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".

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


For Sale

2017 Marked Russian Queens-$38.00 each. Five deep frame nuc with laying 2017 Russian queen-$255.00 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 and 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 Kouzounis.


Bee Talk

Dear Mr. Brown, 

Could you comment on a chemical-free solution to wax moth colonization/infestation?

Thank you,  

Frances Herbert, MD | Investigator

Synexus-US Clinical Research

Hello Frances,

Let’s first take a look at the biggest reason why wax moths are able to take hold of a hive in the first place. It’s the “Beekeeper” that usually allows the wax moth the opportunity to infest a hive by providing more room in the hive than the bees can care for.

Now, let’s talk about the solution to the problem. Actually, it’s a combination of things a beekeeper should do to avoid a wax moth issue. First, never provide more room than the bees can care for on their own. Second, always keep the hive population strong and third; only keep hygienic bees in your hives. If a beekeeper can follow these simple management suggestions, he/she should never be faced with a wax moth problem.

It’s all about ones management skills. In my book “Beekeeping; A Personal Journey” I explain my management style that has provided me with a successful life in beekeeping.

I hope that I was able to provide you with the information you were looking for.

Dennis Brown


Hello Dennis,

We ordered Russian queens from a RHBA member for May 2017 delivery, but I have become concerned about the info I read on the RHBA website, the article "The truth about pure Russian honey bees? By Big Bee Valley Apiaries. Under swarming, about active queen cells, Dr Tom Rinderer stated about one of every five Russian colonies will have more than one laying queen without swarming. My concern is with the queen daughter mating with non-pure Russian drones and us ending up having an aggressive hybrid strain. Have you experienced this?  Should I be concerned of this happening?

Also, I ask for May delivery thinking this would ensure potential good mating, should I ask for the queens to be delivered earlier than May? Barbara Farguson

Hello Barbara,

That’s a great question. Not known to many out there, it’s believed that as many as 6% of all hives have two queens. This usually occurs when the hive is weak. The workers will produce another queen in order to build up the population in the hive. Hives can become weak from a failing queen. The bees will tolerate a second queen until the population builds up. Then the bees will kill the failing queen. Another reason for having two queens is that you are providing more room in the hive than the bees can protect.

If you stick to the management program I discuss in my book, “Beekeeping: A Personal Journey” you won’t have to worry about running into this problem. The drone population towards the end of April in the south is high enough to have fully mated queens. So, if you live in the south, order your queens from a southern breeder during that time. If you live in the north, it would be best to order your queens towards the end of May. This could change depending on Mother Nature. In all cases of virgin queens mating in the open, there is a chance that the queen could mate with a drone from a more aggressive strain, especially in the south where the African bees are so widespread.

I have seen two queens in a hive many times over the years when running my 550 hives in my commercial days. When you run that many hives mostly by yourself, you can’t give your bees all the proper attention you should. I hope this helps.



Hi Dennis,

How do I know if I have African bees in my hive? Suzie P.

Hello Suzie,

There is no physical way to tell the difference between the African bee and the European bee because they both look the same. The only real way to tell would be to send samples of the bees to a laboratory for analysis.

There are different levels of aggression with honey bees and it is all determined from the genes that the bees have. Just because a hive seems to be more aggressive then another hive, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have African genes. However, I have worked with African hives before and when you open their hive top, there is no mistaken that you opened an African hive. The bees will fly out by the thousands and completely cover your suit to the point that you can’t see out through your veil. I have even had several hundred stings that penetrated my rubber boots. You will know when you have African bees just by the sheer number of attackers.


Hey Dennis,

What should you do if African bees attack you? Ralph

Hello Ralph,

(You can kiss your buns goodbye!) Ha!

There is a lot of bad information about what to do if you are attacked by African bees. If you are unfortunate enough to get attacked by African bees, remember the following information. It will save your life.

 RUN. Get into a building or vehicle as soon as possible. Remember, these bees will chase “intruders” for 300 yards.

COVER your face and head. Bees don’t like dark hair (meaning they’ll attack it), and they are drawn to car­bon dioxide.

CALL 911. The combined venom in eight hundred stings can kill an average-size adult.

REMOVE stingers as soon as you are safely away from the bees. The longer the stinger remains in the body, the more venom it pumps into the victim. Most of the venom is released within a minute so the sooner you can scrape out the stinger, the better.

        • DON’T jump into water. The bees will patiently wait for you to come up for air so they can continue their attack.


Days Gone By