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".

Books that I have written:

"Beekeeping: A Personal Journey"--You can purchase it here on this site (Book page), in the classroom, Amazon.com or from Walter T. Kelley Bee Supply Company.

"Beekeeping: Questions and Answers"--You can purchase it here on this site (Book page), in the classroom, Amazon.com or from Walter T. Kelley Bee Supply Company.

(Novel series) #1 Tom Richards-Justice Served--You can purchase it in the classroom, Amazon.com or through Kindle. (Now available) (View it on Amazon.com)

(Novel series) #2 Tom Richards-Blood Trail of a Serial Killer--You can purchase it in the classroom, Amazon.com or through Kindle. (Coming in April)

If you would like for me to teach a class for your group in your area, contact me at; dennis@lonestarfarms.net  for details.  

"Please, post your Lone Star Farms Bee club on your Face Book Page, and add our club website to your favorites.

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

Host

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to let you all know that we just reached a 300 mark for club members. It's taken four years to do, but it is a small mile stone. When our club website was launched, our goal was 200 members in the first year. I guess I didn't realize how few chemical free beekeepers there were out there. I'm sure we could do better if everyone spread the word about our club, and helped other beekeepers get away from the chemicals.

I appreciate all of you who have purchased my books, and I hope that they have improved your beekeeping experience. The proceeds from the sale go to maintaining our club website. Since I'm still using the Morris Code system, I have to hire a web person to keep the site going. I can take care of all the posting but not the technical stuff.

Enjoy your bees and your club website.

Dennis

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 For Sale

  FOR SALE:Russian Queens and Nucs: 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 and nucs for sale. Queens-$25.00 and Nucs-$155.00. 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

 Hi Dennis,

I thought I would let you know that I have sold all my bees and hives, the reason being at the age 81 I felt that I was getting a little too damn old to mess with them in 100 degree weather and lifting 60lb supers.

However to keep out of mischief which I am not too old to get into, I decided to make 5 frame hives that old farts like me can manage, and yet get honey and bees to pollinate the garden. In the hot weather the bees take much less time and labor to work, and are probably ideal for the new bee keeper to start with.

I have a couple of hives on hand all the time and make others to order. The cost for 2 deeps and 2 medium supers complete with frames $ 160 or without frames $100. I have modified the bottom board of the hive to withstand wind etc.

If anyone is interested they can contact me by phone 979 249 4112or my E-Mail chui@cvctx.com

Happy New Year   Bryan Coleman

Hello Dennis,

I hope all is well with you.
I'm selling 2 double brood box chemical free bee hives completes with
metal stand 4 honey super with frames and 2 feeders. I have a complete
tool set for frames, hand ranked centrifuge,filters etc. that also
goes. It's everything a beginner needs to maintain the bees and
harvest honey. I've got  about  $1400 invested but I would let it all
go for $1000

If you know anyone that would be interested please point them in the
right direction.

Chris Lasater
214-549-3668

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Bee Talk

 Hey Dennis,

The article in the Cletus section that is at the end. The one about only 17 % survival rate versus a 47% survival rate. It is easy to see that 47% survival is terrible and that if they didn't use so many chemicals to try to keep them alive they would have a much higher survival rate.   Paul B

Hello Paul,

 You are right about why these beekeepers are getting such terrible survival rates. For years my losses have been less than 1% per winter. Someday long after I am living in the happy hunting grounds, it will dawn on these beekeepers what is actually killing their bees, even though they have had the information years ago, maybe.

Dennis

 Dennis,

This is Todd from the Woodlands. I have a hive-4 years old-and have not made a queen change. The hive is productive and the queen has been very fertile. Since I have not been successful in my re-queening efforts should I assume the hive will make the change or should I order a new queen. Thanks,  Randall

Hello Randall,

You pose a good question. Some beekeepers believe in re-queening every year. Others allow the bees to make their own queen. Then there is me. I like to keep the queen until she doesn't perform well anymore. If one of my hives swarms, I typically leave the new hatched queen in until I have a chance to evaluate her. If she turns out to be a good layer, mite resistant and good honey producer, I keep her. If she doesn't make the grade, I replace her.

The problem with replacing the queen every year is this; Just because you order a new queen, it doesn't mean she will be any good. New doesn't equate to good all the time. If you have a good queen, keep her no matter how old or what kind she is.

I hope this helps.

Dennis

 Dear Dennis

Happy New Year to you and yours!

I wanted to ask what your thoughts were on pollen substitute and feeding to your bees. Is it helpful or necessary?

I also wanted to ask you about moving colonies. I know I do not want to break cluster but am unclear about temps for moving and how many days the temps need to be constant so I do not do any harm?

Once again circumstances catch me behind, but I guess if I am not making the SAME mistakes, I will be ok! HA

I appreciate you Dennis and will talk to you later. Sincerely, Tracey

Hello Tracey,

In most part of Texas and probably the South, It is not necessary to feed pollen substitutes. The bees are able to collect enough natural pollen to grow strong and stay healthy. If you are raising a large number of queens, it might be helpful to give the bees a substitute. For the rest of us, if you were to give our bees a substitute, they would haul it out as trash. When you come back the next time, and see it all gone, you think that they are really using it. In most cases, they are trashing it. You can look in the cells and realize that they did not store any. They will be able to collect fresh pollen (The first pollen around us is from the elm tree which starts around the first of February.) which is better for them. I don't like to create more work for my bees, and I don't like to spend more money than I have to, so I don't waste my time with it.

Of course if you are rich like those who spend fortunes on chemicals that they can dump into their hives, you might think about wasting more money on a pollen substitute. But I know you, you're smarter than that.

If the temperature is 65 degrees are warmer, you can carefully move a hive. Just don't knock the hive around. You only need to feed your bees (In Texas at this time of the year.) if their reserve has gone down past twenty-five pounds. If you are in doubt, feed a two part sugar to a one part water mix. Be careful not to start a robbing situation. Robbing is extremely high this time of year.

I hope this helps.

Dennis

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Days Gone By