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;  for details.  

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

Your Host

Hello Everyone,

There won't be much bee activity around Bryan, Texas for the rest of this year. We are living in a severe drought area. Four years ago, we had three or four years of drought and it killed half of the yaupon population. Lots of large old tree died off at that time as well. Now, what was left of the yaupon is dying and more trees as well. It looks like those of us who live in this area will have to transport our bees to a better location in the future. I'm thankful that I'm not running 550 hives anymore. I don't think I could find that many locations without moving them to other states.

For those of you who can take Labor Day off, have a good holiday.



For Sale

I have 2 – 5 frame nucs with eggs, larva, sealed brood, pollen, and honey. Queens from Jay Poindexter-Montgomery, Texas Price – $175.00 /nuc. Contact Information: Garland Martine

Phone – 979 204 – 2043 e-mail


Bee Talk

Hey Dennis,

I just wanted you to know that I enjoyed Saturday’s class and I‘m planning to attend the next one as well. Thanks, Bill


This link was sent in by member David Dodge. Very interesting reading.


This article was sent in by member Fred Keefer.


Hi Dennis,

In making a powdered sugar check for mites, I have heard that one should use sugar without starch added. Is this correct, and if so, where does one find it? Thanks, Jim Anding

Hello Jim,

In the big picture it probably doesn't make much of a difference. If you're using screen bottom boards, (I hope you are.) 98% of the powdered sugar will end up on the ground. Most of it will fall through immediately and the majority of the rest will fall through the screen bottom as the bees groom themselves. What's left in the hive at the end is too little to worry about. I say  buy the cheapest powdered sugar you can find and go about your business. Refer to my book; “Beekeeping a Personal Journey” for the best way to perform the treatment during and after. I hope this helps.



Hi Dennis,

I started out with two new hives this spring that I got from B. Weaver.  They seemed okay at first.  I fed them often.  Saw no sealed brood.   Then a few weeks later they looked like this.  I am working with them to get two new hives, but I am concerned about whether I can re-use the boxes.

I am definitely going to start over with fresh new frames. Mary


Hello Mary,

There is no reason you couldn't reuse your boxes. However, if I were you, I would use sheets of bees wax foundation as opposed to plastic. Bees much prefer bees wax.



Hi Dennis,

We're new beekeepers and purchased two hives from someone in our local beekeeping association After we learned a bit more, we realized that this particular beekeeper isn't as committed to natural methods as we are and he has used chemicals regularly for hive beetles and Varroa mites. At this point, one of the hives (which has become very weak) shows signs of beetles. We are getting a trap to put oil into and plan to dust with powdered sugar. Do you have any other ideas to help us try to save this hive?

Also, the other hive is very strong. In fact, we pulled out a feeder that the bees had built comb in  not realizing we had to put a frame in its place while we cleaned it up and refilled it. In the meantime, they built brood comb into that space from the lid down into the hive. We are wondering if it is possible, after we treat for the beetles, to take this brood comb and place it into the weak hive to help it out. 

Daniel Palmer

Hello Daniel,

If you have purchased bees from someone who has been treating their bees with chemicals, then you will have to treat them with chemicals as well. Those bees will not be hygienic enough to care for themselves. I highly recommend that you re-queen the hive with a hygienic queen when you buy bees from chemically treated stock. Most beetle traps do not work. The best solution for beetle control is to keep strong hives and don’t provide the bees with more space than they can protect. Anytime you have a hive that has had chemicals placed inside it, you should rotate the combs out as soon as possible. The first combs to become empty in a hive will be the two outside combs. As they become empty, replace them with new comb and mark them. Using a tact on the top bar will help you identify the new comb you exchanged.

 I don’t recommend treating the hive with any chemicals. Most feeders provide good hiding places for the hive beetles so you should remove inside feeders as soon as you are finished with them. If the weak hive has a chance to make a comeback, then you could cut the burr comb out and add a proper frame in its place.

 Response: Finally, we have located a natural beekeeper in our area and will be acquiring additional hives in the future from him (He converted to natural methods three years ago, raises his own queens, etc.). Do you recommend placing the natural hives well away from the ones that we are transitioning from commercial methods, so there is less risk of cross contamination?

The only times you should worry about cross contamination is when you interchange equipment or when a hive gets weak and cannot defend itself from robber bees. Then the problem spreads to other hives.


Days Gone By