Monday, August 10, 2015

Problems With Honey Production and I Published My First Bee Book

Bee in Flight

Hello! We are David and Sheri Burns from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms and we are really enjoying summer. We love the sights, sounds and smell of summer. There is nothing like watching the flashing glow from a large thunderhead cloud miles away. The sound of fireworks, parades and lawn mowers can only be enjoyed in the summer. The smell of freshly mowed grass, fresh fruits and vegetable right out of the garden makes summer so special.

Watching a beehive during the summer is something we all love to do. Bees going in and out puts our minds at ease that all is well and our bees are happy and hard at work.

The colonies we use here at our training center have produced a ton of honey. I’ve harvested one round and I think they will be filling up my wet supers (supers I extracted and placed back on the hive the same day) in the next few weeks. The torrential spring rains seemed to have extended our nectar flow into August. We are keeping our fingers crossed for a whole bunch more supers filled up with honey.

While we have been enjoying summer, you may have missed speaking with Sheri. She has been struggling with a bad knee for a year and finally had a knee replacement. She’s doing good, working through therapy and looking forward to getting all healed up before the next bee year starts up again. She teases me that this bee business wore out her knee. And of course, she’s enjoying being waited on hand and foot, finally!

Bookcover3blog First I want to tell you about a book that I published and then I want to talk about how to overcome problems with honey production. First, the book. I am working on an extensive series of short books and the first one was published today! Beekeeping: Getting Your Bees Through The Winter.

This is an eBook available for download here or on

I’ve written a short and compact guide on one of our most pressing problems in beekeeping today, getting honey bees to survive the winter. Written so that even a beginner can understand, I have thoroughly researched this subject, breaking it down in understandable terms for both the new or experienced beekeeper. This book was compiled from our very popular Getting Your Bees Through The Winter course that we offer every fall at the training center at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. This book goes into the details of how to prepare your hive for winter, addressing such subjects as when and how to feed honey bees, the pros and cons of winter wrapping hives, reducing the spread of honey bee viruses, increasing young bee populations in the fall, testing and controlling varroa mites, wind breaks, spring and winter feeding solutions and more.

This book is also available on Amazon as an eBook for a few dollars cheaper, but does not contain photos as found here. After much encouragement from friends and customers, I agreed to put this class Getting Bees Through The Winter in book form so that beekeepers around the country and around the world could gleam these insights from the comfort of their homes, on smart phones, Kindles, computers or other devices. I am hopeful that this book will be very helpful to those of you who live too far to attend our “Getting Your Bees Through The Winter” classes.


Problems With Honey Bee Production. This year has been a great year for bees to pack in the honey for most beekeepers. But occasionally there are issues and beekeepers struggle with getting the top super started. What can slow down or prevent bees from storing honey in the upper super, the super you want to harvest?

1) Placed It On Too Late

Some beekeepers fail to realize that bees rarely build out comb by adding wax when there is not a strong nectar flow. Some beekeepers wait until late July and hope the bees have time to make the wax and draw out the comb. In an area of average resources this is not impressive. However, if the bees are in a location with lots of floral sources it is possible.

As a rule of thumb I like to place a minimum of 2 honey supers on my hives by mid May giving them plenty of time to draw out the wax on the comb having the space they need to bring in nectar.

2) Queen Excluder Is Creating A Barrier

Some people call the queen excluder a honey excluder. It does require more effort on the part of the bees to work their way through it to place honey in the super above. I like to place my supers on without a queen excluder and just monitor the queen and keep her down in her brood nest. If I see her in the super, I pick her up and move her down. Or you can wait until they have drawn out several frames then place the queen excluder below the super. This is like baiting the bees to start on the super. But be sure when you place the queen excluder on that the queen is not up in the super.

3) Colony Lacks A Strong Foraging Force

If you have tried everything and nothing is working, it might be that your queen is not prolific and you lack the population to give you the number of foragers you need. In this case you will just need to monitor your brood development and decide if you should replace your queen. It takes a very strong work force for a colony to be a honey producing hive.

4) Hive Is In A Poor Location Lacking In Nectar Sources

Sometimes your hive is just in a poor location. I have learned that colonies that produce a lot of honey are near an abundance of nectar sources. If your hives fail to produce a lot of honey each year you should consider placing them somewhere better. Look around and talk to land owners. You might hit upon a gold mine!

Don’t wait too long to order your Winter-Bee-Kinds. Orders are coming in by the hundreds, so get in line!!

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