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:


Russia's Czarina is Overthrown!

I peaked at a few of the hives today (I name them after countries) and discovered that Russia's Czarina was overthrown, possibly by cuddle death. This means the bees ball around the reigning queen bee and kill by overheating her. I wasn't there when this happened, but I did notice that she had a horrific brood pattern. Good move peasant bees of Russia. She was a terrible queen. See how patchy the brood pattern is. Almost every hole should be filled in with babies:

Here is Croatia's pretty decent brood pattern (bee babies) in comparison.

Here are the future queen cells. There are close to 15 emergency supercedure cells in this hive. That means the bees made 15 queens, just in case. The first queen bee to hatch will announce that she is coming by piping loudly and then kill all the rest of the queen bees, still in their cocoons or fight in combat. My plan is to abort most of the smaller queen cells so that the first queen bee to emerge won't risk hurting herself in combat. I might use some of these queen cells if any other hives are missing their queen. I'm a little nervous about their genetics because their mother was such a lousy layer of eggs.

Each peanut looking cell is a queen bee, floating in royal jelly. 


  1. it's like the assassination of Cesar, except with hugs. And wings. And Royal Jelly.

  2. Great photos! Love the hive names.