Albuquerque Beekeepers

Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.


Topbar hive users.


Topbar hive users.

This group is for people who are interested in learning more about topbar beekeeping.

Members: 38
Latest Activity: Apr 30

Discussion Forum

Seasonal Laying Patterns 2 Replies

Hello All, On inspection of my only hive 2 weeks ago and again today my hive population seems smaller. There is a lot of honey production, and many vacated (dark cells). I did not find the queen or…Continue

Started by Jeannie Pace. Last reply by Jeannie Pace Jul 16, 2018.

Inspections 3 Replies

Hello All, Finally living a dream by installing my first package of bees two weeks ago. I gave the gals 9 days to settle in before making an inspection. I limited the hive to 8 bars as a starter.  I…Continue

Tags: inspections

Started by Jeannie Pace. Last reply by Elizabeth Lake Apr 13, 2018.

Awesome Site 5 Replies

Hi All,Here is an awesome site which contains a wealth of information about bees. http://scientificbeekeeping.comContinue

Started by Ivy. Last reply by Rhett Renoud Apr 28, 2016.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Rhett Renoud on April 23, 2015 at 10:46pm

In my opinion, Top Bar Hives are not as successful in colder environments as vertical hives.  Bees are vertical builders, and in a vertical hive (Langstroth or Warre), the bees start at the bottom and move upward through their winter stores.  In a Top Bar Hive, the bees break cluster and become separated.  Even in a 10 frame Langstroth, bees can become separated as they move to the outer frames for food.  For this reason, many cold weather beekeepers prefer 8 frame Langstroth hives.  At 7,100 feet, I'm in a much colder environment compared to those in the ABQ area.  Even with a screened bottom board, my bees survive the winter with night temperatures dropping down to -15*F.  It seems that many TBH users have a much lower success rate.  Again, these are my opinions and should be taken as such.  I'm simply questioning the success rate of TBH hives compared to those who are use vertical hives in colder climates.         

Comment by Rhett Renoud on April 23, 2015 at 9:08pm

When you guy/girls open your hives and see dead bees, are you seeing bees in one cluster or are they in separate clusters?   

Comment by Dorian Folie on April 21, 2015 at 12:04pm

Great thank you! Yeah i called Corrales Trees. Left a voicemail. Hope someone calls me back. They don't seem very approachable.  They have signs that say "not open to public." I might just wait till I see activity over in the field then go and talk to the land manager. Do you have a # for Jennifer? 

Comment by Dorian Folie on April 21, 2015 at 11:36am

The problem is finding out who owns the field. I called Sandoval County Clerk but they only gave me a name. The field has no house on it, but they (i am guessing Corrales Trees) just plowed the field.  Moving my bees is not an option. Most farmers would be happy to have bees around. Just want to make people aware of them. Save the Bees! :-) 

Comment by Dorian Folie on April 21, 2015 at 10:24am

Any top bar folks live in Corrales? I was wondering if i should contact Wagner Farms or the owner the field next to me, because I am worried if they use pesticides or other harmful herbicides that will effect my bees. What are you thoughts?  Thanks! 

Comment by Ivy on April 12, 2015 at 11:55am

Thank you Christina.  If it looks like I need to, we can work out the details. I  will know today or tomorrow.  

Comment by Rhett Renoud on April 11, 2015 at 10:32pm

Ivy, that's a hypothetical question.  My other bee yard is 1.2 miles from my apiary.  If I need to make a split, I move the bees to that location.  If you don't have that option, you can always move them 20 feet away and place a tree branch or bush in front of the hive so the bees need to orient themselves to their new location.  There's still a risk that some bees may go back to the original hive.  Typically, bees do not forage more than 2 miles away, so that's why you hear people say 2 miles when making a split. 

Comment by Ivy on April 11, 2015 at 10:04pm

Rhett,  How far should one go with a new hive?  Do you mean a little ways like someplace in the yard or do you mean a mile or so?  I've read about the need to move the hive kind of far away but I hope that is not the case here. I think Jodi's and my situation are the same.  I'm not sure how my queen is either.  As I mentioned I will checking tomorrow.  By the way this is happening in one of my top bars. Thanks

Comment by Rhett Renoud on April 11, 2015 at 9:49pm

Jodi, there are a few different ways to do this.  Personally, I would make two splits.  Take 1/2 of your bees to a new location and introduce a new queen.  Then do the same for the other 1/2.  This is strictly my opinion, but it's what I like to do. 

Comment by Carolyn Hammack on April 11, 2015 at 9:48pm


If you have swarm cells, you really have to find the queen, unless they've swarmed with her already. Once you find your queen, you move her and leave some swarm cells in the original hive. If you don't know where your queen is you may accidentally move her with the swarm cells, then she will still swarm. I can help you find the queen and do a split if you like. If your swarm cells are capped, you should do it as soon as possible. I'm available Sunday and Monday. Let me know.


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