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 "Cletus Calendar" page will tell you what you should be doing this month and the "Archive" page contains all of the previous months of the "Newsletter and Cletus Calendar".

Please preview my new book ****** "Beekeeping: A Personal Journey" ****** on the book page. You can purchase it here on this site, in the classroom, Amazon.com or from Walter T. Kelley Bee Supply Company.

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

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I hope that everyone has had a great bee season so far. If you had your bees next to tallow trees this year, you probably had a huge honey surplus. My hives not only pulled out lots of boxes of foundation but also filled them up with delicious tallow honey. Last year was a bust for many of us because of the drought, so it was a blessing to see the bees doing so well this year.


Nucs & Hives

I am a member of the Lone Star Farms bee club. I have never used chemicals in my hives and I have been raising bees continuously for 35 years. I am offering a limited number of nucs as well as complete bee hives for sale. The cost for each nuc is $145.00 and the cost for each complete and established hive is $375.00. Both contain fresh 2012 laying  queens with proven laying patterns. The nucs consist of 5 deep frames hived in a corrigated plastic nuc box. The hives consist of 20 deep frames with a screened bottom and a migratory top. They can be picked up in Bryan, Houston or Galveston, Texas. If you are interested or need further information, please call me at 281.932.4887 or email me at demosautomotive@aol.com

Thank you, Costa Kouzounis


 Bee Talk

 Hey Dennis,

I've enjoyed your classes and I'm looking forward to the next class. I don't think I can wait to ask this question.

I got my 2 nucs in April and Put them in my hives. One nuc was substantially stronger than the other in the beginning and now it’s up to 2 full brood boxes and I'm anticipating putting a honey supper on it this weekend. The other is still in the 1rst brood box and seems to be stagnant. I've confirmed that I have a queen and I have lots of uncapped larvae but it's just not growing. I've checked for mites and see no signs of disease, I'm thinking I should re-queen the hive but I wanted to get your opinion.

I'd appreciate any advice you could offer. See you in the next class.       Chris Lasater

  Hello Chris,

 Since you have had these two nucs, have you been feeding them? What type of feeder do you use? What sugar to water ratio are you mixing? On the strong hive, are all of the frames drawn out in both brood boxes? How much sealed brood do you see in the weak hive compared to just eggs and unsealed larvae? Do you see any empty queen cells on any of the brood frames? (The cells will look like a peanut.)

 How did you check for mites? Were there any mites at all?



I cleaned up my 9-frame radial extractor last week, turned it on and "NOTHING!" Yikes! Finally took the control box apart and a wad of red/black ants were inside it with their nest! How in the world they found their way up the side of the stainless steel tank into the control box!! So far they fouled up my using it. I have a back-up hand-crank unit and have been extracting with it.

 Appreciate all you do for us "beginner" beekeepers!     Chuck

 Hello Chuck,

 Now that you have extracted some honey from your own hive, you are "Officially" considered a beekeeper. Anyone can have a hive in their back yard but to raise the bees up to where they make you some surplus without using chemicals in the hive is the difference between a keeper of bees and a beekeeper. Congratulations. You are absolutely a true "Beekeeper".

Don't get too cocky and think you can start missing classes. I have 48 years of beekeeping behind me and I still don't know it all.


 Hi Dennis,

I bought your book and have enjoyed reading it very much. You cover things that I have never read in all the other books I have in my library. It is very informative.

You mention in your book that you usually wait until the second week of the honey flow before you add an extra box to the hive so the bees can refill their boxes first. Should I wait if I have a hive that is in a single brood box before adding another one?

Thanks for all you do for the beekeeping world and for your wonderful book.    Frank

Hello Frank,

Thank you for your compliments and I am happy to hear that you are enjoying my book so much.

If you have a single brood box hive, I recommend that you add another brood box at the start of the flow so the bees will have time to draw that second box out and if the flow is strong enough, maybe even draw out a honey super for surplus.


 Hi Dennis,

My wife and I saw you at the Cent. TX Beekeepers meet in Brenham. Read your book and thought it was good.

I have a question about feeding a nuc. I got a nuc on May 12 from Bee-Weaver in Navasota. You said (in your book) to feed them as long as they will take it. But, I'm trying to figure how much to feed them. Should I keep sugar water available constantly? Is there a certain amount that should be "plenty" each day? Now they are drinking about two quarts per day. Do they need to go on a diet?
Thanks,     Fred Mitchell

 Hello Fred,

 Thanks for the compliment on my book. I would recommend feeding until your bees completely draw out 2 brood boxes. Getting your hive into 2 brood boxes for winter time is key. That will allow your bees to have plenty of room for themselves and food storage through the winter.

Once your bees are living in 2 completely draw brood boxes and they have some food storage, quit feeding. Depending on how good the flowers bloom in late summer, they may be able to pick up enough natural food so you won't have to feed them in the fall. You should perform a fall inspection (Fall Management chapter in my book.) to make sure the bees are ready for winter.

 I hope that this has helped you.


Hey Dennis,

 I've got a quick question for you.  My uncle who is getting out of beekeeping for health reasons wants to give me his three hives.  He lives about two hours away.  He claims his three hives are in two brood boxes each.  Now, my question is....What would be the best way to move them?  I have thought about robbing them first and then moving them, to make it much lighter.  But then I got to thinking that the top box is probably full of brood and I wouldn't be able to rob them.  So, would it be acceptable to separate each hive and reassemble them once I got them home?  I don't know I've never had to move large hives like this before.  I know they will be heavy and I will be on my own with no help.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!    Jeff

 Hello Jeff,

 There are a couple of things you should think about first. First, you should not rob any honey from the 2 lower brood boxes. The bees will need these stores during the year. If you do rob it, you may have to feed the bee’s sugar water later in the year which is not as healthy for the bees plus sugar is expensive. I always let the bees have whatever they can store in the first 2 brood boxes. If they produce anything above the 2 brood boxes, I will call that surplus and extract it for myself.

 Secondly, you need to pay attention to any bee diseases in these hives. You certainly don’t want to bring any diseases into your main bee yard. Find a new spot a couple of miles away from your main yard to locate them for a while before you bring them home. Have an extra pair of gloves and an extra hive tool to use specifically in the new yard in case you do find a disease. This way you don’t spread it to the main yard.

 You will have to break each hive down and load them on the truck. Put down a strap first, then the bottom board on top of the strap and then the 2 brood boxes. (In the same order they were.) Now strap the hive together. Perform this system on each hive until they are all loaded. If you have a screen bottom board, you can use a solid piece of wood to block the entrance. If you are using a solid bottom board, you will need to provide a screen entrance cover for the bees to have ventilation.

 Maybe when you get to the new location, you can find someone to help you unload. That way, you can lift each hive intact and place them on their new hive location. If not, you will have to perform the same system as before to get them off the truck and into place.

 I hope this has helped you and it was good to hear from you.



 Chris was wondering, is this an ok time of year to move them? Because last year we moved our two hives from Houston to Bastrop in July when very hot (no choice as our friend was selling the land they were on). The Buckfast fared fine but the American succumbed to wax moth and we lost it. It happened very fast, they were thriving before the move.     Kathy


The only time you should not move bees is in the winter. You don't want to disturb the winter cluster. As long as you provide good ventilation, you can move your bees during the rest of the year.

 In a brood box the queen will keep the brood nest towards the center. Each frame will have a half moon shape of honey at the top and a half moon shape of pollen under that. Then there will be brood to fill up the rest of the frame. They will usually fill the outer frames with just honey. This is in each brood box up to 2.

 You should "never" remove any of these food stores for your own use. These food stores in these 2 brood boxes should be for the bees only. Sometimes if these boxes are packed with honey, it will carry them through the winter and sometimes it won't. It is all depending on whether Mother Natural provides the bees with other nectar sources along the way.



  Days Gone By