LESSON 114: 6 Ways You Can Help Save Honey Bees www.honeybeesonline.com 217-427-2678

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Hello from David & Sheri Burns at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. We had a wonderful Christmas and we are looking forward to 2012. Already the new bee year is in FULL SWING!

In today’s lesson, I’ll be sharing 6 ways you can help save the honey bees. We MUST increase the number of people keeping hives so that we can maintain adequate pollination of our crops, vegetables and orchards.

Before today’s lesson, let me share with you some important beekeeping events, products  and services we are offering here at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms.

Lesson114bFirst, one of our specialties is education. We have many beekeeping educational opportunities throughout the year. In fact, in 2012 we will be offering 12 beekeeping classes. Our first class was held on Saturday and was completely full. We always have lots of students from the Chicago area, and even though Chicago had 7 inches of snow, we only had a few students that could not make it due to the weather.

Lesson114cOur classes fill up fast. Here’s why others tell us they prefer our classes over others. They are one day classes. Our classes are taught by a certified master beekeeper. Our students become our friends and we are committed to their future success. Our classes are very educational but fun too! There are plenty of nice hotels and restaurants in the area so plan to join us for a class this year.

Lesson114aOur next class is our Advance Beekeeping Class coming up February 11th. Sign up now!

You can click on the links for more information:

FEBRUARY 11, 2012 ADVANCE BEEKEEPING SKILLS

MARCH 24, 2012 BASIC BEEKEEPING

MAY 12, 2012 HOW TO RAISE YOUR OWN QUEENS

JUNE 15th-16th, 2012 TWO DAY QUEEN REARING COURSE

FREEDOMFREE SHIPPING on our Freedom, Liberty and Independence beekeeping kits. Take advantage of huge savings on free shipping until January 25th. All of our hives are painted and assembled, ready to go. Order now to avoid the busy season.

wintercandyWe have WINTER-BEE-KIND candy boards on our hives and once again they are doing great. Here in Illinois our winter was mild until about two weeks ago. Then, the bottom dropped out and we fell into the single digits. Early January was so record setting warm that the bees were flying daily. While some new beekeepers might feel this is good, it is not. Many warm days in a row means the bees eat through lots of winter stores of honey. When it’s colder, the bees cluster, remain calm and eat very little. So now many beekeepers will find that there bees will be lacking sufficient food to make it through the winter. I used to worry about this but now our Winter-Bee-Kind boards give me confidence to know that my bees have food should they run out. 

winter2We’ve been monitoring our Winter-Bee-Kind boards and it is amazing how much they have eaten. A strong hive needs good nutrition. We now mix in an ample supply of pollen powder into our Winter-Bee-Kinds and it is giving the bees the protein and nutrition they need to survive the winter.  You can put them on even on cold days by removing the top and inner cover, place it on with the candy facing down, and place your top back on and leave off the inner cover. Give your bees a treat by making sure they have enough food. Click here for more information on our very popular Winter-Bee-Kind candy boards.

Look at this video taken in early January showing how well the Winter-Bee-Kind works and it has an upper entrance/vent as well as an insulation panel all built in as one unit.

Lesson73bWARNING: Our packages of bees are selling out fast. We estimate that we will be sold out in 2 weeks, so please consider placing your orders soon!  Each year thousands of potential beekeepers wait too long and cannot find packages. We have packages that are shipped or available for pickup here in Illinois. Order online at: www.honeybeesonline.com or call us at 217-427-2678

Now, for today’s lesson. I want to share 6 ways you can help save the honey bee.

1. Start Keeping Bees

There is a tremendous interest in beekeeping. So many people are getting back to nature, planting their own gardens, buying small farms, eating local food and striving to be more self sufficient. As a result, more and more people are putting bees on their farms for pollination and to provide a natural sweetener.

Lesson114dRemember as a kid how you had to be careful when you went barefooted across the backyard not to step on a honey bee. Not too  long ago, it was common to have a jar of honey on the table as a natural sweetener and often it had a big chunk of comb in the jar. Remember seeing your grandpa or dad out there having so  much fun working the bees. We need to rally folks to help restore beekeeping back to the way it was, when there were plenty of bees to pollinate our crops.

gardenhivecoppertop If your garden and orchards are not producing like they should, it may be that they are not being adequately pollinated. Please consider placing a couple of hives in your area. Bees can fly up to three miles, so you’ll be helping out others in your area too. Maybe you’ve always wanted to keep bees. Perhaps you’ve thought about it each year but waited too long. Read our special article for those interested in starting this year.

2. Encourage Others To Keep Bees

ituneimageIf you are a beekeeper you are in a perfect position to encourage someone else to keep bees. Ask them to assist you as you work your hives and give them a jar of raw honey. They’ll noticed the difference from store bought honey. Help set up their new hive and help install their new package. A couple of buddies that live near each other might want to keep bees. So many great friendships have been started through beekeeping.

Also, consider encouraging young men and women to keep bees. We need more young people to enter into beekeeping. Young beekeepers ensure a solid future in beekeeping. Beekeeping is a beautiful way to teach many categories of science to young children. It is also a great way to teach responsibility and work ethics.

3. Be An Ambassador For The Honey Bees

Even though public awareness of honey bees is really good, honey bees are sometimes viewed in the wrong way. Some people immediately are scared of honey bees and pass along wrong information such as all bees are killer bees. That’s not true at all. We now have queens that are so gentle that there is no reason to have a defensive hive. It is very easy to requeen an overly defensive hive and in 45 days the new queen will have produced bees that reflect her gentleness.

Speak positively about beekeeping and honey bees. Share with others that 1 out of 3 bites of food is a result of honey bee pollination. Tell others that raw honey never spoils and has many proven health benefits.

IMG_7398If you are a beekeeper, do not pass up opportunities to speak at schools, clubs and civic organizations. Talk with your local newspaper or TV stations and see if they are interested in doing a story on honeybees.

If you remove honeybees from homes, always call the news stations and ask them to do a story on the removal of honeybees from a home. When they interview you, speak positively about the need for honeybees. Be a good ambassador of the honey bee.

4. Buy USA Raw Honey

JesseExtracting6With so many beekeepers bottling US raw honey directly from their hives, there is no reason to purchase honey from unknown sources. Support your local beekeepers by buying local honey. It has even been suggested that raw honey from your local area can help relieve some allergies. By buying honey from a local beekeeper you are helping them continue their hobby or business.

5. Let Roadways, Ditches and Fields Grow Wild

Dadelion2For bees to have sufficient nutrition a variety of pollen and nectar is needed. Bees that have only one type of floral source are not able to receive the balance of nutrition needed. One way you can help is to allow wild flowers to grow freely along roadways, ditches, yards and fields. Every spring dandelions fill yards. These dandelions are needed by the bees for their first real strong source of nectar following a long winter. Yet, so many people use chemicals to destroy dandelions. Do your part and allow these and other flowers to grow freely, giving the bees the variety of nectar and pollen they need for a good start in the new year.

If you have fields available for cover crops consider planting clover, alfalfa or buckwheat.

6. Reduce Harmful Spraying Around Yards, Gardens & Orchards

Finally, be careful when spraying your yard, garden and trees with insecticides.  When you use an insecticide powder dusting, bees can pick up this toxic chemical and carry it back into their hive which will kill the hive. Avoid using chemicals which are harmful to bees.  If you live near agricultural fields start an open dialog with the farmer. Have your farmer notify you when chemicals will be used. This will give you time to either temporarily move your hives during the spraying or to seal the entrances to your hives to protect them from spraying.

Please forward this on to others so they too can help save the honey bee!

Thanks for joining us for another lesson from Long Lane Honey Bee Farms. Here is our contact information:

Check out our website: www.honeybeesonline.com
Phone: 217-427-2678
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