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Sustainable Sunday Dinner @ The Bavarian in Taos Ski Valley July 26

July 23, 2015
by melanie

The Bavarian Lodge & Restaurant at Taos Ski Valley presents their Sustainable Sunday Series: Farm to Mountain to Table which runs July 12 through September 27 excluding September 6 (be of a music fest) 11 Sundays total.

The inspiration for this series was to connect people back to the food source and connect local growers to their customers…and to help the public really understand what the farmers go through to bring their produce to market. These presentations bring a deeper appreciation for the food we eat and the effort made by many to get it to our own tables; thus getting more folks to eat healthy.

This Sunday- July 26th, features Zia Queenbees Farm & Field Institute. ZQB was founded in 2005 by Native New Mexican Melanie Kirby and Mark Spitzig who have both been keeping bees professionally for close to twenty years. Zia Queenbees provides pollination services, exquisite hive products and locally produced survivor queen bees and hives through a “Father Time Tested- Mother Nature Approved” process. They share their bees across northern NM helping farmers to grow the food, medicine and fibers that sustain our communities. They are humbled to be celebrating a decade of service and are grateful to everyone planting and growing flowers and food for all the pollinators.

For Reservations, call the Bavarian at 575-776-8020. Dinner served at 6:00pm and includes 3 courses of all locally grown organics for a set price of $45.00. 

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Beekeeping in NM workshop in Abiquiu June 25, 2015

June 16, 2015
by melanie

I’ll be sharing info on Beekeeping in NM at the Rio Arriba County Rural Event Center in Abiquiu on June 25, 2015 from 1:30 to 4:30 pm. RA Extension Bee Keeping Workshop 2015

There will be an observation hive, honey tastings and a fantastic slideshow!

For more info- call

Cost: $5.00/person please RSVP by June 22nd with Rio Arriba CES at (505) 685-4523



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Bees: Midwives of Agriculture presentation June 16, 2015 @ Pajarito Nature Center in Los Alamos

June 5, 2015
by melanie

We’ll be presenting a slideshow on Bees: Midwives of Agriculture at the Pajarito Nature Center in Los Alamos at 7pm on June 16th in honor of National Pollinator Week.

There will be some fun props to smell and taste and see and hear and a colorful slideshow on beekeeping in NM and integrated pollinator stewardship.

Join us as we celebrate a decade of service by honoring the humble bugs who share their lifework with our communities.

For more info, visit:


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God Save the Queen! In Her Majesty’s Chambers- Intro to Queen Breeding & Rearing July 11-12, 2015

May 27, 2015
by melanie

July 11-12, 2015: In Her Majesty’s Chambers- Intro to Queen Breeding & Rearing with Melanie Kirby & Mark Spitzig of Zia Queenbees Farm & Field Institue.

Day and a half course covers introductory concepts for selecting, breeding and rearing naturally hardy queenbees and nucleus colonies. From establishing a breeding protocol to designing a quality rearing program- this field practicum will instruct enthusiasts on the nuances of queen honeybee propagation. Hands on field sessions complement theory class sessions- from testing bees to the art of grafting and banking virgins and queens. Learn how to be a proactive steward and become empowered by the process.



Cost: $200

Includes manual, grafting tool, JzBz queen rearing supplies: cell cups, cages, rack and cell bar, live queen cells to take home, instruction and graduation bee beards.

To register, email: ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com

Tel: 505.929.8080

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2015 Nucs Ready!!!

May 23, 2015
by melanie

Hey Folks, we appreciate everyone’s patience with the process and our bees are even more grateful as we’ve given them time to get established.

We will begin reviewing our initial rounds this coming week- and then make contact to schedule pick ups.

As we review nucs we look for several indicators:

Did she successfully mate?

How is her laying posture?

How are their food stores?

Are they healthy?

Are they ready to go to their new homes?

Once we determine that they are ready- we flag them and begin making contact with those who made reservations.

After filling confirmed orders, if we have extras, we will post it on this blog and also make contact with those on the wait list.

Being that it has been a rather volatile spring, we are hopeful that the girls were able to mate successfully. If our first rounds prove otherwise, no worries, we have additional batches that will be ready each week for our review.

We strive to offer and produce healthy, resilient and productive honeybees from our proven survivor stock- whose heritable traits of longevity, pest/disease resistance, gentleness and productivity have been carefully chosen and bred for for over 15 years (10 years here in the rugged topography of our enchanted lands of NM).

Please know that we adhere to a very strict rearing protocol to ensure that the bees and their queens that you procure from us are of the utmost health and demeanor. As such, we get less rounds per season; but what we do produce is of the highest quality. We also make contact with those who have placed reservations in the order that they were received to remain fair.

Also remember, when scheduling pick ups, we recommend either an early morning (by 9am) or near sundown pick up so as to capture all foragers. Nucs will be in reusable, lightweight, weather resistant, vented transport boxes for ease of relocation.

We appreciate everyone’s support and look forward to continuing to serve our local, regional, national and international constitutents for another decade plus.


Melanie Kirby


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2015 Intro to Apiculture Beekeeping Intensives in Taos & Santa Fe Starting Mid May

April 12, 2015
by melanie

field practicum

4-Saturday Field Practicum Course starts May 16 @ Tierra Drala Farm in El Prado-Taos

Taos Intensive 2015

& also offered 4-Sunday Field Practicum Course starting May 17 @ Plants of the Southwest in Agua Fria- Santa Fe

SF Intensive 2015

Course Syllabus Includes:

Honeybee Biology** Plant/Bloom Cycle** Seasonal Management** Hive Products & Harvesting** Overwintering** Apiary Plans & Strategizing Stewardship** Native Pollinator Integration

Courses taught by Mark Spitzig & Melanie Kirby of Zia Queenbees Farm & Field Institute, who each have been keeping bees professionally for close to 20 years.

COST: $250 (includes all 4 classes)

Add $225 for a starter Langstroth nucleus of locally bred bees (+ $30 for Top Bar or Warre custom conversions).

To Register- Email us at ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com

or call Tel: 505.929.8080

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2015 nuc, queen y mas pricing

March 2, 2015
by melanie

Daddy needs me to tighten the straps on this load of spring boxes.

UPDATE: We are sold out of starter nucs at this time. Once we begin our rearing calendar, should we have extras to share, we’ll post it on our blog. Reminder: All starter nucs are available for pick-up only from our Truchas, NM home farm.

We are taking names on a waitlist. Email ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com and enter nuc waitlist in the subject line. Send us your name,  kind of nuc(s), and a contact telehone to reach you should we be able to accommodate your request.

For 2015 season, we will be offering:

survivor stock Langstroth starter nucleus hives (and modified top bar & warre nuclei),

Virgin & Mated Queenbees,

Enchanted Empress Breeding Companions,

Beekeeping courses,

Pollination services,

& exquisite NM honeys and beeswax apiceuticals

  • (royal jelly- including N-chromosome RJ,
  • raw propolis, propolis capsules, propolis tincture, propolis salve,
  • lip balms, body balms: rejuvenation, booboo, bebe,
  • and hand dipped taper candles and exquisite beeswax pendants, mobiles and arts.

We are in the process of revamping our website and adding an online store for ease of procuring our bee products. This new site will launch within the next few weeks!


Pollination Services in NM, please contact Mark at 505/929-8080.

Beekeeping Courses and registration information, visit Charm School for Beekeepers &  Intro to Apiculture and Advanced Beekeeping courses blog posts. To register for 5 week intensive (scheduled at Plants of the SW in Santa Fe, starting Sundays in May), email us at ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com; Cost, $250 course instruction ($475 with locally produced Langstroth starter nuc, $505 w/ top bar-warre nuc).  

Virgin Queenbees (Un-Mated) bred from our diverse survivor stock will be made available latter half of April-September.

Virgin Queenbees from 2-year old Breeders are $15/each + shipping.  Virgin Queens from 3-year old Breeders are $19/each + shipping. If located nearby, pickup can be scheduled. For quantity orders, discounts are available.

Enchanted Empress Breeding Companions (Mated Queenbees) that have been grafted from selected 2 and 3 year old Mother Breeders and bred with selected 3 year old survivor Mother-Drone breeding stock in our high mountain apiaries will be available starting in June- September. If you are a producer and are interested in specific base lineages, please contact us to make a reservation.

Cost: $200/each- Marking included free of charge and clipping (free) available upon request. Cost includes USPS Express 2-day shipping insured.

If you are interested in our apiceutical products, please visit our new online store, launching in mid February! 

Please call/text us 505/929-8080 or email us at  ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com

**Note: we are a working farm and thus are mostly in the field. Office hours are midnight oil burning hours so it may take a few days for us to respond to your phone message. Text/email for faster response time.

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Sound Apitherapy- Free lecture Sun 2/22 in Dixon w/ Healingbees.org

February 18, 2015
by melanie

healing bees


The Beehive Effect

Come to a free lecture on The Beehive Effect: Sound Apitherapy with Dr. Valerie Solheim, this Sunday- February 22, 2015 from 11am to noon at the Carnelian Center. Dr. Solheim has been researching the positive effect of subtle energy fields on honeybees since 2008. Her findings indicate that hives maintained in high energy fields (naturally selected by wild bees) are healthier; and recordings from within are not only greatly beneficial to the bees, but to our bodies and the environment. See attached flyer for more info. Donations accepted for the Carnelian Center. Visit www.healingbees.org.

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No. Cali Charm School for Beekeepers workshops March 2015

February 17, 2015
by melanie

ZQB CA 2015 spring workshops

NORTHERN CALI CHARM SCHOOL FOR BEEKEEPERS- Learn how to become an engaged honeybee steward.

We’ll be heading to Wings of Nature (www.wingsofnaturebees.com) to conduct some workshops with our buddy Aiden Wing in the hills above Palo Alto, CA this March.


Download the PDF >



SATURDAY March 21, 2015: IN HER MAJESTY’S CHAMBERS- ALL DAY Class & Field Practicum

http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/ 4e4449794d5459354e7a553d0d0a&blogview=true

The queen as heart of the hive- introduction to small scale queen raising

COST: $175 includes manual, tools, class & field instruction



Making medicinal apiceuticals for health and wellness w/ honey, propolis & beeswax. COST $75


SATURDAY March 28, 2015: IN HER MAJESTY’S CHAMBERS- ALL DAY Class & Field Practicum

The queen as heart of the hive- introduction to small scale queen raising COST: $175 includes manual, tools, instruction

http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/ 4e4449794d5459354e7a553d0d0a&blogview=true


SUNDAY March 29, 2015: 2nd Step Beekeeping Field Practicum- 1/2 day

Learn adv. handling techniques, splitting, & hive health assessment COST: $75


To register- email us at ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com or call us at 505.929.8080

April 2014 cover shot- Aiden Wing of wingsofnature.com with his first 2014 batch of queen cells- Palo Alto, California

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ZQB presents Buzzin’ of Bees at NM Org. Farming conference Feb 20-21st in ABQ

February 15, 2015
by melanie

We’ll be presenting a workshop on local honeybee production at the upcoming NM Organic Farming Conference which takes place Feb. 20-21st at the ABQ Marriott Pyramid hotel. For more info on the conference and to register visit: www.nmfarmtotable.org

For the full program visit:http://www.farmtotablenm.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2015-Organic-Conference-final.pdf

New Mexico Organic Farming Conference

organic-farmingAbout the New Mexico Organic Farming Conference The Southwest’s Premier Conference for Organic Agriculture

Organized annually through a collaboration between Farm to Table,  the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Organic Program, and the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service, the Conference provides producers and researchers from around the Southwest an opportunity to share their experiences and expertise.

Vital information is shared to help organic agricultural producers make important decisions in running their existing farm and ranch operations or in starting a new one.

The Conference offers a vast array of workshops covering many topics and makes available exhibition space for a wide range of products and services. Attendance has grown to over 650. CEUs (Continuing Education Credits) are available.

The goal of the Conference is to provide a place to bring organic growers in the region together to explore and learn the unique aspects of the Southwest. The Conference also serves to reduce isolation by providing a forum to share innovative ideas and best practices. “Coach” Mark Smallwood, Executive Director of the Rodale Institute is the keynote speaker for the 2015 Conference.  Recent noted speakers have included Mace Vaughan of Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program, renowned animal behaviorist Dr. Temple Grandin, Bu Nygrens co-owner and Purchasing Manager of Veritable Vegetable and many others.

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