We are David and Sheri Burns from Long Lane Honey Bee
Farms and honeybeesonline.com
What will beekeeping be like in 2020? Many new approaches along with reiterating proven methods will help 2020 be one of the most successful years in beekeeping.
Today I want to share my TOP 10 TIPS for beekeeping in 2020, what I call, "Hive Insight Is 2020".
1. Closely monitor your mite counts.
- Test every 30 days.
- Keep deligent test results and identify trends.
2. Feed your bees more aggressively and include protein.
3. Carefully monitor your queen to ensure an abundance of eggs.
4. Share resources between hives early in the year.
5. Gain additional education from a reliable source.
6. Leave generous amounts of honey on the hive.
7. Demand excessive growth and build up in populations, especially in the fall to support bees of winter physiology.
8. Keep diligent notes on each hive.
9. Feed heavily whenever there is not honey supers on.
10. Never throw in the towel.
Although bees can die in the winter from issues beyond our control and even after we did everything perfectly, most winter die offs can be traced back to preventable problems which reduced the overall health of the colony at some earlier point.
Not everything is our fault. However, to move past a lack of success we do need to ask IF there is something we are doing wrong and IF something needs to be changed.
Sometimes people bring me their dead hives and ask me to examine it and tell them why their bees died. But I don't need to look at the hive. I just need to ask them 5 basic questions:
1. Show me on paper how you charted your mite test counts through the year.
2. What did you do to aggressively reduce mites and show me the data where this worked.
3. Did you inspect every two weeks for brood productivity and was it ever weak or failing? If so what did you do immediately to remedy the issue, such as replacing the queen?
4. Did you start feeding your bees 1:1 sugar water and protein immediately after the nectar flow slowed in late summer?
5. Did you provide continuous food via candy board with protein all winter?
No expert can look at a pile of dead bees and have any idea why they died. The underlying cause of a winter die off usually happened months ago and finally took its toll in the winter. By that time, unless exceptional notes were taken all year, the underlying cause is gone.
I'm going to step out on a limb and fall back on my decades of beekeeping experience and workings with thousands of beekeepers from across the country and give my top reason, in my opinion, why bees die in the winter.
Lack of education and skill sets to keep bees alive.
It doesn't matter if a beekeeper has 1,000 hives or has been doing it for 50 years. What matters is if a beekeeper really has the knowledge, education and skill sets needed to read a colony and to quickly identify issues as soon as they happen. As part of my Beekeeping Institute I would divide up the students in small groups and have 3 or 4 groups meticulously inspect the same colonies at different times and write up a full report. I would then have a spokesperson from each group give a report in front of the entire group on each hive. Never was a report the same. In fact, usually they were nowhere close. One would report no eggs spotted, while another group would say they spotted plenty of eggs from the same hive.
It is very difficult for a beekeeper to inspect their colony objectively with an open mind. New beekeepers, especially, will say things like, "I had lots of bees" or "I had lots of honey." Rarely will a beekeeper tell me that their fall larvae lacked adequate royal jelly in the base of cells, or that they had an abundance of nurse bees in the fall to support raising bees of winter physiology.
We are inundated with beekeeping classes on every corner, but most are teaching basics, old paradigms expecting new results. This is 2020. It's time beekeepers enter into a new decade of beekeeping armed with an advance understanding of keeping bees alive by knowing how to read bees and how to immediately respond at the first sign of weakness or failure in a colony.
Finally, so many people tell me that their mentor, who started them in beekeeping, really didn't know what they were doing. This is true of every hobby. There are people of various skill levels and sometimes the help and guidance is well intended, but lacking.
So consider by 10 Insights for 2020 above and step up your beekeeping game.
Gaining Hive Insight For 2020 Is A Must
Do Not Keep Settling For Less
BECOME A BETTER BEEKEEPER IN 2020
EAS Master Beekeepers David Burns & Jon Zawislak
(An Intermediate Course for Those With Experience in Beekeeping)
Three Rivers Beekeepers is offering an Intermediate Beekeeping Course on January 18th (8:30 am to 5:00 pm). Come and advance your beekeeping skills learning tips and tricks from Master Beekeepers.
WHEN: Saturday, January 18th (8:30 am to 5:00 pm)
WHERE: University of Missouri Extension Center at 260 Brown Rd. in St. Peters, MO 63376
HOW MUCH: $50.00 per person (including Lunch)
Hive Sight Is 2020 Material - Starting February 1st
In the spring of 2016 I started a mentorship beekeeping coaching program, inviting 200 people. It filled up so quickly. Starting Feb. 1, 2020 I'll be presenting my material known as, "Hive Insight Is 2020", providing you with how to get past your beekeeping limitations and advance into truly understanding how to best manage and succeed in beekeeping in 2020.
For less than $5 a week, beekeeper receive information, videos and access to me personally at any time.
We have several openings and now would be a great time to join heading into spring and going through my material, "Hive Insight Is 2020".
Are You Sure You Know What You Are Getting Into?
Sign up today and join EAS Certified Master Beekeeper, David Burns for a top notch beginners class. Our first Beginners class still has openings for February 1st. Presented at our training center located approximately 40 miles east of Champaign, Illinois. Click here today
Here's our newest hive kit complete with package of bees. Available Now!
One deep hive body and a honey super with 10 frames and foundation, premium inner cover, metal covered top cover, one entrance reducer, and FREE ENTRANCE FEEDER (although we think you'll want to switch to the 3 Season Burns Bees feeding system). Great for the beginner to add more boxes to, or as a gift for the hobbyist in your life who wants to get started in beekeeping.
This kit comes with a 3 lb package of bees. We can either ship your hive (not the bees) to you now, or you can arrange to pick it up for a discount, then come back in late April to pick up your package of bees. Many of our customers sign up for a class
and pick up all their needed items at the same time.
I'm glad you are keeping bees or thinking about it. Thank you for supporting our family business for all your beekeeping needs.
David and Sheri Burns
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms