Tuesday, November 18, 2014

pH Balance In Honey And What We Feed Bees | Packages Of Bees Available For Purchase www.honeybeesonline.com 217-427-2678

In today’s beekeeping lesson we’ll be taking a look into pH. What is the pH balance of honey and how does that compare to vinegar, water, milk, coffee and other things in my kitchen. Is it important to raise the pH balance in what we feed our bees? Read on!

Hello, are David and Sheri Burns and here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms, we are a family business working hard to help more people discover and enjoy keeping honey bees. We manufacture beehives and sell everything related to beekeeping. Our hives are built according to our specific required specs right here in central Illinois.

It’s fall and if you are new to beekeeping you are just in time to get started keeping bees in the spring of 2015. We have 3 lb packages for sale now. Bees are so precious and essential to nature. We are excited to offer packages again this year. They will sell out fast. Last year we sold out within 45 days after going online. Click here to order your packages of bees. Packages include 3lbs, about 10,000 bees and one mated queen.

Busybee Now is the time to order your hives and we always appreciate your hive orders. Purchase your hives (woodenware) now, and you’ll receive them within a few weeks. Order your bees now to be picked up in the spring.

Remember when we were young and we’d take catalogs from major department stores and circle everything we wanted for Christmas? Only 36 days until Christmas. We have two special hive kits with bees that would make a great Christmas gift for that special someone in your life. These starter hives are affordable, includes bees and there is no shipping charge. One comes with startup equipment like a smoker, bee brush, frame hanger, frame grip, smoker fuel and a hive tool. The other does not come with equipment for those who already have equipment but are adding more hives. Click on the image below for more information.

EBS2

EBS1

HiveTalk Join us tomorrow, Wednesday November 19th at 10 a.m. for another live episode of HiveTalk. We’ll be  talking about   feral colonies trap-outs and cut-outs. These are terms referring to trapping and cutting bee hives from structures. We’ll also talk about how to establish them into hives and related subjects like principles of the bee vac, mistakes to avoid, laws and regulations. Here’s how to join us:

We promise to make this educational and fun. You can make Hive Talk more interesting by calling in and asking questions live, or by logging in on your computer and texting us your question. Here’s how:

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. So you don’t have to worry about keeping your kids or dogs quite. 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 9:50 a.m. central time.  If you want to just listen from your computer, go to: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/129777

Set your alarm and your smart phones. Nov 19th, Wednesday at 10 a.m. central time.

LESSON 166: pH In Honey And What We Feed Bees

pH stands for the power of hydrogen. When you write it, the “p” is lower case and since hydrogen is an element, it is capitalized. Water has a pH of 7. Anything 7 and above is considered an alkaline and anything below 7 is consider to be acidic.

So I grabbed my pH meter and tested different things in my kitchen this morning. Remember, the lower the number the more acidic. I snapped some pictures below so you can see for yourself.

pHCoffee pHgingerale pHHoney pHmilk pHOJ pHvinegar        pHwater

It’s hard to see, but there is a decimal point after the first number. So Coffee is 5.66. My ginger ale is a special kind that I buy that has real, fresh ginger so it is really tart and burns your throat when you swallow. Honey is close to that same pH level. Haven’t you noticed that honey does sometimes make your throat burn just a little. It’s because honey is acidic. That is what aids in preventing bacterial growth. Water is considered having no acidic trace and is around 7 pH. The higher the number the more alkaline. 

I discovered that by adding sugar to water, it actually raised the alkalinity by.09 elevating it further away from the level found in bees’ natural food, honey.  If bees eat honey at a pH of 3.52, then is it possible to increase the acidic content in sugar water to nearly match honey and still be healthy for bees?  I found a great study about this and how adding vitamin C to sugar water increased winter survival by 33%. I explain this today in more detail on my main website at: www.honeybeesonline.com where I’ll show you how I increased the pH in sugar water. Be sure and read my entire article there on my website.

Thanks for joining us for another lesson in beekeeping. See you next time,

David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
www.honeybeesonline.com
217-427-2678

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Beekeeping In 2015: What To Expect For Bees in 2015 www.honeybeesonline.com 217-427-2678 LESSON 165

HellDSo fellow beekeepers and prospective beekeepers! We are David and Sheri Burns and we are excited to share what’s happening with Long Lane Honey Bee Farms and with honey bees in general. Be sure and visit our main website where you can take a beekeeping quiz, reading about swarming, varroa mite control, small hive beetles, how to extract honey and more. http://www.honeybeesonline.com

Today’s lesson will touch on the subject of what to expect in beekeeping in the upcoming 2015 beekeeping season. Before we begin, let me tell you what we’ve been up to lately.

We are wrapping up our beekeeping classes for this year and they were so much fun. We met new beekeepers from all over the US. We had our last beginners class for this year last weekend. We trained prospective beekeepers from Illinois, Tennessee, Missouri, New York, Iowa and Kentucky. We taught over 30 classes this year with our newest class addition, “How To Get Your Bees Through The Winter” which we had to offer three times due to increased interest.

Dr. Jeff Harris I spent two weekends in a row in Arkansas this month. I spoke at the Arkansas state association meeting and I learned a lot from Dr. Jeff Harris and Audrey Sheridan from Mississippi State University. Also in this photo, allow me to introduce my good friend, Jon Zawislak. Jon and I have studied bees together since 2009. Jon is a fellow EAS certified master beekeeper and is the apiculture instructor with the Entomology Department, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture in Little Rock, Arkansas. Jon has taught several of our classes and speaks at our Beekeeping Institute that we hold each year. We are excited about this year’s beekeeping institute in June. Registration is filling up fast. Click here for more information.

HiveTalk Jon and I also produce Hive Talk, an internet radio/podcast program about honey bees. In our last episode we tackled some tough topics about bees, that most people would avoid. But we waded in and had a good time. You can listen to our past episodes on iTunes: http://www.honeybeesonline.com/servlet/Detail?no=316 or Google “Hive Talk”.

Join us on Wednesday November 19th at 10 a.m. for another live episode of HiveTalk. We’ll be  talking about  71013 From iPhone 255 feral colonies trap-outs and cut-outs. These are terms referring to trapping and cutting bee hives from structures.  We’ll also talk about how to establish them into hives and related subjects like principles of the bee vac, mistakes to avoid, laws and regulations. Here’s how to join us:

We promise to make this educational and fun. You can make Hive Talk more interesting by calling in and asking questions live, or by logging in on your computer and texting us your question. Here’s how:

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. So you don’t have to worry about keeping your kids or dogs quite. 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 9:50 a.m. central time.  If you want to just listen from your computer, go to: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/129777

Set your alarm and your smart phones. Nov 19th, Wednesday at 10 a.m. central time.

Jon and I wrote an article for the American Bee Journal and we published a booklet on queen rearing and we continue to hear positive responses on it. It’s entitled, “Raising Quality Queen Bees.” You can download the .pdf at: http://www.uaex.edu/publications/pdf/mp518.pdf  It was published by the University of Arkansas, Division of Agricultural, Research and Extension. Queen rearing is either made complicated, or not detailed enough so we went to work to produce an easy to follow guide to raise queens. Check it out.

farm fall3 Farm Fall2 farm fall4 winterbkind

We are spending every spare minute making our Winter-Bee-Kind candy boards. The weather finally turned cold enough for us to ship them out.  A customer from Chicago has used our Winter-Bee-Kinds on her hives for 2 years and has never lost a hive. She bought 5 more and brought her empty ones to be refilled. We hear more and more of these stories. Remember though, no matter how much good nutrition bees have during the winter, if the varroa mites are spreading viruses, the hive can still perish during the winter.

Our new Burns Bees Feeding System was very well received, so much so that we were overwhelmed with orders and had to take them temporarily offline. Now we have an Amish business near us making them for us so we have placed them back online.

LESSON 165: What To Expect For The 2015 Beekeeping Year.

packages I believe we are faced with some good problems. First, packages, nucs and queens will, once again, be in big demand. Last year beekeepers around the country saw how difficult it was to find bees. It wasn’t impossible, but it took a bit more effort, especially new beginners.  This may very well be the case for 2015. Already one large supplier of packages is sold out.

Secondly, I am hopeful that with the increase in beekeeping conferences, workshops and 71013 From iPhone 281 classes that we’ll start to see healthier bees. Beekeeping can no longer be viewed as hands off. Beekeepers must be well informed to overcome the challenges facing honey bees.

Thirdly, science will continue to reveal more and more insights into how to keep healthier hives. Research and studies are exciting and show a promising future for honey bees. These are days where information and studies are coming out so fast that unless you are connected to this information, you’ll get left behind. Like, did you know, now we are changing the way we understand royal jelly influencing queen development.

Fourthly, the President, Governors, cities and states are starting to protect honey bees. The general public is now awake when it 71013 From iPhone 287comes to the importance of the honey bee. Therefore, 2015 I believe will be a very promising year for honey bees.

Lastly, beekeeping has been elevated to rock start status. When you tell people you are a beekeeper a very common response after the fascination is, “I’ve always wanted to do that.” That when we say, “come on” and encourage others to start keeping bees.  Why not encourage more of your friends and family to keep bees. Do it for the pollination.  Do it for the bees. Do it for the enjoyment.

We impacted thousands of new beekeepers over the last 10 years and we are passionate about continue our efforts to energize the beekeeping hobby. If you are wondering how to energize your family, friends or your bee club or association then check out our list of resources below:

farm fall5 Nov – March Buy Equipment & Bees. Get the word out to order things early. The later you wait, the more likely you’ll miss out on availability or speedy deliveries. We have kits available now that includes packages of bees. Click here.

Jan – Apr Study. We’ll be posting our 2015 classes soon, so keep an eye out and be sure to take a class. Our classes are thorough and complete.

Apr – May Install package or nuc and monitor growth.

May– June continue to provide extra room for growth.

June – Aug provide enough supers.

Aug – Sept remove honey.

Sept – Oct prepare for winter.

Remember, we exist because of the loyalty of our customers who purchase beekeeping equipment from us. Our hives are made right here in central Illinois. For example our Winter-Bee-Kinds are made from wood purchased at a local lumber yard, and our foam insulation is made 45 miles from us in Charleston, Illinois. We appreciate your support of these US made items. Click on the items below to place an order today, and we thank you. Christmas is coming and we know beekeeping will really surprise them!

Two Complete Hives. It’s always better to start with two hives.

2hives

Winter-Bee-Kind

winterbkind

 

 

 

 

Once Complete Hive

Busybee

Equipment Kit

Equipspecial

Burns Bees Feeding System

-10 Frame Feeding System

- 8 Frame Feeding System

BBFS 3hole

Thanks for joining us, and visit us online at: www.honeybeesonline.com or call us Mon – Thur 10-4 central time and Fri- 10 – Noon. 217-427-2678. If you call and cannot get through, please be patient as this indicates we are helping other beekeepers. Just keeping calling back during our regular hours.

Visit our main website where you can take a beekeeping quiz, reading about swarming, varroa mite control, small hive beetles, how to extract honey and more. http://www.honeybeesonline.com

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Be Careful Not To Take Off Too Much Honey. Then You’ll Have To Feed Them…Maybe Feed Them Anyway! Lesson 164: Long Lane Honey Bee Farms 217-427-2678

Hello friends! I hope you have been enjoying these first few days of Fall.  I enjoyed summer and I’m sure you did too. As beekeepers we are all hoping for a few weeks of nice weather before winter is finally here.  Time to visit the pumpkin patch and enjoy fall. I’ve been using the last month to get my bees ready for the winter of 2014-15.

I had a great time in Arkansas last weekend at the Arkansas State Beekeeping meeting. I spent some time with Dr. Jeff Harris and Audrey Sheridan. They are both at Mississippi State University and if you subscribed to Bee Culture you’ll remember seeing Audrey’s column there. Jeff is a professor of Entomology. Jeff joined MSU after working 15 years as a bee breeder with the USDA, ARS Honey Bee Breeding Lab in Baton Rouge, LA.  He is best known for his involvement with other scientists in developing lines of honey bees that express high levels of Varroa Sensitive Hygienic (VSH) behavior. Of course it was great spending time with my good friend and fellow master beekeeper and Arkansas bee specialist Jon Zawislak. After the conference I spent a couple of days with Jon discussing details of a future beekeeping project that we both are excited about.

HiveTalk Speaking of Jon, today Jon and I will be live on the air with HIVE TALK!  Join us at 10 am central time TODAY!. We are in the studio now, warming up the tall red and white tower with the little flashy light on top, sipping on coffee and waiting for the producer to point his finger at us to begin.

We will be talking about a few things NO ONE ever wants to discuss about bees today: biological control of varroa mites with anthropods, predatory mites and psuedoscorpions. We promise to make this educational and fun. You can make Hive Talk more interesting by calling in and asking us a question live, or by logging in on your computer and texting us your question. Here’s how:

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. So that we don’t hear you breathe or your dogs barking, 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 9:50 a.m. central time.  If you want to just listen from your computer, go to: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/129777

Set your alarm and your smart phones, it’s coming up in an hour.

We all know last winter really gave us a run for our money with bees. We gave 4 separate classes on Getting Your Bees Through The Winter. It was very rewarding to us, to finally drive three essential points home to beekeepers on how to get bees through the winter.

One of those points is that beekeepers often take off too much honey. Have you taken off your honey yet? How much should you take off? Most of us want to take off every drop the bees make. After all, honey is selling at a higher price than it ever has. I’ve been amazed over the years, though, as to the number of beekeepers that take off every drop of honey and then wonder why their bees died in the winter. Sometimes bees store their winter honey and pollen in the upper supers. Then in the last summer or fall they carry it down into their deep hive body combs. Beekeepers usually know this, and quickly harvest the honey before the bees can carry it down. If the bees are in need of that honey super and we remove it and bottle it, then bees usually starve in March.

Bees need food in the winter. Otherwise, they will starve. I’ve been beefing up my hives with a lot of sugar water. I’ve been mixing it as 2 parts sugar and 1 part water. As expected my bees have been storing it as honey and sealing it over. Quite impressive!

Before you rob every drop of honey from the hive, keep in mind that in the Midwest, bees need between 60-80 pounds of honey in the hive. The hive without wax or bees weighs 70 pounds. 60,000 bees weigh approximately 20 pounds. Thirty pieces of comb weighs another 5 pounds maybe. That takes us up to 90 pounds without any honey.  So if you pick up the back of your hive to guess at the weight, without any honey it’s going to feel like 90 pounds. That’s heavy. Add another 60 pounds of honey to it and  now it weighs 150 pounds. That’s going to feel like dead weight if you try and lift it with one hand. If it is not extremely heavy from the back, feed, feed, feed!

We are shipping out our Winter-Bee-Kinds as fast as we can. If you placed an order rest assured you will receive it in time to help your bees have food above the winter cluster. Do not become impatient and want to place our WBKs on until the bees cluster. If day time temps are above 50 (f) and bees can fly, feed them 2 parts sugar and 1 part water but not in the entrance. Use an internal feed system.

That’s all for now, I’ve got to prepare for our broadcast in a little bit. See you then hopefully!

David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
www.honeybeesonline.com

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Varroa Mites: Lesson 163 www.honeybeesonline.com 217-427-2678

DSWe all know that if you don’t see any mites, then you don’t have any right? WRONG! If you don’t see any varroa mites, it either means you need to visit your eye doctor or you do not know how to really find them.

Hello, and welcome to another beekeeping lesson from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. We are David and Sheri Burns and we are here to help beekeepers become more successful. And we are also passionate about helping more people become new beekeepers. We need our honey bees to pollinate our fruits and vegetables and we need skilled and educated beekeepers to help make that happen. So thanks for joining us.

Winter Class Our weekend was extremely busy and great. Saturday we taught on “Getting Bees Through The Winter” and then we had the same class with different students on Sunday. We had students from Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa and Ohio. This class will be held again on Oct. 5th, but it has filled up too, so now we are opening up another class on Monday Oct. 6th from 9am-3pm. For those of you who work weekends, now you can join us for a class on Monday. Or just take the day off from work and come learn some awesome ideas about getting bees through the winter. Click here for more information on the Oct. 6th class or go to: www.honeybeesonline.com/servlet/Detail?no=322

One of the featured field events of our weekend beekeeping classes was to sample hives for varroa mites. It is paramount that all beekeepers take mite samples now while there is still time to do something. Most beekeepers have heard about sticky boards, and checking how many mites are on drone pupae. I’d like to share a simple way to assess your mite load. As I demonstrated to the class in the bee yard, I was pleasantly surprised how many of them commented on how easy it was and how they were looking forward to going home and testing their hives. I do realize that reading the description here is not as good as watching it demonstrated in class, but I’ll describe it in detail so you can start looking and evaluating your mite loads.

WHY?

Why bother counting your mite load?  If you have a lots of mites it is unlikely that your hive will NOT survive the winter of 2014-2015. Mites parasitize bees and spread viruses which can cut the individual bee’s life in half. So, a bee born in October can make it through the winter into March if it is healthy. But, if it has been bitten by mites and contracted a virus, it may only live into January. 

Varroa Mite You might think that since you cannot see mites on your bees you do not have mites. I have people tell me they’ve never seen their queen either. If you can’t find your queen, you will not find mites either, but they are there! Mites are small but you can see them if you know where to look. They hide on the backs of bees in the first abdominal segment of the honey bee. It can be hard to see what is hiding. DO NOT ASSUME YOU DO NOT HAVE MITES SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT SEEN ANY.

If you have a hive, you have varroa mites! I strongly believe it is the viruses which are weakening the colony’s health and causing overwintering deaths. The only way to limit viruses is to kill mites that are vectoring these viruses.  It is unfair for any beekeeper to blame chemicals and chemical companies without first monitoring their mite loads.

3 Mites Now that we are at the end of summer and entering fall mites are rapidly increasing. To survive a long cold winter beekeepers need lots and lots of brood now. But if this brood is parasitized by mites, the bees will not make it to spring. Do not trust a visual inspection of bees on comb to assess your mite loads. Here’s what I recommend to determine the percentage of mites in a hive. My personal level is not to exceed 3%, or 3 mites per 100 bees tested. 

Materials Needed

1.  A quart jar for canning, with the ring and separate lid which the ring holds securely. Disregard the lid but keep the ring. Now in place of the ring you’ll need to cut a piece of 1/8” hardware screen. It is small enough to keep bees in, but large enough to let mites pass through.

2.  Two tablespoons of powdered sugar

3.  A piece of cardboard or metal shaped like an L

4.  A measuring cup

5.  A plain white paper plate

Steps To Test For Mites

1.  Place two tablespoons of powdered sugar into your canning jar and keep the lid off.

2.  Open your hive and pull out a frame of bees.

3.  Shake the bees on your cardboard or bent metal so the bees land in the inside of the L shape piece. This will help them slide into your measuring cup.

4.  Pour bees into the measuring cup up to 1/2 cup which is approximately 400 bees. You may have to pour a little above the 1/2 cup mark as some may fly out while pouring them into the canning jar with the screen lid.

5.  Pour bees from the measuring cup into the canning jar and place the screen lid on securely.

6.  Dump excess bees from your L shape board back into the hive.You have to keep mite levels down. I hope you will embrace a 3-5% maximum tolerance for mites.

For the rest of the 14 steps to test for mites, visit my website: www.honeybeesonline.com and go down to #24 on the front main home page.

Join me Monday Oct. 6th “Getting Bees Through The Winter” class and we’ll demonstrate mite counts and much, much more. Click now to register.

a1545 TIP OF THE MONTH:  The next few weeks are the most critical time to increase food stores for the bees to make it through the winter. I am finding wonderful success in our new Burns Bees Feeding System. It allows the beekeeper to feed syrup from the top of the hive, preventing robbing and allowing the bees to still eat during cold fall nights. Plus it provides special screened areas to feed our pollen/sugar patties without smashing bees between deep bodies. Watch our new video on this feeding system.

See you next time!

David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms

M-Thu  10am – 4pm central time
Fri  10am – Noon
217-427-2678

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Honey Bees Deserve Knowledgeable Beekeepers www.honeybeesonline.com 217-427-2678

beeflyingHoney bees need our help. One way we as beekeepers can help is to know as much as we can about managing honey bees. Hi, we are David and Sheri Burns from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms in central Illinois. Beekeeping is awesome! It’s just a hoot. Not only are honey bees essential for the pollination of our fruits and vegetables, but the agricultural benefit of honey bees tops 9 billion a year. In other words, it would cost the United States 9 billion a year to do the work bees do to help us produce food.

While it is true that honey bees have more challenges today, it is not a time to abandon beekeeping. In fact, just the opposite. We need more and more people to start keeping honey bees so that we can restore the population of honey bees needed to support our food supply.

Honey bees deserve knowledgeable beekeepers. Some people don’t keep bees, they just have bees. They are called bee-havers, not beekeepers.  Keeping bees today is rewarding, enjoyable and beneficial. But it does require more knowledge and management skills than it did 30 years ago. That’s why we offer our Basic Beekeeping classes to all new beekeepers. We still have several openings for our October 25th Basic Beekeeping course.

How much do you know about honey bees? The more you know, the better you can care for your bees. I decided it would be fun, educational and revealing to offer a test on honey bees and beekeeping. Take the test and see how much you know. The answers to the questions are located on our website at: www.honeybeesonline.com on the front page under number 21.  Looking at the answers will help you know more about the honey bee and beekeeping. Ready? Here’s 20 questions and good luck.

1. Over time, with continuous use, the diameter of brood cells become larger in size.   a.   True     b.  False

2. Canola honey crystallizes soon after being extracted.     a.  True   b.  False

3. Oxalic acid, used as a mite treatment, is legal in the United States.  a.  True    b.  False

4.  Mature small hive beetles, when fed well, are able to live:   a.  1 month   b.  3 months  c.  6 months   d.  9 months

5.  Beeswax melts at:   a. 120 (f)   b.  132 (f)   c. 145 (f)  d. 170 (f)

6.  The waggle dance in a colony is used to direct other bees to resources that are located in distances greater than _____ meters from the hive.   a.  25   b.  50.   c.  100   d.  200

7.  Honey is 1 to 1.5 times sweeter than sugar?   a.   True   b.  False

8.  A colony preparing to swarm will reduce foraging _____ weeks prior to swarming.  a.  1 week   b.  2 weeks   c.  3 weeks

9.  Dark colored honey is generally higher in antioxidants and minerals than light colored honey.  a.  True   b.  False

10. In a healthy hive the following ration exists:  1 egg to 3 larvae to 6 worker pupae   a.   True     b.   False

11. When entering your honey in a honey show at what moisture level will it be disqualified?  a. 18.5    b.   18.6    c. 19    d.  19.6

12.  To determine whether to fertilize an egg or not, a  queen measures the size of a cell (drone or worker) with her:   a.  Antennae   b.  compound eyes   c.  Front legs

13.  As a virgin queen ages in the hive, the workers become increasingly more aggressive towards her.  a.  True   b.  False

14.  In the winter, a colony begins brood production before there is anything to go out and forage for.  a.  True   b.   False

15.  Varroa mites prefer to reproduce in old brood comb rather than new brood comb.  a.  True   b.   False

16.  How many subspecies of Apis mellifera ( European Honey Bees) are there in the world?  a.  16   b.  23   c.  26.   42

17.  It is easier to introduce a new queen during a nectar dearth than during a heavy nectar flow.  a.   True   b.   False

18.  European foulbrood spores remain viable in brood combs for many years.   a.  True   b.   False

19.  In a healthy colony about _____ of the total comb is drone comb.  a.  10%   b.  3-7%   c.  13-17%  d.  21%

20.  A worker honey bee has  ______ ovarioles in the ovaries.   a.  none    b.  2-12   c.  28-50   d.  100-115

The answers to the above questions are located on our website at: www.honeybeesonline.com on the front page number 21.  Looking at the answers will help you know more about the honey bee and beekeeping.

burnsfeed Before I go, let me issue a warning that now is a VERY CRITICAL time to prepare your bees for winter. There is still time to deal with mites. There is still time to feed your bees.  If you are planning on doing nothing there is a good chance your bees will not survive winter. Our Burns Bees Feeding System is a great way to build up your colony for winter. My daughters, Karee and Jennifer make the protein/sugar patties and the bees absolutely love these!  You can purchase extra patties, because if your bees are like mine right now, they are very much in need of food. Our Burns Bees Feeding System allows you to feed your bees both patties and 2:1 sugar water. The lid is provided with the holes already punched. I’ve noticed it in some of my hives and other beekeepers are reporting that now bees are rapidly consuming their stored resources. Feed Your Bees!!

WBK2014 Look at this Winter-Bee-Kind test we ran last week to test our mixture. Wow!  Bees are loving it. We continue to receive calls daily from new customers and beekeepers re-ordering more of our Winter-Bee-Kind candy boards. These provide upper insulation, ventilation and the important upper exit and entrance.  For several years we have sold these and the impact these have on helping bees not starve in the winter is awesome. Click here to watch our video on how they work.

We look forward to hearing from you. Give us a call with all your beekeeping needs. Monday – Thursday 10am-4pm and on Friday 10am – Noon. 217-427-2678.

See you next time,

David & Sheri Burns

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Honey Bees Are Telling Us Now What They Need To Survive The Winter www.honeybeesonline.com 217-427-2678

Ragweed

I know ragweed has a bad reputation, but I like it. Or should I say my bees like it. Every morning they head out and pack in the pollen. The dust (pollen) from ragweed just falls from the flowers as the bees fly about it.

Hi, we are David and Sheri Burns at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms, and we want to thank you for joining us for another beekeeping lesson/article/blog, whatever you want to call it.

Popup thunderstorms have been the name of the game for the last two weeks. Hot and humid weather has put an end to our bees foraging for nectar. Now, they have only be gathering water to keep the hive cool. They deposit the droplets of water on the shallow parts of the brood comb and then fan it. This is called evaporative cooling. Around noon today it was so hot! I observed one hive in direct sunlight and the bees were pulling air through it as fast as they could. There was no wind and the sun was beating down on the hive; plus it was humid.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been pouring over studies, research, and scientific articles putting he final touches on our new class, “Getting Your Bees Through The Winter.”  I am PUMPED about teaching this class. Man, I cannot wait!  I’m two weeks full of awesome findings and now I can’t wait for winter to try and weaken my hives. Bring it on winter. We still have 8 seats left in our Oct. 5th class. Click here for more information. And we’ve been putting together more and more YouTube Beekeeping videos that we should be posting before long.

We still have a few spots left in our Basic Beekeeping Class on Oct. 25th. Click here for more info.

HiveTalk Our next Hive Talk will be August 28 (Wednesday) at 10 a.m. central time. We’ll be talking about honey. Join us and ask questions live on air or just listen in. 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 9:50 a.m. central time.  If you want to just listen from your computer, go to: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/129777

LESSON: 163 Honey Bees Are Telling Us Now What They Need To Survive The Winter

Today, I want to warn you that your bees are telling you NOW if they will survive the winter. All signs are visible. All surveys and polls are in. You can find out this week how well your bees will do this winter, and prognosticators are calling for another cold and long winter (Farmer’s Almanac). 

Here in Illinois we hit our summer dearth a week or so ago. There is now minimal foraging compared to a month ago. The honey flow is over. In fact, the bees are acting very hungry. The golden rod is starting to bloom, but I have not seen any bees on my .5 acre plot of golden rod. Maybe they have a bigger and better patch they are going to.

I will go over this more in our upcoming “Get Your Bees Through The Winter” class, but right now the colony must raise a lot of brood between now and December. The eggs being laid over the next few weeks will be the bees that will overwinter the colony. BUT, for there to be good brood production now, the hive must have a surplus of nectar and pollen coming in the front door. I’m not going to wait and gamble on a golden rod and aster flow. I am going to stimulate brood rearing starting tomorrow by feeding my bees 2:1 sugar water and my own sugar/pollen patties. Do not use the entrance feeder now or in the fall. That’s only for spring. If you use it now you will likely cause your hive to be robbed by another hive.  It’s time to break out the big guns and bulk up the colonies for winter. 

You may not think so, and you may prefer to wait to see how things go, but here in Illinois our first frost usually hits the end of September or the first of October. That means the bees only have 4 weeks tops to do much. I’ve gambled before on fall nectar flows and lost.

I’m bringing out the big guns and I want to share with you three things my bees are telling me now about winter. It’s all located on my website, www.honeybeesonline.com and you’ll find it as #12 in my list of important beekeeping information on my main page. It’s your choice. You can ignore these early warning signs, but if you do, it will be a miracle if your bees survive the winter.

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

Mon-Thur  10am-4pm central time
Fri- 10-Noon

Call us today: 217-427-2678

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

LESSON 162: Coating The Inside Of Hives With Propolis www.honeybeesonline.com 217-427-2678

DS

Hello from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms, we are David and Sheri Burns. We are located in east central Illinois. With a passion for beekeeping, we’ve dedicated a big part of our lives to promote beekeeping.

In December 2011 I wrote a lesson/article on propolis and in that lesson I said, “Many people are now recommending that we score or scratch the smooth surfaces of the insides of our hives, forcing the bees to add propolis as they would in a natural hive in a tree.” Since that time I have been evaluating more and more studies and the results are very promising. So today I want to share why coating the inside of a hive with propolis can make a difference and I’ll show you how to do it. Before I get into today’s lesson, here’s a few pre-lesson comments.

In 2010 I became a certified master beekeeper to insure our classes are accurate, informative and thorough. One such class is a new class we are offering this year, “Getting Your Bees Through The Winter.”  Our first class, coming up on Sept 6th,  quickly filled up. Then we offered the same class for Sept. 7th and that class quickly filled up. So now we are offering yet a third date for this upcoming class, “Getting Your Bees Through The Winter” on Sunday Oct. 5th from Noon-6pm. Click here to sign up now. It is a good feeling to come out of winter with strong colonies. Beekeepers are making many mistakes that can lead to colonies dying in the winter. In this one day class we’ll discuss the major causes for winter die-outs and what steps beekeepers can take to give their colonies a better chance to survive winter. Don’t wait until the first frost to get your hive ready for winter. Start now because the first day of winter is only 122 days away. Make an investment to be a better beekeeper.

Our Winter-Bee-Kind orders are pouring in! If you have not placed your order yet, please do so soon. We sell both 10 frame and 8 frame WBK, so be sure to order the correct size.  Click here for more information. Our video demonstrating our Winter-Bee-Kind has had nearly 9,000 views! Check it out below. If you cannot view it below go to: http://youtu.be/7sDXqd4DcKc

We started harvesting honey from our hives this week and it was a great honey year. It’s always so rewarding to watch the honey pour out of the extractor. We have the footage, and will soon put together a video on how to extract honey. We’re also making a video for a step by step guide on how to break the queen’s brood cycle in order to help control varroa mites. We just completed footage and that video will be forthcoming soon.

Our recent video and experiment on adding additional wax to plastic foundation generated nearly 1,000 views in a week. I received a lot of emails asking for specifics, so I made another video on specifically how I add wax to frames. You can view it now by clicking here or go to:

http://youtu.be/zHAnCER-eRk?list=UUcilAnkcu67nJwNlgqVKdXw

LESSON 162: Coating The Inside Of Hives With Propolis

Propolis is more than just sticky stuff on frames. Actually more and more studies are showing that colonies with ample amounts of propolis do better by benefiting the bees immune defensive (Simone-Finstrom, et al, 2009). So the idea is to add something to the walls of the hive in order for the bees to coat them with propolis, like they do in a tree in nature. There are several ways to accomplish this:

1) Cut to size a plastic proplis trap screen and staple it onto the inside walls of your hives.

propolis162 2) Gather and save propolis and dilute it in alcohol then brush it on the inside walls of your hives. Ok! I’ll make a video of this too :) Meanwhile, I have posted a complete description on my website on how to do this, step by step. Visit www.honeybeesonline.com for complete details. It is located as item number 39 on our main front page if you scroll down. This method has proven to be more controllable for me. It really isn’t hard to do. The first method may take more time for the bees to actually add propolis to the traps. This second method works great. I’m so impressed. Check out my website for the complete method.

 

 

Prop2 3)  Score or scratch the inside walls of your hive bodies causing the bees to add propolis to smooth it out. Notice what the bees have done to this rough area near a knot on the inside of the hive. The scoring does not have to be very excessive as shown in this photo.

It seems that bees will more readily forage for propolis during a dearth or a slow nectar flow period. So now would be the time to use a trap to gather propolis or staple traps or scratch the inside walls of your hive.

It is important to view propolis as part of the colony’s immune system. Last year Renata Borba , Entomology, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN, spoke at the Entomological Society of America (November 2013) about this very subject. She’s been doing a lot of work on this very subject. She basically discovered that bees in hives with propolis treatments did not have to use their immune systems as much. Also her study found that colonies with more propolis had significantly more brood.

Marla Spivak, PhD, wrote an article on the value of adding propolis to hives and refers to the work of one of her previous graduate students, Mike Simone-Finstrom, “He found that bees exposed to a propolis envelope for just seven days had lower bacterial
loads in and on their bodies, and had ‘quieter’ immune systems compared with bees in a colony with no propolis envelope. In other words, the propolis in the colony was killing off microbes in the nest, so that the bees’ immune systems did not have to gear up and make peptides and cellular responses that fight off infection.”

In a day when everything seems to be working against the bees, why not throw one more thing in their favor.

Here’s my first lesson on propolis:  Or go to:
http://basicbeekeeping.blogspot.com/2011/12/lesson-113-sticky-subject-of-propolis.html 

Thanks for joining us for another beekeeping lesson. Tell your friends about us. See you next time.

David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
217-427-2678  M-Thu 10am-4pm CDT, Fri  10am-Noon

www.honeybeesonline.com