If you are a member and have something to share that is "Bee" related such as a story or information, please send it to me by email.

Your host---Bee Talk---Days Gone By

Your Host 

 Hello everyone,

 I hope that all of you enjoyed the holiday season and received lots of needed bee equipment from Santa. Tis the season.

Here in Texas our bees will still take down feed if we find a hive that is light. With our day time temperature during the day between 50 and 70 degrees and the nights between 30 and 55 degrees, there is no problem with feeding. Time is running out though. In 2 or 3 more weeks, it will be too cold. 

Be sure to take inventory of all your equipment and order what you need for the coming season. You have time this month and next month to make every thing right.

All the 2011 classes have been posted on the class page. Check through them and mark you calendar. Register a week or so before the class so that I will have a head count. For anyone who would like to take the same class over, the cost will be "Half" price. You always receive somewhat different information each time because new info comes up frequently.   Dennis

BEE TALK

 Dennis,

Are you familiar with Certified Naturally Grown?

Take a look (naturallygrown.org) you can look under Ohio and find me along the southern Ohioas Anam Cara Apairy

 Thanks,      Sam Hammett - President   Mid-OhioValleyBeekeepers  Association     Web site:www.angelfire.com/nb/movba

Hello Sam,

 I hope that things are going good for you. Yes, I am familiar with that program. Actually I know someone involved in it. Unfortunately for the program, this beekeeper filled out all the appropriate paperwork knowing that they put chemicals into their hives and got accepted. Now he is an organic beekeeper. The honor system doesn't work properly when there are dishonest people around.
 I'll bet it is cold where you live right now. Anything North of
DallasTexasis too cold for me. My brother lives in Alaska. I think his brain froze.  Dennis

Dennis,

 I've two top bar hives. The weak hive has no guard bees??!?  Have you any ideas as to why?  Do I need to fix it?  //Robbing activity is present.  I have both hives restricted entrance to one bee at a time.   Thanks,          Steve k—Huntsville, Texas

Hello Steve,

Good to hear from you. I will need to ask you some questions. Have you gone in to check for a queen in this weak hive? How weak is the hive? (number of frames with bees on them) Are there enough stores for the bees to winter on? What is your mite load?

 A hive in our part of the country should have good ventilation during the winter months because one day it is warm and the next day it is cold causing moisture build-up in the hive. Do you have screen bottom boards? If not then having the hive entrance reduced to allowing only one bee at a time is probably not enough opening for good ventilation.      Dennis

Dennis,

I'll have to check the hive to give you the correct info.  I'm not sure about the mites.  The hive has been robbed regularly.  On occasion, I'll close the hive ( no in- no out).  This is after I feed the sugar water.   The feral bees are mean.  Hit you on a pin drop.  My wife asks if I'm having fun yet........ The mystery continues.  Steve

Dennis,

 How are you?    How is Peggy?   How is Braxton?   How is Murphy?  How was your Christmas?

How happy are you that I've finally mastered the registration process?

How many kolaches shall I bring? 0 is not an answer?

How many new members do we have? Don't you love the way I use that WE. Sorry you made all of us feel so we.

Will send one of my little messages telling Jeff and the others you've set the classes for the year. Yeah.    Say hi to Peggy and Murphy.   Teddi—Spring, Texas

 Hello Teddi,

 As usual it is good to hear from you. Peggy and I are fine. I will say that I am glad that Christmas and Thanksgiving are behind us. My house hold is quite once again.

Braxton has made something for the medicine man and should be in touch soon.

You are getting really skilled on the registration process. It must be time for me to change it up a little. I am glad to get back to teaching. I hope that we can get enough people for the classes. I think the "Stump the Chump" class will be very interesting for everyone.

 "We" have 110 total members. The last part of November and all of December were very slow. I wish everyone would feel the "We". It was my hope that all members would feel like the club was their club when I set the club up. Everyone in the Lone Star Farms club is equal. As you know the club is about "members helping members" not just "Dennis helping members". Know one is better than anyone else and there are no stupid questions (except the ones that are not asked).

I hope that your holiday season was good and that Santa came too see you.  Dennis

Dennis:

I’ve always come away from your classes with an extra dose of knowledge and I’m looking forward to your 2011 classes.  My eager mind keeps me interested in the upcoming North American Beekeeping Conference and Tradeshow in Galveston.  I think it would be just another avenue to interact with fellow beekeepers on a national level and promote our winning the non-chemical approach to beekeeping.  The only limiting factor is the cost.  What sideliner or hobbyist can afford the registration fee of $325.00 for members and $375.00 for non-members?  Even a one day/one person pass is to rich for most at over $200.00.  It is wonderful that the national convention is this close but the registration fee is a real let down.---------Costa Kouzounis   Houston, Texas  

 Hello Costa,

I hope that you and your family had a wonderful holiday season. The end of the holiday season always brings us closer to the “Bee” season. Every year I start counting the days before I can see and hear the activity in my bee yard.

In all of my years in beekeeping, the cost to attend the National Beekeeping Conference has been above most hobby/sideliner beekeepers. As you have pointed out, the cost is expensive and then you have to add in food, lodging and transportation. When you add in lost time at work the cost for most of us is out of reach. It seems like the conference has always been geared toward the commercial end of the beekeeping industry. The rest of us have always had to wait until we can read the highlights of the conference in the bee magazines.

 Maybe someday someone will start a “Poor Beekeepers Conference”. It can be held in someone’s bee yard. There can be places available (at no cost) in the field to pitch a tent. Port-a-potties can be set up with catalogs inside for paper. (Not bee catalogs) The local food truck (roach coach) can swing by 3 times a day. There could be an ice-cream truck as well. The speakers could be hired on the barter system instead of the thousands of dollars system.

If someone took the time to think all this out, it could really work. It sounds like “Wood Stock” all over again. It could be called “Bee Stock”. Sign me up. I have a stove and a tent.  Dennis

This is something that all our members need to read. If you would like to respond to the Texas Beekeepers Association (and I hope you will) their information is listed on their website. www.texasbeekeepers.org

 TEXAS BEEKEEPING ASSOCIATION GIVES LONE STAR FARMS BEE CLUB THE COLD SHOULDER.

 Lone Star Farms is a bee club/registry for all of those beekeepers around the world who do not intentionally introduce any chemicals/pesticides into their hives. The members of the club push for a more chemical free honey and other hive products to sell to the consumer. The club slogan is “Saving The Bees One Hive At A Time”. The club offers classes that teach beekeepers to raise their bees without dumping chemicals into their hive which makes for cleaner products and stronger bees. The club initiated the first contact with the Boy Scouts of America back in November 2009 in order to reinstate the scout merit badge. The clubs website, www.lonestarfarms.net is a place that beekeepers can go and get help when they are having problems with their hives. Lone Star Farms has members listed on their member’s page from around the world. All that our club does for the beekeeping industry is not good enough for the Texas Beekeeping Association.

 Back in March 2010 the Lone Star Farms club registered to become a member of the Texas Beekeeping Association. The dues to join as a club was accepted at that time and all seemed good. The TBA sends out a newsletter every two month’s and in that newsletter it lists all the members and clubs that belongs to their organization. Lone Star Farms was listed as a paying member but not listed in the club section. Our members thought it to be an over site on the part of the TBA. After leaving a couple of messages on the TBA treasurer’s telephone and not getting a return call, Lone Star Farms called and spoke with the vice president of the TBA. He said that he would take care of it. It never happened. The months went by without more returned calls or help from the TBA and Lone Star Farms was never listed in any of the following TBA newsletters as a TBA club member. However, our members are all sure that the dues Lone Star Farms club paid to TBA went to a worthy cause.

Finally in November one of the TBA members (not a current officer) contacted Lone Star Farms and said that the reason TBA will not list our club as a club member is because Lone Star Farms does not charge our members any dues to belong and there are no officer positions in the club. After researching the by laws of the TBA, there is no mention of these restrictions for becoming a club member listed. (At least up to when this is being written.)

 How can Lone Star Farms club/registry be black balled in good conscience by another club when we are doing so much good for the beekeeping industry just because we don’t charge dues to our members or have officers listed in the club? It should be about the good of the beekeeping industry and what we do for the consumer that matters not the individual prejudices or political forum that some people create. 

Lone Star Farms feels that all beekeeping organizations should review there policies and change them to reflect a more open arms position for those who are trying to do so much good for our honey bees and the consumer. With fewer beekeepers each year how can we afford to shun others away?

 Dennis Brown   Lone Star Farms   www.lonestarfarms.net 

Days Gone By

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