Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Count Down To Bee Season www.honeybeesonline.com 217-427-2678

Okay, so we get it! Everyone is suffering from ice, snow, slippery roads, and cold winds. It’s impossible to think about spring right? Actually, we are looking forward to spring more than ever this time of year. Hi, we are David and Sheri Burns from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. We operate our family beekeeping supply business in central Illinois.  I taught a basic beekeeping class at Heartland Community College in Bloomington, Illinois last Saturday and when I left my house we had 5 inches of snow on the roads. It seemed odd driving on snow to teach on bees, but now is the time to plan ahead. Our next basic beekeeping class is this Saturday and the weather looks good. That class is full but Our next opened class is Saturday March 7th, 9am-3pm at our honey bee farm here in central Illinois. We have a few openings left for this class. See a list all of our classes.
We also added another Beekeeping Institute for 2015. Our first Institute filled up fast, and we already are filling up our second institute. We have 6 openings now. Click here for more information on our Beekeeping Institute June 26-28, 2015.
Hive2Here we go with our famed and legendary hive, completely painted and assembled. Comes with wooden frames and foundation. Shipping is included in this price. If you are comparing prices, please take in consideration that while you might find a similar hive for a few dollars less ask these questions: 1. Is it assembled? 2. Is it painted? 3. Does it include wooden frames and foundation? 4. How much is shipping? Our hives come completely assembled, painted with wooden frames and foundation included. Shipping is included in our price of $279. Click here to order. We have nearly 200 built and ready to fill orders. Don’t wait. Get your hive early so you can become familiar with it and place it where you will keep your bees.
Good News! Looks like we will be able to get more packages now that we are getting closer to spring. We have a large waiting list that we will attempt to work through as well. But for now, we will place another 50 packages online Sunday March the 1st 6 a.m. central time. First come, first serve basis. These will be for pickup only at our farm, estimated to be the first Sunday in May.
The information will be posted on our main page at: www.honeybeesonline.com at 6 a.m. Sunday march 1st.  for individual 3 lb packages with a mated, laying queen.

LA My brother just sent me a photo of his windshield from Ruston, Louisiana. Frozen over. My friend, Jon Zawislak called me yesterday and he’s off work in Little Rock, Arkansas again due to slippery roads and ice and snow. Bla, bla, bla, right?
Want to know what I do in the middle of winter when it’s cold, frozen and snowy outside? I take a lot of vitamin D and countdown until spring. As of today  (Feb. 24th), there are only 23 days until spring. Three weeks and two days.  Let the countdown begin.

The Beekeeper’s Countdown Until Bee Season

What does a beekeeper do in order to countdown and prepare for spring? Of course this is slightly different depending on where in the US you live. But you can make the adjustments and start counting down till spring.
1. Make sure you have the equipment and bees you need for spring. The longer you wait the less likely you will be able to get what Freedomekityou need when you need it. Every year there are beekeepers who somehow make the mistake of getting their bees before they order their equipment. Don’t let this happen to you. Get  your hives and equipment long before your bees arrive so you can become familiar with your hive and equipment. Remember, two hives are better than one. You can equalize your hives and build up a weak hive from the strong hive.
2. Use these next several weeks to read and educate yourself more on beekeeping. Take some classes. There is a misguided movement to have a hands off approach in keeping bees. This is not beekeeping, this is bee-having. There is a big different between having a hive and doing nothing and keeping a hive with best management and practices. If you do not inspect your hive regularly and combat varroa mites aggressively, your bees are likely to perish. The 21st century beekeeper must not only be well informed but well trained to keep bees alive.
3. Make a plan now how you will test for varroa mites. Will you use the powdered sugar shake or the alcohol wash to count mites. Which ever method  you choose, read up on it and become familiar now so you can start testing and dealing with mites soon after receiving your nuc or package in a few weeks.

4. Formulate some plans for keeping bees this spring. For example, make a plan to go after varroa mites and keep to it. Make a plan now how you might split your strong colonies that made it through the winter. Make a plan now that you will be more proactive and inspect the condition of your queen and colony every two or three weeks.
Become familiar with spotting eggs in the bottom of cells as seen in my photo. If you see eggs, you have a queen.

BBFS 5. Have a plan to keep you colony strong and productive by feeding  your bees when needed, and promoting brood build up prior to the start of foraging season.  Each season I make an educated guess when ample nectar sources will first be available. Then, I back date 41 days. This is the magic date that I work to stimulate my colony to ramp up brood production. This is so that eggs that are laid on March 1 will be foragers on April 10th. I place a Burns Bees Feeding System on my hive, push patties through he screen and feed two different types of syrup. One jar is 1:1 sugar water, and the jar in the second hole is 1 part sugar and 2 parts water. This, along with our patties helps stimulates brood build up. We now have our sugar/pollen patties available again.
6. Finally, plan now to keep better records on your hives. We have a free inspection sheet that can help you keep good records on each hive.
So don’t be depressed over all the cold and icy weather. Plan ahead now to have an exciting spring enjoying beekeeping.
David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms

Friday, February 13, 2015

Adventures In Beekeeping www.honeybeesonline.com 217-427-2678


Hello from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms, also known on the Internet as www.honeybeesonline.com  We are David and Sheri Burns and we own and operate a bee business. We carry a full line of beekeeping equipment, supplies, bees and queens. You’ll see that we provide a ton of free, up-to-date and accurate beekeeping lessons. Some of you have learned everything you know about honey bees from us, and we appreciate that a lot. Keep in mind that you can return the favor by purchasing your beekeeping hives and supplies from us. We really do appreciate every order. Our livelihood comes solely from great customers like you. The best way or us to get to know you better is for you to come and take a class with us. Not only will you get to hang out with us, but you’ll walk away knowing how to keep bees. We keep our classes under 20 students so we can be personable and answer all your questions.

Today I want to excite you about all the possibilities and adventures beekeeping may open up for you. But before I do, let me fill you in on what we’ve been up to.

Here in central Illinois our bees were flying like crazy on Sunday. It was a good sight to see now that we are half way through winter. Compared to last year our winter has been very mild. My bees are on their second Winter-Bee-Kind and some customers have now been back for 2 refills. Do not think that just  one is going to suffice. It might, but if your bees have eaten an entire Winter-Bee-Kind, they are hungry!  If you haven’t checked, pop the lid and see how much they have eaten. Refill it or order another one because we have many weeks of winter to go. Don’t forget as winter ends and the weather warms up, we’ll want to remove our Winter-Bee-Kinds and place on our Burns Bees Feeding Systems. This delivers maximum liquid and protein for late winter and early spring feed. Especially helpful for packages or nucs.

Mudroom We’ve lived here in this old farm house over 11 years this spring. It was built in 1876, eleven years after the Civil War ended (1861-1865). The builders left their name and date on a piece of siding we removed. Cool discovery. Over the past 10 years we’ve been making improvements to our home like most folks do. At first we made essential improvements, like getting the septic system to work and the roof fixed. But lately we’ve been remodeling eye sores. So I finally remodeled our mud room. In the early days, before we had the other buildings, people had to walk into this room to access the restrooms during beekeeping classes. So finally, I did some plumbing, tiled the floor and hid some ugly pipes. Sheri stained the wainscoting. How do you pronounce wainscoting? Some people say it like wains-coating. Others say wains-scot-ing, like the name Scott. Because we stay so busy with our bee business, we are like everyone else, we can only work on the house a few hours a week.  When does it every stop? Now I’m fixing things that I fixed 11 years ago. I’m starting over!!

web Speaking of remodeling…You may have noticed we took our website through a complete remodel. Wow! I lost a lot of sleep on this huge project. Technology keeps changing and to keep up with the times, we were forced to do a total re-write. It is functioning perfectly, but I will continue now to make minor improvements like colors and overall appearance over the next few weeks. At one point there were three of us sitting at a table, each with a laptop smashing code. Stop in and take a look at: www.honeybeesonline.com and along with that you can follow us on Facebook  and Twitter. Sheri spends a lot of time keeping things going on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Another cool thing that graces our home at night is the sweet sounds of violin music in the air. Sheri is a musician. She plays the piano and flute and several years ago she thought it would be neat to play the violin. This Christmas I surprised her with a violin. She is taking lessons and is getting really good.

Our beekeeping classes have started for the year. We offer beekeeping classes all year long. Many places only offer them in the early part of the year. Last weekend was so much fun. We had several people from Iowa, Missouri, Indiana and Illinois. Every year we improve our student books and accuracy of materials. We love meeting new people. The folks were just fantastic, like visiting with family. Come on and join us for a class. It’s more than a class, it is an experience. Check out all of our upcoming classes. We are getting closer to perhaps having two Beekeeping Institutes this year as several have expressed a desire to come to a second one. We’ll keep you posted.

Sheri and I are back in the Podcast Studio, producing podcasts again. We have a new one done! You can listen to it in the next day or two at: http://www.honeybeesonline.com/beekeeping-podcast/ or on iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/studio-bee-live/id400801201?mt=2

Mystery Photo

Test your beekeeping knowledge by taking a look at the honey bee leg on our website: www.honeybeesonline.com. Tell us if it is the front leg, middle leg or back leg of a honeybee. Tell us the reason for your answer. The first person with the most complete answer will win a Burns Bees Feeding System. Leave your answer on our Facebook page

Adventures In Beekeeping

I’m an adventurous person. Maybe that’s what got me started in beekeeping. What I love about beekeeping is that it’s not only helping to save the honey bee, but it’s fun. Every time I inspect my hives it is an adventure. The dictionary defines the word adventurous as “willing to take risks or to try out new methods, ideas, or experiences”.

David Marking Queen2 Beekeeping keeps us active and thinking. It motivates me to work out in the fresh air and to get some natural vitamin D. It provokes me to think, study and tinker around with new ideas. This keeps my mind stimulated to grow, expand and learn. I’ve known people who have retired but became bored and disenchanted with life. Their spouses became concerned about them because they all but gave up on life. They lost their enthusiasm for each day. It was for this very reason that Rev. Langstroth kept bees and eventually discovered bee space, giving us the removal frame hives used to this very day.

Being adventurous means trying new ideas and some times even taking a risk. I really don’t see beekeeping as a risk or dangerous, but I suppose it is to some. Certainly your bees could die, so you could risk losing your investment. However, haven’t we all taken this same risk in other areas? We took a risk and something didn’t work out the way we thought. That’s not a reason to become a fearful recluse. Sometimes we have to take a risk to enjoy the benefits that can only be achieved by stepping out of our comfort zone.

Beekeeping has opened up the opportunity for me to meet more great people, to speak around the country, to do things with bees that I never thought I’d do. All of that is a little risky, but sometimes taking a risk energizes us.

Route662 On the other hand, maybe you are done taking risks and you just want to keep bees to regain your sanity in the serenity of your apiary. That’s cool too. Life is challenging and sometimes very stressful and hard. Sometimes our world seems crazy and all messed up. It’s comforting, in light of the world’s problems, to light up the smoker, put on the suit, open up a hive and see thousands of individuals working in harmony with one another. Maybe beekeeping is just the adventure you’re looking for. It’s not too late to start beekeeping. Check out all of our hive kits and we have packages of bees available with our hives.

David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms

Order with or without bees
Our Most Complete Beekeeping Kit
2 Hives & Equipment Supplies

Freedom Bee Hive Kit

Celebrate the freedom we have in America, freedom to pursue our dreams. Perhaps keeping bees is part of your dream and your pursuit of happiness. Look at the beekeeping supplies included.

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See below

1 Hive, & Equipment Supplies

Liberty Hive Kit

Same as FREEDOM KIT but only has one hive.


Packages of bees sell out so fast. We have reserved bees to go along with this hive kit special. We want to help you fulfill your dream of keeping bees.


Did you wait too long last year to start beekeeping? Take advantage of our early bird special. Maybe you are brand new to beekeeping and finding it hard to get a package of bees and a hive. You've come to the right place.

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1 Starter Hive, & Equipment Supplies


Starter hive.Buy other boxes as you need them.