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: 73
Latest Activity: Mar 12, 2020

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.

Questions about my hive 4 Replies

Hi friends,My most recent inspection of my backyard top bar hive revealed a couple of things that I'm wondering about.  I attended the last mentoring session with Lulu and Mark and learned A LOT,…Continue

Started by Emily Hurd. Last reply by Elizabeth Lake Aug 18, 2017.

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


You need to be a member of Topbar hive users. to add comments!

Comment by Ivy on May 26, 2015 at 4:20pm

Here is a some wonderful information about propolis.  Amazing stuff!

Comment by Carlos Aragon on May 7, 2015 at 1:16pm


I'll be bringing pieces of comb that you can attach to empty bars, if they don't work I may be able to pull some full bars out this weekend.

Comment by Carlos Aragon on May 4, 2015 at 8:22pm
I can bring some to the meeting Thursday.
Comment by Rhett Renoud on April 24, 2015 at 8:54am

Jefferson, I do not have a TBH hive.  Everyone that I know who has Top Bar Hives seem to have a lower success rate in keeping bees, which is why I've steered away from them.  I agree with Dorian, the build of the hive is probably critical.  In my opinion, there is less room for error in a Langstroth or Warre, but this is based on what I have read and observed through the eyes of other beekeepers.  I realize that Les Crowder uses TBH hives at a higher elevation, but I don't know what his overall success rate is.  Bees are highly resilient and can survive in many living conditions.  But surviving and thriving are very different.        

Comment by Dorian Folie on April 24, 2015 at 8:38am

I have seen top bar hives be VERY successful at high altitude and low temperatures.  I have a friend up in Taos and Santa Fe who have several of them. It just depends on the build I think. I like the CJ top bar build. I would research possible bacteria infections or look for pests among the clusters of bees Pete.  What happened to your bees is most likely not due to cold weather but some other event. They survived the coldest parts of the winter to be taken out by a March late freeze does not make sense. Next year though I will build a Langstroth hive and if I can convert it to a flow hive! 

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 Pete Stromberg on April 23, 2015 at 9:27pm
Mine were in clusters about 4 inches in diameter. Maybe four clusters with the rest of the bees on the bottom.
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 Pete Stromberg on April 23, 2015 at 12:15pm

I started a hive last year and the bees did well making over 17 topbars of comb and honey.  This spring they came out March 9th when the weather warmed up but then the hive died.  Lots of dead bees inside and the entrance got very messy. It was clean last fall but this spring it was cluttered with dead bees/wax and the entrance is all spotty.   Does anyone  have an idea what happened?  There is still honey in the hive that they did not consume when it got cooler later.  Please advise

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? 


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