Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.
I'd like to share a few thoughts on importing honeybees from out of our Land of Enchantment. Please click on our ziaqueenbees blog entry below for more info.
There is more and more interest in honeybee stewardship these days- a very good thing! However, if we really want to help the bees, we need to focus on working with our area bees without risk of importing contaminated stock. Work with your neighbors- share your bees! The more managed colonies in an area, the better for the community and for the bees. Regionally-fortified and tested stock is valuable- it should be shared and propagated.
The more bees are transported great distances and exposed to a myriad of stresses- biological, mecanical and environmental- the higher the manifestation and risk of any afflicted contagion and its spread. Importation of out of area stock may bring you bees early. And while this may fit your schedule, it does not complement and respect the natural cycle of the bees. Which is what they need most right now in their global crisis.
Honeybee hives are like nurseries- trees that were once seeds, then saplings, then mature enough to bear fruit. While we all want our bees and fruit now- we have to wait for area conditions to yield the proper results and hearty progeny. Please be patient in your pursuit to "own" bees. Look to share spring and fall splits and swarms. It may not happen immediately- but will happen when it is supposed to.
I ask that all area beekeepers look to share seasonal splits and swarms with those in want/need of bees. The more we can share our area bees, the more resilient our regional stock becomes. On occasion we can look to import from out of area. However, there are many new viruses and other pests/pathogens that are not easily recognizable to the newer bee steward. I encourage all new beekeepers to look to find local resources for their bee needs.
There are not enough "producers" of NM bees due to our landscape. All the more reason for small and back-yard beekeepers to share their bees. ZQB will be offering queen rearing workshops this 2011 summer season for those wanting to provide for their communties and to learn to share quality genetic stock. It takes a community to raise bees! Let us work together to establish ourselves as quality resources for naturally hearty honeybee stock.