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".

******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

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.

If you belong to a beekeeping club and would like me to come teach one of the class topics that are listed on the class page, please have your president contact me. The four hour class would have to be held on a Saturday and there is a fifteen person minimum. Education is key to successful beekeeping management. Thanks


Bee Talk 

Hey Dennis,

I did a check on my strong hive with the sticky (oil-coated) board and counted at least thirty-two mites on the board from a twenty-four hours observation.  I've never used any sort of mite treatment and the hive is a year old. Is thirty-two mites in a twenty-four hour period to many? Thanks, Pete

Hello Pete,

You have quite an infestation going on right now for this time of year. I would recommend that you start dumping a cup of powdered sugar in each box once a week for four weeks. That is considered a treatment. I would perform this treatment a minimum of three times. Powdered sugar treatments are only putting a Band-Aid®on the real problem. It won't cure the problem but it will give you time to locate a more hygienic queen that will produce more hygienic bees. If you only keep doing the treatments without changing to a more hygienic bee, the mites will eventually over run the treatments and the colony will perish in the end. I would re-queen as soon as possible at this point.



Hi Dennis,

Should I use the sticky board under the bees when I do the powdered sugar treatment or just let the mites fall onto the ground under the screened bottom board? Nolan

Hello Nolan,

No, you should not have the board in place during a powdered sugar treatment.Let the mites fall to the ground and die. After you get the new queen in, continue your treatment at least one more time. You need to have the new hygienic brood hatch. The treatment after introducing the new queen will help that happen. Also, try to remember to throw some water under the hive to dissolve the powdered sugar. You don't want the bees walking around in the powdered sugar because the mites will reattach themselves to the bees and ride home with them. 



Hi Dennis,

Will dark comb make the honey darker? At what point do you change the foundation in your frames and brood box. I used vetch, cotton and clover and my honey was darker than the years before. Harry

Hello Harry,

I remember back in the late 1970's and early 1980's when trying to decide whether dark comb would change the honey color was one of the few things beekeepers had to worry about. Now, we have mites, beetles, parasite flies, chemicals, CCD, poor bee genes, etc. etc. etc. to worry about. Times have certainly changed in beekeeping since those “good old days”.

After years of discussion on the subject, beekeepers in the end had decided that dark comb made no change in the honey color as long as the comb had not been used as brood comb. The weather and soil conditions affect honey color from year to year on the same plant more than anything else. Also, the bees could have collected other nectar sources at the same time of the clover collection and mixed the nectars together.



Days Gone By