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:


Bees go from Rags to Riches in USA hive

Today, I checked on good ol' US of A at Gwyn's microfarm and was blown away at how well this hive is doing. This is the proverbial rags to riches story. When I discovered that USA didn't have a queen, the hive was a ghost town. There was 1/3 of the bees still around, no brood and just a feeling of hopelessness to this hive. Even the buzzing sounded depressed. Buzzz- uh buzzzzzzz. I put in a few bars of bees and queen cells from Ethiopia and within 3 weeks this hive has turned into the land of milk and honey. I might even be able to harvest from this hive at the end of the month. GO USA!

In a related story, Guatemala just gave up some of their babies to go rule across the waters of the Rio Grande and over land to the far away world of Edith and Central.

What I mean is that I sent some brand new larvae with another beekeeper who has lost her queen. Kelly and Sylvia's queenless bees will rear a new queen from Guatemala's 2-3 day larvae. Even though it is getting late in the season, I still am noticing a few drones in my hives, so it's not too late to start raising a queen. I actually have heard that many beekeepers like to requeen all their hives before the winter because the new queens are egg laying machines. Those newly impregnated queens will fill the comb with eggs faster than the worker bees can build it. Cross your fingers for Kelly and Sylvia's hive to make it!


  1. Thank you so much for helping out our little hive! I have lots of hope.

  2. Silvia, I'm crossing my fingers for you. If they don't make it through the winter, you can catch a swarm next spring= FUN!

  3. I think this all of the time, but every time I read one of your posts, I get excited about my own hives!!! Next year, I think I will switch to top bar hives from my little Warre's. I just think you rock.

  4. Whispering seeds, maybe I a bit more of a control freak than I think I am. The best part about topbar beekeeping to me is playing with the bees, manipulating their genetics and tweaking each hive so that they can have the best success that I can help them with. I'm certainly not always successful in understanding what their nature wants! One day, I would love to have a warre hive in my back yard and let nature take it's course without my big fingers in the way!