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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Don't forget to check out the "Cletus Calendar" page. There is a lot of good information posted there.

 Hello Everyone,

It is hard to believe that December is here already. The New Year is just around the corner. Time seems to be getting shorter each year. I remember as a kid it seemed like December took forever to arrive and now as an adult December seems to arrive twice a year instead of once.

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.



Bee Talk 

I wanted to try pure honey. So I purchased the one by lone star to give it a try. Please excuse the question but why do the lone star one have the honey comb and the other brands do not? Honest question.    Regards, M. Evans

Hello M. Evans, 

You pose a good question. First, The Lone Star honey you are referring to I have seen in the grocery store. That Lone Star is not me. I own "Lone Star Farms Apiary" which is located between Bryan and Hearne, Texas. I have been raising bees since 1964 and have a web site, www.lonestarfarms.net that you can go to for lots of information.

 Now, to answer your question. Back in the 1970"s and earlier, you could find comb honey almost everywhere. Beekeepers found that over the years the honey comb lovers were declining in number. Most everyone who eats honey prefers the liquid honey by itself. So, most beekeepers quit producing the comb honey. They found that the jars with the comb honey didn't sell very fast and the honey would begin to granulate in the jar before it was sold. You can't warm the jar up to re-liquefy the honey without melting the wax comb. So, the beekeeper would have to feed the honey back to the bees. 

Another reason most beekeepers quit producing the comb honey is because the price of wax has sky rocketed over the years which has raised the price of the comb honey in the jar above what most people want to pay. Now, it has been proven that 75% of all grocery store honey is not pure honey at all. It has either been deluded or has had most of the good benefits filtered out of it leaving it no better than sugar sweetener or sugar water.

Your best bet would be to find a beekeeper close to you and have them sell you some honey that has come straight from the hive and maybe you can talk them into producing some comb honey for you. 

I hope that this has helped you and that you will surf through our website. Email me anytime should you have any other questions.

 Thanks, Dennis

 Dear Mr. Brown,

It is comforting to know that at least some beekeepers (hopefully many) are actually reading their ABJ every month. Sometimes when I write an article, I feel like I am writing to a non-existent audience, so thank you for taking the time to write your response.

In retrospect, rather than saying "the beekeeping industry", it would have been more correct to say the "the major packers" because they are the ones who are being sued over the removal of pollen, a clause in both the Florida and California standard which states that the only pollen that can be removed is what happens in the process. In other words, they cannot intentionally remove all the pollen which is exactly what happens when you heat the honey, put it through a paper filtration system with some D. earth thrown in (D. earth is an acceptable substance by the FDA for removing debris from food) and then freeze it to stop the granulation process.

The packers have indeed been using this same system, or something close to it for fifty years which is why they are so angry. I can sympathize with them, but the fact remains they fully supported my efforts to get the U.S. version of Revised Codex (which is an international standard)adopted in as many states as possible. Yet, I have problems with them claiming the pollen removal clause does not apply when these people must have gone over the standard many times to make sure that it was worded the way they wanted it. To say now that the pollen removal clause is a mistake is in my opinion, a weak response...

So, anyway, thank you for writing a response. Like you, I sell my customers what they want :"raw honey...the ways bees intended...   Regards, Nancy Gentry

Hi Dennis,

My phone number is +39-335-6402882 but my English is not very good. I keep 300 bee hives but only 30 of them I'm trying not to use the chemical. My farm is organic (since 1994) and now I use only ossalic acid (using the queen cages in summer to stop egg laying). Maybe the Ligustica bee is not a good hygienic bee. I'm trying to select the best queens for tolerance to varroa but with little success (only 15 out of 300 survive). Thanks for your very beautiful web site. Greeting from Italy. Marco Valentini  My web site is: www.bioapi.it

Hello Marco, 

Thank you for your compliment. Your English seems to be pretty good. How did you find my website? I visited Italy a few times back in the 1970's. Your country is one of my favorite countries to visit.

 Can you get "Russian" queens shipped to Italy? They work wonderful against Varroa mites without having to use chemicals in the hive. I have not found any Ligustica bees that are hygienic in the USA. In the USA, we have an organization called, "Russian Queen Breeders Association" that sell the pure Russian queens. They are the only ones that sell the pure Russian queens in our country. There are many queen breeders here that sell a hybrid Russian queen but, they do not do as well as the pure Russian. On my link page, I have the Russian queen breeders information listed. If you can get the pure Russian queens, you should be able to reduce your losses and not have to treat the hives.


 To all of those who have had the opportunity to visit one of Dennis’s classes. I have been going to Dennis's Beekeeping Classes since July, 2012. I am a retired teacher of 31 years. I have to write and say that all of you who miss Dennis’s classes are really missing something. Few times if ever have I witnessed a teacher that cares more about their students and how they do than Dennis does. Also, he has another job and does not need to do this, I believe he is teaching these classes just to pass on the knowledge he has acquired over these many decades of being a Beekeeper himself. A quality that is seldom displayed by those that did something for so long for a living.

 Yes, he is a rebel or maverick but, in a good way, actually a great way, I would really label him as an innovator. He believes in being a Beekeeper without the use of chemicals. I have watched and read a lot of information put out by Beekeepers and the amount of chemicals used is mountainous. I do not know how they can spend as much money on just chemicals as they do, to do Beekeeping. If you are like me, then you know that many chemicals are not good for the human body. After all, the human body lasted for thousands of years without them. Only in the last 100 years have they become prevalent in our way of life. And I for one do not think they're good for the body. At least very few of them are.

 His classes are very organized and he is a much better than an average explainer of how to do things. You can see that in his book, “Beekeeping: A Personal Journey”. He also treats his students with respect and with a lot of humor thrown in. His classes are a joy to go to and listening to him is mesmerizing. One will forget to take notes, which he constantly encourages his students to do. He re-explains things if asked to do so or he detects that many of the students did not grasp the concept. He allows the class to take breaks and while on break he answers questions other than what his class is about at the time. In that, he is very good at staying on task in his lessons. I could spend all day saying how I like his classes but, one thing I am disappointed in and that is how few students are at some of his classes. I plan to go to as many as I can, because, I have a lot to learn in order to become a good Beekeeper and will retake his classes to get what I may have missed the first time or even the second time to re-enforce what I know to do. Bees are far more intricate than I ever thought they were. However, with learning the proper techniques I believe I can be successful in my beekeeping endeavor. There is so much to know in order for someone to become truly successful in the art of beekeeping.

 I really hope to see and meet you at his next class. Paul Bartlett


Thanks for the compliment. I couldn’t quite read the fine print though. How much did you say I owe you for those nice words? Ha! Really though, thank you very much.    Dennis

 Mr. Dennis, 

I hate to bother you but, I am not sure what to do. A friend of mine let me know to call someone that owns about 15 acres and has about three or four people around him with acreage. Probably about 50 to 60 acres all together. I did call him and told him that I would not receive my bees till late March or early April. I have seen from the road only that there are a lot of Yaupon and Tallow trees on the place with a tank of about 2 acres nearby with some various ditches(large ones that used to be creeks). He has some pear trees and other types(Which I do not know what they are.) that he said he was getting very little off of(almost nothing) and needs some pollinators to pollinate his trees. I told him that bees wear preparing for the winter and it would probably be next spring before they would be of help. He said he just wanted to get his trees pollinated so he could get some fruit of them. It is surrounded by subdivisions. I believe there is a lot more than 100 acres assessable to the bees with lots of water also available to them. However there are several schools within' a half mile or a bit closer to the place. I told him I would have to walk it, to see how much of what it has on it to asses it to know if, it could support bees. He said ok he would be home on the weekends and I could call him any weekend before the spring. Just looking at the area from the road and air, I believe it would but, I know it needs to be assessed if it really is. What do I do now? I do not know really what to do? Any words of Wisdom would be gratefully taken.  Paul 

Hello Paul,

 How far away is it from where you live? Remember, your bees will need a lot of TLC when you first get them. If you have to drive very far, they won't get what they need when they need it. It will cost you $ to travel back and forth to the bee yard. No need in getting deeper in debt spending $ for gas. Does your place offer enough for your bees to eat? If so, I would suggest expanding "from" your place when your location is maxed out before starting out yards from the start.

 It does sound like your friend has a good location for a possible out-yard if your current home yard doesn't offer enough for the number of hives you have.


 Hi Dennis;

I really enjoyed reading your book and was thinking about purchasing 2 more copies to give as Christmas presents. How long does it take for delivery after ordering?  Thank you and have a Merry Christmas.  Susan

Hello Susan,

Thank you for the compliment. It only takes four or five business days to receive it when you order. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday season.


Hi Dennis,

I was wondering when is a good time to start feeding the bees? After the first freeze? What should I feed them.   Teresa

Hello Teresa,

 During the "fall" inspection you should determine whether or not the bees have at least forty pounds of food to eat for the winter down south and seventy to eighty pounds of food if you live in the north. If you determine that the bees do not have enough food during the inspection to make it through the winter months, then you should feed your bees a 2 parts sugar to 1 part water mix until they have stored the proper amount.

 There is no need to feed your bees anything during the winter months if you made sure that the bees had enough food stored going into the winter months.



Days Gone By