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:


Special times trapping bees off South Broadway

Against all my good senses, I did a bee trapout today off of Broadway and Southern. Against my good senses, because it takes me a minimum of 5 trips to a trapout to rescue the bees, a ton of work, and usually I have to replace the queen once I have captured the hive (The old queen will never leave the original hive). This trapout business is a TON of work. I guess I have a soft spot for these pollinators and I'm also motivated because the neighborhood boys were harassing the hive and the neighbors were worried someone might get hurt. 

Anyway, here is one of the three entrances to the gnarled tree with a hive in it's hollowed out trunk:

Here is the trap I rigged up using a fine screen. The bees can crawl out of the hole at the tip, but can't figure out how to get back in:
 I used a thick layer of caulk to adhere the trap to the exit hole:
 Ta da. The trap is in place, held with thumb tacks.
 Here is my husband removing an old limb so we can put the hive in the crook of the tree. Did I mention it is our 8th wedding anniversary today? We know how to celebrate these special occasions... by sweating like pigs and having bees dive bomb us, while working 10 feet above the ground!

 Here is the main entrance to the hive that I completely sealed shut. I used a mesh fabric so that the bees can still maintain a good temperature inside the hive.
 The hive is in place with 1 full bar of very young brood, or baby bee larvae and as many nurse bees as were hanging onto the bar. I will check into this hive tomorrow to make sure the bees aren't finding any sneaky ways into the tree trunk.
Scored! A little memento I found at the base of the tree, to remind us of our special times trapping bees off South Broadway.


  1. Cowboy Jesus says Happy Anniversary Jessie & James!!

  2. That cowboy book trinket is the bomb! So jeal!

  3. This boot was the score of the century. It's my new rear view mirror good luck charm.

  4. so.. the bees can fly out of the hive, but can't get in again, so they go to to neighboring hive?

  5. Whispering seeds- that's right. The "tree" bees have no choice but to go into the hive that I have given them. The "trap" hive is not a full hive of bees. It is only one bar of very young brood and nurse bees. The "trap" does not have a big enough population to protect itself from the "tree" bees moving in. The nurse bees might be killed off by the "tree" bees that want to move in because they don't have the same scent. But really, the important thing about the trap is to have 2-3 day old larvae that the "tree" bees can make a new queen out of.