Southern New Mexico Beekeepers


Southern New Mexico Beekeepers

Members: 51
Latest Activity: 8 hours ago

Another petition

Here is another petition from Credo, I don’t see a conflict in signing two petitions, we sure could use the pressure.

My bees thank you!


Discussion Forum

New to beekeeping

Hello everyone, I'm happy to announce my new found hobby. I've web interested for years and now have time/space to get it going. I normally use reclaimed materials and hand make everything, adds a…Continue

Started by Jason Patton 8 hours ago.

Dog Canyon 1 Reply

Has anyone got the bees in Dog Canyon yet? If not, I will go. Claude Claflin 575-430-2911Continue

Started by Claude Claflin. Last reply by Rob Shepler yesterday.

Swarm 7 Replies

A student told me this morning that there was a swarm around one of her trees yesterday afternoon, and they were still there this morning, and they settled on the tree a bit later. I'm too new to…Continue

Started by Gloria Villaverde. Last reply by Paul McCarty Apr 17.

New Hive 1 Reply


Started by Kevin W. Thatcher. Last reply by Paul McCarty Apr 10.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Paul McCarty on February 16, 2014 at 2:20pm

Ken - Mustard is good. That means nectar is coming in too.

My opinion is that if James's hive is slow and has a record of being slow, I would definitely replace the queen. At 7500' all you really have to do is squish her and let them raise a new one from their remaining brood - but they have to be strong enough to last a month queenless and you will get no production from them. Might be better to split from the strong hive and let them raise a queen, then squish the old and combine the new split with them. Not sure how you would do this with a top bar.  Much easier with a more standard type of hive set-up.

Comment by Diana Calkins on February 16, 2014 at 12:48pm

James, Last year when we split our only hive, we allowed the split to create their own queen.  The virgin queen was successful, although I've read from some people that the queen didn't survive the mating flight.  If you do allow them to make their own queen, you much check to make sure she is successful.  If not, you would need to add another bar with brood/eggs.  When we do our splits this year, we will once again allow them to make their own queens.  I prefer to get feral/local genes incorporated into the queens.  If the hives get too "hot," then I'll decide what to do different at that time.

Personally, I think you've let the queen in Hive 2 get by long enough.  If her abdomen is not well developed, it probably won't ever be.  What do you more experienced beeks think?

Can't make any suggestions, Ken Henderson.  I'm not sure where you are located or the particulars of your hive conditions.  Maybe Paul or Rob can suggest something?

Comment by Kenneth Lee Henderson on February 16, 2014 at 12:07pm

Thanks Rob. The reason I asked was to try to determine if my tree bees were using the community entrance feeder as I was unable to come up with a way to feed just them in their colony.

I know some are not in favor of mass feeding but I find very little evidence of fighting among the visitors. There are less than 10 dead bees daily that I find. The biggest problem is they sometimes seem to stick together from the syrup.

I filled a quart jar when I arrived in DC yesterday around 3PM and by the time I left around 5 it was half gone. Is this a lot? There are hundreds of bees coming and going continuously.

All three of my hives were busy yesterday but I saw little evidence of pollen being brought in. All I can see that is blooming is mustard weed. Creosote is leafing out and could bloom soon because of the heat wave I guess.

Comment by James G. Blackburn II on February 16, 2014 at 12:02pm

Thanks for the seminar update Rob.

Any Southern NM beekeepers planning to offer TBH Nucs this year? If so, please let me know.

Observed and opened the hives yesterday. Surprised to see them bringing in fair amts. of cream to light yellow pollen here at 7500ft.. The bees were also quite active on the 4 bee wells that I  have scattered in the bee yard.

Hive#1, the stronger hive, had built four additional combs since the last opening on 10/07/13. They now have 23 combs built on the 29 possible TBs and have at least 10 combs that were partially filled with honey. Noticed very little brood cells or pollen cells and didn't see the Queen. The bee population is high though in this hive, so I think I just missed her.

Hive # 2 has stayed relatively weak since my April 4th, 2013 installation. The bee population seems marginal, has 15 combs built to varying degrees of completion, and 4 partially capped honey combs. Did see the a small amount of brood cells and the Queen was being attended on TB#8. She seemed healthy but her abdomen wasn't overly large. I decided to place a block of bee candy/pollen in this hive hoping to boost their survival efforts a bit until a true Spring arrives here in the mtns.

On both hives, I moved the more full and heavier honey combs towards the front of the hive and the empty combs to the back. Both hives were clean and only a few dead bees were noticed in either hive.

Questions & Thoughts:

Thinking I will need to split H#1 pretty early in the Spring to prevent swarming due to the population and the fullness of the hive and a suspicion of supercedure cells. Should I plan to add a new Queen to the original hive after the split or allow the bees to develop their own replacement?

* How long should I allow H#2 to "just get by" before considering a new Queen? I've added some brood from H#1 in the past to give them a boost but not sure of the effectiveness.

* One of the most surprising aspects of these bees has been their gentleness through this first year of enduring my novice attempts. They have not been smoked although I initially brought a smoker into the bee yard so that I could practice lighting it and keeping it lit. Not really an issue with the dry Juniper branches and wild horse manure laying around in the yard.

They really have been fun to be around!

Any comments, suggestions, criticisms from you experienced keepers would be welcome. Hope you and your bees are well and happy.


Comment by Rob Shepler on February 16, 2014 at 11:28am

No not a dumb question, I don't think there are any with beekeeping, as we really are still learning about them.

If I have a well mated queen my bees can have very different colors in the same colony, seems to be part of the drones contribution.

Comment by Kenneth Lee Henderson on February 16, 2014 at 11:00am

Well, I got no answers to my question about different bee appearances posted Feb.4. First time I never received an answer.
Was it that dumb of a question?

Comment by Rob Shepler on February 15, 2014 at 10:32pm

There are some really cool workshops coming up, perhaps some of us can carpool up north and save some gas.

SAVE the DATEs: 2014 Pollinator Lecture Series

May 2-3, 2014: Northern NM Sweet Spring Sting Pollinator Symposium featuring:
Dr. Tom Seeley- renowned Conservation Biologist from Cornell University & author of Honeybee Democracy will be visiting NM. 
Venue and time to be announced soon!
Additional Guest Lecturers visting this spring 2014:
May 23-25, 2014: Dr. Juliana Posada- Rangel, President of the American Association of Professional Apiculturists & The American Bee Research Conference from Texas A&M
June 6-8, 2014: Dr. Wyatt Mangum, Top Bar Beekeeping Columnist for American Bee Journal, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Mary Washington, and author of "Top-Bar Hive Beekeeping: Wisdom and Pleasure Combined"
Venues and Times to Be Announced Soon!
See attached flyer for additional details.
*Sponsored by The Rocky Mountain Survivor Queenbee Cooperative
 & The New Mexico Department of Agriculture. 
Comment by Paul McCarty on February 10, 2014 at 11:31am

I'll be splitting just about all of my hives - as soon as I see the first flying drones.

Comment by Diana Calkins on February 10, 2014 at 10:22am

With our topbar hives, we're planning to do the same kind of split as done last year: take 5 bars with brood and 4 bars with honey from each hive.  We'll look for the queen and hopefully find her and keep her in the established hive.  Last year the split was made April 25.  Might be sooner this year due to the warm weather.  It's been in the low to mid-60's here at 6800' altitude!

Comment by Paul McCarty on February 10, 2014 at 10:09am

My long hives - you just add empty frames every so often throughout the brood nest and keep them continuously building comb.


Members (51)



The New Mexico Beekeepers Association is a non-profit organization of private beekeepers, commercial beekeepers, persons interested in promoting the importance of the honey bee in the environment, and businesses related to the honey industry. Representing all regions of New Mexico, the Association maintains a close affiliation with the State of New Mexico's Department of Agriculture. Membership in the Association is open to all interested persons.


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