Long Lane Honey Bee Farms
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms is a sustainable, family farm. While we certainly have to run some aspects of it like a small business --taxes, employee benefits, etc.--our goal here is very different than you'll find in a walmart bee supply company. Our vision for our farm is to be highly sustainable by earning a living off of our farm, to teach our kids how to eat out of the backyard, how to care for animals so they will care for us, and to be concerned about the environment by learning to live as naturally and organically as possible. You won't find us here behind big mahogany desks in a nice office watching the money roll in -- and while there's not a thing wrong with that--it's just not our focus. Our focus is on beekeeping, and that's what we do here, day in and day out. So even though you might not catch us home the first time you call (we're probably in the queen yard or at the lumber yard) and you'll have to try us again, we can answer your questions for you because this is what we do--beekeep. You won't get a bank of customer service reps who have probably never stuck their head in a beehive before, you get answers from beekeepers here. You may wonder if we're big enough to provide for your needs, and the answer is a resounding "yes". We make all our own woodenware right here, and we can get you any equipment you might need, supply the bees for you in the spring, and get your queen to you in the summer if you need another one.
While David is a beekeeper from way back, he and our son DT first began our beekeeping equipment business about 5 years ago when they made and sold a beehive on Ebay. After that, their hobby exploded into a business that is today called Long Lane Honey Bee farms. We sell package bees, our very own Illinois Pioneer Queen, woodenware, beekeeping equipment and of course, honey. We teach classes, do school presentations, remove swarms----if it has to do with beekeeping, we do it! DT has now gone on to other things, like getting married and moving to another town, but the rest of the family pitches in. Karee, our youngest daughter at 20, heads up the shipping department and our son Seth now takes on the load left behind by DT. I answer the phones, do all the computer work, and accounting. I help teach the beginner's classes and a couple of the short 2-hour blitzes (cooking with honey, marketing your honey).
We do lots of mentoring and teaching, and we set beginners up with everything they need. Most days of the week (in nice weather) David (and often me!) can be found outside with several people around him as he shows beehives, queen mating yards, and how to use equipment. Try to do that in a walmart bee supply company!
It can be daunting to a new beekeeper to look at one of those huge glossy catalogs and not know what in the world they need to buy. So we break it down into manageable bits, teach them what they need to know, show them what they need to do, and then be here for them when they have questions and concerns.
The website is located at http://www.honeybeesonline.com/.