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. I would like to ask a favor of those who have been reading our newsletter for all these years and who have purchased either of my beekeeping books. Amazon rates the books by the number of positive reviews a book has received. So, if you have read either or both of my books, I would appreciate it if you took the time to write a positive review on amazon about my books. If you go to our club website and click the book link, it will take you to my book links. Click on the link below each book and it will take you to Amazon. There you will find the' write a review' link. Now of course if for some weird reason you read my book and didn't like it, just forget that you ever read my book or even heard about me at all.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to write a "POSITIVE" review and have a wonderful May.

Dennis

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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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Bee Talk

Dennis,

 It is now official. I am a bee haver. We picked up two packages from B Weaver yesterday, 8 April 2015. Thanks to your expert tutelage the installation intoprepared hives went with very few newbee errors, few mashed bees and no arthritis treatments...I mean stings. Thank you very much for all the practical information which you have provided in your Lone Star Farms bee school classes. Rebecca even accompanied me, not very closely, in the pick-up and installation process. She appears to be a little less frightened of the bugs that sting. She expressed considerable concern that I was making the installation bare handed. As the work progressed she became more willing to approach the bees.

 We opened the Lone Star Honey last week after finishing a jar of W….. Tallow honey. The difference in flavor is truly remarkable. Your Lone Stare Farms honey is so much better. The honey produced by bees that are cared for using natural methods, not just kept, is so much better.  We are anticipating the day we can enjoy honey produced by our own bees. Thank you very much.

 I look forward to Saturday's class. See you then.     Fred Keefer

Hi Dennis,

I am setting up new hives … I have about 40 used frames with drawn comb…these are clean/disease free…been in a freezer just in case for 48 hours. 

My questions are: 

 How do I set the old frames in the box? 

 Do I put a couple in the center and place new foundation on either side? 

 Do I put 2 or 3 of the old foundation frames furthest away from the hive opening and put all new foundation for the remaining frames?  

 I also have a few frames with old honey on them.  These I will place furthest from the front door opening.  Only a couple of hives will get this treat.

Thanks for your help.     Abigail David  One extremely sleep deprived, stressed out struggling beekeeper.

Hello Abigail,

I need to ask you some questions, so I have a better understanding of what you are asking. You said that you have 40 drawn combs, right? How many hives are you planning to set up right now? How many frames of honey do you have? How many frames of foundation do you have? Are you setting up hives using brood boxes or are we talking about mediums?

Dennis

Hi Dennis,

I am setting up 9 hives and using ONLY mediums.  Here’s the plan:

1.  I will set one out medium at the time I uncork the queen and package of bees. 

2. Then I will put a feed box on top of the single medium in which I will lay the uncorked queen cage screen side up on top of the frames after poking a hole in the candy stuff to
      speed things up a bit)

3.  Then I will dump a bunch of bees on top of the queen box and set the box the bees came in into the feeder box

4.  Then I will put in a quail feeder of juice

5.  Then I will put on the lid

 I had some old frames (3 years old) that had been stored in the freezer for 48 hours then put into a box and wrapped in clear plastic bags.  These were frames from last harvest I had and after bees had cleaned them up.  There’s lots of drawn comb which I think the newly unpackaged bees will find helpful. 

I have approximately 40 frames with the used foundation of drawn comb.

3 mediums = 2 deeps.  So I will need:

27 mediums to equal 2 deeps for 9 hives (9 hives x 3 deeps = 27 mediums) (I only know Barbie math, so this number could be off)

270 frames with foundation for 9 hives (10 frames per medium x 27 mediums)

 I’ll be making boxes and frames w/foundation every night for the next 4 months.      Abigail

Hello Abigail,

That's what I needed.

It's best to not mix drawn comb with foundation. You get a better drawn frame if you start with 10 frames of just foundation. Because, if there is a depression or a raised area in the drawn comb, the bees will mirror image it in the sheet of foundation. It's nice to have straight combs to work with from the start. So, I would make up four mediums with only nine drawn frames in each. Save the extra 4 frames for later. In my book; "Beekeeping: A Personal Journey" I explain why only nine frames. There's too much information to post it here. Make up 6 more mediums with 10 frames in each box. Now you have your nine hives. Add an additional box as needed to each box. Not all hives will a box at the same time so, don't add one until the hive really needs one.

If you are using the one gallon quail feeder, it won't fit on top of the frames inside a empty medium. (Try it while there are no bees yet.) That size feeder fits in a brood box. The other thing you need to think about is when you dump the bees on top of the top bars; you won't be able to place the feeder on top for a couple of hours without killing a bunch of bees. I like using the entrance feeder first then move to the larger quail feeder. You’re not rushed to give them food right away.

Dennis

Hi Dennis,

 I just wanted to compliment you on your presentation of another informative bee keeping class. This was a repeat of the Spring Management Class for me. As always, I learned additional information and refreshed previously covered material. The new video was quite informative. Thank you for presenting these classes. As always I look forward to next month's class.   Fred Keefer

  This link was sent in by member Kathy Schroeder.

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/7-health-benefits-bee-propolis

 Dennis,

 I so enjoyed your class!  I have taken this one before, but like always, I learned so much!! It also gets me inspired to work with my bees when I come to your classes. The video you showed was wonderful. It reminded me how very important that little critter, the bee, really is. Thank you for all your expertise and I’m looking forward to the next class!!     Laura Russ

 This article was sent in by member Jeanie Davis.

 fLetters fr-dm a Beekeeper's Wife

' i At convention, Eebruaiy l , 1917

Dear Sis;

. 1 kno you are anxious to know how we are enjoying the convention, so.while J am right here i n the

rnidst of i t Ili,take tinie to'give you nty iinpressionf Rob is having the time of his life.

. :' • To begin w i th the first session-ethe only impression I had was of heavy solemnity. The beekeepers

who came into the dark, stuffy room i n the Capitoi-assigned to us were heatsy-bearded, heavy-footed, sol-,

emn.and important! Lwas almost frightened! They all wear, terrible red badges with a queen bee on! There

were.two. other wives who sat w i th their husbands, as I did—1 mean each sat with her. husband—and we -,

all listened, very respectfully and attentively to the President's addres.s and reports of committees, I looked

y around during the reading and discovered that although there were a great many elderly bearded men pres-^

,'ent, there was more than a sprinkling of young, clear-skinned,wide-awake-looking men too. And some of

the.older men looked younger after ! had heard them talk—especially good old Mr, Randolph. ,

I. expected a great deal from the papers that'were to be read—but,- oh dear, such a disappointment!

Thejf were nothing more th'an the endless discussioris I hear at home between beekeepers. .The same old ,;

subjects—Queen-rearing, Bee Diseases,:Marketing Honey (about which most of the men seem to. know 7

^'almost nothing) and the mbn who talked didn't know any more about their subjects than the other men apparently;

but; j u s t like all beekeepers, when a paper was ended there was wordy, wandering all discussions

- of i t ; ' As every/man had to air his pet theory—every beekeeper has a pet theory—the discussion wandered

. off i n all directions and never seemed to arrive. They talk about the aimless discussion in women's clubs,

but i t ckn't compare with'a state beekeepers'convention. '

. At the end of the day I wondered to myself what Rob can get out of this organization to want to

*, come year after year. ' . • ..

K.. ' .,,Rob read a paper on "Home Marketing of Honej'" in which he described our work last summer. One

s'man actually said that i t was not right to-charge twenty cents a pound for honey, and several intimated that

Rob had not really done what.he said! That made me furious, and 1 was. glad that a young beekeeper rose

--and completely annihilated Rokb's critics , finishing by telling them that a. man who will retail honey for ten .

cents a^pound is little short of a fool. Rob's paper was the best one read yesterday—of course I am unbiased

i n my judgment. . ,•

However, today the apiarist from the State College talked,, and, as every one had worked, his pet

' Theory out of his system the day before, the discussion stated somewhat nearer the topic. I noticed that the

. younger men almost always led-in.progressive ideas,-but I must again include Mr. Randolph, who is almost

ifeighty years young, and the conservative old heads would shake in disapproval. 1 suppose i t was the same

g'in .Langstroth's day when.he tried to introduce the.movable-frame hive—and you know Susan B. Anthony

, had troubles of her'own., ... - .

I've beeri over to the last session but slipped out to write to you. They were carrying on a ques- ..

tion-box when ! left. That's the funniest thing! Any one who desires writes out a'question he would like to

*• have answered. There are read aloud and then any one at all answers, whether he is an authority on the

- subject dr merely thinks he is. I have an idea that some of them put in questionsThat they expect to an-

' swer themselves, for a lot of the men have not had much chance to talk today while there were real subjects

being discussed. There will be.five or six absolutely different answers to each question, so that I should

'-suppose that an amateur would be pretty will muddled in the end. . .

. Of course now that I've been with these beekeepers for two days I begin to see why they like to

come to conventions, but I don't believe that most of them know the real reason. It isn't for the papers,

• and certainly riot for the awful question-box, but for the human contact with beekeepers—and they are a

mighty nice lot of people.; After the sessions it's the hardest thing to pry Rob loose from any little group .

.-rithat happensto form,.and last night he stayed up and talked to the apiarist from the college u n t i l half past

.one. ..Poor Mr. Apiarist! Tmnot pitying Rob for I'm sure it was his fault. The beemen hang around.that

ding room or the hotel lobby, swapping bee stories u n t i l the lights are turned out. Rob says the convention

has been a success this year, for the usual bore with a new hive did.not come, and the man who has kept^

bees a few months but knows more about beekeeping than all the'rest put together has been kept in the

. background. Rob is quite, elated that they didn't make a new constitution this year, for he says that is the

' 'rifeekeeper's favorite indoor sport. .-• ..

;, • , I'm glad 1 came for Ihave met lots of-men that I've known by name for a long time. Tonight we leave

-. for home. Goodbye. . - . .. •

. ' Marj^

 Hey Dennis,

 I went to check on the first swarm I caught and I saw lots of larva and eventually found the queen!  The reason I am excited it is the swarm that I thought that I may have botched.  I did have a question for you though.  I did place one frame of capped and uncapped brood in there and the bees have made two queen cells on the top portion of that frame.  I recall reading that some bees do that quite a bit as an emergency queen of sorts and not that they are trying to replace the queen.  What are your thoughts on that?

 Recall except for my original hive that made it I have made the switch to foundationless frames.  The swarm is doing a great job building comb and have built comb on one frame ¾’s of the way and the built the comb into the wire and not on the side of it as you have experienced before.  I recall you mentioned that to me during the first class.

 Wednesday I will go out and see if I did get the queen in the second swarm and check to see if the queen was released in that BWeaver package.  For those hives I did not have any extra uncapped brood so I put some lemon grass oil in both of them and there is a lot of activity in both so it looks good so far.  If those two work out then I am exactly where I want to be with four hives of bees.  Rick

Hi Rick,

Most hives do make "queen cups" on a few frames for emergencies. Just make sure the bees don't draw the cups out too far and make sure you don't see any larva in them. It sounds like your hives are doing well. It's wonderful when things work out. Enjoy the good times.

Dennis

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Days Gone By