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.

Please preview my 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

Hello Everyone,

I hope all of you have had a wonderful Easter holiday weekend and have eaten your share of chocolate bunnies.

I heard from one of our members here in Texas about 3 weeks ago (March 10) and he said that his yaupon was already blooming in the Plantersville area. I quickly walked around my place and did not see any signs of flower buds on the bushes so I contacted other members in the Franklin, Houston, Alvin, Galveston, the Woodlands and League City areas. None of these areas had any signs of their yaupon blooming but said that their bushes looked healthy and that the new leaves were starting to bud out. Maybe there is a new species of yaupon in the Plantersville area that provides an earlier bloom. If anyone out there has any information about a different species of yaupon that provides an earlier bloom, please give me the information so that I can pass it on to all of our members.

Yesterday, Easter Sunday, I walked around my farm and did find a few yaupon flowers blooming on the bushes. My bees were going crazy at the hive entrance hauling in heavy loads of the precious nectar. The yaupon bushes are loaded with fresh flower buds that will be opening over the next couple of weeks. It looks like we should have a very good chance to make some surplus honey early in the season.

 Dennis

This article was sent in by member “Fred Keefer”.

Every beekeeper on the planet should read this important study on the effects of putting chemicals in the hive.

Killing Them with Kindness? In-Hive Medications May Inhibit Xenobiotic Efflux Transporters and Endanger Honey Bees

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0026796   

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For Sale

  FOR SALE:Russian Queens, Nucs and/or Hives: I am a member of the Lone Star Farms bee club. I have never used any chemicals in my hives and I have been raising bees continuously for 36 years. I will be offering a limited number of Russian queens, nucs and/or established hives for sale. Queens-$25.00, Nucs-$145.00& Hives (Double brood boxes)-$375.00. If you are interested or need further information, please email me at purehoneyproducer@att.netor you may call me at 281.932.4887.

Costa Kouzounis

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Dennis, 

I have some new Mann Lake frames for sale if any member is interested. They’re still in the box.

 FR-922 9 1/8" (23.18 cm) Unassembled Select Frames - Wedged Top & Split Bottom - Case of 100 List $ 86.00 Sale $70.00

 FR-932 6 1/4" (15.88 cm) Unassembled Select Frames - Wedged Top & Split Bottom - Case of 100 List $ 86.00 Sale $70.00

 Pick up in Bryan / College Station area.  Thanks,      Bill Rivers     979-229-9367

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Bee Talk

  Dennis,

 I very much enjoyed and was enlightened by your class today. I intend to attend additional classes at Lone Star Farms and recommend them to anyone wanting to learn about beekeeping. My wife informs that she will limit her involvement in the apiary to the packaging and consumption of any excess honey produced. I imagine that she will also be very much involved in the distribution of honey to children, grandchildren, other relatives and neighbors. (So much for any return on the investment of time and money.) Thank you for making these classes available.   Fred

Hey Dennis,

I have a question. I was going over my inventory and noticed I have more hives than I do supers of drawn comb. Should I put the supers of drawn comb on my hives first and then add the supers with new foundation? Or should I put the supers with new foundation on my hives first, and then add the supers with drawn comb? My thinking is add the supers with the new foundation first, then add the supers with drawn comb. This way at the start of the honey flow, the bee population will be greatest and they will have more bees and resources to draw out the comb. Is that right? Or should I put the drawn comb on first to give them a place to store the honey right away then when it is full of honey put the new foundation on to give them extra space?

Your help is greatly appreciated!  Jeff

Hello Jeff,

 I hope that you have already equalized your hives and divided brood between the top and bottom box to relieve congestion.

 To answer your question I need to ask you a question. Do you want to concentrate on honey production or do you want to concentrate on wax production? If you want to make a honey surplus then you should place the drawn comb on first. The bees have to eat approx. 8 pounds of honey/nectar in order to produce 1 pound of wax. That means if you place the foundation on first, you lose stored honey surplus. If your intention is to produce wax (drawn comb) then you should put the foundation on first.

 There will be a lot of swarming going on this season because of the mild winter and all the early blossoms already available to the bees.

 Dennis

Hello Dennis,

Well, it would appear swarm season is upon us!!! So far I have caught 3 and one escaped my reach about 25 feet up in a tree. I plan on combining these in with my existing hives since I have all the hives I want. I feel like these must have emerged from my hives since they were close to my bee yard. I've never seen swarms do like these. Yesterday when I got home from work, I went to the bee yard and noticed three swarms on the ground about twenty feet from each other. I don't know if it was because it was cool, but I've never seen them swarm on the ground. Luckily, due to my making a plan this fall, I had enough equipment on hand to deal with this situation.

I desperately need to re-queen this year. I felt like I did a pretty good job removing all the queen cells last month, but I guess I missed a few. But, if all I get is 4 swarms out of 10 hives I think that is an improvement over last year's 10 swarms from 5 hives!

I'm excited about the upcoming honey flow!!! This will be the first year I have a few supers of drawn comb ready to go! Can't wait!!! I really enjoy this "hobby". Even my failures and mistakes, though discouraging, are enjoyable and keep me coming back for more stings.
I found it interesting in your newsletter that California is having a shortage of bees and are paying beekeepers to rent their bees. Are they seriously paying $150 per hive to use your bees to pollinate crops? That's crazy!!! Makes me think I'm on the wrong end of the beekeeping business. However, for the sake of the bees, I wouldn't send my hives out there. No telling what they bring back into the colony.

Looking forward to when I can make class again. Now that the fair is over, maybe I will have more time.

Well better run.  Jeff

Hello Jeff,

 You seem to have more swarms each year than most other beekeepers do for the number of hives you have. I think you should re-queen the hives that seem to swarm early each year. Some hives have the automatic early swarm genetics where as other hives do not. You might find that you end up with fewer swarms from those hives with a new queen present.

 It is easier to shake all the bees off the frame after you find the queen in order to spot queen cells. You can find queen cells on most any part of the frame and not just along the bottom like most books will have you believe.

 The biggest reason for the bee shortage on the almond fields is because beekeepers are getting tired of having their bees poisoned by the grower. They are not taking their bees there anymore. 

Dennis

Mr. Dennis,

My Bee's will be here on the 4th or 5th of April. That seems really soon now. I am gorging on all the information you have given us and reading Hive and the Honey Bee and your book" A Personal Journey" over and over and still seem to not be ready for them. Hope all goes well but, it is too hectic to think about, almost. Seems I wake up and have dozens of questions then by that afternoon I don't seem to recall a one of them. Talk about gun-shy. I haven't fired the first shot and already I have cotton mouth and my hands are sweaty.

I hate to say this but I will most probably be emailing you with a lot of questions, especially come the time I get my Bee's.

 Thanks for everything!!!  Paul

 Hello Paul,

 It is normal that you are nervous about receiving your bees and worried that you may do something wrong. It means that you care about the bees and that you will probably be the kind of beekeeper that will become a good manager of your bees. That spells "success" in beekeeping.

 I will be here to guild you along as you need it.

 Dennis

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Days Gone By