Club Newsletter
January 2018

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 www.lonestarfarms.net 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

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Lone Star Farms wishes each and every one of you a "Happy New Year"

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For Sale

2018 Marked Russian Queens-$38.00 each. Five deep frame nuc with laying Russian queen-$280.00 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 a $100.00 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

Hi Dennis,

What do you think about plastic telescoping tops? Mike P.

Hello Mike,

The plastic tops work well during the warmer months and you don’t have to paint them and they last a long time because they never rot. However, the heat that is generated from the bees during the colder months will rise and cause condensation on the bottom of the plastic top and will sometimes rain back down on the winter cluster. It’s usually the wet that kills bees and not the cold during the winter months.

Treated wood tops cause the same situation during the winter because the moisture cannot be absorbed on treated wood. You could use the plastic/treated tops during the warmer months but should use wooden (untreated) tops during the colder months. I hope this helps.

Dennis

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Hi Dennis,

I have a lot of burr comb in the hive. Should I remove it or just leave it alone? Tony R

Hello Tony,

You should always remove burr comb when you find it. The burr comb is hard to work around. Go ahead and remove it and try to do a better job keeping proper “bee-space” between the frames. Bees will not build burr comb if proper bee-space is followed.

Dennis

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Hey Dennis,

I understand that you like to use two brood boxes for your hive configuration. The queen will have plenty of room to lay in and the hive population can be kept strong and lessen hive congestion.

Can I add that second brood box without using a queen excluder between the two boxes and let the queen go up and down to lay eggs in both boxes? If so, could I use two brood boxes in the season when bees are growing in numbers and super on the top with queen excluder between second brood box and honey super? We always use a brood box (deep) as honey supers.

We here in India have a problem with wax moths in summer time which starts in May till July/August. This is the month we do not have any or very little flowers to keep bees supplied with pollen. Though we feed sugar syrup, our hives are weak with fewer bees. It is difficult to find pollen supply. If pollen supply was provided and bees were fed with sugar water, will the queen continue to lay eggs? In India our winter is mild and we do not have snow fall. Raul V

Hello Raul,

Beekeeping management is directly related to the environmental conditions in a given area. Here in the southern USA can be different from the northern parts of the USA.

It sounds like in India you have to develop a management program that is better suited for your conditions. The basics in beekeeping management should be consistent no matter where you live. The difference should be in how and when you apply those basics.

For an example; here in Texas, our normal environmental conditions allow us to provide our bees with two brood boxes to live in full time. The bees are able to thrive and maintain that amount of space under normal conditions. When the honey flow arrives, we add a honey super above those two brood boxes. The queen will not usually move above those two brood boxes so an excluder is not necessary as long as you don’t leave the honey supers on for an extended period of time. After the honey flow, we remove all of the honey supers for our use and leave the two brood boxes for the bees to use. If we find a weak hive, we figure out why the hive is weak and fix the problem. It may be that the queen is still good but the hive has too much room. We then remove a box and run that hive in one brood box until the population builds back up and then we add the second box.

"Never give the bees more room than they are able to care for".

In your area, you may need to run your hives in one brood box or one brood box and medium box for the bees. Then place an excluder on top of that when you add a honey super. The point being that you should run your hives according to the environmental conditions in your area. If you are having trouble with wax moths, you are providing more room than the bee population can care for. Moths are opportunists and will take advantage of a weak hive.

As your hive population grows, you should expand their space. When the population declines, you should limit their space. It may be that your bees could grow into two brood boxes for the honey flow. This will allow your bees to store honey in both brood boxes and then maybe store more in a super above for you. In two brood boxes, this would provide honey for your bees for a longer period of time which means that you would not have to feed your bee’s as much sugar water, if at all. Honey is always better for your bees than sugar water. When the hive population declines and the stores are used up, remove a brood box and run the hive in a smaller space if necessary. Add space and then remove it according to the bee’s needs and your location.

Dennis

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Hi Dennis,

It got down to fifteen degrees last night and is predicted to dip below 20 degrees again tonight.  (Franklin, Texas) Do you think the bees will be OK without any insulation around the hive? They had a super full of honey going into the winter. Kent

Hello Kent,

What kind of bottom board do you have on the hive?  

Response:I've got a solid bottom board and I have reduced the entrance down to the smallest possible opening.  I have resisted the temptation to open the hive and check on them out of fear that disturbing them may do more harm than good.  Also, on another note, a teacher at school where I work wants to do an observation hive for her class to study.  Do you have any advice?  I think it would be a great thing to do.  So many kids have no idea what wonderful creatures bees are! 

A> It is usually not the cold that kills your bees, it is the moisture. Bees need good ventilation during both the winter and summer time. Since you are using a solid bottom board I would suggest that you open the hive entrance to half. This will allow better ventilation in the hive. There is no need to wrap the hive. I would resist the temptation to open the hive until the temperature reaches 55 degrees for a few hours and sunny unless you think there is a problem. I think the observation hive is a great idea but, not this time of year. It is too cold. Wait until spring.

 

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Days Gone By