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:


Are you ready to rumble? State Fair Time!

I'm getting my entries ready for the NM State Fair and am trying really hard not to let my competitive spirit take hold, but really, I am prepared to kick some honey and wax butt!

Just check out this sweet triple screened honey. The judges are going to take one taste, put down their tiny sample spoons and fight over who can gobble fistfuls of this medium-amber lusciousness. I took this comb of honey from Guatemala. I was actually worried I wouldn't have any honey for the state fair this year. I harvested for last weekend's honey stand and every drop of honey was sold. I might make another large harvest this year, but it won't be until the end of this month because of how slowly the bees are bringing in nectar.
First I cleaned the honey using a fine mesh stainer and then to remove the tiny white foam of wax on top, by straining the honey through cheesecloth, resting on another fine mesh strainer.

Not only will my honey kick some honey butt, but my butter colored wax is ready to rumble. I'm really excited about the color of this wax. I had many new hives this year and had to fight cross combing all over the place. The bummer with cutting apart this comb is that the bees had invested a huge amount of resources in comb that I cut apart to keep them growing straight on the top bars. The upside to cross combing was that I was left with a huge amount of brand new, clean comb. The queen never had a chance to lay brood in this comb, and so the beeswax is free of cocoon buildup and the dark brown stains they leave. This wax looks like butter and I have just started the process of separating it.

Rather than using a solar melter on this wax, I used my oven heated to the lowest setting and then turned off. I am still working out the kinks on my solar melter, having killed 100's of bees in my last go round. I waited until the wax melted away from the "bee trash" and then let the wax cool.

If you are interested in entering your honey or wax or comb honey in the NM State Fair, entries are due this week on September 6-7. Here is the link for NM State Fair Honey Entries. I will see you there!

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