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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