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

******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

I just posted the June class "MAKING SPLITS FOR INCREASE.." If you know you can make the class, please register early.


For those of you who live within fifty miles of Lone Star Farms, take advantage of "Lone Star Farms Apiary Inspection Service." Contact Dennis for details.


Your Host

Hello Everyone,

Don't forget, "Father's Day" comes around this month.


Bee Talk

Hi Dennis,

Thanks so much for coming out and showing us where to go from here. We were pretty lost and not sure where to turn. You have saved our beekeeping hobby. Thanks, Heath and Kim Brown


Hey Dennis,

We just got through uniting 2 hives utilizing the newspaper method you taught us. We placed a queen excluder on the bottom deep (stronger hive w/ queen), paper on top of that and a deep with the week hive (queen less) on top and a migratory top. Is this the correct method? How long do we wait to check and see that the bees have chewed through the paper and united? Mark

Hello Mark,

Sounds like you got it right. You can wait forty-eight hours then go back in, remove the excluder and the remaining paper including off the bottom board.



Hi Dennis,

Want to thank you again for coming out to the bee yard today. I really appreciate all the advice and suggestions. I am still soaking it all in, but will make up a plan to make changes once I get all my new bee boxes and frames in. Have a good week. Nini


Hey Dennis,

I’m going to set up my hives this weekend in preparation to receive my nucs next weekend. Initially I plan to build a stand out of 4x4 treated wood. Is there a preferred length to provide any sort of separation between two hives? I read in one book that it’s good to separate the hives in spring/summer and put them together in the winter. Also am I safe to assume that initially, I’ll have only one brood box (with six new frames to go with the four with brood from the nuc.) to house the nuc with an empty box on top to house a sugar syrup feeder? Does the feeder just sit on top of the frames? Once the feeding has stopped should I remove the upper box or wait to add new frames once the bottom frames are drawn? Pete Barnes

Hello Pete,

The stand dimensions that I have come up with over the years are; four feet long, eighteen inches high and sixteen inches wide. I can place two hives on each stand that are about six inches apart. (I don't move them close together in winter time. It doesn't get that cold in our part of Texas.) I can work each hive from at least one side and the height is good on my old back.

Sometimes your nuc will come with three frames and a feeder so you will need seven frames to add to the box. Yes, the feeder that I like to use does sit on top of the frames on the top box. I place an empty brood box around the feeder. (I use a one gallon quail waterier) Then, above that, I place the top back on the hive. Keep feeding until the box has all the frames drawn-out. When the bees have drawn out the first brood box and if there is no honey flow going on, remove the feeder, place the second brood box on top and replace the feeder on top of that second box so the bees can begin to draw-out the frames. (If there is a strong honey flow going on, remove the feeder and let the bees produce wax from the nectar that they are gathering.) When the second box is completely drawn-out and the bees have enough to eat, remove the feeder and spacer box. If the bees don't have enough to eat, continue feeding until they do. (Never feed bees when there is a “surplus honey super” on the hive because you don't want to contaminate the honey super with sugar water.)

Response: OK, last question. My property has several Eastern Bluebird boxes and a Purple Martin condo. Is there any problem locating the hives near these since both of these birds eat insects? To me that sounds like a silly question but I just have no idea how birds and bees interact and my most promising location has both houses nearby.


There is no problem with having bird houses near a bee yard. I have about a dozen bird houses. Some birds will pick off a few bees but, usually not enough to make a difference.


Hi Dennis,

I installed two nucs on April 6 at our family farm in Colorado County. I followed your recommendation of using the quail water jugs for syrup feeders in an empty deep. Since the location is a little over an hour from my home in Cypress, I can make it down there about once a week. This is probably a blessing for the bees; it keeps me out of the hive more than necessary.
However, one hive is very active and went thru the gallon of syrup in less than a week. The other, less active, had about a half inch left. There were several observations that totally amazed me. Let me know if they are normal.

1. The empty feeder was found to have comb forming on it.

2. The active hive preferred to pass pollen thru the screened bottom instead of the main entrance.

3. Just before I opened one deep to check the syrup, a moth that was outside the deep flew into the hive. Within a minute, a ball of bees fell out of the hive. This ball was covering the unwanted visitor. They dismantled his wings, picked him up and carried the moth about twenty feet out of the garden fence. Very impressive!

Am I correct by continuing syrup feeding as long as they are drawing comb on new foundation?

Toby P

Hello Toby,

It is normal to find burr comb in areas that are not "bee space" correct. I have never witnessed the workers passing pollen up through the bottom screen to their hive mate nor have I ever even heard of that. I do find lots of pollen that has fallen through the screen bottom onto the ground. The workers sometimes lose their pollen load as they attempt to off-load it inside the hive. Yes, you should continue to feed until the foundation in the brood boxes have been drawn out. This helps the hive expand much faster.



Days Gone By