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:


Queen Graft Fail!

Arg, so I went to check the queen graft today with some friends, just imagining all the lovely hives I could requeen, all the potential for baby bees, and found that my queen graft failed... miserably.

Bad idea Jessie
I blame it on extreme lack of time to do things the right way the first time! I suspect that the bees hate duct tape. No, seriously. When I attached the queen cups (a plastic cup that you can move larvae into and the bees will make queens if there is no queen in the hive) to my top bar hanging contraption, I didn't have anything to make them stick. I proceeded to duct tape the crud out of them. I also didn't have anything besides string to hang the bars of queens, so I used string.

Turns out, those feisty lil' bees aborted all the larvae we gave them, chewed through the string, then chewed on the duct tape until all the edges were unraveled and made their own darned supercedure cells (supercedure means making an emergency queen).

Look at all that duct tape! Bad Jessie!!!
Lesson learned for next time: No duct tape, no string and make sure there aren't any young larvae in the rest of the hive to make new queens with.

Mission saved: We used the box that I partitioned into 3 areas and separated the hive into the 3 areas. Each area had queen cells. This hive hive will now be 3 separate hives and the queens can't get to each other. So really, it all worked out in the end. An heir and a spare. 3 spares now!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Just use hot wax to stick the cells to the bar, works for me