipment. If your bees are infected with AFB your only recourse, in many states, is to burn the bees and all the equipment. You have to burn everything from the bottom board all the way to the top cover. I called the bee lab in Beltsville, Maryland to see if they could detect AFB on old comb or equipment and they told me they could not. They can only detect it from comb containing fresh brood. Not only is AFB a concern in old equipment, but now we are also concerned about Nosema Ceranae spores in used equipment.

While all of us want to save a buck if we can, my advice is to decide your level of risk you are willing to take. Bees have enough to contend with without us starting them off on the wrong foot. New equipment at least will give our bees a chance to start strong without the risk of infected old equipment.

All beekeepers should keep this in mind even when buying live hives (hives with established bees inside) from retiring beekeepers. Always have prospective purchases of hives inspected thoroughly by your local bee inspector. Insist that samples of brood be sent to Maryland before you buy living hives. There is very little concern when buying packages because there is no brood in packages. However if you are buying nucs, be sure they come with a clean bill of health.

oldequip2 In my own operation, I am discovering that my bees prefer newer and fresh comb. Most brood diseases occur on old comb. It is a good idea to replace three frames a year from your deep, brood nest area. If you use two deep hive bodies on your hive, pull out 3 older frames from each hive body each year and replace with new ones. By doing so your comb will never be more than 4 years old and this will reduce the risk of AFB. Use a marker to date your frames. This means if this is your first year to keep bees and you buy new equipment that you do not need to worry about replacing your first three frames for 3 years. If you currently have a very old hive with dark, almost black comb that you cannot see light through, it is definitely time to replace frames and comb.

It is possible to obtain used equipment that has never had diseases, and you might successfully raise healthy bees. Again, this is a risk you will have to decide if you want to take. This is a risk I have decided is not worth taking. I regularly burn old frames and boxes because I just don’t want to provide and environment within my hives for future problems.

Thanks for joining us for another beekeeping lesson. We are closed for the holidays until Monday Dec. 30th. When calling us remember we are on CENTRAL TIME. Call us Mon-Thursday 10am-4pm, Friday 10am-Noon. 217-427-2678. Of course we’ll be closed for New Years Day. Orders can be made online at:

We prefer you call rather than email us. We are swamped with emails and with spam filters your email may not make it to us. So always call instead of email.

Bee-Hav Yourself!

David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
14556 N. 1020 E. Rd
Fairmount, IL 61841

Friday, November 29, 2013

LESSON 145: 7 Ways To Check On Your Hive During Winter 217-427-2678


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Today is known as Black Friday, the day after thanksgiving when everyone rushes the stores in hopes of getting the best deals on Christmas gift purchases. Not me! We’re enjoying these couple of days off, putting up our Christmas tree and eating too much. I never did get into Black Friday. I used to wait and buy gifts a few days before Christmas. For the last few years, online shopping has taken the stress out of gift shopping for me. I research what I need online, purchase it online and soon it is delivered to my home. Awesome! I save gas, time and a lot of frustration.

Mobile Here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms, we’ve made it even more easier for you to shop online at our store with our new mobile website. Log in to from your smart phone and you’ll see our new smart phone website, making your shopping experience much more enjoyable.


We are selling PICK UP ONLY packages of 3lbs of bees with a mated queen again this year. CLICK HERE to secure your packages for late April of 2014. WARNING: They are selling faster than we’ve ever seen. Do not delay.

2014 Beekeeping Classes

class3 Sheri and I sat down and worked out all the details for our 2014 Beekeeping Classes including our second week long Beekeeping Institute. Sheri, being a teach by trade, has designed student workbooks for all our classes. We’ll be using more hands on in our classes to help the learning experience really click. This year we are also adding a slew of FREE Introductory Meetings:






These are  free informational meetings on beekeeping. Are you curious about the hobby of beekeeping. Are you unsure of the cost and the time involved?  Do you just need a little more information before you plunge in? Then come to one of our FREE informational meetings. Sign up is required. Click on one of the links above.

Here’s our class line up for 2014:

Jan. 24-25 Basic Beekeeping

Feb. 8 Basic Beekeeping

Feb. 15 Basic Beekeeping

March 7-8 Basic Beekeeping

March 22 Basic Beekeeping

April 12 Basic Beekeeping

May 23-24 Advance Beekeeping

June 9-13 Beekeeping Institute

June 27-28 Queen Rearing Course

October 3-4 Basic Beekeeping

October 25 Basic Beekeeping

We are really excited that some of our classes have a new two day format starting with a Friday night dinner buffet at 6pm and then the workshop continues on until 9 p.m. This is a two day beginning beekeeping course and continues on Sat. 9-noon. Please book your classes above as soon as you can as they do fill up fast. Remember, our classes are limited and each seat sells out, so anyone attending must purchase a seat. Thank you and we look forward to another exciting year of learning more about bees.

Today, I want to share 7 ways to keep an eye on your hive now that it’s cold outside. Before I do, let me take a moment to encourage our new beginners with:


Freedom Thinking about starting with bees in the spring. CAUTION: PLAN NOW!! Too many prospective beekeepers wait and try to order hives and bees in the spring only to find everything across the country is sold out. Do not delay. Order your bees now even though you will not get them until the spring. And order your hive equipment now too. We ship hives (without bees) now, but hives are in such demand in late winter and early spring that there usually is longer shipping delays. Don’t put it off or you may miss another year. Check our our most popular item our FREEDOM KIT, 2 complete hives. Click Here. FREEDOM KIT.

Also, follow our daily updates on Facebook at:

LESSON 145: 7 Ways To Check On Your Hive During The Winter

We worry about our hives in the winter, don’t we? Are they cold? Are they diseased? Will they survive? Is my queen alive? We want to do something to help them along. While there is very little we can do at this point to help our bees, it does make us feel better to be actively checking on our hives during the winter.


An average size colony has the same nutritional needs of a medium size dog. Bees need protein and carbohydrates just like us, just like most animals. Do your bees have enough honey (carbohydrates) and pollen (protein)? Bees consume their food in the winter to stay warm. Ideally, if the temperature stays around 30-40 degrees (f) they consume the least amount of food. But the colder it gets the more food they consume to generate heat.

winterbkind Our Winter-Bee-Kinds provide both carbohydrates and protein for your bees and provides upper vent/exit and 1” of upper insulation to help reduce excessive condensation. Many of you have been purchasing pollen patties from us and I’m glad to see that. While it is not as necessary with the use of the Winter-Bee-Kind, it is necessary if you are just wanting to provide extra protein. Bees cannot exist on sugar alone.

Winter Remember you cannot lift frames out of the hive when temperatures are below 60 degrees (f). If you do, you can damage developing pupa of bees. But you can lift the top off briefly to take a 30 second peak at food supplies by looking down between the frames of comb. Keep food on top of the winter cluster all winter long. This does not guarantee that your bees will make it, but at least they will not die from starvation.


Hives In Winter Some studies have shown a slight advantage to wrapping a hive with roofing paper. Instead, I like the idea of a wind block. If you wrap your hive you’ll also need to provide more upper ventilation to reduce excessive condensation that causes cold water to drip on the colonies. With a wind bock, the fierce winter winds hitting the hive is reduced. Be careful. Do not place stray or hay bails next to the hive. They can hold water and this can provide too much moisture around the hive. Keep your wind block several feet back from the hive to help the area around the hive remain as dry as possible. You may have a natural wind block such as a grove of trees as in the photo or a shed. This works great.


Hives In Water Make sure your hive is stable on its stand throughout the winter. As the ground freezes and thaws, your stand or blocks can shift and your hive may topple over. Also, if you broke the propolis seal on your top cover, a harsh winter storm could blow the top off. Regularly check your hive for any shifting and keep it stable all winter. Keep a rock or weight on top to help stabilize the hive.


Mouse1 Mice will kill your hive if they nest over the winter in your hive. Take a flashlight when it’s dark, remove your entrance reducer or mouse guard and make sure you cannot see a mouse nest on your bottom board. If you see a pile of grass in a corner there is a mouse in your hive. If there is, find a friend to help you lift off the hive from the bottom board and if you are lucky the mice will stay in their nest on the exposed bottom board and you can get rid of them and put the hive back down on the bottom board and reduce the entrance. When you do this, please remember to keep your tops on and your deeps together. Do not open or separate your hive during the winter. Just lift it off the bottom board and check for mice. It’s better to find mice now than in April after they have destroyed your bees.


If your equipment is old and falling to pieces, you might find corners missing and large cracks. Duct tape or metal tape can seal the gaps until you can replace your equipment in the spring. Broken bottom boards can allow mice to get in, so keep an eye out for drafty cracks.


You can put your ear on the side of your hive and tap and you may hear an increased buzzing. This serves no purpose other than bringing you false securing that all is okay. I have tapped on my hives and have heard absolutely nothing. But in the spring that same hive was doing great. There is some benefit. If you are sure that there is no sound of life in your hive, you can open it and verify by looking for 30 seconds between the comb. If the colony has perished it is best to shake out the dead cluster as soon as you can to prevent further decay inside on the combs. Just remember if you don’t hear anything it may speak more to your hearing than of your bees. Be careful as bees sting in the winter too.


deadsnowbees Snow and ice can pile up on the hive blocking the entrance at the bottom. In the past, I’d always go out after it snowed and especially after an ice storm and clear out the opening at the bottom of the hive. However, with our Winter-Bee-Kinds, the entrance is built into this feeding system and bees prefer a top entrance/exit during winter. This can allow your bees to take that much needed cleansing flight to potty which they may not have taken if they had to walk all the way to the bottom to fly out. Also, bees die of natural causes all winter and begin to accumulate on the bottom board, blocking the entrance. The upper entrance on the Winter-Bee-Kind keeps the bees away from the gross accumulation of dead bees below.

Keep an eye out on your hive this winter. Thanks for joining us for another beekeeping lesson. Hope to see you soon at one of our FREE Introductory meetings or at a class.

David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms

Thursday, November 21, 2013

LESSON 144: The Future Of Beekeeping 217-427-2678


You found us on the Internet. Nice to have you visit our site. Some of you reading this know us like family. You have visited Long Lane Honey Bee Farms on numerous occasions. While some of you have just discovered us we believe you will soon be an old friend in no time.

We are David and Sheri Burns and we own Long Lane Honey Bee Farms in central Illinois. We have spent the last several years working hard to help more and more people get involved in beekeeping. Daily we work our hives, manufacture beekeeping equipment for beekeepers throughout the US, teach beekeeping classes, answer questions on the phone and still find time to write these weekly beekeeping lessons. And we started the first beekeeping institute that we know of. As you can see we have a passion toward bees and compassion toward the beekeeper, helping to save the honey bee and serve the beekeeper. We are not a big beekeeping box store.

71013 From iPhone 334 We’ve had many customers email or call to check on us after tornadoes tore through our area Sunday afternoon. Our facilities has several weather alarms, even a large siren incase we are out in the bee yard. We get notices to our phones like many of you do which is great. My son told me in the morning that the risk for tornadoes was high in our area. He was right. That morning at church we talked a lot about God being in control of all things and how His hand is in all things. Nothing happens that He does not see or does not have a reason for.(it was a fantastic time in church). Towards the end of church, we were summoned home by the alarm company because it looked as though we had a break in at our house. When we got home, we saw that a door had blown open because of the high winds (which triggered the alarms). Not long after that, we were in the basement because of the storm, 5 hours without electricity--and we began to wonder if we had not been summoned home at that exact time so that we would not be driving through the 70 + mph straight wind and rain that occurred out here. We praise God in the storm--and anytime there isn't a storm we do the same. A bad situation (possible break in) was actually protecting us from something else (the storm) Praise God! Thank you all for your concern and our hearts and prayers go out to those who lost family members, and homes.

Packages1 PACKAGE BEE UPDATE FOR 2014: Many of you have been calling about packages of bees for 2014. We are still weighing all options regarding cost, numbers available, queens and shipping.  Some major package producers will not be shipping packages for 2014. It seems every year more and more producers stop shipping bees due to losses. We are hoping to ship some packages with kits, but mostly our packages will be available for pickup only in the spring. Since it will be more difficult to have bees shipped to you this spring, it is important now for you to begin finding people, like us, who bring bees up for local pick up. We have some customers who drive 8 hours one way to get their bees every year. This is in the beekeepers future.  We will post information on our website as soon as we have the details worked out.  I am hoping within a few days to have our 3 lb package (pickup only) online for purchase.  One thing is for certain, the package bee industry continues to change every year.

Mobile We’ve added a new feature to our website. Now you can log in to our website through your iPhone or other smart phone and our website will detect it is a mobile phone and make the website larger and easier to navigate and shop. Just log in from your smart phone to: and check it out. We listen to our customer’s suggestions. 240 million Americans shop on smartphones. 75% of smartphone shoppers never get past the first page of any site that’s not mobile friendly.  Enjoy!

Holiday Beekeeping Gifts

Christmas2012 Can’t thing of a neat Christmas gift for the one you love? Why not give them what they’ve been wanting to do for years. Image their surprise when they open up and find beekeeping equipment for Christmas. (Bees arrive in the spring).

Here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms we always have a surge of beekeeping orders for the Christmas holidays.  Please note that you must place your orders by December 1, to ensure your order will arrive in time for Christmas.

We also have gift certificates which work great if you have a beekeeper in your family but you are not sure what they want or need. To purchase a gift certificate for a Christmas gift click here. Or go to:

Hive2 We began making our completely assembled and painted hive in 2006. We were one of the first companies to offer a completely assembled and painted hive. While our hives are standard in size in the industry we have perfected various components that are unique with Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. Our customers appreciate the extra effort we place into our hives, all built right here in central Illinois. We use the highest quality of exterior Valspar paint, applying a full two coats. We first made solid bottom boards, but when screen bottom boards proved to be beneficial for ventilation and showing some control over varroa mites we quickly started with screen bottom boards. All of our hives are sold with screened bottom boards.

Entrance Large My son, David, designed our bottom boards and we cannot improve upon his measurements. The frames are wooden, no knots, glued and stapled with that additional important staple through the side bar into the header. Our lumber is purchased from a local lumber yard here in Illinois. We know there are other places you can purchase your hives, but we welcome the opportunity to hand make your hives by a hard working family. We’ve been doing it for years. To purchase one of our hives, click here. We make our hives in both 8 and 10 frame sizes. Thank you.



One of our most popular Hive package is our Freedom Kit. This includes 2 fully assembled hives, protective gear, smoker, gloves, brush, feeders, queen excluders and smoker fuel, everything shown in picture(Bees not included). Read why it is better to start with 2 hives by clicking here. Hives are fully assembled and painted hives with all the frames and foundation.

Click here for more information on our Freedom Kit.  This makes a great Christmas gift. What a surprise under the tree. Who could guess what this is? To receive this by Christmas, all orders must be placed by Dec. 1.

2hives If you already have equipment and just need two hives, save a few dollars and purchase our two hive combo. This is two complete hives, painted, assembled with wooden frames and foundation. These hives include a screen bottom board, two deep hive bodies, one honey super, an inner cover and a top cover.


Jon Zawislak and I are having a great time on our Hive Talk radio/podcast every Tuesday night at 6:30 central time. We are now on the topic of helping new beekeepers. If you’d like to join us the number to call is: 1-724-444-7444. When you call in 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 is 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 Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. central time. If you want to just listen from your computer, go to:

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.

LESSON 144: The Future Of Beekeeping

If I could predict the future of beekeeping it would go viral throughout the internet overnight. No one knows the future. We can make predictions but it does not mean it will be accurate. Having said that, let me do my best. The future of beekeeping is bright if we learn from the mistakes of our past and plan for our future.

Beekeeping Has A Bright Future

In my state of Illinois, more and more people are entering into the exciting hobby of beekeeping. This year the number of registered beekeepers in Illinois is up by 38%. There are over 2,500 active, registered beekeepers in Illinois. 700 new beekeepers in Illinois registered for the first time this year and some suspect that only about 1/2 of beekeepers register their hives. So the actual increase could be much higher. Sheri and I have made it our passion to work hard to get more and more people to start keeping bees. Last year we taught over 20 beekeeping courses from our farm. Our 2014 beekeeping courses are now open for registration.    But this is not just an Illinois phenomena. All across the country there is a surge in beekeeping. Why? More and more specialty crops depend upon honey bee pollination. There is a greater awareness of the health benefits of honey as a natural sweetener and the price of honey is through the roof! 1 pound of honey is now selling between $6-$8. The average hive makes around 70 pounds of honey and at $8 a pound, that’s $560 per hive each year in honey production.


NS14 The future is bright for keeping healthier bees. Most beekeepers are shying away from harsh chemicals to treat against pests and diseases. More natural methods are being used resulting in a much healthier environment for honey bees. The biggest threat to the honey bee is NOT CCD, but varroa mite. After fighting this mite for two decades we now have many effective ways to control this parasite. For my article on control mites in the hive, click here. In all of our classes as well as our beekeeping institute we arm our students with safe and effective methods to combat varroa destructor. A list of our 2014 class is now online! CLICK HERE to sign up now. Our classes fill up very fast.

Honey Bees Will Finally Be Respected In Society And In Agriculture.

The essentiality of honey bees has made the news. Bees have been elevated to rock star status. People are quickly jumping on board in order to protect the honey bee. The power of pollination is impressive. No bees, no food. We like to eat. Agriculture is driven by productivity and profit. Without honey bees, agriculture fails. Corn and bean farmers are showing great compassion to work with beekeepers to protect the honey bee. Chemical companies are feeling the “heat” of complaints from beekeepers that chemicals may be contributing to Colony Collapse. Finally, roadsides will be allowed to grow, providing food for bees. More and more organizations are focusing on support of the honey bee. I saw a brief commercial on Disney explaining the importance of the honey bee.

As long as the current overwhelming interest in beekeeping continues bees have a bright future. We must do our part and continue to encourage more and more people to start keeping bees.

Thanks for joining us for another beekeeping lesson. We hope you’ll visit our website at, buy some hives and get started in beekeeping! It’s not too late. Now is a great time to dive in. We are ready to be your friend and mentor in beekeeping. See you next time! David and Sheri Burns Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
We are available to take your calls:
M-Thur 10am-4pm CENTRAL TIME
Friday 10am-Noon
Someone from our family looks forward to speaking with you. 217-427-2678 facebookYoutube

Friday, November 8, 2013

Lesson 143: Accidently Killing Your Queen When Harvesting Honey 217-427-2678


Welcome to another beekeeping lesson from EAS certified master beekeeper David Burns.

Hello friends we are David and Sheri Burns owners of Long Lane Honey Bee Farm, a hard working family business striving to earn your trust, providing you with the knowledge of beekeeping we have acquired over the years. Sometimes beekeepers are stingy with what they know. No us! We have posted over 143 FREE lessons here for you to gleam over. We offer over 20 specialized classes a year from our beekeeping education center at our honey bee farm located in central Illinois. We offer an entire hands on week in June here at our Beekeeping Institute. We welcome your business and appreciate your support. Feel free to give us a call M-Thru 10am-4pm central time and Friday 10am-noon. All of our hives are hand made right here in central Illinois.

Freedom NEW BEGINNER ALERT:  Thank you for your interest in beekeeping. Be sure to order your beekeeping equipment between NOW and February. Order your bees between Jan-Feb. Trying to purchase bees after February and you may discover a shortage of packages around the country. Once you buy your hives, they will ship from us within 10-15 business days. When you order your bees in Jan, they will be available for pickup in the spring. Do not delay and wait too long. And, always have your equipment ready before the bees are ready. And if you know someone in need of a beekeeping gift, check out giving them a gift certificate from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms by clicking here or going to:

It’s better to start with two hives. Click on the image above to find out more information about our Freedom Kit that comes with two hives and supplies. Why are two hives better than one?  Or go to:

All beekeeping equipment purchased as Christmas gift must be placed by December 1st to ensure arrival prior to Christmas.

ADVANCE BEEKEEPER ALERT: Take off queen excluders going into winter. Put on mouse guards and Winter-Bee-Kind boards. Put up a wind block keeping material about 3 feet away from hive so as not to allow moisture build up next to hive.

LESSON 143: Accidently Killing Your Queen When Harvesting Honey

Most beekeepers have harvested the honey from the hive. Supers full of golden honey were removed from the colony and extracted and bottled. It felt good. But then there is always that sinking feeling, wondering if the queen may have been in the super and was killed or carried off without you knowing it. Oh, you weren’t thinking that, not until I just mentioned it. Well, don’t worry too much about it, but it does happen. During the summer if we lose our queen, we do not worry too much because they can raise another one, and she will mate with drones outside the hive and all is well. However, most beekeepers harvest the honey supers in the fall and if the queen is killed or carried off the hive cannot raise a new queen because there are no drones to mate. The hive goes into winter queenless. The hive will perish during the winter or early spring from a lack of brood and population.

Even though most queens lay very little in the winter, they do lay some eggs to keep the hive going and by late winter, queens are laying the first group of spring foragers. So without a queen to overwinter with the colony it will perish. This is an awkward situation for two reasons. First, in is almost impossible to find a queen in the fall if you do kill yours. And the same is true if your colony does survive into early spring, most people cannot produce queens that early.

NS6The best practice to ensure your queen is safe when you rob the honey off is to find her and put her in a queen cage and set her inside the hive while you work. After you finish manipulating your frames and supers you can release her back into the hive.

We hope the queen has not walked up into the supers, but usually we do see a few bees on the supers at the honey house. Could the queen have been pulled? It is a concern. Queen excluders could help, but this can reduce the honey volume placed in the supers. Even then, a queen can be on the bottom of a queen excluder so when it is removed carelessly she can be lost.

WHAT NOW? If you notice in the spring that your hive survived but you are queenless, you can wait until a day above 60 degrees and move a frame of sealed brood over from a strong colony. This is only to buy you time until you can purchase a queen. Keep that in mind in the spring. Just be careful not to move the queen over or the other hive will probably destroy her.

NS8 Speaking of queens, the queen is by far the single most important bee in the hive. She lays 1,000 or more eggs a day. Without a prolific queen the hive will begin to weaken in population and without a strong population the hive will suffer and eventually fail. Does the perfect queen exists? Well, there is no such thing. Some queens are stronger than others, no doubt. You must get in the habit of regularly checking on the strength of your queen. When she shows signs of weakening in egg production, replace her so that you can save the hive. Those of us who raise queens do our very best to provide the best queens. It's complicated to raise queens. There is grafting, starter nucs, royal jelly, queen cups, finishing hives and more. What's fascinating is how queens mate. Virgin queens always mate outside the hive mating with upwards of 20 drones. The drone dies after mating. The sperm is stored in the queen's spermatheca for her entire life, 2-4 years. If she wants to lay an egg to become a male drone she chooses not to fertilize the eggs before she deposits it. Jon Zawislak and I wrote a booklet on queen rearing which is very thorough. In fact, if you want to know more about queens or queen rearing, this will be the topic of our next Hive Talk broadcast this coming Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. central time. Jon and I will be teaching a queen rearing class in the summer here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms.

HiveTalk Join us this Tuesday night, November 12th at 6:30 p.m. Call in to ask your queen questions. The number to call is: 1-724-444-7444. When you call in 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 is 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 Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. central time. If you want to just listen from your computer, go to:

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.

One final thought. Be sure and keep protein and carbohydrates on your hive all winter. We recommend our Winter-Bee-Kind. In The summer of 2011 we introduced our Winter-Bee-Kind after several years of studying overwintering hives. We could barely keep up with production they were in such demand. We still make them right here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms but we've expanded our production methods to keep up with demand. So many beekeepers told us that these were the only thing that got their hives through the winter. We’ve include many commonly asked questions about our Winter-Bee-Kinds:

Winter-Bee-Kind For Winter Feed For Bees

WHAT IS A WINTER-BEE-KIND? It is a one piece candy board that provides food, ventilation, upper insulation and an upper exit/entrance to help bees remain healthier during the winter. Someone said it insulates, ventilates and feed-i-lates. With the built in upper vent, you don't have to worry about snow covering up your hive's lower entrance. The bees can still go in and out through the top vent spacing. We avoid shipping Winter-Bee-Kinds in hot weather and start shipping each September-March. You can place our Winter-Bee-Kinds on your hive anytime, even in the winter. Because it goes on top of the hive in place of the inner cover, and you are NOT removing any frames, it can be placed on the hive in cold weather. Just do it fast. Open the top, remove the inner cover and place the candy side down and the vent slot toward the front of the hive and you're done. Click here to order your Winter-Bee-Kinds Some form of a candy board has been around for a long time. Beekeepers of long ago placed candy in their hives to provide enough food for their bees to survive the long months of winter. There are various mixtures and receipts for candy boards. Some are made with soft candy and some with hard candy. The end result is still the same. The bees will consume the sugar as they need it. We've always been concerned about the amount of condensation that can develop in the hive during the winter. The bees produce heat within their hive and as the temperature is very cold outside the hive, condensation will develop on the warm side, just above the bees on the inner cover or top cover. This condensation can accumulate and drop down onto the winter cluster of bees below. Bees can stay warm in the winter but they must remain dry. If this cold water drips down onto the bees, it can reduce their ability to keep their cluster warm. The insulation on our Winter-Bee-Kind helps reduce the excessive moisture and even puts some of that moisture to work, as it accumulates on the candy and makes it easy for the bees to consume the sugar. Thus, a Winter-Bee-Kind can help lessen two winter stresses, the lack of food and excessive moisture. We make our Winter-Bee-Kinds with sugar and a healthy amount of pollen powder. Many beekeepers make the mistake of only feeding their bees sugar in the winter, but the bees also need protein which they obtain from pollen. Our Winter-Bee-Kinds come with pollen mixed in with the sugar.. Click here to order your Winter-Bee-Kind today. We recommend that you place candy boards on your hive any time between Oct-March.

Commonly Asked Questions

Q: Which way does the candy face in the hive?

A: The candy faces down just above the winter cluster. Normally, this means that the Winter-Bee-Kind would be placed on the brood box that contains the cluster. For example, if you overwinter your bees in a single deep hive body, the Winter-Bee-Kind would be placed on this deep hive body with the candy facing down toward the cluster. If you are using two deep hive bodies to overwinter, then the Winter-Bee-Kind would be placed on the top deep hive body. It is best to disregard the use of an inner cover, and simply place your top cover over the Winter-Bee-Kind.

Q: What about winter moisture?

A: Moisture can develop in the winter from condensation, a contrast of the heat the bees produce in the hive and the extreme cold temperature outside the hive. Condensation accumulates on the warm side, which means moistures collects on the inner cover or top cover above the hive. This can drip down on the bees and chill them during the winter. A Winter-Bee-Kind takes the place of an inner cover and any moisture that develops from condensation aids the bees in consuming the candy.

Q: How long will a Winter-Bee-Kind last on a hive?

A: On average about 3 weeks. However, a colony that has ample stored honey may not consume the candy board as fast or not at all until they need it. A colony close to starvation may consume a Winter-Bee-Kind within a week or two.

Q: Since Winter-Bee-Kinds are placed or replaced on the hive in the winter, can I open the hive up on a cold day?

A: It is best to place the candy boards on a hive when the temperature is above freezing and try to place the candy board on and have the hive sealed back up within 1-2 minutes. It should not take over 1 minute. Do not remove any frames in cold temperatures, only place your Winter-Bee-Kind on and off quickly. If you can choose the warmest day during the winter, that would be best. Try to avoid very cold, windy or rainy days.

Q: How do I refill a candy board?

A: It is best to send back your candy board and we will refill it for $7 plus shipping. If you are a good candy maker, you can do it yourself.

Q: How do I get one with a pollen?

A: Our Winter-Bee-Kinds contain pollen as well.

Q: Can I make my own?

A: You can, but you must experiment, because you do not want the candy to be too hard or too runny. The exact mix depends on your altitude, heat source and other conditions so it will be different from one location to another.

Q: Why was some liquid sugar dripping out of my Winter-Bee-Kind when I received it?

A: It is the nature of candy boards to be a bit on the dripping side even though the top may be hard. Do not be concerned if you see liquid sugar dripping out of your boards when you receive it. It usually means it was left on end during shipment for a prolong period of time. The bees will clean everything up and enjoy this soft liquid.

Q: How much sugar is in one Winter-Bee-Kind?

A: Approximately 5 pounds

Q: When do I put a Winter-Bee-Kind on my hive?

A: Any time! Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb are good months to place on the boards.

Q How often should I check my Winter-Bee-Kind?

A: Every three weeks, take a peek.

Q: Do you make Winter-Bee-Kind for 5 frame nucs or 8 frame hives?

A: Yes, check out our website to order, but carefully read the description to make sure you are ordering the correct size and type.

Q: Can the candy break loose from the board on the hive?

A: It rarely happens, but during extreme winter weather, the candy and separate from the board while on the hive. This is not a problem. The bees will continue to consume the sugar.

Q: When I place it on the hive, do I use my inner cover. Just how does it go on?

A: Winter-Bee-Kind takes the place of your inner cover. Simply place the Winter-Bee-Kind on the top of your upper hive body or super with the candy facing down, then place your top cover on top of the Winter-Bee-Kind. Be sure to use a rock or brick to make sure the wind does not blow your top cover off. There is overwhelming enthusiasm about our Winter-Bee-Kinds. Click here to order now.

Thanks for joining us for another beekeeping lesson. We hope you’ll visit our website at, buy some hives and get started in beekeeping! It’s not too late. Now is a great time to dive in. We are ready to be your friend and mentor in beekeeping.

See you next time!

David and Sheri Burns

Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
We are available to take your calls:
M-Thur 10am-4pm CENTRAL TIME
Friday 10am-Noon
Someone from our family looks forward to speaking with you.

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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.

Friday, September 27, 2013

LESSON 140: Protect Your Hives From Mice & Combine Hives If Necessary


Mice seem so innocent and so small. What could they possibly do to hurt your bee hive during the winter? Now is the time to take precautions to keep mice out of your hives. Hi, we are David and Sheri Burns from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms located in central Illinois. Thank you for following our beekeeping lessons online.

Now that it is fall, I’d like to share several fall management tips for your hive to have a better chance at surviving our upcoming winter. Yes, I know. No one wants to think about winter yet, but you have to so that you can make sure your colony is strong and healthy.

Before we begin our lesson, I want to share some things going on around Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. I had a great time speaking in Chicago at the Lake County Beekeepers Club. Ann Miller Did a great job hosting the meeting. I spoke on how to raise queens and I did it in 45 minutes!

Homeschoolers We’ve also been hosting groups at the honey bee farm. This week we had a group of homeschoolers who came out to learn more about honey bees. They asked some good questions. I think a few families are going to start keeping bees next spring.

FFA Then we had all the local FFA chapters from surrounding schools visit our place. They were fascinated by our large bee tree and how we make queens and woodenware. But I think what really got their attention is when I opened a hive and found the queen on a full frame of bees. I carried it around so that each one could see the queen. The future of honey bees can be greatly increased as the importance of the honey bee is impressed upon these Future Farmers of America!

Be sure and LIKE US on facebook. facebook 

JD1 As many of you know Long Lane Honey Bee Farms is a family business and our family is doing great. We have three sons and three daughters between the ages of 31 and 6 years old. And we have seven grandchildren and another one on the way. Many of you have talked to Karee or Jesse on the phone or in person here. They recently had a baby, Jesse David. He is our newest grandson and he was born premature, spending 103 days in the NICU. The good news is he finally came home on Wednesday! Thank you for your prayers.

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 debut will be this Tuesday night, October 1st at 7pm 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 1-724-7444. 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:


We are heavy into production of our Winter-Bee-Kinds! Years ago, Zach Watts worked for our family mowing and keeping our place cleaned up when he was younger. Over they years, we keep moving him up and now he’s one of our best shop guys. He’s the main builder of our Winter-Bee-Kinds. He’s working for us while going to college. He’s a huge blessing to our business. You should start seeing your Winter-Bee-Kind arrive in a few weeks. If don’t know about our Winter-Bee-Kinds, check out our website at:

Finally before our lesson today, here are three of our featured products:

Hive2 Our traditional Langstroth Hive (Above). Completely assembled and painted with frames. Click here for more information.


Our new Langstroth Hive made from Cedar! (Above)  Spruce up your garden or yard with this majestic hive! Click here for more information.


Our popular Winter-Bee-Kind winter feed, ventilation and upper exit candy board. Click here for more information.

When you order from us, we are able to make a living doing what we love. Thank you!

LESSON 140: Protect Your Hives Against Mice & Should You Combine Your Hives For Winter

Mouse2 Mice seem so innocent and so small. Who would think they could be such a pest to the bee hive? In my early days as a new beekeeper I really didn't do much to prevent mice from entering my hives during the fall and winter. I just assumed the mice would stay out. I thought if they did make it in, they would be well behaved on the bottom board and not bother my bees. Nothing could be further from the truth! Mice will destroy a hive during the winter. When the weather turns cooler mice leave the outdoors and find your hive the perfect place for warmth and yes, food---your bees.

Mouse3 It seems like the colony would kill the mice, but during the winter the colony is clustered to stay warm. In the spring and summer the bees are able to move about the hive and chase out or kill mice. But in the winter the mice have free reign since the bees are clustered to stay warm. This is a great place for mice to raise their young. In the spring you can find a whole nest of pink baby mice and a few adults on your bottom board. When you see that, you’ll probably notice your hive is dead. The mice have slowly eaten away at bees and comb for food.

Mouse1 Do something now! First, understand that mice can fit through a hole the size of a ballpoint pen, or about 1/4 inch. So the challenge is to leave an opening large enough for bees but small enough so that mice cannot fit through. Not to mention mice can enter through a damaged corner or ventilation holes in hives. While it is nearly impossible to find the perfect sized mouse guard, most entrance reducers and mouse guards discourage mice from entering. A wide open bottom board is like hanging out a vacancy sign.We sell different types of mouse guards but an entrance reduce is our suggested defense.

This spring I conducted a study on mice and bees. I was startled at the results of my experiment. In 12 colonies I placed a component which had mouse urine, droppings or nest debris on it. I then installed packages into those 12 colonies on drawn comb. All 12 packages absconded within 7 days. I’ve been studying what makes packages abscond. I found that bees installed from packages can still abscond in new hives on new foundation, but the chances are less likely in new equipment. Drawn comb can help reduce absconding but the older the drawn comb is the more likely bees are to abscond. But any sign of mice urine, droppings or debris can cause a new package to abscond. The best thing is to destroy boxes, bottom board and frames that are soiled from mice droppings.


There is an old beekeeping saying that we should take our winter losses in the fall. This means that small and weak colonies, which will not survive the winter, should be combined with a larger colony that has higher populations and more food in the hive. The most common way to combine hives is to destroy the queen in the weaker colony and wait a few days. Then place newspapers on top of the top deep box in the strong colony. Then, move all the frames in the weak colony into one deep and place it above the newspaper on the strong hive. Cut a few slits in the newspaper so the bees can begin to destroy the newspaper. The theory is that by the time the newspaper is cleaned out, both colonies will be friends and become one.

Another option is to use a double screen board and place the weak colony on top of the strong colony. Both colonies have queens and the double screen keeps the bees and queens from fighting. The heat from the larger hive drifts up through the screen and keeps the smaller colony warmer on top. Keep in mind that cold is not the colony’s worst enemy. The number one concern is the varroa mite. If the colony has a severe infestation of varroa, they are unlikely to survive the winter. Other concerns are viruses and diseases which can cause the hive to die in the winter.

So you may want to take your winter losses now and combine some hives. If the combined hives overwinters well, you can split it in the spring and you’re back to two.

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! TipJarYour donations help us continue our work and research on the honey bee, such as our recent development of our Winter-Bee-Kind. These lessons are free and will provide you with as much if not more information than you would find in a $30 book. So consider making a $30 donation so that we might continue these lessons, CLICK HERE TO DONATE $30 or go to:

Thank you in advance.
David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
217-427-2678 Website: facebooktwitter iconYoutube

Thanks for joining us for another beekeeping lesson!