Friday, April 12, 2013

LESSON 136: Honey Bees Are In The News Again, Should We Be Concerned? 217-427-2678


Hello we are David and Sheri Burns here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. We are having a blast with honey bees. Beekeeping is downright fun. Our bees are coming out of winter in good shape and we are excited that spring is making an appearance.  Last year was our best honey crop ever. More and more new people are entering into the exciting hobby of beekeeping. It amazes me how many people are now starting to keep honey bees because they are realizing the important and vital role honey bees play in pollination so we can have food. We cannot do without our honey bees. For those of you wanting to start beekeeping this year, now is the perfect time. It’s not too late to start keeping bees. We are hear to sell you the equipment needed to keep bees, educate you either through one of our beekeeping classes or our online lessons.

We have these extensive lessons as well as beekeeping videos where you can learn more about beekeeping. We are a unique beekeeping business because we are a total turn key operation. We provide the education (certified master beekeeper) through classes and online lessons and an extensive online beekeeping store to purchases needed beekeeping equipment and supplies, bees, queens and more.

We believe that educated beekeepers have better success. Therefore, we are offering a week long BEEKEEPING INSTITUTE. June 17-21, 2013.

INSTRUCTORS: David Burns EAS certified master beekeeper, Sheri Burns Colony Problem Solver and beekeeper, Charlie Nye Bee Researcher and Bee Lab Manager at the University of Illinois Bee Lab and Alex Wild, biologist, insect photographer and beekeeper. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE WEEK LONG BEEKEEPING INSTITUTE or Click below to sign up for one or several of our classes that week:

Day 1- Basic Beekeeping Taking Registrations Now

Day 2- Practical Beekeeping Taking Registrations Now

Day 3 - Advance Beekeeping Taking Registrations Now

Day 4 - Queen Rearing Taking Registrations Now

Day 5 - Insect Photography Taking Registrations Now


Sheri and I are constantly flooded with positive feedback about our hives, queens, bees, classes and business. We are starting a page of customer’s testimonies. Please email your testimony, either how we have helped you on the phone, in person, through these lessons or our hand made hives. Email us at: If you want, you can even include a picture. Thank you!

coffee Every Monday on our facebook page we present a challenging question and the first one to answer it correctly wins a Long Lane Honey Bee Farms coffee mug with a bag of coffee beans that David personally roasts himself. He likes his coffee strong. Follow us on facebook.

Facebook is a great place to hear from us daily and to keep up on what we are learning about honey bees on a regular basis. Not to mention that Sheri and I are just fun to follow :) Follow us on facebook.




Advance Beekeeping Training

I will be holding an Advance Beekeeping Training Workshop near Chicago, Illinois at the Heritage Prairie Farms located at  2N308 Brundige Road, Elburn, IL 60119.

Topics covered will be: Swarm management, splitting hives, rotating hive bodies, queen rearing, specialize equipment, detail inspection techniques, overwintering hives in the north, pests & diseases and more.

This workshop will be on Saturday April 27th, from 9am - 4pm. Call to register: 630-443-5989
Heritage Prairie Farm is located approximately 40 miles west of Chicago along Route 38 or 2.5 miles west of Randall Rd. on Brundige Rd. on the south side of Route 38. Coming from the North or South, Route 38 intersects with the following: Routes 47, 25, 31, 59; and Interstate 355 and 294. For more information or to register call 630-443-5989


LESSON 136: Honey Bees Are In The News Again, Should We Be Concerned?

Honey bees find their way into the news on a regular basis.Now, they are back in the headlines. I normally do not spend much time addressing the various news headlines because there is a certain level of sensationalism. However, I think it’s time to speak to the current issues facing honey bees and what is fact or fiction. But if you don’t want to read everything below, let me say it is my opinion that not much has really changed. I’ve read Rev. Langstroth’s overwinter issues back in the late 1800s and early 1900s and even without mites there were times bee losses were high.

In 2006-2007 bees really hit the news because many large commercial beekeepers were suddenly losing colonies. Speculations soon appeared in the news, from everything from green Martians, farm spray, to cell phones towers. Although portrayed as something never heard of before, very similar disappearances of bees have been reported over the last 100 years. Somewhere after all the dust settled we called it Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD for short.  It was a new name for an old problem.

When bees first made their news debut, it was a double edge sword. While we were sad that CCD had caused the loss of many hives something happened that few of us ever expected, a silver lining in the cloud of disappearing bees—they started returning! Let me clarify. While it was true that CCD caused bees to simply disappear from hives, leaving only the queen and a small number of bees left to slowly die, the interest in saving the bees grew rapidly. Honey bees returned to the scene.. Prior to CCD honey bees were slowly being forgotten at best and carelessly being neglected at worst. While a few might not ever miss another stinging insect, most of the population quickly became concerned as to what a lack of honey bees would do to our food supply, especially since we are more in tune with eating healthier foods that bees pollinate.

Responsible citizens armed themselves with suits and hive tools and started keeping bees for the first time. This was tremendous. And the movement is gaining momentum.  Bee populations were saved! Now home owners finding bees living in houses and buildings are relying on competent removal experts to carefully remove bees without killing them. Pest control companies have stopped killing honey bees and are referring the matter over to beekeepers to rescue the honey bees. What first appeared bad turned out pretty good.

Are bees really dying? They always have died. Humans have always died.  Will bees become extinct soon and we will be left to eat oatmeal and rice? No. That is, as long as responsible citizens continue to take several important steps:

1. Start Keeping Bees

Sheri and I have always had a passion to help more people keep bees because the more beekeepers, the more bees. In the late 1700s and early 1800s John Chapman traveled around planting apple trees. In parts of the Midwest early settlers were required to plant an apple orchard to claim their land. I’ve always admire the life of Jonny Appleseed and his passion to plant apple trees.  We need that kind of passion for planting bee hives. Honey bees are amazing creatures and deserve our attention, care and help. If you’d like to become a beekeeper, click here for more information.

2. Stop Killing Every Weed

BeewithPollen I’ve lived in the big city where everything is concrete and asphalt. I know we often want our yards perfectly manicured, no weeds and every fence row cleared and ditch mowed. Keep in mind that for every flowering weed we kill, we are depriving honey bees of their substance of life. They must have nectar and pollen and much of what they gather comes from the wild flowers we don’t like such as dandelions and clover in our yards. I’m not so much concerned about thousands of acres of corn and beans, but rather about thousands of acres of wild flowers that are being lost. These flowers provide the variety of pollen our bees need to be healthy. We need to stop killing the weeds.


killed bees 3. Never Poison Or Kill Bees In Trees or Homes

We should never kill honey bees. If they swarm onto or into our homes, we should seek a skilled beekeeper or a professional removal company to safely remove the bees and place them into their own hive. When hives are poisoned inside of walls and structures, the poisoned honey is robbed out by other healthy colonies and the tainted honey is taken back to other hives where it will continue killing bees. This is very sad and troubling. With bees in decline it  would be sad to know how many hives have been killed deliberately or through careless spraying of insecticides.

4. Spread The Word About The Importance Of Pollination Of Honey Bees

I was speaking to someone today explaining that honey bee pollination has a 15 Billion dollar agriculture value a year! He is a Schwann salesman and I told him that if bees are greatly reduced he will only be selling oatmeal and rice from his truck. Without bees there will be little to no vegetables, fruits, beef, no ice cream and on goes the list. Some people view our food as coming from stores and as long as stores sell food we don’t need bees. However, we must educate others that pollination of honey bees is what makes food available in stores.

When bees die, fingers are pointed at farm chemicals, CCD, mites, poor queens and the list goes on. All of these and more can harm honey bees. But let’s not forget the beekeeper. Poorly trained beekeepers and beekeepers who push their bees are the cause of many losses. With increased knowledge and improved management skills beekeepers will keep healthier colonies. We need more beekeepers, but well trained beekeepers.

Sheri and I believe the honey bees will only continue to make a comeback if more and more citizens take up beekeeping. Hobbyist can step forward and make a huge impact on the survival of the honey bee by keeping bees, allowing weeds and flowers to grow, never poison honey bees and sharing the important role honey bees play in pollination.

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. Though we are sold out of packages, we’ll provide you with the numbers of reliable package providers that will ship bees to you. We are ready to be your friend and mentor in beekeeping.

See you next time!
David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms

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