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Listen Thurs. 4/24 @ 3:30pm mnt www.ktaos.com

April 22, 2014
by melanie

Several of us NM beekeepers from Rio Arriba, Taos and Mora counties will be aired on a live broadcast interview on KTAO, NM’s solar powered radio station by famed DJ Brad Hockmeyer!

If in the radio listening area, you can hear the interview at 101.9FM or listen online to live stream broadcast at www.ktaos.com

We’ll be discussing NM’s pollinator situation and local production efforts and also highlighting the upcoming 2014 North to South NM Pollinator Benefit Lecture Series!

Tell your friends!

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2014 Spring & Summer Beekeeping Workshops in northern NM

April 16, 2014
by melanie

Our Intro to Apiculture: Beginning Beekeeping Course Intensive is full; however, we will be offering workshops in the Taos area starting May 17, 2014.


And our neighbor Steve Wall of Buckin’Bee will be offering a 4-hour workshop on getting started with bees in late April.

2014 Beginning Beekeeping S. Wall

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2014 North to South NM Pollinator Benefit Lecture Series: Kick off May 3rd (Santa Fe) & 4th (Taos) featuring Dr. Tom Seeley- Honeybee Democracy + add’l guest lecturers to visit!

April 15, 2014
by melanie

SAVE the DATEs: 2014 North to South New Mexico Pollinator Benefit Lecture Series

sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Survivor Queen Bee Cooperative, NM Dept. of Agriculture & the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

For complete lecture and field practicum listings and to register online- visit www.survivorqueenbees.org

FeatureSpeakersHandout (1)

All lectures $15/each and field practicums $45/each

2014 Sweet Spring Sting Seeley

  • May 3rd & 4th, 2014: Northern NM Sweet Spring Sting Pollinator Symposium
  • featuring: Dr. Thomas Seeley- renowned Conservation Biologist from Cornell University & author of Honeybee Democracy will be visiting NM.

Dr. Seeley will be speaking on Saturday, May 3rd in the Great Hall on the beautiful campus of St. John’s College (my alma mater!) and also on Sunday, May 4th on the equally gorgeous SMU-Taos campus on Hwy 518.

t.seeley hb democ

Also included on the agenda is a special screening of “The Art of Mayordomia” on acequia ancient water way traditions in northern NM. Dr. Seeley’s lecture will weave a tapestry of philosophic proportions on the integral connection of habitat to feral hives and how honeybees portray a collective “sixth sense” he terms Swarm Intelligence (SI)– utilizing democratic measures to come to a consensus; from individual to group decision making. SI is a phenomenon that also applies to other organisms including humans- wherever their is group decision making, there is SI.

Sunday’s presentation will include a guided nature walk by Dr. Seeley on the SMU-Taos campus through a riparian strip of the Rio Grande del Rancho stream as it makes its way down  the mountains.

There will be unique and pertinent information on pollinator stewardship issues and ways communities and their members can assist- It takes a community to raise bees!

Additional Guest Lecturers visiting this spring 2014:

Dr. Juliana Rangel-Posada copy

  • May 22-25, 2014: Dr. Juliana Posada- Rangel, President of the American Association of Professional Apiculturists & The American Bee Research Conference from Texas A&M. She will be sharing information on her queen honeybee research Friday, May 23, 2014 at the NMSU-Alcalde Sustainable Agriculture Research Farm & Center and on Sunday, May 25, 2014 at the Alamogordo Extension Office.



May 22- Queen Reproductivity and Health Research Lecture @ NMSU-Alcalde Sustainable Ag Science Center

May 23- Queen Reproductivity & Health Research Lecture @ ABQ Bio Park Education Center

May 24- Queen Rearing Field Practicum @ ZQB farm on the High Road to Taos in Truchas (space limited)

May 25- Queen Reproductivity & Health Research Lecture @ Alamogordo Extension Office

  • Dr. W. MangumJune 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”.
  • Dr. Mangum will be speaking on Saturday, June 7th at Tapetes de Lana in Mora. Right across the street, Mora Valley Apiaries will be hosting a hands on workshop with Dr. Mangum after his lecture  on top bar management and queen rearing in top bars.

wmangum top bar book


  • To Register- visit www.survivorqueenbees.org
  • See attached flyers for additional details.

FeatureSpeakersHandout (1)

*Sponsored by The Rocky Mountain Survivor Queenbee Cooperative & The New Mexico Department of Agriculture.

The RMSQB Cooperative is an educational based service organization with the mission to promote Building Capacity and Research through Professional Development Opportunities, Rural Development & Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Beekeeping & Honeybee Stock Improvement Programs, Native & Alternative Pollinators & Apitherapy (medicinal use of bee products). All community members are invited and encouraged to participate in mindful pollinator stewardship. Que Viva  Las Abejas!

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ZQB/LongeviBee 2014 Offerings & Services

April 15, 2014
by melanie

For 2014 season, we will be offering survivor stock queen cells, virgins and Breeding Companions, Beekeeping courses, Pollination services and exquisite NM honeys and beeswax apiceuticals.

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



Beekeeping Courses and registration information, visit Intro to Apiculture and Advanced Beekeeping courses blog posts.

*We are sold out of starter nucleus hives for 2014. Starter nucs are only available for those who register for our Intro to Apiculture: Beginning Beekeeping 5-week course intensive and for research programs.

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

Cost: Queen cells $10/each (pick up only in NM); 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 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 available products or services, please call us 505/929-8080 or email us at  ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com or longevibees@gmail.com.  

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Bay area CALI Queen Rearing Workshops- March 2014

March 13, 2014
by melanie

We’ll be headed to northern California in late March to help a few of our beekeeping  buddies with their developing California “Surf-ivor” breeding projects.

While in the area, we will be offering presentations and conducting a couple of  2  day survivor stock queen rearing course intensives (In Her Majesty’s Chambers).

In Her Majesty’s Chambers: Intro to Queen Honeybee Breeding & Rearing, will run from 10am-6pm on Saturday and from 9am- 2pm on Sunday. Graduation bee beards will be offered

Students are encouraged to bring a sack lunch, their bee veils, smokers, and hive tools, a headlamp (for grafting), camera, and water bottle.

Click on this link for a slideshow of our CA queen rearing workshop offerings:

2014 CA Queen Rearing workshops

March 29-30, 2014 Palo Alto, CA

In Her Majesty’s Chambers: Intro to Queen Honeybee Breeding & Rearing

Hosting beekeeper Aiden Wing will be lending his apiaries and technical support for this workshop.


Email: wingsofnature@gmail.com or call Tel: 650/862-8322


March 22-23, 2014  Gilroy, CA                             — CLASS FULL–

In Her Majesty’s Chambers: Intro to Queen Honeybee Breeding & Rearing

Call  or email Dave Stocks for more information on registering and location details.

Email:    dave.stocks@yahoo.com             Tel: 408-605-3977


For additional information, email ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com or call Tel: 505/929-8080

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Taos- Charm School for Beekeepers -Series & Drop-In workshops

February 22, 2014
by melanie

Join us this spring and summer for our Taos Charm School for Beekeepers. Classes are open for those interested in taking the whole series or just individual workshops.

Classes will take place in El Prado- on the north side of Taos.


 TAOS CHARM SCHOOL FOR BEEKEEPERS (Series or Individual workshops)

Topics will include discussion & field practicum on both horizontal & vertical hive designs.


May 17, 2014 The SuperOrganism: The Basics of Getting Started with Honeybees Seasonal Cycle overview, Equipment Designs and Styles, Terminology, Biology, Castes & Life cycle of the Bees Review of area plant index/forage availability, neighborly beekeeping etiquette, and review of the NM Bee Law & Act.


June 15, 2014 Bees as our Teachers: Hive Revisions, Learn approach, handling and learning non-invasive techniques for assessing hive health productivity and needs. Learn how to split and fuse hives and recognizing ailments and finding natural therapeutic solutions. Also includes discussion of alternative/native pollinator integration and promotion.


July 12, 2014  The Rhythm & Beat of the Hive: Queens, Drones & their core importance to hive behavior and management. How to determine if and when to requeen a hive and successful steps for helping your hive rear their own queen, questions to ask when looking to buy healthy queens, & queen care and introduction.


August 16, 2014 Harvesting Hive Products, Making & Marketing Value-added Apiceuticals: Learn how to harvest honey, wax, pollen, propolis, and even royal jelly! Learn to make balms, candles and unique beeswax arts, and medicinal tinctures, including mead- honey wine with love from the bees.


September 13, 2014 Heavenly Hives: Preparing hives for Overwintering & Sustainable Pollinator Planning. Essential tasks for determining health and wellness of the hive superorganism and proactive measures to support successful overwintering at high altitudes. Develop plans/goals for subsequent seasons as you evolve your beekeeping and become an enlightened pollinator steward.


Series & individual workshop cost will be posted shortly.

For more details, email ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com

Zia Queenbees/LongeviBees

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Sat. Feb. 22nd Queen Presentation in Alamogordo, NM 1-4pm

February 19, 2014
by melanie

Melanie Kirby & Mark Spitzig

Of Zia Queen Bees will be speaking Saturday February 22nd at the County Extension office in Alamogordo.  

Melanie and her husband Mark run the highly respected Zia Queen Bees in Truchas New Mexico. Zia is known for their “Survivor” queens. All of their breeding stock has endured through at least two winters and many through three or four. Melanie has been keeping bees professionally for 17 years and Mark for 14.  Last year, Melanie served as the President of the Western Apicultural Society of North America She is one of the founders of the Rocky Mountain Survivor Queen Bee Cooperative. She is also the editor of the monthly Kelley Beekeeping online newsletter (www.kelleybees.com). Mark has been further developing his LongeviBee Breeding line which will launch this summer 2014. 

 Together they will be talking about the roll of the queen bee in the hive as the core and primary force behind behavior and management and how it relates to choices of genetic selection.  Melanie and Mark allow Father Time and Mother Nature to test their honeybee stock- basing their selection on longevity- which serves as the umbrella trait for hive characteristics.  They are both full of enthusiasm for their profession and believe that “it takes a community to raise bees.”

 This is short notice and it will be well worth putting off what you had planned. They are squeezing us in between beekeeping trips to teach queen rearing in Jamaica and  in northern California.

 Cost is $10.00, it will run from 1:00pm until about 4:00 or longer if we can keep them.

The County Extension office is at the Alamogordo Fairgrounds at 401 Fairgrounds, Alamogordo, New Mexico


Please contact Rob Shepler to reserve your spot! 575-687-2343 or rob@theriver.com


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Charm School for Beekeepers! Intro to Apiculture 5 week course intensive offered

February 6, 2014
by melanie

Well, time has come for us to initiate the Charm School for Beekeeper series.

We’ve been offering specialized advanced queen rearing workshops for a handful of years now  (In Her Majesty’s Chambers) and we will continue to do so….

This 2014 year, we’ll be offering an Intro to Apiculture: Beginning Beekeeping 5 week course intensive and also topical workshops. Classes offered in both Santa Fe and Taos areas. 

Below is Santa Fe, New Mexico class info. Taos class info will be posted shortly.

2014 Santa Fe Intro to Api Spring Intensive

Class size limited to 10 students and there are only a few spots left

And includes over 20 hours of course instruction (class and field)

Covering the honeybees’ seasonal cycle, lifecyle, biology, equipment, vertical and horizontal hive designs, seasonal management, pests & diseases, harvesting hive products y mas.

Cost: $450 (includes starter nucleus hive*)

When: Sundays starting April 20th, 2014

(start date dependent upon weather conditions- may need to be adjusted accordingly).

10am-2:30pm (with 1/2 hour lunch break)

Where: Plants of the Southwest on Agua Fria in Santa Fe, NM.

Who: Mark Spitzig & Melanie Kirby- Professional Apiculturists

Students will participate in theory and field practicums learning the work with local bees, to produce local bees.

Lots of hands on sessions. We do not call ourselves experts, but rather lifelong students to the scientific artistry and the artistic science of honeybee stewardship. We hope that our small but deliberate contributions to pollinator stewardship will promote a healthy environment and healthy living for our children and future generations. 

We appreciate the increased interest in beekeeping. Beekeeping is a humbling endeavor. Honeybees are full of wonderment in their nuances and enlightening industriousness. We are thankful for being able to learn with them. And for that, we are thankful to be able to share with you.







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Carnelian Center Valentine Benefit- Feb. 9, 2014 Dixon, NM

February 4, 2014
by melanie


carnelian center logo

The Carnelian Center, based in the picturesque village of Dixon in the Embudo Valley of northern New Mexico, has as its mission to provide the community with affordable holistic health care while nurturing the individual through art, education and cultural integration.

Their vision creates healing in a beautiful, peaceful setting with respect for the ecosystem and the preciousness of water…

For information on their annual benefit please click on the flyer

Carnelian Valentine flyer 2014

The Carnelian Center will soon be hosting Apitherapy sessions (Api=bee). More info forthcoming.

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In Field Hive Consultations available 2014 by M & M of ZQB-LongeviBees

January 22, 2014
by melanie

We are going into our 9th year of bee farming together. Individually we have 17 and 14 years of  professional beekeeping experience- collectively 31 years. Bringing together our developing skills from New Mexico, Michigan, California, Florida and Hawaii, we are better prepared to share these skills with others.

Our small farm has evolved over the past 9 years.

Initially we only offered queenbees.

Then we began offering starter nucleus hives in both Langstroth and Top Bar styles.

We then began offering workshops.

And now, we are offering individual, group and private consultations with beekeepers in our NM area.

We are also offering workshops outside of NM for clubs and groups. Call or email for information. 


Though we are located off the beaten path, we can, on occasion come to you and help you discover, decipher and determine what steps of stewardship can benefit your bees.

You have the option of having Melanie or Mark or both of us come to work with you alongside your hive revisions.

Our time is indeed limited but we are setting time aside this season to help our fellow beekeepers with their  bee management concerns, issues and queries.

If you are located at a distance, there will be a moderate travel fee imposed though we will try to schedule others in your area so that travel expenditures can be split among clients.

1 hour consultation: $40/consultant

2 hour consultation: $75/consultant

1/2 day consultation: $125/consultant

For those needing longer or frequent consultations, prices can be negotiated if prepayment is made.

Call or email with your name, location (town) and times and dates of potential visits. We can then coordinate and find a time that best accommodates you, us and your bees.


Call or email to discuss available dates and cost.

Thanks- M&M


Tel: 505/929-8080

Email: ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com



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