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:
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