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

(Novel series) #3 Tom Richards-Voodoo Massacre--You can purchase it in the classroom, or through kindle. (Available in September)

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

Bee Talk

 Dear Mr. Brown, 

Thank you so much for your help with my bee problem.  A very nice young man called me and came out and took care of it.  His name is Ryan and lives up near Steep Hollow on Grassburr. I am so thankful to you and your group. What great communication and network you have with these people. Beverly Caldwell


I put honey supers on to catch the horsemint that is blooming here.  We had that rain for 2-3 days around Memorial Day and the bees were stuck inside.  I did a hive inspection afterwards and found one of my hives had eggs in the middle frames of the honey super with honey arches above the eggs, like an extension of the brood nest below.  The outer frames were being filled completely with honey.  What’s the appropriate course of action here? If they hatch out and pupate will they always see that as a brood area or is it just a fluke that won’t necessarily happen again?  Could I put the full frames in the middle of the super and rotate the egg frames to the outside so once they hatch out they might get filled with honey, or at least not re-filled with eggs?  Thanks,  David D.

Hello David,

Your best bet with this situation is to find the queen and put her back down into the brood nest. Then place a queen excluder between the brood nest and the first honey super. You don’t want to move those eggs to an outer frame and separate them from the brood in the lower box. You don’t want to divide the nurse bees into two separate areas of the hive. Now that you have the queen excluder on, you can leave that super on long enough for the brood to hatch.

It doesn’t make any difference if there has been brood in a honey super. The bees will again use those frames for storing honey. (Or more brood if the queen is able to move in there.)


 Good evening

 My bees still won’t read your book, but it says over 12 mites too many and need hygienic queen and powder sugar treat.

Does how many bees are in the hive affect the mite check count?

For example, I have a hive that is working on 2nd deep box and medium full of bees with 10 mites and a really super full 2 deep hive that has 18 mites.

The hives have Beeweaver queens that I installed in April 2014. Thanks,  Dawn

 Hello Dawn,

It's not the number of bees in a hive that affects mite count. The amount of BROOD in the hive affects the number of mites in a hive. Mites breed in the brood and right now there should be a lot of brood in a double deep. I think the hive is still in good shape for this time of year if that's all the mites you found on the board, but continue checking once a month.


 Hi Dennis,

You may remember my neighbor, who used to come to your classes with me who harvested several feral bee hives with comb and brought them into his bee yard instead of placing them in quarantine away from the two Russian nucs.

Unfortunately, all four of his hives now are overrun with Hive Beetles.   When he saw the larvae he picked them out and threw them on the ground.  (OMG!  really!)

At this point he is putting a solution of Apple Cider Vinegar and some type of oil into the hives and placing a piece of tin on the ground underneath the hives in the hopes that it will attract and then kill the beetles.  I suppose he thinks the piece of tin will keep the beetles from going back up into the hives.  Some Witchdoctor that supposedly raises bees in Meridian, Texas advised him to do this.

He's tried to blame the Russian nucs for the beetle problem, but he is grasping at straws since my bees do not have any signs of beetle infestation.

Wondered what you thought would be best for him to do?  Personally, if it were me I would terminate the existence of those feral bees, burn the hives and move the two Russian hives somewhere else and maybe treat the ground around that old hive site.  Although I don't know what you would use to give yourself any guarantee that you could exterminate the beetle from the soil.  Perhaps this would give the Russian hives a better chance of dealing with the beetles on their own since the hygienic bees were bred to handle pests in the hive.  Thanks,

Jeanie Crump

 Hello Jeanie,

The first thing I would advise him to do is buy my book "Beekeeping; A Personal Journey" and read the raising bees chemical free chapter. The only reason a hive gets overwhelmed with hive beetles is because there is more space in the hive than the bee population can care for and or the bees are not hygienic. This is not a bee problem. It is a management problem.

Make sure you don't work his hives with your hive tool, gloves etc.


Thanks Dennis,

Mack has read both your books, but unfortunately has decided not to take your good advice.  Yes, he does have too much space in his hives.  I think he added his boxes way too early and too many.  One hive has five boxes on it and he's only had the feral bees 2 months.  The apple cider and oil mixture he's using seems only be killing the bees.  He's got a tray underneath one hive with some sort of oil mixture in it and there were lots of dead bees in it. 

 I made him provide me with a suit to look at his hives with him.  I told him I did not want to risk taking any of the beetles back to my bee yard.  Also I would not want him to come into my yard with his suit or tools and I would not use his extractor.  I'll find the money to buy my own.

I think it has a lot to do with money.  I think he thinks he is saving money by capturing these bees for "free".  For some reason he's not happy with the Russian Nucs he's bought.  I, on the other hand, am very pleased with them and am following your methods and very pleased with the results.  My hives are clean and doing well. Thanks again for the info.

Jeanie Crump

Hello Jeanie,

It may not be too late to save these hives. Have him get rid of the oil slick and reduce the number of boxes down to where the bee population can protect itself. If he doesn't want to do that, then there is nothing else you can do for him. Some people think they have all the answers even after being in beekeeping for a couple of months. I can admit that after 50 years, I'm still learning.

It must be depressing for you to watch his bees slowly die when you know that he has an opportunity to save them. It's really sad.


Hey Dennis.

Yes it' s very upsetting. Especially since HE was the one that came across your book and wanted to take the classes.
I'm just glad I decided to raise chemical free bees. It's just better for everyone all the way around.
I will make the suggestion to him. He may just have to take a big loss to become a believer. Too bad for the bees.  I really enjoy taking care of mine.

I intentionally did not say anything to my fiancé before he took your class and let him form his own opinion. He said he really liked your class. He said he liked the way you make it interesting and fun. Never a dull moment! Thanks again.


 Hi Dennis,

I had a hive attack me and my husband today. The only thing is it is the hive that I actually saw my marked bee weaver queen a week ago. They were fine then. Do you think she may have had an African batch of sperm?  Didn't see any bees take over or anything.  Laura

Hello Laura,

Keep her for a while and see if they were just having a bad day. It takes 21 days for worker bees to hatch to adult. If last week they were fine, then the hive couldn't have turned aggressive that quickly. 


 Hey Dennis,

During a hive inspection in early March I found 8 queen cells in a hive. I took them out, but did notice the egg pattern was spotty. I attributed this to the cold winter. Returning in two-weeks there were no eggs! I searched for several days and came to realize the hive had no queen. I placed the hive on another hive and installed a queen excluder. Checking on the hive, she had made it to the other chambers and is laying nice brood patterns. Obviously, queen excluders don’t always work. When should I split the hive so they we be more likely to accept the new queen. Should I use both brood chambers are only one. Dennis, thank you for your advice and your dedication. Randall from the Woodlands.

Happy Father's Day Randall!

 The first question I have; Is the queen marked that you found in the hive? If not, maybe when you united the hives together there was a virgin queen in the hive you thought was queen-less and she killed the queen in the good hive. If so, you might think about getting rid of that queen excluder because it is rare to find a laying queen that can fit through a queen excluder. Virgin queens can sometimes get through the queen excluder because they haven't mated yet and are smaller.

 You can split now if you have access to a laying queen. Just follow the technique I describe in my book, “Beekeeping: A Personal Journey.” Split them into one brood box each at first and then when they can support a second brood box, place one on. Never give your bees more room than they can care for.

 I'm really glad that you’re still enjoying your bees after this forth year. You're doing great.


 Hey Dennis,

I see some bees standing on the landing board fanning their wings. Is this something normal? Bye the way. I have been enjoying your new crime mystery series. When does the third one; “Voodoo Massacre come out?” Pete, Ohio

Hello Pete,

It’s been a while. I hope you’ve been enjoying your bees.

It is a normal activity. Bees will line-up and fan their wings when the temperature is hot. This is how the bees cool down their hive. The bees will also fan their wings when they are reducing the moisture level from newly gathered nectar.

I kind of got behind on my writing. Life seems to get in the way sometimes. I think in September I will have it out. I hope so anyway. Thanks



Days Gone By