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.

Remember that the "Archive" page contains all of the previous months of "Club News and Cletus Calendar".

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

Your Host

Hello everyone,

The Lone Star Farms field trip is only a couple of weeks away. We have 32 members signed up to go. Most of us are going to meet at Wranglers at 11 am for lunch before the field trip. 

If any of you have any articles that you would like to share especially for the “Day’s gone by” page, please help the club out and email them to me. I know that everyone enjoys reading all the information each month and I can use a hand finding interesting things to share. After a year now of doing it all by myself I am running short of interesting articles to share with everyone. “Help”! 

Dennis

BEE TALK

Word of caution;  Yesterday after given a class on "Spring Management" one of the students asked if he could get a couple of frames out of his car to show me. He retrieved those frames and leaned them up against my house by the front door and then came inside. Thank god I was able to go immediately out and look at the frames. These frames were riddled with EFB. To bring "EXPOSED" drawn comb into anyone's area that keeps bees is totally unexceptable. Had I gotton tied up talking with another student for a while, my 30 plus hives would have found those frames and my entire yard would have been at risk. Always wrap frames of concern in plastic or any other material that would prevent bees from finding them.

How you can spread disease; Never bring drawn comb into someone else's area even if you are giving a demonstration. Always use foundation for your demo's. When you let someone work in your hives using their own gloves or hive tool you are at risk. Supply them with a hive tool and gloves. If they think you are being rude, "Tuff". It is your bees at risk. Don't use your equipment in their yard either. Anytime you bring in a new established hive into your yard whether it is a hive or bees with comb that you extracted from a building etc. your yard is at risk. Use some common sinse.

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Dennis,

Thanks for the guidance.  I found you through the internet.  

I have purchased a nuc from Bee Weaver and will pick it up on April 30.   Can you give me some advice on what to do for set up and where to get the equipment? 

We are excited to get started and a little apprehensive.  In reading about the bees, Bee Weaver says that they will replace the queen if the bees are abnormally defensive.  I read on other sites about Italian bees being the most docile.  We have 5 grandkids under age 5 and I would not want them to have a bad experience.  Are the Bee Weaver bees more aggressive than other breeds that I could get?

Thanks.   Bryan Farrar---Midlothian, Tx 

Hello Bryan, 

B-Weaver is an excellent honeybee to have. They don't treat their hives with any kind of chemical which is a good thing. 95% of the other breeders use chemical in their hives. When  virgin queen bees go out to mate, they mate with 10 to 15 drone bees before taking over a hive. There is the possibility that any one of those drones could have a more aggressive tendency than the others so there is always going to be some risk.

 
You can expect to be stung to some degree when raising bees because they are a stinging insect. I have never met a beekeeper who has never been sting before. That would be like a basketball player who never made a basket.


My advice to you at this time is to come to my class on April 2 which is a Saturday. Bring your questions and we will see about answering them for you. To register for the class go to the website www.lonestarfarms.netand click on the class link. 

It sounds like to me that you have a lot of reading and classroom time to do before your bees come in. Like anything else there is more to it than what you think.         Dennis

Hi Dennis, 

I have a question or two.  I just caught a wild swarm this evening at school.  I took them home, put them in a hive, closed the entrance, and installed an entrance feeder.  I guess the question i have is should i leave them closed up for a few days before opening the entrance or should i go ahead and open the entrance just a little?  I'm concerned with the bees leaving if i open the entrance now.  What is your advice? 

Thanks in advance,    Jeff---Franklin, Texas 

Hello Jeff, 

I hope that these bees don't turn out to be an African swarm. They swarm earlier than European bees do. If you have any brood from another hive you should add a frame to them. This will ensure that they will stay. I would open the entrance 2 inches.  Dennis

Hey Dennis,

I had thought about them being Africans, but I hope not.  I guess I'll have to wait and see how aggressive they are once they are settled in.  It was amazing how calm they were.  I didn't have any protective gear on at all and only got stung a couple of times.  For me that's pretty good.  They usually use me for target practice!  Everyone at school thought I was crazy!  Anyway, when I got home there was hundreds of bees on the outside of the hive.  I thought my new swarm had found a way out, but I got to watching them and they were trailing back into the woods so it must have been a wild hive trying to rob my new one.  I still have them closed up in the hive tonight and will try to get a frame of brood tomorrow night.  Do you still think I should open the entrance a couple of inches or only enough for one bee to pass through at a time? 

By the way, I'd love to help you work your African hive.  Bee venom is addictive. Or maybe it's just the bees themselves. 

I spoke with bud today and he is planning on going on our field trip in April.  Hopefully he won't bail out again!

He says he needs four new queens, but I don't know if he has ordered them yet. 

Anyway, thanks for the help.    Jeff 

Jeff, 

You should open the entrance 2 inches after you put the brood in. That sounds kinda weird about those bees from the woods on you hive. Watch them. Maybe they smell the entrance feeder? Are you coming to the next class? I'm thinking about doing my African hive Saturday afternoon or Sunday next weekend. I am going to go in and kill all of their queen cells and add a frame of larva from my good hives. That way they have to raise a queen from my good larva because everything else in their hive is too old.       Dennis 

Dennis, 

I did as you recommended and added a frame of brood from my existing hive to the new hive and opened the entrance to about 2 inches.  Next question I have is when should I move the hive next to my existing hive?  Right now they are about 100 yards apart.  My wife doesn't like the idea of me keeping the new hive so close to the house.  Also if I do move them, do you think the existing hive will try to rob back their brood? 

Lastly, how do you tell for sure that your existing hive has become Africanized?  When I went to get the frame of brood out of it, the bees went nuts!  They started stinging my gloves like crazy.  It was weird.  Once one bee stung the gloves, instantly several others started hammering me.  Before it was over, they were hitting me from every direction.  They got up my pant leg, under my sleeve, in my veil, stung through my gloves.  I looked like smokey from your videos!  Now, I know most bees don't like you stealing their brood, but this seemed a little excessive.  I think my fatal mistake was wearing a pair of black mechanic's gloves.  Also, when I walked away from the hive, only the ones on me followed.  It wasn't like the whole swarm chased me off.  But believe me I was getting away as fast as I could.  Do you think something as simple as black gloves could have triggered such a response?  When I opened my new hive, those bees seemed just as gentle as they could be. No stinging or angry response.  Of course, I did change gloves and got some tan leather gloves. 

Sorry for all the questions.  I really hope you devote an entire class to working with African bees and what to do to prevent, avoid, etc. them. Thanks,  Jeff 

Hello Jeff, 

You should have placed the new swarm in its permanent spot. If it were me I would go out now before day light and move them where they are going to stay. You will have a hard time moving them that short distance when they mark that location. You will loose your field force when you move them later. 

Bees hate the color black. If you were wearing black gloves, chances are good that your bees reacted to those gloves.   Dennis

OK Dennis, 

I have just discovered, by myself, that there is something that is very important that has not been told to us newbie’s.  When I was at your home the Saturday past and the guy was talking about the "Top Bar" thing.  He had his example of a honey comb out in the open and guess who came to visit his honey comb?  Bees!  I did not think much of it at the time.  I went over to a friends house and had a tour of his set up.  He showed me how to extract the honey and all of the cleaning up the mess.  But guess what I noticed, he showed me all this stuff from inside a building.  He had shelves for storage of all of his supplies.  He had sealed up all opening to his extractor and other pieces of equipment.  All of a sudden, I realized "I need a BUILDING to keep bees out when I am extracting and for storage"!!!!!!!!!  An unexpected expense?  I was stooped enough to ask my wife if I could extract my honey from inside her kitchen.  You can only imagine what she said.  Normally she is a very mild lady.  Sometimes I bring the best out of her.   Webster Hart the newbie!?!? 

Hello Webster, 

Some "Queens" are very protective of their kitchens. How about a garage? You could keep the honey supers closed up during the day and then do your extracting at night when the bees are not flying. Or you can use someone else’s kitchen that hasn’t yet seen how big of a mess it can be.    Dennis

DAY'S GONE BY

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