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, 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, or from Walter T. Kelley Bee Supply Company.

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

(Novel series) #2 Tom Richards-Blood Trail of a Serial Killer--You can purchase it in the classroom, or through Kindle. (Now available) (View it on

If you would like for me to teach a class for your group in your area, contact me at;  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


Remember, Mother's Day is on Sunday the 11th this month. Make that date a special day for your mother and your wife.


Bee Talk

  Hi Dennis, 

 April 15th I was feeding sugar water and the ladies did not appreciate my efforts, so I retreated.  I had one quail feeder left.  I placed it on fence post approx. 100 yds from the colonies. It still 2/3 full today.  I checked the following afternoon late (16th).  One feeder was empty, two still had 2-3 inches of sugar water in them.  That seemed excessive but OK.  What do you think is going on with the feeder that is still 2/3 full.  I see no bees at it.  Your thoughts will be appreciated.  Garland Martine

 Hello Garland,

 In your area the bees are in the middle of a yaupon flow. You shouldn't be feeding right now. Instead, you should be checking the hive for honey stores coming in and adding a surplus super when needed. Bees will not take sugar water when they are in the middle of a nectar flow.


 Hey Dennis,

I purchased an establish hive 2 years ago. I have not done a good job keeping up with them. I tried going into the hive today. There was a lot of burr comb. I removed the burr comb or most of it. I removed a couple of frames and removed what burr comb. I noticed what looked like a queen cell. Then the bees got too hard to handle. I replaced the frame and the top. they attack me pretty hard. What should I do? Thanks,  Joel

Hello Joel,

 You should go back in the hive to see if there are more queen cells present and if they are sealed already. If there are more cells, then you have a choice to make. Either make a split (My book Personal Journey explains how to do that.) or let them swarm. The original queen will leave with the swarm and the hive will produce another queen from the queen cells that are present.


Hey Dennis,

 I have some guys working on fence at my place and looks like they will still be here Saturday.  As it is right now, I will not be able to make it.  I sent an e-mail to Dewayne Mouliere this am to see if he was going and to let him know that I paobably was not going to make it.  His reply was “no problem”, so he didn’t say whether or not he was coming.  He did have plans to pick up a nuc from B Weaver on Sat., so am not sure what he is doing.   That’s about all the info I have.  I will miss being there. 

 I did my Spring inspections a few weeks ago.  Discovered a need to re-queen two of my hives and discovered that the bees seemed more intent on storing the sugar water I had been feeding since early Feb. than on expanding brood.  This is my first spring, so my expectations may be unreasonable.  There did seem to be a lot of bees except in the hives needing new queens.

 FYI...I was talking to Tor Voldebaken, one of the Walker County Beekeepers, you might remember him...spoke with norwegian accent, tall thin grey and has been keeping bees for a long time.  The last time you were at WCBA you made an impression on him and he decided to go chemical free.  Problem is, he didn’t requeen and took his hives off their drugs cold turkey.  He had 11 hives before winter, only 2 survived.  He asked how mine did and I was pleased to tell him that all made it through the winter with no problems.  I hope he doesn’t give up on the chemical free idea.

 I’m disappointed about not making class, but excited to find abundance of swelling buds on the yaupon around my place.  Looks like it will be blooming in the next week.  Time to move the supers closer to the door! Hope the class goes well.   John D,


 Thanks and I hope to see you in the next class.


  Hello Dennis,

I so enjoyed the class you taught last Saturday!! It is so great to have someone from this area with so much experience to learn from. I read a lot of books but a lot of times you don't know where the people live or if they even have bees. It can get very confusing with so much information that is so different.  I can google and google my questions all day long but there are so many different answers it doesn't always help. It's great to be able to write down what you tell us and depend on it. Thank you soooo much for your time and patience!!  Laura


You are welcome. I hope what I teach you will keep you from making mistakes and allows you to be more successful with your bees.


 Hey Dennis,

I hived 3 packages today. When I went back to look around there were a whole bunch of bees hanging on the bottom screen of the hive I've had for 3 weeks. Do you think they are wild bees or from one of my packages???? I slid my bottom board in and made their opening smaller. Laura


 They are probably from the package. You should scrap them off the screen bottom and then slide the monitoring board back in. Otherwise, they will just stay there.  The last package I installed was years ago before screen bottom boards. I need to tell everyone to slide the monitoring board in before installing the package in the future. 


 Hi Dennis,

 Wish I were there to continue to take your classes. There is so much info out there like you told us that doesn't make any sense. Next winter when I return I will continue to come to your classes. I tell everyone here about you.

 Question: What do you think and know of Warre hives? Thank you for all your teaching. Regards,  Nancy from Michigan

 Hello Nancy,

Beekeeping in Michigan is slightly different than in Texas. Are you running any hives there now?

The Warre Hive was an invention by Emile Warre. He lived from 1876 to 1951. His hive was known as the “People’s Hive”. Getting right to the point about this type of hive, it is nothing more than a vertical top-bar hive.  There are no frames only top bars with a strip of wax as a starter. After the bees fill one box, a new box is added “on the bottom”. (What a pain that would be.) Everything else is treated like the traditional top bar hive.

The word “work” is a relative term. Some people would consider stringing fence therapeutic, but I would consider it as work. The Warre Hive to me would be a lot of work with far fewer returns. The comb is not wired so you would have to crush the wax in order to extract the surplus honey. I guess you could lay the comb on its side and let it drip out. However, most of the honey would stay in the comb.

My time is very limited so I need to stay with the traditional Langstroth hive and use traditional equipment to make my job easier.


  Hey Dennis,

 I really enjoyed the class today. The finding queens part was well worth the price of admission. In the past I would raise the top and puff quite a bit of smoke inside. I would also pump more off and on while working them. I went home after the class today to install a new queen. I used your method and found the existing queen in a matter of minutes. Puffed twice under the lid before opening and that was it. No more smoke needed. The bees were so much calmer. They were not boiling out and climbing all over the inside of the brood box. Friday I had the hive open for thirty plus minutes and gave up looking for her. Thanks for passing on your knowledge.   Ron  

 Hello Ron,

I’m glad my method helped you out. I’ve been using it for a long time and have always had good success with it.



Days Gone By