Sorry But, I Mite Have to Ask You to Leave: Information about Varroa Mites

Varroa mites can infest a hive at different points of contact with a honey bee. Whether it is by hitch hitchhiking on infested bees or un-infested bees, these mites will initially begin their life cycle by consuming blood on the backs of these honey bees. Once these honey bees eventually return to the hive, the varroa mite will find its way into an uncapped brood cell. The varroa mite will hide and wait until the bees cap the brood cell. When capped off, the mite will begin to feed off the developing larvae and eventually lay more eggs. When the brood honey bee emerges from the cell, the mites will emerge with it and infest other brood cells, multiplying at a rapid rate. The mite’s life cycle allows for the population to grow exponentially as the bee colony multiplies with the warmer seasons. The honey bee population will naturally start dwindling at the end of the summer and into the fall, leaving an overwhelming mite population that will eventually kill off the entire honey bee colony in the winter. Varroa mites have been considered a problem in beekeeping for about 40 years.  Most recently, scientists and beekeepers have realized that Varroa infestation is more complex than originally thought. It began in Asia and slowly spread over in a course of 10 years to Western Europe and South America. Within an additional 10 years, the mites would spread to the United States. It turns out that viruses vectored by the mite may be a huge factor in honey bee colony losses. These mites are capable of spreading over 22 different diseases such as the deformed wing virus, one of the most viral diseases associated with these mites. Currently, there is no safe, easy and effective solution for beekeepers but the outlook for a treatment that is urgently needed will be heavily dependent on further research into mite biology and tolerance breeding.

For a comprehensive study on Varroa, see Biology and Control of Varroa destructor by Peter Rosenkranz a,*, Pia Aumeier b, Bettina Ziegelmann, The Journal of Invertebrate Pathology.

Kelley’s Cocktails | Texas Buzzin’ Mule

Happy Friday everyone! Who says you can’t have your copper mug and with your whiskey too?

Here is our twist on a simply delish cocktail, Kelley’s Texas Buzzin’ Mule.


  1. 1 Lemon
  2. 2 oz Whiskey
  3. 5 oz Ginger Beer
  4. 3 oz Texas Country Style Honey Syrup (1/4 cup – 1:1 Water to Honey)


Kelley’s Kitchen Recipes

Kelley’s Texas Country Style Honey Glazed Salmon



5 tsp Pineapple Juice

4 tsp Kelley’s Texas Country Style Honey

2 tsp Brown Sugar

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

1 Ham Steak

Pineapple Slices

(Potatoes & Asparagus – Optional)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Mix together pineapple juice, Kelley’s honey, brown sugar and cinnamon to make the sauce for the ham steak
  3. Place ham steak and veggies/pineapple into baking pan
  4. Pour sauce onto the ham steak and veggies/pineapples
  5. Cover in foil and bake for 25 minutes
  6. Plate and enjoy!


Kelley’s Beekeepers Rush in Preparation for Hurricane Irma


Jason Hutton, one of Kelley Honey Farms beekeeper, checking on supe

The first day of fall passed and the honey flow in Texas has ended. Our beekeepers are all preparing to descend on the state of Florida in anticipation for this upcoming Brazilian Pepper honey flow. Category 5 Hurricane Irma is on course to hit southeast Florida. For the eager beekeepers the timing couldn’t be worse, many hives will be stuck in Florida and many more, that were in transit to the sunshine state, will have to be redirected. The lingering effects of the hurricane are likely to disrupt the honey industry in Florida until floodwaters recede and the flora recover. Jimmy Hutton is straddling the threshold of our office. He is a managing partner for Kelley Honey Farms so he’s usually neck deep in several projects and today is not the exception. He held the door open as he stopped by to update us at our Fort Worth office on the impending landfall of Hurricane Irma.“We’ve got about a thousand hives that just arrived near Lake Okeechobee,” said Jimmy. “We were able to re-direct another five hundred to Georgia, and we’ve left more in North Dakota and Texas that we could’ve brought down if it weren’t for the storm.” His sons, Jason Hutton and Johnny Hutton, are both beekeepers that help manage Kelley’s sister honey company, Griffis Honey Farms based out of Fargo, GA. They are busy preparing for the worst since some honeybees had to be left within seventy miles of the coast and just north of Miami. Most hives left in Florida are currently being sheltered from the elements where storage is available. The hives that are left in the open have had entrance reducers and covers to block the water from entering. As we prepare for the rains and wind, Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall on the Florida coast this Sunday. 

Hurricane Irma’s path and our hives in Florida.




Millions of people around the country are getting ready to experience the solar eclipse on August 21 2017. If you are lucky enough to be in the 70 mile wide path of totality you will experience a rare 2+ minutes of total darkness in the middle of the day which is exciting if you’re expecting it, but if you’re a bee it can really mess up your day.

Bees use UV rays from the sun to navigate, these rays are usually unaffected by weather such as overcast skies, clouds block a lot of visible light, but generally only block about 20% of the UV radiation from the sun, leaving plenty of rays for bees to use to navigate. When a total solar eclipse occurs the moon blocks the sun’s rays it blocks just about everything, and bees lose their most important navigation tool. For us this would be like driving along the highway when all of the sudden the road disappears, which would be cause for alarm. Since total eclipses are pretty rare, and the chances of having a beekeeper actively observing their hive while experiencing an eclipse are even more scarce, that’s why there aren’t many accounts on how bees act when this occurs.

From the existing accounts, it seems like the bees will head back to their hive as totality creeps in, but if they are too far out and get stuck in the darkness of totality witnesses have reported that they tend to just stop and wait it out. All of this can create some major confusion back at the hive, and there is a chance that it will disrupt the hive enough to cause some long term damage. Fortunately this seems to be less common, unless there is a hive that is already unhealthy total solar eclipses won’t cause enough disruption to harm a hive without other contributing factors. Hopefully most bees stuck in totality this time around take a note from their bipedal friends and just take a break to enjoy an awesome astronomical event.  

Homestyle Honey Oatmeal

Homestyle Honey Oatmeal

Honey and Oatmeal meet in this tasty dish to make a sweet, health conscious meal that will fill you up and keep you going.

Oatmeal is high in fiber, it helps you stay fuller longer, and can help lower bad cholesterol. Oats are a gluten free grain that traditionally provide more protein than their cereal grain counterparts, they also contain beta-glucans which have been shown to enhance immune function. Add these benefits to the benefits of raw & unfiltered local honey like our Kelley’s Texas Country Style and you have a home-made super-food especially when garnished with healthy fruits.

Follow this recipe for an easy 10 minute super-snack:


  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Cup Steel Cut Oatmeal
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Pinch of Cinnamon

Optional Ingredients:

  • ½ Parker County Peach
  • 3 Poteet Strawberries
  • 1 Kiwi


  • In a small pot mix
    • Milk
    • Oatmeal
    • Water
    • Cinnamon
    • Salt
    • Vanilla
  • Cook at medium heat for 7-10 minutes or until Oatmeal is done
  • Remove from heat and mix in honey
  • Garnish with fruits for extra flavor and nutrition

Kelley’s Kitchen Recipes

Kelley’s Texas Country Style Honey Glazed Salmon


1 – Fillet of Salmon

1 Tbsp – Garlic (Minced)

1 Tbsp – Red Pepper Flakes

3 Tbsp – Soy Sauce (Low Sodium)

1/2 Tsp – Thyme

4 Tbsp – Kelley’s TX Country Style Honey

1 – Squeezed Lemon

Seasoned Salt



  1. Whisk garlic, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, thyme, lemon and Kelley’s TX Country Style Honey into a marinade.
  2. Season salmon fillet with seasoned salt of your preference.
  3. Cut the fillet into portions and marinate in honey glaze for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  5. Place portions on sheet pan and baste the fillet with any remaining honey glaze.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until fully cooked.
  7. Serve on a bed of rice with some grilled vegetables of your choice and… Voilà! Bon Appétit!

Texas Pride

Growing up in Amarillo, Texas and moving around the state has me completely convinced that the single most common trait that we all share is our inherent sense of state pride. Ask anyone around here what they identify as and they’ll probably respond with “Texan”. Most of us believe that Texan pride does not come at the cost of an American identity. I personally love Texas because I find that our great state has a lot to offer. As the second largest state in the country, Texas is made up of about 167.8 million acres of land. Although Texas leads the United States in energy production, it also has a massive agriculture industry that contributes about $19.8 billion dollars in cash receipts to the economy. In fact, about 86% of the land in Texas is in some form of agricultural production with about 98.5% of it being ran by an individual or family. From my experience in the honey industry, I am amazed by the fact that our varying climates and massive amount of land provides us with abundant amounts of natural resources that makes us the only state that has an independently functioning economy. The landscape will vary around you from the dense piney woods of the east, the red flats of the panhandle, the endless canyons of the west, the lush Hill Country of central Texas and the breezy gulf coast of the south. If you have never been here, you will find that our unique culture is derived from years of history deeply rooted in the rich soil beneath our feet — Aren’t you glad to be a Texan?

2017 TRA Marketplace – Dallas, TX



As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas and that includes the 2017 Texas Restaurant Association Marketplace (TRA) in Dallas, TX. This year marked TRA’s 80th annual trade show and convention. The TRA Marketplace has earned its place as the second-biggest restaurant industry trade show in the country and the fastest-growing trade show event across all industries. As one of the hottest growth markets for the restaurant industry with sales of $52.4 billion, the restaurant industry employed about 1.2 million people in more than 43,600 restaurant locations as of this year. Thousands of people from different industries gathered at this year’s event to visit over 500 different exhibitors featuring new products, presentations and tastings.


The TRA Marketplace has become the best place to get valuable industry insight for our company and we showcased Smokey Bear’s Raw & Unfiltered Honey as a new product, along with Kelley’s Premium Honeycomb products and Texas Farmland Honey products. If missed us at this year’s show, we highly recommend that you register for early bird tickets after January 31, 2018 for a discounted price. The Texas Restaurant Association is bringing the marketplace show back to San Antonio, TX for the first time in over 30 years on July 15-16, 2018 — just in time to help celebrate the city’s 300th anniversary. Join the TRA Marketplace on this historic occasion as the city of San Antonio comes to life as thousands of people will gather from across the globe to honor the city’s vibrant role on the world stage through art, education, history, culture, community and especially, cuisine! The early bird restaurateur tickets are priced at $45.00 and free to all TRA members. For more information and tickets, please visit there website here.

Kelley Honey Farms presents Smokey

Booth # 1656 Go Texan Member Products