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.

*****Check out the new easy to use book link above*****

Cletus Notes

Hello Everyone,

Here on Lone Star Farms in Bryan, Texas we usually check out the mite level in our hives this month.

We like to use the Kelley screen bottom board that comes with the slide in monitoring board. It is easy to use and it doesn`t disrupt the activities inside the hive. We merely paint a thin layer of vegetable oil on the board and slide it in the groove on the bottom board. We pull the board out and count the number of mites on the board after a twenty-four hour period. In my book “Beekeeping: A Personal Journey” I cover the acceptable levels of mite load according to the time of year.

If the mite load is too high, we will treat the hive using powdered sugar. Most books you read will tell you to treat the hive once every week for three weeks. This is not good information. You should treat each for a period of “four” weeks in order to cover the “Drone” brood which hatches in twenty-four days. Drone brood contains 80% of the mite load. If you only treat for twenty-one days you have missed the larger portion of mite load.

To treat a hive you should sprinkle one-cup of powdered sugar into each box on the hive. You should separate each box to perform the treatment not just dump the powdered sugar on the top box and hope that it goes down to the lower box. When you treat each box, leave some of the powdered sugar on the top bar of each frame. Most books will tell you to scrape it off down between the frames. If you leave some on the top bars, it will act like a time release. The bees will over time knock it down between the frames as they move around inside the hive.

You should perform this treatment once a week for four weeks. After that time, perform another mite load test. If the mite level is still too high after that second four week treatment, you should re-queen with a hygienic queen. If it is too late in the season to purchase a new queen, you will need to perform more powdered sugar treatments until it gets too cold in order to help keep the hive alive until a queen becomes available.

Finally, you should splash water under each have after each powdered sugar treatment. Powdered sugar will pass through the hive and land on the ground below the hive. The water will dissolve the powdered sugar. The bees in the area will forge under the hive to pick up the sweet sugar if present and in doing so the mites that have fallen to the ground will merely hitch a ride on a forging bee and return to that bees hive.

Enjoy your bees.



U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Officers and Partners Seize
132 Drums of Illegally Imported Chinese Honey

MIAMI– On Aug. 12, Import Specialists from the Miami based Agriculture & Prepared Products Center of Excellence & Expertise (APP Center) in collaboration with U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Officers and Special Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Chicago, seized around 42 tons of illegally imported Chinese honey.  This represents the third such significant seizure of honey in four months.

The honey was contained in 132 fifty-five gallon drums that were falsely declared as originating from Taiwan to evade anti-dumping duties applicable to Chinese-origin honey.  The evaded anti-dumping duties on this shipment of Chinese honey would be nearly $180,299 based on the rates imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, had CBP not intervened.

Prior to seizing the smuggled honey, samples were sent to the CBP Laboratory for analysis, where it was determined that the honey had a greater than 99 percent probability match with honey originating from China.

Import Specialists have been working with HSI agents on honey transshipment for years following concerns from industry experts about how anti-dumping circumvention schemes like the one announced today foster a divergent market which severely disadvantages legitimate importers, processors and end-users of honey versus those who place cost above truth-in-labeling.  Today’s seizure follows a string of successful criminal prosecutions by HSI Chicago agents of multiple U.S. importers convicted of illegally transacting in smuggled Chinese honey disguised as Taiwanese – among many other false origins – who were ultimately sentenced and subsequently deported.

“Customs and Border Protection considers Trade Enforcement a priority since it levels the playing field for legitimate companies. The agency certainly does not want questionable companies having a competitive edge because they choose not to correctly describe their products to evade duties,” stated Center Director for Agriculture & Prepared Products Center of Excellence & Expertise Dina M. Amato.

Upon successful forfeiture of the honey to the United States following the government’s ongoing investigation into the full supply chain, the seized honey will be destroyed.

With the recent enactment of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA), Congress recognized that industries and companies that circumvent U.S. law and regulation remain a risk to this nation’s economic security.  Among its provisions, TFTEA requires CBP and HSI to collaborate to enhance trade enforcement.  One of the ways of meeting this requirement comes in the form of an increased and more focused perspective by CBP in the trade arena.

Over the past few years, CBP has stood up ten industry based Centers of Excellence & Expertise as part of CBP’s plan to become more industry and account focused in order to protect the interests of legitimate businesses.  These Centers are placed around the country and the Agriculture & Prepared Products Center of Excellence & Expertise is one of these centers and it is headquartered out of CBP’s Miami Field Office in Florida.  The APP Center currently employs CBP Import Specialists around the U.S. in dozens of ports of entry whose main focus is ensuring the legitimacy of importations in the agricultural/food industry.

This recent seizure and others occurring around the country in a number of other industries are a great indication that CBP’s efforts are paying off and that the recently enacted TFTEA is already making an impact in the trade enforcement arena.

The public may submit allegations and tips concerning food fraud to the APP Center at:  CEE-Enforcement-Agriculture@cbp.dhs.gov.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.


Asian Hornet Identified
in Gloucestershire, UK

From:Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairsand Animal and Plant Health Agency

First published: 20 September 2016

Part of:Animal and plant healthand United Kingdom

There has been a confirmed sighting of the Asian hornet in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire, UK.

Photograph of the Asian hornet identified in Gloucestershire


The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire – the first time the hornet has been discovered in the UK.

The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees.

Work to identify, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, which includes:

Nicola Spence, Defra Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health, said:

"We have been anticipating the arrival of the Asian hornet for some years and have a well-established protocol in place to eradicate them and control any potential spread."

"It is important to remember they pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, though we recognize the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies. That’s why we are taking swift and robust action to identify and destroy any nests."

"We remain vigilant across the country, working closely with the National Bee Unit and their nationwide network of bee inspectors."

A local control center will be opened near Tetbury and bee inspectors from around England will be closely monitoring a three mile radius around the initial sighting.

They will be supported by nest disposal experts who will use an approved pesticide to destroy any hornets and remove any nests.

The hornet found in Tetbury is currently undergoing DNA testing at the National Bee Unit in North Yorkshire to help establish how it arrived in the UK.

The hornet arrived in France in 2004 and is now common across large areas of Europe. It was discovered for the first time in Jersey and Alderney this summer. It is believed the species will not be able survive in the north of the UK due to colder winters.