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:


I've joined the dark side- Langstroth Hives

Thanks to Bob, who I met at Abigail's Honey Stand a couple weeks ago, I'm the proud of owner of 2 Langstroth Hives. Eeeeek! Bob's been keeping bees for 30 years and was looking for a good home for a couple of hives.

The hives are old, but in great shape. I think one of the hives was Bob's first hive... ahh the memories. Today, I started out by scraping out the decrepit wax and old plastic foundations from the combs. These hives were hosting some massive wax moth colonies. The moths had completely eaten out most of the honey and wax, and all that remained, was a wretchedly disgusting, oozing and tangled mess to be cleaned up. A little bit of "elbow grease" has never been know to hurt anybody, so I pulled out my TJ Carr hive tool and started cleaning up the frames.

I'm very new to the world of Langstroth. My first experience with this type of hive was with Zia Queen Bee's queen rearing class. I was able to appreciate how easy it was to maneuver the frames. Megan Mahoney with Mahoney Apiaries has also graciously taken me out in the field so I could get my hands dirty with Langstroths. Next spring, I will fill these hives with swarms. I can't really do splits from my top bar style hive into these hives unless I just shake the bees into the box and give them a queen. Sounds messy. I'm still a top bar fan to the core, but check in with me next year to see what I think about these hives.

Off to order some new plasticell foundation. Question to you Langstroth peeps: How long can I use the plastic foundation before replacing it? Is it similar to top bar in that I need to rotate it out of the hive every 3-5 years?

Thanks Bob!!!!

My new babies. Thanks Bob!

Old plastic foundations headed to the dump. Breaks my heart to throw them out, but don't want to risk infecting my bees with old foundation.

Almost Clean

Barf, wax moths are gross

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