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  • Hi Jeannie,  

    Are you attending the NM Beekeepers conference tomorrow?  There will be a talk by someone who works really hot bees!   could be interesting. 

    I think requeening might calm things down,  so I have heard. 


  • Hello All, 

    This is my 2nd summer with a top bar.  It's my only hive as I am trying to learn  beekeeping, 

    My first colony was Saskatraz. They were gentle and easy to work around; however, the colony disappeared late winter or early spring.  Reason undetermined 

    I was gifted a swarm that I installed May 1.  They were  feisty on installation. They are getting more defensive.  This morning I approached the water station and bees started circling me 6 feet from the station.  Last night one nailed me in the back as I worked in the garden out of their path (so I thought). 

    I'm thinking I need to requeen, but honestly, I don't want to open the hive to inspect the situation.  



  • I have a couple of hives available right now.

    You can see the hives on my website:  NM Beeworks



  • Two guys in town make wonderful top bar hives. 

    The original designer is T.J. Carr.

    The other guy - who uses T.J.'s plans is Jason Fink. He has a few built and available for sale.  

    To preview this hive use this link.

    TJ has made his plans available to ABQ beekeeps.



    Plans & diagrams for top bar hive
    Looking to build your own top bar hive? Albuquerque beeks, TJ Carr and John Bradford, share their plans for a gorgeous TBH (diagram above). Download…
  • Hi Everyone,

    I am new to beekeeping and would like to purchase a top bar hive from someone local instead of from a company.  Does anyone have one they would like to sell to a rookie?

    Thank you fro your time.


    Ronda Z

  • Jeannie, It's hard to tell for sure without seeing the hive, but that sounds like a pretty typical mite kill. The winter bees are sick and have a shortened lifespan and don't make it until spring. Did you do an alcohol wash or sugar shake to get an accurate mite count? If you are just looking for mites visually, you rarely see them until you have a pretty sever infestation. Take a look at the tops of the brood cells, you will probably see white crystals. That's mite feces and is a sure sign of a mite kill. 

  • Sadly, I cleaned out my hive this morning. I suspected the girls had died or absconded so my disappointed wasn't huge.  Late summer I had to requeen.  The new queen was laying a great brood pattern.  When I winterized the hive, the population had increased and their temperament was gentle and busy.  

    On inspection today, I found maybe 200-300 dead bees.  Most on the floor - a few clustered with heads into the cell.  Pounds of honey, nectar and colorful pollen in the combs. No sign of brood cells. No glaring signs of mites or other pests. A very tidy hive. Some of the capped honey near the center entrance is darker then the combs toward the ends. 

    This is my first colony of bees. 

    The hive is at 7,000 ft. 

    I'm not certain what conditions I should attribute the low bee count or what my next steps should be.  I would like to start another colony, but don't want to repeat my mistakes. 

    Your ideas will be appreciated. 

    Thank you, 


  • During a hive inspection today I discovered the gals have built a full size comb on the last follower board. Do I take that off and harvest the honey or leave it on? 

  • I am interested in purchasing a T.J. Carr /Jason Fink topbar hive. If you have one you would like to sell please contact me. Thanks.

  • Need a queen and some brood for a queenless hive. Thanks in advance to anyone who has advice for me.

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Seasonal Laying Patterns

Hello All, On inspection of my only hive 2 weeks ago and again today my hive population seems smaller. There is a lot of honey production, and many vacated (dark cells). I did not find the queen or capped brood, although many combs were heavily covered with workers. No evidence of disease or queen cells or dead bees on the ground.  I see many foraging around the property and their temperament was mellow on inspection. Less pollen is being carried in now than in the spring, but there are more…

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Dead Hive Clean Up

The hives on my property (which were attended to by a friend) have died. We have removed the old comb and honey before the robber bees could get to it. I will be taking over (for the first time ever) as beekeep. What else is there that I want to do in order to move new bees in? And can I now move the hives to a more optimal place on my property now that there are no bees currently living in the hives?

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Hello All, Finally living a dream by installing my first package of bees two weeks ago. I gave the gals 9 days to settle in before making an inspection. I limited the hive to 8 bars as a starter.  I expected comb to be on a few but was truly amazed to find fully drawn comb on several.  Before closing the hive I expanded the hive area to 12 bars.  (A little worried that is a lot of space to heat now that the weather in my location has dropped to the 20's at night.) The inspection raised some…

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Questions about my hive

Hi friends,My most recent inspection of my backyard top bar hive revealed a couple of things that I'm wondering about.  I attended the last mentoring session with Lulu and Mark and learned A LOT, which led to even more questions.  I love that about life.  Anyway...1- There are capped drone cells as well as empty drone cells.  I think Lulu said there shouldn't be any new drones this time of year.  My hive is super strong- tons of bees, lots of pollen and nectar, lots of capped honey, plenty o'…

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Latest Activity

Jeannie Pace replied to Jeannie Pace's discussion Seasonal Laying Patterns in Topbar hive users.
"Thanks Jeremy, 
This is encouraging. I plan to inspect again this week and do a more serious search for brood and the queen. 

Jul 16, 2018
Jeremy McKellar replied to Jeannie Pace's discussion Seasonal Laying Patterns in Topbar hive users.
"I have had several queens that took brood breaks during the height of summer.  Not sure if its caused by forage or other things like humidity or temp.  Now that it has cooled a little and we got some rains hopefully there will be a nice second bloom…"
Jul 15, 2018
Jeannie Pace posted a discussion in Topbar hive users.
Hello All, On inspection of my only hive 2 weeks ago and again today my hive population seems smaller. There is a lot of honey production, and many vacated (dark cells). I did not find the queen or capped brood, although many combs were heavily cove…
Jul 14, 2018
Sigrid Blom replied to Sigrid Blom's discussion Dead Hive Clean Up in Topbar hive users.
"Got it! 
Now, I contacted my friend and she said that there were no dead bees anywhere. Since I'm brand new, I don't know why this happens (yet). She says it's probably collapse. There were honey combs left as well as the other comb.
Is there anythi…"
Apr 24, 2018