Southern New Mexico Beekeepers


Southern New Mexico Beekeepers

Members: 51
Latest Activity: 13 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 yesterday.

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 on Tuesday.

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 October 24, 2013 at 9:18pm

Ken - the cold should take care of those wax moths, but keep picking them out when you see them. Chances are, they are eating the wax and cocoons around the edges of the cluster. Sometimes they will get inside the comb in the cluster, and you will see how the bees have repaired the damage after they move through. If the bees are strong enough, they should keep them in check.

Don't split apart the brood-nest unless you have to, just to make certain you don't kill the queen. .

Comment by Paul McCarty on October 24, 2013 at 9:12pm

Someone down there at ADN is not our friend, though the author is helping us. quite a bit. Editor maybe?

Anyway - I have 23 hives going into winter.Of these, only three are what I would term weak, only in the fact that they are light on stores. They are squished down into single 8 frame deeps, and at a local alfalfa farm so they can get some extra feed in before the freeze hits, though I have been feeding them too, and will load them up with dry sugar or candy here very soon.

My other hives are all pretty strong, and two are still making honey off the globemallow Ken mentioned - also the cowpen daisies that just finished. Purple asters were also blooming last I checked. I had to add a second super to several two weeks back and they are just about full. I will use the extra honey for select weaker hives. I have two nucs I will be overwintering too. Both are double 5 frame nucs and chock full of honey and bees. Plan to split them in spring by simply splitting the boxes. One is a swarm that moved into an empty hive around the start of September. I have been feeding the snot out of them for weeks. They are a comb building beast! Dark and sort of scary too. I have pretty much decided they didn't come from my bees as they really do not resemble them in any way, and the queen is totally unlike any of my current queens. She is very dark brownish with heavy stripes. They act really wild. The bees are really dark too. I bet they are feral locals. My queens are mostly golden or black with very faint or non-existent striping. Every-time I open mated a queen this year, I get a really dark, dark queen as progeny. Last year, when Garcia's was pollinating the local orchard, I got really yellow stripy queens. I didn't raise any while they were here this year - if they came. I don't think they did. So my homegrown queens are dark - almost black. Especially the ones I raised on the local mountain peak headed up towards Sunspot.

Comment by Kenneth Lee Henderson on October 24, 2013 at 11:33am

It is slowly becoming winter down in the basin but my bees are still bringing in something. I see many of them with their pollen pouches loaded with a reddish-orange stuff. Wondering if it is globemallow pollen? I know the bees like it, it has a flower the same color as the stuff the bee's are packing, and it really started blooming after the rains.

I have started feeding syrup to all my 3 hives. Was wondering how often and how much? I am using pint jars enclosed by an empty super box atop the hive box to prevent robbing as suggested by Paul. Seems to be working OK. I have been checking the jars about once a week and they are always empty. Should I be feeding more often?

I bought a small single outlet hummingbird feeder and hung it so the outlet is almost inside the entrance of the tree bees. This seems to be working well as I see no signs other bees are trying to rob it, i.e. no fighting over it. They empty it in less than two days as it is quite small.

While feeding the toilet tank bees (the only ones in a real hive box) I always inspect for wax moth larva. This time I found 11. The larva was most active as I scooped them out onto the ground but one dropped into the center of the working hive. Will the bees kill it, hopefully? Do these moths go away in the winter?

The cocoons are always on the outer frames where there is no comb. As I get into the frames where the bees are starting to build comb they are absent so I guess the system works. I am hesitant to break into the inner hive's 4 central frames to inspect for fear of doing damage from my ignorance. Paul advised me to let them alone to build up and it seems to be working, just not too rapidly.

My apologies for the lengthy post. I have been meaning to do this for a few weeks.

Lastly, I too thought the headline of the Oct. 23 ADN seemed kind of inflammatory considering the recent passing of the beekeeping ordinance. 

Comment by Rob Shepler on October 24, 2013 at 10:11am

So, final checks before winter and I come across one colony that has no brood what so ever. It is a shame as it is one of the best and it has done pretty well and even got passed up by the bear. A good honey load and some pretty good pollen. As time is short and night is coming I choose to combine it in a few days with a late season swarm capture that is doing pretty well but didn’t really have much time to build before the frosts took out the flow.


A week later I am back to it with newspaper in hand and decide on one last peek, a queen! She is fat and sassy and the girls seem to like her, the population is still pretty heavy and there is still NO BROOD or eggs.


Judgment call, combine? Or try to save the genes of one of the few colonies that has done well for me this year?


What is your call? What would you do?

Comment by Rob Shepler on October 24, 2013 at 5:08am
Rob, could you post on my behalf: Bev said she doesn't write the headline, and she didn't like it either.
Comment by Paul McCarty on October 23, 2013 at 9:11pm

Man, that headline sure was scary - remind me to use Bev as a publicist for the next band I am in. Her headlines are almost as good as getting arrested!

Comment by Rob Shepler on October 23, 2013 at 5:29am

Part two!

European bees and Africanized bees look the same; the only way to differentiate them is genetic testing, which is no longer available at New Mexico State University by state entomologist Dr. Carol Sutherland due to the recent federal sequestration, which eliminated funding.

All we can do is judge by their behavior,” Shepler said. “The Africanized bees came up from Mexico and extended out through the bee population, so some here are highly Africanized. I've worked with colonies captured in Alamogordo, and they are scary.”

He is frequently called to capture swarms and remove them. He was called to capture a swarm in the Walgreen's parking lot, which left before he arrived. Shepler theorized it could have been the same swarm that invaded the nearby Alameda Park Zoo.

Shepler termed his own European beehives “petting bees, because they are so gentle.”

Diehl said he and the zoo “try to promote bees, because they are so vital to our environment. Unfortunately, Hollywood has built up deaths from killer bees in movies, to scare people and sell tickets.

When this happened here at the zoo, we were all saddened because we are close to these animals, and we are bee advocates.”

Shepler added that last year there was a national loss of 31 percent of bees. This was due to factors ranging from Colony Collapse Disorder and the varroa bee mite infestation to urbanization and indiscriminate spraying of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, which have been banned by the European Union, but not by the USDA.

Bev Eckman-Onyskow is an Alamogordo-based freelance writer. E-mail her at

Comment by Rob Shepler on October 23, 2013 at 5:28am

This is in the Alamogordo Daily News this morning and it was written by our own Beekeeper Bev. I'll post it in two sections as it is too long for one.

By Bev Eckman-Onyskow

For the Daily News

Months after the fact, people are still concerned about, and talking about, the deaths in July of two ravens and a turkey vulture at the Alameda Park Zoo.

I was shocked and saddened, I was fond of Edgar,” Zoo Director Steve Diehl said Tuesday during an interview in his office. Edgar, one of the ravens, was named after Edgar Allen Poe, author of “The Raven.”

Diehl explained that during a severe windstorm, a branch carrying a bee colony dropped and landed on top of the Raven Exhibit in the Bird of Prey area. The frightened bees stung and killed the three birds, and stung a great horned owl and a Harris hawk, which Diehl said he treated with Benadryl, and they recovered. “We removed the birds in that area as a precaution, and now we've put them back.

The park has been here for a hundred years, and the bees have been here for a hundred years, they pollinate our trees and flowers,” Diehl said.

I've been here 27 years, I've walked by those bees every day, and we've never had anything like this happen before. I've never had a bee sting. This was an isolated situation, a catastrophic event.”

Rob Shepler of Mayhill, a member of the board of directors of the New Mexico Beekeepers Association, was in Diehl's office. Shepler said he had just heard about the incident Friday at at the Western Apicultural Society meeting in Santa Fe.

It was reported there by a USDA inspector, who requested anonymity. The USDA has to be informed of deaths of animals and introduction of new animals at the zoo.

The bees which attacked the birds were probably Africanized bees,” Shepler told Diehl. “That you had any birds killed is a matter of concern.” Shepler was also one of the founders of the Southern New Mexico Beekeepers Association.

A revision of the Alamogordo ordinance to allow beekeeping within the city limits is currently under consideration by the City Commission. Advocates note that more kinder, gentler European bees will dilute the already identified Africanized bee population, making the city safer for those allergic to bee stings.

Comment by Rob Shepler on October 22, 2013 at 9:02pm

Yep, sure is. And you played a big part in it with your presentation. Congratulations Paul, and Bev got us before the Commission and the rest of you drove down in droves to support beekeepers we don't even know yet. It is a big deal, and great news. Give yourself a pat on the back everyone.

Let's educate some new beekeepers next year, shall we?

Comment by Paul McCarty on October 22, 2013 at 8:51pm
That is great news!

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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Vice President: Craig Noorlander,

Secretary: Mike Fickling,

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