Posts Tagged ‘BackYardHive’

Top-Bar hive ( in winter)

Last summer I went on the Garden Tour sponsored by the Santa Fe Botanical Garden.  At one of the gardens I noticed a number of unusual beehives in the yard. I met  Kate Whealan, the owner, and she explained that they were called “top-bar” hives. She was so enthusiastic and full of information!  Turns out Kate heads the Sangre de Christo Beekeeping Club here in town and she invited me to join and attend their monthly meetings.  Well…..other projects and activities got in the way over the summer but the idea of setting up a beehive in the yard was in the back of my head….if I could do chickens, why not bees?

Winter came and I began to think about bees again… started checking out info on the web. Wow!  So much information….too much information!  Being a biology teacher I knew all about their anatomy, habits and life cycle, but the practical part of raising them seemed intimidating.  There seemed so much to learn. What kind of bee hive should I get:  Langstroth, Top-bar, Warre hive? … and a whole new lexicon of bee terms: chalkbrood, nosema, propylis, starter nuc,, foulbrood, varroa mites.  The thought of setting up a bee hive in the yard drifted further into that section of my brain titled ” good idea, but….”

In January, I went to my first beekeeping meeting, and got energized by the lively group of bee enthusiasts, joined the local news group, and saw the announcement for the “Northern NM Rocky Mountain Sweet Spring Sting:A Symposium for Bee Stewards”    I decided to spend this year learning as much as I could about bees , take some classes, and then set up my bee hive next year. Yes, that was my plan.

Then I attended the Bee Symposium.  What an eye-opener!  Organized by Melanie Kirby and Mark Spitzig who run the Zia Queen Bee Co., it was a real eye-opener!  They put together a great day of speakers and shared so much information with us about beekeeping.

Corwin Bell from Colorado spoke about bee guardianship, and how bees can reveal the connection between humans and the natural world.     www.backyardhive.com

Kirk Webster spoke about his commercial small scale , chemical free apiary in Vermont

Nate Downey from Santa Fe Permaculture talked about incorporating bees into the home lanscaping as an integrated unit.


Corwin brought along a young woman who at the age of 16 set up her own successful hive in one summer under the mentorship of Corwin   It was then I saw that if she could do it, so could I!

The thing that finally clinched my plan to jump right in and start beekeeping this year was winning the door prize….. a queen bee  from the Zia Queen Bee Co! ( they will let me know when she is available)

OK … I have my contacts, some good mentors, classes lined up…….I’m ready to go.  Now to build me a bee hive!

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