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.***********

******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

I just posted the April class "Spring Management." If you know you can make the class, please register early.

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Hello Everyone,

Over the years I have frequently been asked if I would come out and inspect someone’s apiary for a fee, but had to decline because of limited time available to me. Now, I’ve freed up some time and I’m in a position to except some local traveling.  In the past I would ask that folks send me some pictures of the inside of their hive and I would offer them my best diagnosis. That is still available to you. However, things can be missed from just looking at a picture. During a proper hands-on inspection I am able to see the whole picture and give you the current condition of the hive and what to fix, if anything. There are so many things to look for that a picture cannot expose.

So, with that in mind, I would like to introduce the “Lone Star Farms Apiary Inspection Service.” If you live within thirty miles of Lone Star Farms, (Out of town service is also available.) I will come visit your hive (S) and perform a proper hive inspection. I will inspect your hive, making sure that there is a queen, a queen that is performing like she should be, look for any bee disease, if the hive has enough food stores, if there are any queen cells present, if the hive has enough space or too much space and the overall condition of the hive. I will fix any problem that I find at the time of the inspection. You will be able to learn as well by observing what I do.

The fee for this service is $85.00. This will cover my travel and I will inspect up to two hives at a location. Each hive above the two hives at that location I inspect will add $15.00 per hive. This is a small price to pay compared to what you have already invested to make sure your hive (S) is in good shape.

If you have any interest in this service, please contact me through the Lone Star Farms website or call. 979-279-5266

For those of you that live outside the local area and would like to take advantage of this service, please contact me to work out the details. Thanks

Dennis

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For Sale

2016 queen/nuc/medium supers

2016 Marked Russian Queens-$36.00, Five deep frame Nuc-$235.00 plus a $25 refundable nuc box deposit.

To receive the nuc box deposit, my original nuc box must be returned clean and within 90 days to 2438 Tangley St. Houston, TX 77005. 

There are many variables in raising bees and they are all in God's hands.  Queens and nucs will be ready when they are ready so please don't nag me on dates.  I do the best I can to provide a product I would want in my yard.  I will advise you when the bees are available.  Tentative timeline is after the Yaupon bloom and before the Tallow bloom. 

Queens can be shipped ($35.00 overnight only 1-24 units in a battery box) or picked up.  Nucs are pick up only and the pick up locations are in Waller, Houston or Galveston, Texas. Full payment required for queen bookings. Nuc bookings require an $85.00 non-refundable deposit that will be applied toward the total nuc purchase price. Make checks payable to E.C. Kouzounis 2438 Tangley St. Houston, TX 77005. If you are interested or need further information, please email me at purehoneyproducer@att.net--------Costa Kouzounis.

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Bee Talk

Hey Dennis,

I bought your book (Beekeeping: A Personal Journey) and have enjoyed reading it very much. You cover things that I have never read in all the other books I have in my library. It is very informative.

You mention in your book that you usually wait until the second week of the honey flow before you add the first honey super to the hive so the bees can refill their boxes first. Should I wait if I have a hive that is in a single brood box before adding another one? Dave R

Hello Dave,

I always recommend that you add another box when the bees have completed drawing-out the eighth frame in a ten frame box. If you add another box on too early, the bees will usually move up into the second box before they complete drawing-out the two side frames in the first box.

I hope this helps.

Dennis

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Hi Dennis,

We wanted to take your class today, but Nick had a gymnastics meet in Houston. Hopefully we will be able to participate next month.

I thought I would share with you an ongoing experience…Yesterday; I got a call from a neighbor about a swarm sitting in his backyard. 

I ended up catching the swarm, the size of a basketball – everything run smoothly, it was an easy operation, the bees appeared pretty gentle (I understand this is generally the case with swarms).

I put the bees in a brood box with one comb containing some honey and the rest of the frames with foundation. I also put an entrance feeder with sugar water (2:1), and reduced the entrance to less than 2 inches.

Need to mentioned that we move our old big colony (from last year) to Calwell, a good friend has a rural property and the bees should have a lot more resources than here in the subdivision!

We acquire those bees last year from B-Weaver, and the colony is pretty strong and doing well.

In the meantime, I brought the newly caught swarm to my backyard. Everything looked just fine for a couple of hours – and I left to get some work done in the office.

I left my dog outside – an 8 year old boxer - that has been around bees for the last year, we never had an issue. The dog simply does not seem to care about bees. He did get stung a couple of times, but nothing major ever happened.

When I came from the office a few hours later yesterday, I found that my dog had been massively attacked by bees (the newly caught swarm), he was still wandering in the backyard shaking his head and trying to cope.

I noticed lots a bees dead on the back porch and several agitated bees flying around. I brought the dog in, he had been stung at least 200 times if not more…

I got my bee suit and walked to the new hive – I had several bees flying around but nothing out of the ordinary, I was not attacked, the bees did not rush to me.

Long story short, my dog is still in intensive care at TAMU.  

As a precaution, I closed the entrance of the hive and will move the bees to Caldwell this afternoon. I am unsure about what is going on!

I thought it was uncommon, it certainly was unexpected, to have the bees attack the dog. But since I was not here, I do not know what might have happened.

The obvious concern is that this swarm may be aggressive – Africanized. I will definitely re-queen (I have ordered a queen from Costa back in January), but I am clueless about what might have happened. 

I appreciate any comments or suggestions you may have. Thank you. Best regards, Gonzalo Rivera

Hello Gonzalo,

I hope your dog will be alright. It is unusual for a swarm to be that aggressive unless they are African bees, but African bees typically don't produce a swarm as big as a basketball. And these bees didn't attack you when you walked up to the hive. Were there any dead bees on the landing board?

Look under the hive through the screen bottom. Are there any dead bees lying on the screen? Work the hive this weekend and see how aggressive they are. Let me know and we'll go from there.

Dennis

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Hi Dennis,

Can you provide me with the queen marking schedule? I know you have posted it before, but I can’t locate it at the moment.  Paula D.

Hello Paula,

Here’s what you’re looking for.

Dennis

Queen mark colors 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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Hey, Dennis-

Quick question about frames. I ditched all my frames with that stupid plastic foundation and will be using wax foundation. For your frames, do you prefer split bottoms or grooved bottoms? Seems like the grooved bottom bar will help with support, but I don't want to give hive beetles a place to hang out. Appreciate it!   David

Hello David,

I prefer the divided bottom bars with the hooked foundation from Kelley. Sometimes the wax foundation is deeper than the groove in the grove bottom which makes the foundation bow. With the divided bottom, the foundation has that extra room and eliminates any bowing. Your right, the bees can pick off any hive beetles from the top and bottom of the bottom bars.

Dennis

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Days Gone By