Where ever you live in the world you should apply the information on working your bees that is given below when the weather conditions in your area are right. So take notes and be ready.

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Cletus Notes

Hello everyone,

At this time of year (December) here at Lone Star Farms in Bryan, Texas, we are concerned about the mite count, the hive population and the food stores for the bees to winter on. As most of you know by now, we never place any kind of chemical in our hives. By using hygienic queens along with good management techniques, there is never a need to use chemicals.

It’s important for everyone to understand that this time of year (In the South) it’s not unusual for the hives mite count to appear higher than normal. The breeding mites have no place to retreat to, because there are fewer brood cells available for them to breed/hide in. That means the mites are out in the open. This would be a great time to perform a powdered sugar treatment because of the mite’s exposer.

 We take the time to equalize our hives and to unite hives that have smaller hive populations. By doing so, our winter lose is less than 1% and our hives are strong in early spring for the honey flow. Our bees will go through the winter with a minimum of thirty-five to forty pounds of food stores. Those of you who live in much colder places should make sure your bees have a higher amount of stores available to them.

There are two types of beekeepers out there. There’s the psychic beekeeper that never has to open/work the hive in order to know what’s going on and then there’s the beekeeper who actually works their hive. If you want to be successful in beekeeping, be the beekeeper who works their hive. Enjoy your bees!

Dennis Brown


UC Davis Bee Researchers Write
About Bee Immunity
and Toxin Metabolism


When honey bees shift from nurse bees to foragers, or from caring for the brood to foraging for nectar and pollen, the bees “turn on” gene expression with products that protect against microorganisms and degrade toxins, three scientists at the University of California, Davis scientists have discovered.
The paper on bee immunity and toxin metabolism was published Nov. 9 in
Scientific Reports, part of the Nature Publishing Group.

“First, the results suggest that forager bees may use antimicrobial peptides—short sequences of amino acids with general activity-- to reduce microbial growth in stored food resources,” said
Rachel Vannetteof the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. “This would be a largely unrecognized way that bees protect honey and potentially other stored resources from microbial spoilage. Second, this work shows that forager bees produce toxin-degrading enzymes in nectar-processing tissues.”

Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology


Native Field-foraging Bees Exposed
to Neonicotinoid Insecticides
and Other Pesticides

United States Geological Survey

According to the first-ever study of pesticide residues on field-caught bees, native bees are exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides and other pesticides. This report was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

This research focused on native bees, because there is limited information on their exposure to pesticides. In fact, little is known about how toxic these pesticides are to native bee species at the levels detected in the environment. This study did not look at pesticide exposure to honey bees.

"We found that the presence and proximity of nearby agricultural fields was an important factor resulting in the exposure of native bees to pesticides," said USGS scientist Michelle Hladik, the report's lead author. "Pesticides were detected in the bees caught in grasslands with no known direct pesticide applications."

Although conservation efforts have been shown by other investigators to benefit pollinators, this study raises questions about the potential for unintended pesticide exposures where various land uses overlap or are in proximity to one another.

The research consisted of collecting native bees from cultivated agricultural fields and grasslands in northeastern Colorado, then processing the composite bee samples to test for 122 different pesticides, as well as 14 chemicals formed by the breakdown of pesticides. Scientists tested for the presence of pesticides both in and on the bees.

The most common pesticide detected was the neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam, which was found in 46 percent of the composite bee samples. Thiamethoxam is used as a seed coating on a variety of different crops. Pesticides were not found in all bee samples, with 15 of the 54 total samples testing negative for the 122 chemicals examined.

Although this study did not investigate the effects of pesticide exposures to native bees, previous toxicological studies have shown that the chemicals do not have to kill the bees to have an adverse effect at the levels of exposure documented here.

For example, neonicotinoids can cause a reduction in population densities and reproductive success, and impair the bees' ability to forage. Follow-up research is now being designed to further investigate adverse effects at these exposure levels.

There are about 4,000 native species of bees in the United States. They pollinate native plants like cherries, blueberries and cranberries, and were here long before European honeybees were brought to the country by settlers. In addition, many native bees are quite efficient crop pollinators, a role that may become more crucially important if honey bees continue to decline.

This paper is a preliminary, field-based reconnaissance study that provides critical information necessary to design more focused research on exposure, uptake and accumulation of pesticides relative to land-use, agricultural practices and pollinator conservation efforts on the landscape. Another USGS studypublished in August discovered neonicotinoids in in a little more than half of both urban and agricultural streams sampled across the United States and Puerto Rico.

"This foundational study is needed to prioritize and design new environmental exposure experiments on the potential for adverse impacts to terrestrial organisms," said Mike Focazio, program coordinator for the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program. "This and other USGS research is helping support the overall goals of the White House Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinatorsby helping us understand whether these pesticides, particularly at low levels, pose a risk for pollinators."

More information can be found on this paper at http://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/2015-11-04-pesticides_bees.html. USGS research on the occurrence, transport and fate of pesticides can be found with the USGS Toxic Substance Hydrology Program webpage or the USGS Pesticide Fate Research project in California. Stay up to date with USGS Environmental Health science by signing up for our GeoHealth Newsletter at http://www.usgs.gov/envirohealth/geohealth/.


The First Human Uses of Beeswax Have Been Established in Anatolia in 7000 BCE

Nature is publishing the article in which the UPV/EHU lecturers Alfonso Alday and the late Lydia Zapata participated

University of the Basque Country

The current loss of bee populations as a result of pesticides, viruses and parasites has increased awareness about their economic importance and essential role in farming societies. Our relationship with bees stretches way back before modern farming, which is shown, for example, in various depictions in Ancient Egypt or, going back even further, in the prehistory of the Iberian Peninsula, as in the famous panel in the Araña rock shelter in Bicorp, Valencia. But in actual fact, until now we have had no direct information as to when and where our interest in bees and their products came about. This is what this piece of work is about.

Given that beeswax is a unique lipid complex, its 'biological footprint', which is fairly degradation resistant, can be identified in the study of the organic residues preserved in archaeological sites. With this aim in mind, the international research team led by the School of Chemistry of the University of Bristol, analysed ceramic vessels of the Neolithic period in the Near East, Europe and North Africa. "Now we know that beeswax was used continuously from the seventh millennium BCE, probably as an integral part in different tools, in rituals, cosmetics, medicine, as a fuel or to make receptacles waterproof," explained Alfonso Alday, lecturer in the Prehistory Area and, together with the late Lydia Zapata, a UPV/EHU participant in the research.

Farming emerged during the Neolithic era in various spots in the Middle East, and on occasions it had unexpected consequences: the opening up of forests to gain land and pastures encouraged the development of landscapes in which bushes and flowers provided environments suited to bees. In some way, the bees were the 'pursuers of agriculture', spreading their habitat as more farmland was being prepared.

The work on over 6,400 prehistoric vessels has specified the where and when of the first uses of beeswax. Now we know that the oldest evidence of it is to be found in Neolithic sites in Anatolia (Cayonü) in the seventh millennium BCE, in other words, corresponding to the oldest pottery cultures in the region. It is in this same area that the famous Çatalhöyük settlement is located and from which comes an ancient pictorial depiction of a bees' nest. The use of beeswax has also been detected in prehistoric populations in the north-west of Anatolia; it has been dated between 5,500 and 5,000 years BCE often mixed with the fat of ruminants.

In Europe the first known finds are somewhat later: in Greece around 4900-4500, in Rumania from 5500-5200 onwards, and in Serbia in 5300-4600. We are aware of its use round about the same time in Central Europe in the Neolithic culture of Austria and Germany. More recent are the French and Slovenian cases. On the Iberian Peninsula the 130 receptacles analysed have not preserved any remains of wax, so it is necessary to conduct further research given than in Levantine art there are various depictions of bees: "You have to bear in mind the fact that the detection of signs of lipids of the wax inside the vessels is very low and that the number of receptacles analysed in Iberia is still very low," but the logical thing is that the bees would also have found suitable environments to develop on the Iberian Peninsula since the beginnings of farming, in other words, about 5,500 years ago," added Alday.

On the other hand, in this work we have shown that in Denmark and in the British Isles the use of bee products was earlier than expected, while the absence of evidence above parallel 57 on the Eurasian Steppe is probably indicating to us the ecological limit of bee colonies.