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Bear Destroys Bee Hive

29 Oct

It was a rough week for these East Mountain honeybees. Located in bear country, their stores of sweet honey turned out to be irresistible Wednesday night.

Photos sent by TJ Carr.

How to Bear-Proof Your Apiary

Get more detailed photos and instructions at


Bosque fire licks my beehive!

2 Jul

Fire licked so close this week to the beehive we manage for City Open Space that leaves on the cottonwood tree above were singed. Ouch!

It was a 5 acre fire that torched a chunk of the riverfront forest (that’s “bosque” if you’re from New Mexico) burning down the entire field of trees next to the beehive and starting a grassfire  just yards away. Driving up to the hive, once the area was open to access again, we had no idea what to expect — did the bees abscond? Did honeycomb just melt off its foundation?

Surprisingly, the girls were buzzing along seemingly oblivious to the smoldering forest and the hive itself was filled with combs of honey and worker brood. We sampled a buttery chunk of honey, half expecting it to taste like smoke but it was pure and warm and… to its proud keepers, perfect.

We packed up our gear soothed by this amazing survivor hive. And I swear, as we pulled away, the bees were bearding in the shape of the Virgin, like any other modern day miracle,

Need to move your bee hive? Here’s the lazy way.

8 Jun

Inspired by Bush Bees, we decided to ignore the standard admonition about losing bees if you moved your hive more than 2 feet but less than 2 miles. (The rule of thumb is that if you’re moving your bees across the yard more than 2 feet, you’ll need to move them temporarily out 2 miles away so they don’t fixate on the old location.)

Too much damn work.

Instead, when a neighbor seemed fearful about a hive near his fence, we happily offered to move it on the other side of the yard… that same night.

Here’s how it works: Continue reading

Beekeepers visit Chispas Farms

30 May

The local pollinator posse took a break from beekeeping this weekend to visit a small organic farm in Albuquerque’s South Valley. Hosted by Amanda and Eli from Chispas Farm, we dug our feet into the warm dirt and walked rows of garlic, asparagus, fennel, and freshly-planted heirloom tomatoes all nurtured with love and wisdom by their caretakers, two self-described “born again farmers.”

Field trip to Chispas Farms Field trip to Chispas Farms
Field trip to Chispas Farms

Find more beekeeping events in Albuquerque

Albuquerque beekeeping meeting: March 27, 2010

26 Mar
Albuquerque beekeepers gather to talk shop.

Albuquerque beekeepers gather to talk shop.

Fellow Albuquerque beeks, our first meeting of the season is tomorrow! Get details and RSVP.

Tomás Urrea (The “Biopark beekeeper”) will be sharing ideas for how to make hive splits. Learn more about Tomás.
And we’ll also talk about “what to do now in your hives.”
This meeting is FREE and casual. Bring honey for tasting if you’d like.

Bees no longer public enemy in NYC

4 Jan

Soon, beekeepers in New York City may no longer be breaking the law.

After months of prodding from rooftop beekeepers and proponents of community agriculture, the Department of Health on Thursday took the first step toward removing honey bees from a list of animals that residents are prohibited from raising within the five boroughs.

Read more at:

Watering Your Bees

3 Apr

Bees need water too, especially here in the desert Southwest.

I keep a bright blue birdbath filled with water and rocks which enable my girls to drink their fill without drowning. It’s only April and already there are 10-20 bees siphoning water at any given time.

Bee drinking from a bird bath

Bee drinking from a bird bath

Longtime city beeks tell me that mostly any water source will do, but make sure it’s not treated or otherwise chemically altered. Pools and artificial ponds, for example, are NOT a safe source so unless you have a rustic creek in your backyard, your best bet is to provide a supplemental water source most of the year.

Dear neighbors

25 Feb

Here’s the letter I left my neighbors last night regarding my upcoming insect invasion:

Dearest neighbor!

I’m thinking of inviting 10,000 of the world’s best pollinators to live in my backyard this summer. They’re quiet, docile, and oh, did I mention they produce honey?

I’d like to start a beehive. But before I do, let’s talk.

Do you have questions or concerns about bees? Is there anything you want to alert me to before I start a hive?

Of course, you’re always welcome to come and see them. In the meantime, here’s some information about how it all works. Continue reading