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.

"Post your Lone Star Farms Bee club on your Face-Book Page.

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

Your host   

I was hoping to report a good increase in chemical free membership for July in this months newsletter. But, that is not the case. Surely, we have not signed-up all of the chemical free beekeepers out there? Maybe this month you could start teaching your beekeeping friends how to raise their bees without using chemicals just like you. Then maybe you could convince them to join us in our fight to "Save The Bees One Hive At A Time". After over 2 years of having this website, I was hoping to be further along on our chemical free journey. It takes more than me to make a difference. Please help support the bees and the bee industry by spreading the word about our club/website and by teaching others how to become chemical free with their hives.

Dennis

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For Sale

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

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Bee Talk 

This link was sent in by member Brian Isham. This is a very interesting article about "Honey Hunters". 

http://huckberry.com/blog/posts/107-blessed-be-the-honey-hunters

  Hi Dennis, 

Thought you might like to know that I've just extracted honey from two of my hives and got approximately 8 gallons plus out of them. I did not use an uncapping knife to uncap my frames, instead I used an uncapping roller that I bought off E-Bay EX China for $ 14.59 including S/H. The needles are stainless steel 3/8 of an inch in length, and the roller is 2 1/2 inches wide. As far as I am concerned it was quick and did the job perfectly and as far as I can see with no damage to the Comb, I just thought I would let you know. If anyone is interested they are welcome to call me at 979-249-4112.

Bryan Coleman.

 Hello Bryan,

Congratulations on making surplus honey. Could you take a picture of the uncapping roller so I can post it?

 Thanks, Dennis

  Dennis, 

I know you think I've dropped off the planet...but I haven't...Yet!! Been busy with lots of things including my bees and a LONG honey flow...which is nice, but busy.

 I checked on the hives today that I have at Dr. Dan Dawson's place. I have one hive and Dan has the other one. My hive was building queen cells and filling them with royal jelly - AH..O!! So, I went through frame by frame and found the queen dead on a frame. She hadn't fallen off yet or been hauled out. She was just curled up dead and still looked fresh in color, etc.! Workers were gently nudging her (or whatever they do) but not "balling" her like they had killed her.

Anyway...should I let them go on and raise a queen, or order one from B. Weaver and destroy all queen cells and introduce her. The hive is healthy and looks good, plenty of stores, two deeps all drawn out.

Thanks for your advice, Have you ever seen something like this??  Chuck Durham

Hello Chuck,

 I thought you moved away to a far off place. This year has been wonderful with all the rain and foliage for the bees. Sounds like you are getting better at spotting the queen. I remember when you had trouble finding a live queen much less a dead one. Congratulations!

I would order another queen right away. If you wait for the bees to make one, you will loose a good month of activity. This time of year it is important for the bees to prepare for the winter months. You must make sure that all the queen cells are destroyed.

Dennis

 Dennis,

 I checked my weak hive Sunday and I don’t know what’s going on.  It appears they are not drawing out new combs on the foundation.  All the sugar syrup is going into any available cell in the brood nest in a random pattern, not just in the honey arch.  There is plenty of capped brood and I see some grubs too.  I found the queen (the Russian) on a honey frame just walking around aimlessly.  I know she’s laying but I wonder if she’s run out of brood cells.  Does it make sense to put a fully drawn frame from my big hive into the middle of the brood nest to give her some more space? Why wouldn’t they draw out new frames?  There is plenty of pollen coming in and I’m still feeding this hive.  Everything else looks normal.

 I’m definitely thinking of splitting my big hive.  I re-read your chapter on splits and I think I’d like to have at least one more hive before spring.  While I’m pulling out frames for the splits should I use any of them to help the weak hive?  Should I remove the old nuc frames from ………… for the sealed brood portion of the split?  I remember you said something about rotating them out.   Thanks,   David

 Hello David,

 Are there any cells filled with sugar water between the brood cells? How many frames of bees are there in the hive? Do you see any eggs in the cells? How many boxes does the hive consist of?

 Dennis

Dennis, 

It's a standard 10-frame brood box with four nuc frames from ………. At least two new frames were drawn out but that's where they stopped. Two more might have the tops drawn out but only on one side.  So there are six frames of bees and some leftovers.  Sugar water is in every available free cell, including in the brood cells. Can't see eggs but plenty of grubs and lots of capped brood.   David

 David,

 It appears that your original nuc came with a bad queen and the new Russian queen you recently introduced is not very good either. If it were me, I would order one queen, split the strong hive and get rid of the weak hives queen, then use the weak hives good frames/bees to add to the split. This is assuming that there are no diseases in any of the hives. You will have only 2 hives still, but they should be able to get strong before winter gets here. You will have 2 hives going into the spring. Make splits next year to increase hive numbers.

 Dennis  

Hello Dennis,

 How's life treating you? It's pretty good here. I've been thankful for the recent rains. How's your bees doing? Mine are pretty good. I'm sad to say my re-queening didn't go so well. I guess she and her workers got too hot. I put her in the hive Saturday evening after we re-queened yours. I checked her Sunday and Monday. Everything looked fine, but she was still not out of her cage, so I took a nail and opened a small hole in the candy end of the cage. By this time there were several worker bees on the outside of the cage so, I figured they were getting used to her. Well Tuesday morning I checked her again, and all looked well. We left later in the day for vacation. When we got back Thursday evening, one of the first things I did was check on my queen, but when I looked in the hive her and all her workers in the cage were dead! The hole in the candy was not large enough to allow other bees in to kill them, so I guess they died of heat. I made sure to remove all queen cells and verified there wasn't a queen before I introduced her. I don't know, but I heard that on Tuesday or Wednesday it got close to 110. I also lost a rabbit that same day. Anyway, I remembered what you always say about thinking like a commercial beekeeper, but enjoying my bees like a hobby beekeeper, so I combined that hive with another hive and it seems to be doing good now.   Well better go.   Jeff

 Jeff,

There are times in beekeeping that we never are able to figure out what went wrong and it seems this is one of those times for you. However, you have already learned how to handle the dilemma and have moved forward. You would be surprised how many beekeepers that would have let the "small" hive re-queen itself this time of year, baby it and then end up losing it during the winter time. Good job.

 Dennis  

Hello Dennis, 

I have a question about feeding my bees honey from another hive.  I was given a bag of honey from a swarm taken at the Goodyear Plant in Beaumont, Texas.  The honey is very dark and I left it outside in a plastic bag.  We captured a honeybee swarm last month and they have been doing fine.  I hated to waste the dark honey and thought about doing in zip lock bag method of feeding my bees in the top of a super I am getting ready to put on. Do you think this would be okay?     Kathy McGuire

Hello Kathy,

You should never feed unknown honey to your bees. Most bee diseases are spread by honey and comb. You should probably bury that bag of honey so that bees will not have access to it. Feed a 2 part sugar to 1 part water mix if you need to feed your bees or feed them honey from your own hives.

 Dennis

Hi Dennis,

 Have you ever heard of these parasitic flies?   Kathy

 Hello Kathy,

Sorry for the delay. I have been out of pocket. Yes, I have been aware of this for a while. Some folks think that this is the cause of CCD. I am skeptical about that claim. I think it would take hundreds of these flies per hive to lay an egg in each bee at the same time to cause 99 % of all the bees in the hive to disappear all at once. I don't feel that this fly is a major threat to our bees at the present time.

 Dennis

 Hi Dennis, 

I haven't talked nor e-mailed you for some time now.  I guess that I am getting too old to work with the hobby of bees.  Last winter during the first freeze I lost my observation bees.  I took my hive apart and cleaned it and painted it. But early this year I captured a swarm and placed them in a box.  The population has increased some but not as quickly as I wish.   Last fall I lost 4 hives with dead bees on the ground in front of hive.  I lost another hive to moths.  I only have one hive left with a Bee Weaver queen.  I only have 6 hives left and none of them have produced honey to the capping stage.  One hive shows very little activity of bees going in and out.  Early this year there was lots of activity.  In all the years that I have been working with the bees I have never seen this type of thing and have always had honey by June.  I know that it was real hot and dry last year and lots of bees died because of this type of weather.  WE had lots of rain early this year and plants bloomed early and then it turned dry for a period of time.  Then it started to rain again but no new flowers.  Now they are after water.  I am sure that I will not continue with the hobby because my knees will not bend like they used to and my doctor gave me a permit for handicap parking.  But, I know the bees don't require that.  I have a nephew, Collin Vincent,  he’s  a member of the club.  He and his dad made a trip to Bee Weaver last month to purchase 2 hives of bees.  I know that one of the queens did not survive and was replaced.   He says those are doing great, but his other hives are not yet ready to harvest.    Robert Nelson

 Hello Robert,

For folks like you and me who have had bees for our entire life time are the ones who will find it the hardest to let our bees go when that time comes. We can feel blessed that we had the opportunity to share in one of God's most fascinating creatures. "Honeybees". For us, we have been able to experience many wonderful moments with the bees and will be able to relive those moments in our memories forever. 

Remember; "Old Beekeepers Never Die, They Just Buzz Off."

Dennis

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Days Gone By