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:


Traps R Us

Phew, just walked away from another successful trapout! This one was a classic trap... only about 15 feet up, so I had some quality time on a ladder over the last 3 months. You know, me and the bees, just 15 feet up in the air. I do wish there was a way to get the queen out of the wall in a trap because these bees were incredibly docile. I did provide the trap with babies to make a new queen from my Sally Sweets and I am just pleased as punch with the resulting hive.

 When I started the trap, the bees had only been in the wall for a few weeks. I initially thought that they were in the eave and came prepared to do a cutout. Thank goodness I started by making an inspection hole with a 3 inch hole saw rather than aggressively cutting first and discovering the bees weren't where I originally thought.
 I balanced the trap hive on a handy dandy ladder step. There wasn't a good place to tie the hive to on the roof. Usually I don't like to hang traps from ladders because they are too enticing for passerby. This house was in the farthest reaches of Rio Rancho in a brand new neighborhood without much foot traffic, so I chose to set the trap on a ladder.
 This is the night that we pulled the trap and moved it downtown to our backyard. It was raining cats and dogs and maybe a few bees and we were getting soaked from head to toe! We had to vacuum up a football sized clump of bees that never found the trap that I provided them to move into. You can see them in the picture and the very top of the overhang. The bees decided to cling together in a very depressing way and wait for fate to take them... or for a vacuum to suck them up! My bee vac is a very lightweight tupperwear. It's great for jobs like this where a heavy apparatus is dangerous and too hefty to maneuver on a latter without getting thrown off balance.
 The final touch was stuffing metal mesh screen into all the holes and then giving a nice clean bead of clear caulking. This prevents bees in the future from finding the delicious smells of beeswax and honey coming from the evicted bee's home and moving in.

I covered the 3 inch pilot hole with a round vent sold in any hardware store.

A successful trap and a lovely hive for the backyard.


  1. Se la vie is a french phrase, meaning "That is life." However, it's spelled "c'est" (meaning "it is"). C'est la vie. Otherwise, intriguing article, I enjoyed it. Stumbled upon it looking for solar ovens.

    1. Thank you from afar. That's one of the sayings that I always hear and have never seen written. I'll change it now!