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".

 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.

******Check out the revised book link above.******

Book proceeds go to help our club website stay running. Thanks for your purchase.

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

Your Host

Hello Everyone,

At this time of year, I get a lot of questions about pollen colors and about what color marking should be on this years queens. So, I want to address those questions here. I'll post both a pollen color chart and a queen marking color chart that will help you. You should copy these charts and keep them for future reference.

Fruit Pollen Color

 Apple–––––––––-–––––––––Transparent, Greenish-Yellow

Blackberry–––––––-–––––––Transparent, Whitish

Loganberry––––––––-–––––Transparent, Whitish

Pear––––––––––––––––––––Transparent, Yellowish-Green

Raspberry–––––––––––––––Transparent, Greenish-White

Flowering Shrubs

Berberis Stenophylla–––-––Yellow

Broom –––––––––––––––––Yellow

Buddleia Globosa––––––––Transparent, Whitish

Buddleia Alternifolia––––– Transparent, Whitish

Hawthorn –––––––––––––– Yellow

Ivy–––––––––––––––––––––Transparent, pale Yellowish- Green

Wild Clematis –––––-––––– Pale Yellowish-Green

Garden Flowers

Aster–––––––––––––––––– Amber Yellow

Forget-Me-Not–––––––––– Transparent, Light Bluish-Green

Golden Rod –––––––––––– Golden Yellow

Helenium––––––––––––––Yellow

Lupine–––––––––––––––– Bright Yellow

Mignonette–––––––––––– Transparent, Yellow-Fawn                                                                                                                                            

Poppy, Iceland––––––––––Golden Yellow

Poppy, Oriental–––––––––Bluish Purple

Poppy, Shirley––––––-––––Yellow

Rose––––––––––-––––––––Golden

Salvia Virgata–––––––––––Transparent, Very Pale Green

Wild Flowers

Blue Bell–––––––––––––––Pale Yellowish-Green

Charlock (wild mustard)––Pale Yellowish-Green

Clover (red and white)-––-Transparent, Greenish-Yellow

Dandelion––––––––––––––Yellow Amber

Heather––––––––––––––––Whitish

Poppy (red field poppy)––Bright Yellowish-Green

Ragwort–––––––––-––––––Golden Yellow

Rose-Bay Willow-Herb–––-Saxe-Blue

Sainfoin–––––––––-––––––Bright Yellow

Thistle––––––––––––––––Transparent, White

Vegetables, Etc.

Leek–––––––––––––––––––Transparent, Very Pale Green

Mint–––––––––––––––––––Transparent, Very Pale Yellow

Kidney Bean–––––––-–––––Transparent, Very Pale Yellow

Thyme–––––––––––––––––Very Pale Green

Queen mark colors are based on year-ending numbers. If your queen does not have the proper color marking according to this chart, you could have received an old queen instead of a new one.

0 or 5---Blue

1 or 6---White

2 or 7---Yellow

3 0r 8---Red

4 or 9---Green

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For Sale 

FOR SALE:  New assembled & painted medium (honey) supers with frames & beeswax foundation: 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 since 1977.  Supers-$35.00.  If you are interested or need further information, please email me at purehoneyproducer@att.net --------Costa Kouzounis

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***CHECK OUT THE CLASS PAGE TO SEE WHAT CLASS IS BEING GIVEN THIS MONTH***

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Bee Talk 

Hi Dennis,

My friends Kathy and Chris Denison gave me your email address and website. 

 I am starting new hives in Smithville, TX (9 hives).  This time around, I want to use only medium sized boxes (easier to handle for old single woman). 

 Here’s my question:  I know that 3 mediums = 2 deeps.  I know I wouldn’t put out 2 deeps initially when hiving new bees.  However, I don’t know how many mediums to put out when hiving new bees? When installing packaged bees, how many mediums do I put out initially?  Only one medium in which I’d be installing the queen cage (plus feeder size to put food and the box of bees)? OR Do I set out 2 mediums, placing the queen cage in the bottom medium then add the second medium then the feeder box ?

 Your advice is greatly appreciated. The Denison’s have been passing your beekeeping techniques/information for several years.  Now that I’m getting back into beekeeping again, I can put all of it to use. I look forward to hearing from you.   Abigail

Hello Abigail,

OK, let's see if I can help you out. I would set the medium in its place on the stand. I would recommend using an entrance feeder. (Never a division board feeder.) Put the entrance feeder in its place and then cut a spacer long enough to extend from the feeder towards the other end of the entrance leaving a two inch opening for the bees. This will keep robber bees from getting too close to the feeder. They would now have to start at the other end which would be unlikely because of the guard bees. Make sure all ten frames are spaced properly. Take an empty brood/medium box and set it on top. Take the cork out of the candy end of the queen cage. Set the queen cage on the top bars with the screen facing up. Pour some bees on top of the queen cage and then lay the cage inside with the opening against the queen cage. Set the top on the hive and check on it in three days. Lift the top to see if the queen has been released. If she has, remove the queen cage and the package, then put the top back on. When the bees begin drawing out the two side frames, add a second box.

This system has worked for many years with a 98% acceptance rate. My book, "Beekeeping A Personal Journey" gives you all the benefits for using this technique. There are too many to list here.

I hope this helps you.

Dennis

 Link was sent in by member Kathy Schroeder. It deals with how honey contains an anti-cancer-agent.

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/honey-powerful-anti-cancer-agent

 Hey Dennis,

When do I open up the entrance all the way and how long do I leave it that way?

Hello Laura,

Where we live here in Texas, you can remove the entrance reducer the first of April along with changing out the metal top for a wooden migratory top.

Dennis

  Hey Dennis,

I thoroughly enjoyed your Raising Chemical Free Bees and keeping them Healthy class.  It was very informative and I was able to learn quite a few additional techniques or general knowledge that will give me a lot better chance being successful.

Rick Vice

Hello Rick,

I’m glad you enjoyed the class and thanks for emailing me telling me so. Most folks don't take the time. It’s nice to receive such kind words. It makes it all worth it to me.

Dennis

 Hi Dennis,

My husband and I have been beekeepers now for three years. We are currently down to four hives. Last fall one of our hives went queen-less and we had to stack it on one of our other hives. It was too late in the year to purchase another queen. We really wanted to get through the winter with five hives so we could make some nice splits in the spring to increase our hive count.

How can we avoid this problem in the future? I’m sure we will run into this situation again at some point. Thanks for helping us once again; we appreciate having you there when we have problems.

Susan Ferguson 

Hello Susan,

You’re welcome. You’ve experienced a situation that all beekeepers will run into sooner or later if they stay in beekeeping very long. There’s actually a real simple solution to the problem. I like to refer to it as a “Utility Hive.” It’s nothing more than a nuc hive.

You should always keep a utility-hive in the bee yard. Depending on how many hives you hive, you may need to keep more than one available.

A utility-hive has many uses in the bee yard.

.   If you have a hive that has lost its queen, you can use the queen from the utility-hive.

.   If you have a hive that needs a boost in population, you can remove sealed brood from the utility-hive.

.   If you need some foundation drawn out, you can have the utility hive do it.

.   If you have a hive that has a bad queen, you can kill her and unite the utility-hive with it.

.   If you just need to increase hive numbers, you can let the utility-hive grow into a full size colony.

I’ve always kept utility-hives available in all my bee yards. They are so versatile and have saved me lots of unnecessary grief over the years.

Sometimes what seems to be a huge problem in the bee yard can be solved using the simplest method. I’ve been a beekeeper since 1964 and I’m still learning. Beekeeping is one of those endeavors that no matter how long you’re in it, you can never learn it all. That’s one of the most fascinating things about it for me.

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“A day of work in the bee yard gives us the strength to bear the hectic parts of life in the real world.”

Dennis Brown

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 Days Gone By