Your Host--For Sale---Club News---Bee Talk---Days Gone By

 Your Host;   Hello everyone. I want to thank all the new members for joining and making a difference. As our numbers grow, we will be heard. I would like to point out something very important. Prior to the 1990’s there were “very” few women being noticed publicly as a beekeeper in the USA. In today’s world there are lots of women getting involved publicly in beekeeping. I think the women in the past were staying in the shadows. Congratulations to all the beekeeping women out there. You can just look at our membership list and see lots of the women beekeepers. This month I salute all the “Women  Beekeepers”.

For Sale

37 freeman beetle bottom boards w/metal trays and sticky board sheets.

47 metal queen excluders and 100 hive pallet clips.

Contact ----Costa Kouzounis--713-526-3781 or demosautomotive@aol.com

Club News

 Last Month the club took a field trip to Navasota, Texas. One of our members keeps his bees there and wanted us to help him work them. He moved his bees to that location last year. He started with 36 hives and by the time we arrived at his bee yard 12 months later, he only had 6 hives left. When we began working the hives we noticed a lot of hive beetles. All of the hives were light weight and most were weak. He was using oil pans under each hive. A couple of the pans were dry. The hive debris had fallen into the pans and soaked up all the oil. The hive beetle larvae was having a field day inside those pans. This was the perfect setting for the hive beetle to reproduce. All of the hives were requeened before they were moved to this location. We could not find one of the new queens in any of the hives. The bees had requeened their hives. Two of the 6 remaining hives appeared to be really struggling. Our conclusion at the end of the day was this;  The hives were under so much stress that the queen was not laying properly and the workers replaced her.The location of the bee yard was not condusive to running 5 hives much less 36. Before you move bees to a location you should always inspect the area for nectar sources. Learn to identify nectar sources. A location could be good one year and not the next so the best you can do is place a limited number of hives there and grow with the location. You will be able to get a good average over a 5 year span. We don’t use the oil pans here at Lone Star Farms but if you do, these pans should be properly maintained. If they are not, then these pans can work against you instead of for you. Since our field trip day, we helped our member load up his hives and he took them to a tallow location South of Houston where last I heard the bees were kicking some butt.

 

 Bee Talk

 

 

Good luck. The only truly chemical free bees are dead.  

Tommy Thornton         okbeekeeper@gmail.com

 Tommy,

 I am not sure that I understand your email. Do you mean that in order to raise bees today you have to put chemicals in the hive for the bees to live? If so, I can teach you how to raise bees without using the chemicals. Some of us have been doing it for years. Would you be interested in that?    Dennis 

Hi all,

I can see were Tommy’s coming from  we all live in a world of chemicals we wash in them we spray our hair with them we even drink coke and water out of plastic bottles which will also infect us with chemicals there is no doubt that we live in an environmental chemical world.

On Sunday past I noticed whilst waiting 12hrs in Newark airport the hype on the news channels about people in the States who are saturated with chemicals in their diet. This was highlighted by a sample from an umbilical chord of an unborn child was taken from a pregnant mother and found 200 different chemicals from the baby. the journalist quoted by saying the  “baby is polluted before being born”

The bees are no different; and with respect I think some miss the point. The idea is to stop saturating the bees with chemicals by using them as a magic bullet to help kill disease and keep the Varroa Mite in check. The idea also is to limit the onslaught of chemicals in the hive. For example not purchasing recycled wax foundation which is already saturated with chemicals’ used by previous beekeepers.

This is a small step but effective.  When I visited AI Root in Ohio Kim FLottum editor Bee Culture showed me some wax in jars from around 1908 and quite rightly said that it was the only beeswax on the planet that was pure.

I have a beekeeping friend who uses Bavarol strips in his hive as if they were wriggles spear mint gum, one out one in. I would never take his honey never mind the bees. poor critters.

So like me we try to keep bees chemical free as much as possible. I stopped drinking out of plastic bottles years ago, use organic shampoo and a salt stick for deodorant.  

It’s a lot easier for me in Ireland to do this. We don’t have GM crops as yet and very little spraying in the area that I have my bees.  At the EAS in August held in Boone this year if I am correct the theme is chemical free bees.

I had a brilliant but busy week. I spent time with the Young Harris College and University of Georgia Beekeeping Institute in Hiawassee, On the way home got caught up in the Ash cloud in Newark stayed in the dirtiest Travel Lodge hotel ever in New Jersey. Then travelled to Bath and enjoyed an evening banquet with HRH Prince Wales and guests on Tuesday.  HRH gave an excellent speech I am trying to get a copy of it if I do I will send it you.

He mentioned chemicals/pesticides and the effect it has on our environment and health. The one most interesting piece was that he told me he had 2 swarms of bees holed up in trees in Highgrove for over a year.. HRH is a practising beekeeper.

We rarely have seen swarms of bees in trees for many years and it seems they are coming back.

I have been chemical free for near on 11yrs and I am known as a quack beekeeper, but I can handle that. I will never give my bees anything that I wouldn’t give my 4 lovely daughters. Its worth giving it a try.

The one practice I do is remove the queen trap her in a queen cage in the brood area for 5 days every so often this disrupts the Varroa Cycle. I would love every body in Ireland to do this at the same time for 5 days it would have a good impact against the fight of the mite.

There as always and will always be sceptics in this world voicing their opinion against anything that people do that is seen out of the ordinary. But the evidence of using no chemicals’ at all in the bee hive and for anything we do never in life is mounting up as a positive action to improving a better world.

Cheers to you all. Michael

Ps Anybody going to EAS this year, we could meet up. 

Dennis, 

I started keeping bees back in 70's & 80's when you didn't have to do anything but collect the honey in the spring and fall. In the mid 80's I lost all of my 6 hives over 2 yrs due to some unknown reason, guess what mites. Today my bees are on screen bottom boards year round which rids approx. 10-20% of the might drop, the rest I use powdered sugar to drastically reduce more mites. Another method I use is splitting hives and let them raise there own queen - this also reduces the mite load. Picking hives to split are those that do not seem to have problems with heavy mite loads. To do this I use a capping scrapper to probe drone cells and look at the mites. We do not seem to have nosema problems which are most likely because I feed the bees sugar water in spring and fall during dearth’s with Honey-B-Healthy. 

Sam Hammett - President

Mid-Ohio Valley Beekeepers Assoc.

web site:  www.angelfire.com/nb/movba

 Sam, 

 I was a commercial beekeeper back in the 70's and 80's. Those were the glory days alright. I appreciate you responding to my email. I am trying to build up as many chemical free beekeeping members as possible so that we can force the queen breeders to start raising healthier bees and so that the foundation producers can start making some chemical free foundation. The bees are in trouble and the industry is pumping out sick bees and polluted bee products. It is like everything else of this nature, it will take numbers to change it. If you are interested we could use your help and anyone else that you know to join us in turning the tide on this huge problem. Thanks again and I hope that we will be able to "Save the bees one hive at a time" Dennis

 Dennis,

 I got my new hive, veil and stuff from Kelley.  I sure do like the bottom board.  Everything seems a notch better quality than  ????. Thanks for the tip.  

By my calculation, my new package (hived April 17) released its queen a little bit over three weeks ago, and though I have not peeked I suspect new bees are emerging.  Today I noticed differences in the activity at the entrance.  More drones flying out than I had noticed before, and what seemed to be pollen flying out, not in.  I could be wrong about that.  

I watched one particular bee on the landing for a while, because it seemed to have deformed wings.  I was able to look well because it stayed in the same spot for almost a minute.  I was thinking deformed wing virus.  At first there almost seemed to be no wings, and then I saw they were wrapped around the thorax.  Just about when I realized that, she flew off, apparently without difficulty.  When she took flight her wings sprouted out into normal position, it seemed to me.  

Is this what one sees when a bee has just emerged from the cell and taken off for the first time?  

Don’t forget to invite me to photograph your encounter with the Africans...  

Jim 

Jim, 

You should work your bees a week after the queen was released to make sure the bees have excepted her and that see is laying. If you are seeing a lot of drones instead of workers then you may have lost the new queen and you now have a drone laying worker. You need to go in and look for a queen and a brood pattern. When bees first hatch they don't take flight it could be 3 weeks before they take flight depending on the needs of the colony. As soon as you can, go inspect the hive. Let me know what you find. Dennis 

Dennis,

 Thanks for the pictures.  I now have a question.  I ordered 2 new queens from B Weaver and they arrived here this afternoon about 3:30.  I have watched a B Weaver video showing new bees and they showed that you put the cage with the cork end pointing to the bottom.  A brochure that I have from 3 or 4 years ago shows that the screen should be pointed down.  What is the best?

 Robert

 

 Hello Robert,

 

I am really going to confuse you. There are several ways to install a new queen. The way that I like is to take the hive top off. Place a empty super on top. It does not matter if it is a honey super or a brood/deep box. Remove the cork from the candy end and slide a nail through the candy without hitting the queen. I than place the screen up and lay the cage cross ways across the top frames. Then I place the top back on. All of this is of course after you are sure the hive is queenless and has no queen cells. The reasons I like this method are because I don't have to smash any comb-I don't have to worry about the cage falling to the bottom board-I can view the cage by lifting the top off to see if the queen has been released without digging through the hive-I don't disturb the bees and it is less time consuming. Plus I have good queen acceptance. Well, I hope that I have not confused you more. If so, email me back. Dennis

 Good morning Dennis. I really enjoyed the class last Saturday. I just ordered from Kelley a screened bottom board and the top feeder w/ ventilated super.  I need another 6 5/8" honey super.  but, I'll get that in a couple weeks. 

When I get these items, I’m going to paint the outside with a coat of latex primer, followed by a couple coats of latex white - correct?

Finally, as long as I have white latex paint on my brush, and after I've wiped down (cleaned) the exterior of my existing hive with a wet rag - is there any reason why I can’t put a coat of white latex on the exterior where it sits?  as you know, I originally got my 3 supers from Dadant pre-painted, and now I’m realizing their paint job was real thin.  I'd like to add a coat.  Any reason why i cant do it w/ bees in it / where it sits?

 Thanks again for your help and I'll see you in June for the extraction class.

 Hello Chris,

   I am glad that you enjoyed and learned in the class. The extraction class will be interesting as well. It would be better to paint the hive bodies separate from your bees. You will need to paint the landing board and around the entrance. I would wait until you had extra equipment and change the hive bodies out to paint. As long as there is some paint on the hive, you will be ok until you get more equipment. I enjoyed having you in class. Dennis

 Hi Dennis,           

 Been keeping bees over 40 years. Got started over concerns of my small children consuming refined sugar products. Why not a natural sweetener like honey?

It's been a great hobby. Have had losses due to the Varroa mite but over wintering these last few years have been very good.

Calls for swarms are up - so that's a good sign. Nobody treats the "wild" bees.  Of course we don't have the problems with Killer bees that you have. 

 I believe that many of our problems are cyclic, and given time, nature will correct them.

With reference to the use of antibiotics in the hive I've attached an article my wife came across. By curtailing medicines we can have a stronger population - bees as well as humans. 

Best regards,

Frank

  Hello Frank,

    I also believe that most things are cyclic in nature. One of the biggest detriments to the natural occurrence is the human factor. We as humans try to bend and sculpt nature to suit our needs or wants. In the case of the varroa mite and beetle problems, we stepped in and dumped chemicals into the hives. It usually turns out to be a short term solution and causes more harm than good. That's where we are today. When it doesn't work, we increase the doses. In the end we find that we are worse off than when we started. The bees would have been stronger and healthier today if natural selection would have been able to take place. There are several queen breeders around that have performed natural selection and have come up with some pretty Hygienic bees that do not need chemicals to thrive. I have a couple of them listed on my link page.Now Lone Star Farms is trying to convince other beekeepers to stop buying non-hygienic bees from breeders that dump chemicals into their hives. Until this happens and it will, the queen breeders don't have to change their bad ways. Someday when we all start buying from Hygienic breeders the chemical using queen breeders will start doing it right or be forced out of business. 

I am glad that you have gotten so much pleasure out of keeping bees and I hope that you will pass our website around to other. The sooner we can increase our chemical free beekeeping members, the sooner we can force queen breeders to go Hygienic. Thanks again for your membership and I hope you continue to enjoy the website. Dennis

Hi Dennis,

 A really nice website! 

Have to ask, "were you named Cletus in a different life"?  Have met a few.  Need more of them as they make life interesting. They remind us that life is an art, for crying out loud.

Bob

Hello Bob,

   I am glad that you enjoyed the website. I believe that we all have some Cletus inside of us. Sometimes we do things and then sit back and say, how dumb was that? How did you find us and do you have bees at this time? Where are you located? Dennis

 Hi Dennis,

Thanks for writing.  I have been a beekeeper since 2007.  I work at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton Ga.  At the center we have a Natural History Museum with an observation hive.  I started learning about the bees, as we were trying to keep bees in the observation hive year long for our students that come to the center.  Currently I have 1 hive that I am hoping to split this spring.  I have had as many as 5 hives at one time.  I currently have Italian bees.  I am thrilled to know there is a community of beekeepers against putting chemicals into the hives.  Thanks for the great resource.

Becky

Beekeeping Days Gone By

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