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:


Splitsville 2012

 I've just finished checking all my hives for the first time this year. I was beating myself up for being a bad beekeeper because there are reports of swarms all over town and I hadn't checked my own bees- they could have been the ones swarming.

Turns out my instincts to wait were right on because I only had 2 hives that had swarm cells. These 2 hives I split into 4 hives total to try and keep half the bees from leaving with the old queen to find a new home (swarm).

The technique I have found to be the easiest for me is to put the old queen, 2 bars of honey and 2 bars of capped brood into a new hive and then move it away from the original hive that still has the swarm cells. I also like to close up the entrance to the new hive with the old queen to just a couple of bee widths to prevent robbing.

I plan to check on the hives with queen cells in 2 weeks to see if the new queen has emerged. At this point she will have a body like a cross between a drone and a worker bee and she is also SUPER fast! Only after the virgin queen goes out to mate, does she get the body associated with queen bees.
Drone Brood

Queen Cells with Larvae

peek a boo

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