Saturday, December 26, 2015

Hello from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. We are David and Sheri Burns and along with most of our family we have been helping beekeepers for a decade. We are located in central Illinois and we are a small, American, family business.

We’ve dedicated our lives promoting beekeeping and doing our part to ensure honey bees have a bright future. We are winding down another successful year thanks to our fabulous customers. We are more excited about 2016 than ever before. In 2006 we thought  the interest in beekeeping had reached its peak. Boy were we wrong. Every year thousands join the clan of people that want to do their part to save our major pollinators and improve our precious fruits and vegetables by becoming beekeepers. We are stoked about dreaming what 2016 will be like for beekeeping.

We have already planned a great 2016 classroom roster of beekeeping classes. Click on any class below for more information:
Beginner Classes – Our First Beginners Class is February 20th 8am-1pm. Several spots are still available.
A New Spring Management Class
Our 4th Beekeeping Institute
Queen Rearing
Advanced Beekeeping

A Day In The Bee Yard With David :

June 18  A Day In The Bee Yard  Saturday 8:30-11:30 a.m.
June 24  A Day In The Bee Yard Friday 8:30-11:30 a.m.
July 9  A Day In The Bee Yard Saturday 8:30-11:30 a.m.

Getting Your Bees Through The Winter

Aug   6  Getting Your Bees Through The Winter Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Aug 20  Getting Your Bees Through The Winter Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sept 9  Getting Your Bees Through The Winter Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Today, I want to encourage you to pursue your dreams whether your dream is to start keeping bees, become a doctor, take up a musical instrument, or to retire. Before I do, let me share some things going on around here.

I’ll be speaking at the American Beekeeping Federation at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach (Jacksonville), Florida January 5-9. Leave winter behind and come get some sun and learn more about beekeeping.

I’m a Christmas junkie. I love Christmas music and start playing it on Thanksgiving Day. Sheri loves it too, but she is not as fanatic about it as I am. I catch her toning down my Christmas music. I love Christmas because my mom and dad always made it a special time to remember the birth of Christ and to be with family. My mom would cook all sorts of foods and candy and my dad always hung lights and decorations. My apologies to the few of you who can’t understand my obsession. To be honest, Sheri is the one who hangs most of the decorations and certainly the only one who cooks all the candy and food. Yep, might as well call me the drone bee.

We hosted our annual Christmas luncheon for our workers last week. We handed out some gifts and thanked them for all their hard work. Haley Watts made a cool Christmas tree out of cake pops. Haley has been helping us ship your items and sometimes answer the phones. The top pop is yellow like a star. Our 8 year old son, Christian, said he wanted to eat that one. He grabbed it but handed it to his nephew JD. I thought that was sweet.

We all worked extra hard to get caught up on all Winter-Bee-Kind orders and we did it. More orders are coming in, but being caught up now means we can ship them out within several business days after the order is placed once we get back to work after the holidays.

I made a commitment not to put WBKs on my hives until I took care of all customer’s orders first. We were aiming for the day before Thanksgiving but we missed that deadline so my next goal was the Tuesday before Christmas and we made that happen. Thank you for all your orders and it is definitely not too late to purchase a Winter-Bee-Kind. I’ll be putting mine on in a few weeks. If you have not ordered one for your hive yet, try it out this year. Click here for more information on our Winter-Bee-Kinds.

This year Sheri and I enjoyed hanging out a day in Indianapolis where we enjoyed a Christmas dinner theater with another couple. We rode around Indy on a horse pulled carriage. It was beautiful! Sheri also surprised me with tickets for us to see Mannheim Steamroller. They are known for their Christmas music and decades of Christmas tours. Their website boasts, “Mannheim Steamroller is the #1 Christmas music artist of all times, selling over 27 million albums. The second highest Christmas artist is Elvis Presley.” They were awesome. We did not get anything free or reduced for mentioning them here. It was just fun.

Package Bees Soon Going Online

Packages of bees will go online late on December 31st, this coming Thursday. I don’t want to stay up late and put them online at 12 midnight, so that’s why it will be late on the 31st. We’ve already sold a bunch of packages of bees with our hive kits and we always reserve lots for first time beekeepers who attend our classes so what we put online is limited. Just watch from our main website: and you’ll see a link from our  main page on the 31st. Please send us your business. We know you can get your hives and equipment at other places, but we need your continued support. While buying bees, why not buy the kit with bees. Thank you.


Starting January 1st I’ll be producing a daily vlog. A vlog is a video blog. These will be posted every day on YouTube. So I want to let you know what to expect and what not to expect. This daily vlog will vary in length. It might be 4 minutes one day and 30 minutes another day. Some might be nicely edited and others simply raw video.

Now about content. The content may sometimes have something to do with bees and at other times nothing about bees. Some days may have themes and some days you will just be hanging out with me. This is a huge commitment to produce 365 of these, and I’ll do my best. There are several ways you can make the vlog much more enjoyable and entertaining:

1. Send us questions we can answer on the vlog. Questions can be related to beekeeping or something else if you want. You can also send us pictures. Lots of beekeepers will write to us and include cool photos of their hives. Send them to Long Lane Honey Bee Farms, 14556 N 1020 E. Rd, Fairmount, IL 61841  

2. Leave positive comments at the bottom of each new vlog.

3. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. By subscribing you’ll have easier access to the daily videos and you’ll help boost our efforts. Feel free to subscribe in advance of our first vlog episode. After you follow our link, you’ll see a picture of Sheri and me and to the right of us is a red subscribe button as shown in the picture to the left. Here’s the link:  click here to subscribe to our daily video blog (vlog). We are at 4,947 subscribers now and our goal is to reach 50,000 subscribers by the end of 2016 with your help.

4. Feel free to stop in and visit us during business hours and with your permission we’ll add your visit to our vlog.

5. Tell others. Spread the word and encourage others to come along with us in 2016.

The Pursuit of Life’s Dreams

Cat posters always have catchy phrases promoting positive living and the pursuit of dreams. Most children dream of being a famous athlete or actor. When we are young we have high hopes and aspirations. As we get older our dreams are usually met with unanticipated challenges, obstacles and road blocks. I’ve been a dreamer ever since I can remember. I’ve had a ton of dreams dashed against the rocks. Early on it was easy to let people hold me back, you know the folks that say you are crazy for trying something so outlandish.

Beekeeping at one time was a dream. When I wanted to start, I was my worst enemy. I was worried I couldn’t do it and was uncertain about it all. Then, a friend helped me jump in with both feet. Years later I had a dream of making a living from beekeeping. I first pursued trying to have enough hives to make a  living from honey, back when honey was a dollar a pound. That was challenging. But I held to my dream and simply changed my approach. In the early years I lost and wasted lots of money. But I continued to hold to my dream of making a living in beekeeping. I love beekeeping so much that I was determined to make a living beekeeping. That dream was slowly realized over the last decade but I had to do many things I did not know about. Had I known about all of those challenges I think I would have thrown in the towel.

I took baby steps. First I dreamed of making my own hives. I did and they looked nice so I sold a few on EBay 10 years ago. Then around 2005-2006 I started sharing on my blog what I was learning about honey bees. The following of interested people grew very fast.

Then my dream was to sell more hives we built on EBay and I quickly became a power seller. Then I used my web skills and designed my own website. Then I wanted to teach others about beekeeping but I felt I needed to know more, so I studied long and hard and went to conferences and classes. Even then I felt like I didn’t know enough so I knew that if I pursued becoming a certified master beekeeper it would force me to learn in areas I was weak in. So I spent 2 years reading and studying more and more. Finally in 2010 I passed all my certifications. That was a huge accomplishment for me, and another dream fulfilled.

In 2010 the pursuit of becoming a certified MB was taking its toll. I was low on money and time. I had convinced myself that if I couldn’t get certified in 2010 I’d forfeit trying. But I passed all four modules. So you see where I’m going with this, right? A dream costs so much. But if it is really what you want to do, why not spend a decade of hard work and make it happen.

Slowly over the years Sheri and I continued to be loyal to our customers and class students and they appreciated our sincerity and stuck with us and new customers and students continue to support us and our dream is being fulfilled. It is very rewarding.

Look at my dream to have 50,000 subscribers on my YouTube vlog. I have no clue if that is outlandish or possible. But I’m going to work hard at it all year and see. If I don’t reach that dream at the end of this year, I’ll just adjust my end date further out. But never give up on a dream. Maybe I’ll reach 100,000 by the end of the year, that’s the way dreams work. Sometimes you reach them fast, and sometimes you spend a life time. One thing I have learned is that the pursuit of a dream is probably more rewarding than finally reaching it.

What is your dream?  I’ve learned a bunch about pursuing dreams from the honey bee. I know it may sound silly, but sometimes if we overcome one area in our lives, like finally becoming a beekeeper, it builds our confidence to pursue other dreams. 2016 is around the corner. Don’t give up on that dream of yours no matter what it is. Stick to it. You’ll have plenty of people who will be jealous, and try to pull you down but don’t give up. When you hit an obstacle, climb over it. Be encouraged!
Happy New Year!
David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms