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

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


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Comment by Steve Ver Helst on May 6, 2016 at 12:25am

Dawn bailed me out today - major league - Cooperstown! My bee experience is limited - single topbar hive last season that overwintered into spring with substantial honey. I thought all was well since bees were entering the hive packed with pollen on legs. However, I opened the hive yesterday for the first time this season and found no, nada, zilch brood. No queen?? I asked Dawn to come by and assess. She confirmed no queen and that the remaining honey was being robbed, so she advocated I use a recently purchased nuc (thank you Steve Burton) living in a half-topbar (thank you Jason Fink) to add to the queenless hive - did that at sunset - fingers crossed. As you may note, lots of thank you's all around since I've demonstrated I can't do this alone - I guess it really does take a village.

Comment by Steve Ver Helst on January 25, 2016 at 5:11pm

Hi Dawn, two items please:

1) Last Fall, during your mentoring visit to my hive, gifted me a quart of honey that I think I was supposed to feed the hive over the winter. Another bee expert advised never to feed fluid honey due to the threat of introducing foreign disease/toxins to the hive, but rather feed sugar-water. I've done neither for fear of disturbing the propolis seal around the bars. I had an extended talk w/Craig Noorlander today, who discounted the danger of feeding honey when assured of the health of the donor hive - which I am. So, I'm interested in feeding them if that was the purpose of the gift, or feeding myself if not.

2) I've read, and Craig confirmed, 2 1/2 hives are advised as the minimum apiary in order to, basically, always have a readily available nuc as needed. On the open-house tour last Aug of your apiary, I recall 2 hives that appeared perfectly adapted w/o the addt'l half. Since you don't seem to adhere to the tenet, why? I ask b/c I've requested Jason craft my 2d Top Bar in preparation for another nuc, but now wonder if I need to ask him for a nuc hive as well. I have no intention of expanding beyond a recreational beekeeper since I value the time to pursue my other interest and am suspicious that hives may reproduce exponentially like lemmings.


Comment by Dawn Crocetti on January 21, 2016 at 8:10am

Hey Steve, Glad your ladies fared well. I'd be glad to help again this year if you like. These warm temps have gotten my girls out and about but I am certain the cold will be back eventually. Mother Nature likes to taunt us!

Comment by Steve Ver Helst on January 19, 2016 at 5:26pm

Last year was my first as a beekeeper.  I thank Jason for the craftsmanship of his hive and Dawn for her mentorship of my fledgling efforts.  Since it appears the bees have survived (thus far) despite my rookie errors, I'll expand the apiary with another of Jason's hives this season.  I'm anxious for the first blooms of Golden Currant and Nanking & Hansen Bush Cherries in late Feb.

Comment by Andy Young on August 15, 2015 at 11:42am

Starting to see some capped honey at last. Woo hoo!

Comment by Rhett Renoud on May 28, 2015 at 8:07am

So far, the new packages are dong well.  I feel comfortable adding 10 more hives for next year!  ;) 

Comment by Matt B on May 27, 2015 at 10:50pm
Same side. But i don't think it matters. The bees will circulate the air as necessary. I have a viewing window opposite the entrances and vents which is why they're on the one side. BTW Viewing windows are not worth the effort i won't do that again.
Comment by ed crockett on May 27, 2015 at 10:44pm

are they on the same side as the entrance holes or on the opposite side?

Comment by Matt B on May 27, 2015 at 10:27pm

I have 3 entrances, at the bottom, and 3 ventilation holes, at the top, spaced evenly across one side of my hives. I use corks to open and close them as necessary although the bees will do that as well. The vents are covered with metal mesh on the inside.

Comment by ed crockett on May 27, 2015 at 10:01pm

I am building 2 top bar hives and my question is how and what do you do to get the proper ventilation through the hive, I live in Seattle WA. and moisture is a problem here especially throughout the winter months


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