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Long Lane Honey Bee Farms


Discovery: New Bacterium May Be Killing Bees In The Winter

Posted by David Burns on

3 Pound Packages are available online for purchase, but only around 50 left. Click here to order now. Don't wait too long to order or we may be sold out.

Hello, we are David and Sheri Burns at Long Lane Honey Bee Farms/

Serratia marcescens strain sicaria: Killing Bees In Winter?


I worked hard to become an EAS Certified Master Beekeeper so that I can better equip beekeepers on how to do it right. A good master beekeeper is constantly studying new discoveries and reports on honey bees.

Beekeeping is no longer hands-off. You cannot just throw bees in a hive and wait a few months and harvest gallons of honey.

Beekeeping is more challenging now than it ever has bee. A new bacterium called,

Serratia marcescens strain sicaria, more simply named sicaria, which means assassin, and Ss1 for short. This bacterium has been found in bees that die in the winter, and in varroa mites. The dying bees seem to drift away from the winter cluster before dying. It still deserves much more research. This should emphasis how important it is to take a beekeeping class. It sounds like keeping mite levels low all year could reduce this bacterium during the winter. Learning how to keep mite levels below 3% all year is essential for the well being of bees.

List of a few of our 2017 beekeeping classes:

Beekeeping For Beginners Feb 18th 1pm-6pm (Only a couple of spots still open)

Beekeeping For Beginners Feb 25th 1pm-6pm

Spring Management March 4th 9am-1pm

A Day In The Apiary With David May 27th 8:30am-11am

Learn To Raise Your Own Queens June 23rd 9am-3pm

See additional classes we are offering for 2017 by clicking here.


Our Freedom Kit has been a top choice for new beginners. Starting with 2 hives is always a better idea. You can share resources between hives and observe difference between hives. Many years ago when we first started beekeeping (24 years now) we called a beekeeping supply company and admitted on the phone that we didn't know what to buy. The response we got was, well, less than stellar: "when you figure it out, call us back". We decided that when we started our company, our customers would never be left to "figure it out".

After seeing what's out there on the market, our customers come here looking for quality, well constructed, made in America Hives....made right here in Illinois.

Our hive kits are assembled and painted. Made by master craftsmen. These workhorses will outlast your lifetime. Our boxes are rabbet joints to expose LESS wood to the elements, which eliminates cracks and buckles caused by finger joints. Our telescoping top covers are covered with painted aluminum --which will never rust and will stay looking nice for a long time. We do not cut corners with our inner covers either, these will NOT fall apart on you after the first year as some others do.

Hive boxes come complete with all the frames and foundations so you don't need to spend time trying to figure out which frames go with what foundations and what sizes you need. Complete kits, come with FREE entrance feeder! Allow 2 - 3 weeks for delivery. Pick up available, just call! 217-427-2678 or see all of our hive kits at

Test Your Beekeeping Skills

Take our beekeeping test and see how well you do. Answers are available by clicking here. Jot down your answers on a piece of paper then click the above link to compare and see how well you did.

1. What is the main cause of viruses in a colony?

2. How often should you inspect your hive to verify your queen is laying?

3. List three ways to reduce varroa mites without the use of chemicals or acids.

4. List two ways to combat small hive beetles.

5. What does one queen cell on the upper section of comb represent?


1. Small hive beetles can not fly, only crawl.

2. Small hive beetles cannot survive a winter inside a clustered colony of honey bees.

3. Oxalic acid does not kill varroa mites below the capped cell.

4. The universal queen color for 2017 is blue.

5. Honey bees are not on the endangered species list.

6. When a colony swarms they always leave with a new queen and the old
mother queen remains behind with the original colony.

Do You Know What This is? One of the great things about being a beekeeper is that we can continue to learn and become better at what we do. I read that more pilots crash after they have 300 hours of flight time because their confidence exceeds their experience. It's the same for most beekeepers. Keeping bees for a couple of years causes many beekeepers to believe they know every thing there is to know.

One of our subscribers recently sent this photo to me wondering what it means to the overall health of her hive. Wouldn't it be nice to have a certified master beekeeper you can get answers from right away?

Are you sure you know what you are doing? Once you start beekeeping you will have a ton of questions. Every time you inspect your colony you will have twenty question marks floating above your hat and veil. Is the queen laying enough? Why aren't they building up faster? What does that queen cup mean? What is that worm? When do I put my queen excluder on? Why are they clustered under the hive? Yikes, no eggs!

I have expanded my mentorship program to include twenty more subscribers. When you subscribe you become part of our BeeTeam6 mentorship program. Here's what you get for less than $5 a week:

- Access to my personal cell phone to call me when you just don't know

what's going on or you don't know what to do next.

- Access to my personal email to send me photos, videos or questions.

- Access to my cell phone to text question.

- My weekly instructional video.

- A weekly tip, two pages full of new discoveries, best management practices

and more. Example:

With spring approaching gain the spring management tips you need to keep your hives healthy. Sign up now for one of these twenty openings before they are taken. Click here now for more information.

Sheri and I want to thank you for the opportunity to help you with all your beekeeping needs. Thank you for supporting a small, family business.

We are located in east-central Illinois, about 40 miles East of Champaign/Urbana, Illinois

217-427-2678 or visit us online at:

  • Beekeeping
  • packages of bees
  • varroa mites
  • making splits
  • beekeeping supplies

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