Lesson 131: How To Find Your Queen www.honeybeesonline.com 217-427-2678

Oh that queen can be so challenging to find sometime. Today, I’m going to give you a few tips to help you find your queen. Before we get into today’s lesson let me say hello from Long Lane Honey sdairportBee Farms. It is so nice working with the finest customers. We enjoy learning about your family and why you are interested in beekeeping. We have such a great relationship with our customers. We look forward to meeting you too, if you are just now getting to know us better. We are David and Sheri Burns, and we operate Long Lane Honey Bee Farms in central Illinois. We are located about 35 miles east of Champaign, Illinois where the University of Illinois is located. We manufacture beekeeping equipment and sell all things related to beekeeping such as smokers, suits, hive tools, protective hats and veils, gloves, queen excluders, feeders, and we even sell packages of bees, nucs (a nucleus hive) and queens that we raised here on our bee farm (apiary).

Class In addition to all of this we also specialize in premier beekeeping classes. We are both passionate advocates for helping teach and guide people into the wonderful hobby of beekeeping. When you take one of our beekeeping classes, you can rest assured that you are being taught by a competent EAS certified master beekeeper, one of only 130 in the world. A master beekeeper does not just have book knowledge or has passed rigorous tests,  but must have years of experience as a serious beekeeper in some aspect of apiary management such as a very dedicated hobbyist, working as a commercial beekeeper or as an apiary inspector. A certified master beekeeper must have an equivalent of a college level course in beekeeping and be well read in apicultural literature. Come join deadbeemitemaster beekeeper David Burns for either his Beginning Classes, Advance Classes or Queen Rearing Classes. Click here to read more information on our classes.  We have three Basic classes coming up Feb 23rd, March 9th, and March 23rd, 2013.(The February 9th class is full). We have people from other states take our classes. You can fly in to Indianapolis International Airport (1 1/2 hours from us) or Chicago ( 2 1/2 hours from us). Why not come and hang out with David and Sheri for the day.

Or come spend the week learning about bees at our 5 day Beekeeping Institute, June 17-21, 2013. We’ve built a new Beekeeping Education Center. For more information on our week long Beekeeping Institute, click here


So many new beekeepers find it almost impossible to find their queen, especially if she is not marked with a color of paint. Here’s some helpful pointers.

Queen Retinue 1. Choose the right frame. Queens are laying machines so she will be on a comb which has open cells which she can lay in. You’ll seldom find a queen on a full frame of honey or pollen and rarely on a frame of sealed brood. When you start seeing eggs in cells, your queen will be close by.

2. Watch for a circle of bees around your queen, called a retinue. These are the bees that are carrying for the queen. Sometimes you’ll find the queen moving without a retinue, so you may not see this circle of bees every time.

3. Visible comb around the queen. On very crowded frames of bees, often the queen will leave a small opening behind her. In this picture, there is almost 2 cells visible behind the queen. It takes a few seconds for the bees to fill in behind her, so you might be able to see an opening on the comb and find the queen ahead of it.

4. The queen has distinct unique characteristics:Queen3

a. Longer than a worker bee.

b. More slender than drones.

c. Her thorax is more prominently visible than workers. (Compare in photo)

d. Her wings do not extend to the end of her abdomen like that of a worker.

e. Her legs will appear more „spidery” or longer as she is laying eggs.

To watch a video of us finding a queen, picking her up, marking her and placing her in a queen cage with attendants,CLICK HERE and look at the last video on the page.

We work hard to encourage more people to become new beekeepers, and we want to thank our customers who share us with others. You can also forward these lessons to others, or send them a link to our website: www.honeybeesonline.com We appreciate it so much!

facebook One of the ways we can share with you on a daily basis is through our Facebook page. Last week on our Facebook page we posted a picture of a strange looking comb. Everyone took a guess and then we posted what it actually was. This is a lot of fun. Sometimes we talk about our family, sometimes about bees, honey recipes and much more. And our Facebook page is a great way for us to keep in touch with our customers and friends. Click here to like us on our Facebook page today. If you happen to be the 100th like you will receive a gift certificate.

TIP OF THE DAY: Be aware that if you wrap your hive too tightly, you may actually increase excessive condensation inside the hive. This excess moisture could be very bad for your bees. An upper vent is very helpful to our colonies as it provides a way to reduce upper condensation in the hive. Our Winter-Bee-Kinds provide this upper ventilation.

Winter-Bee-KindWINTER-BEE-KIND: In the event that your weak hive goes into winter, but runs out of food, we suggest you use one of our WINTER-BEE-KIND boards that feeds the bees, provides insulation of the top to reduce moisture and allows trapped moisture to escape through the top. Order our Winter-BEE-Kind board by clicking here. You can put them on quickly even during the middle of the winter.


Feel free to contact us at:

Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
14556 N 1020 East Road
Fairmount, IL 61841
(217) 427-2678

Thanks for joining us for another beekeeping lesson. We appreciate your business and interest in Long Lane Honey Bee Farms.

Please visit our online beekeeping store and lessons at: www.honeybeesonline.com

Please let others know about these lessons and our business. We appreciate you spreading the word! TipJarYour donations help us continue our work and research on the honey bee, such as our recent development of our Winter-Bee-Kind. These lessons are free and will provide you with as much if not more information than you would find in a $30 book. So consider making a $30 donation so that we might continue these lessons, CLICK HERE TO DONATE $30 or go to:


Thank you in advance.

David and Sheri Burns

Long Lane Honey Bee Farms

217-427-2678 Website: www.honeybeesonline.com

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