Topbar Beekeeping

I'm an urban topbar beekeeper in Albuquerque, NM. I manage hives in backyards and small organic farms within city limits. These hives are probably pollinating your veggie patches right now. Visit my website at:


Bee trappin'

On my way to work on Saturday a gentleman called about a swarm in front of his house. I couldn't get to it, because I had to go make some actual money and not feed my bee obsession. On Monday, the same gentleman called saying the bees had moved into his walls! Oh no!

Here is the handy trap that I built with a good beekeeping friend and my husband, who always goes unmentioned because it is just a given that he is there. 

Perched on the stilts is a mini top bar hive with a bar of 1-4 day old brood and some nurse bees. They are a lure for the bees that get out... but can't get back into the original hive. 

This elephant trunk is fine wire mesh rolled up like a sushi hand roll. The tip has a hole about the size of your finger and the mesh has been frayed at the ends so that the bees can get out, but can't figure out how to get back in. This has been glued to the stucco using caulk. 

The entrance to the hive is right by the exit hole of the trap so the bees that have been foraging for pollen and nectar have no other choice but to join the new hive on stilts. If all goes according to plan, the new bees will raise a new queen bee from the larvae that we provided. The new hive will stay for up to a month or whenever new bees stop leaving the wall. The old queen will unfortunately never leave the wall and she will be forever entombed behind the washer and dryer. Wax moths will eat all the comb and honey that remain in the wall. 

And I think we will be payed in tequila. Viva la bee fiesta!

No comments:

Post a Comment