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WY Bee College- Intro to Queen Breeding & Rearing with M. Kirby of ZQB MidMarch 2018

December 30, 2017
by melanie
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http://www.uwyoextension.org/highplainscropsite/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/logo.jpgMarch 16-18, 2018

Visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-wyoming-bee-university-bee-college-conference-tickets-39751625181

for more information….and their facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/WyomingBeeCollege/

 

 

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2018 BEE Availability TBA mid Jan!!!

December 30, 2017
by melanie
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Winter Solstice has passed! And now the days will ever so slowly gain some momentum. Crazy enough, the weather in northern NM has been less than desirable…not much snow to speak of, which is rather scary given how much our Rio Grande and the farmers and communities rely on the snow melt in the Sangre de Cristos of the southern Rockies to replenish this grand water way and its acequias….and the fields, orchards, farms and forests.

So, at this time, I hesitate to announce anything until I get a better sense of how the weather is gonna affect my bees through this winter…..but I am strategizing my bee propagation plans and anticipate sharing queen cells from my prize breeding stock, a few batches of survivor stock starter nuclei, and a few batches of Breeder queens for queen producers and researchers.

My spring schedule has me mostly in WA state as I begin my field research  for my graduate degree at WSU…which by the way, WSU offers quality queen stock as well. Check out their website at www.bees.wsu.edu for more information. Their availability is limited and occurs late June-September.

But, I’ll be rearing some queens in NorCal (early spring 2018) and in NorNM this spring and summer.

And offering a few educational workshops. First one lined up will be in Cheyenne, WY for the WY Bee College.

For more info, visit:

https://www.facebook.com/WyomingBeeCollege/

Additionally, I’ll be offering a workshop (or 2) in NorCal as well. Check out www.wingsofnaturebees.com in the coming month for more info.

I’ll also be hosting a queen rearing workshop field day at ZQB in Truchas in May sometime. I’ll post updated info as soon as I lock in dates for my production, teaching and research schedule.

As it was last season, most of what my bees and I can offer will be limited and reserved for queen producers, researchers and community projects.

I do plan to offer some NorNM x NorCal survivor stock packages again this coming spring. I will post pricing and availabilty in mid January and I will begin taking reservations right after MLK day of remembrance.

This autumn, I moved two pallets worth (8 hives) of some of my prized breeding stock to cold storage in Idaho! This is very exciting as it means I don’t have to dig them out of snow (should NM get any- please!!!), and I’ll be able to begin rearing off them in NorCal after they plump up on coastal mountain forage. Here’s a few pics from the Idaho migration….

arriving with the load to SmartBee cold storage facility- Twin Falls, ID

 

 

transferring precious cargo to clip pallets

 

Securing labels, gotta keep tabs on my ladies!

 

Touchdown! Double pallet stacked and strapped to each other…

 

 

 

These Enchanted Empresses and Mountain Majesties will bee chill-axing until February. Then I’ll move them to the Bay Peninsula Preserve in the Santa Cruz coastal mountains to build up.  Then come late March, I’ll begin grafting for cell and nuc orders and then begin making some splits. Collaborations are crucial to share bees. I have learned to only work with the best to preserve quality. I thank by beekeeping associates in NorCal who share mating yards, forage and offer me mentorship. I’ll chronicle the event as it unfolds as best I can….

Until then- keep warm and HapBEE NEW YEAR!!!!

Que Viva Las Abejas Bellas!

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Late Summer 2017 availability

September 4, 2017
by melanie
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School has started! And Melanie has relocated 3/4 time to pursue graduate studies in international bee breeding at Washington State University!

Though it has been 20 years! since Melanie has been in “school” hitting the books, she has been in full time enrollment at the school of street sense. 🙂

As of this date, ZQB does not have any mated queens available EXCEPT for a small final batch of Enchanted Empress Breeder Companions. The final orders will be going out this week and if there are any left, we will open availability for first come first served orders.

For late season availability of ZQB integrated queen stock, we recommend the following queen producers:

Heitkam’s Honeybees, Tel:  (530) 865-9562

Wings of Nature Bees, Tel: 650 862 8322 Email: wingsofnaturebees@gmail.com

Old Sol Apiaries, Tel: 541-582-2337

and the WSU Program Queens, Email:  bhopkins@wsu.edu

For the 2018 bee season, we anticipate continuing our longevity-based breeder program and will again focus on sharing Enchanted Empress Breeding Stock with queen producers, researchers and for community projects.

This season, we were able to share some packages of ZQB lineage bees and ZQB mated queens in mid May. We will consider this again for 2018 but at this time, do not know what our spring schedule will be since both Melanie and Mark will be conducting research and consulting opportunities.

We normally begin taking reservations right after MLK holiday weekend in late January.

Should there be any questions, email us at ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com

Merci- Thank you- Gracias

MK

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Herbs4Bees: From Bloom to Boom Field Day- June 16, 2017

June 3, 2017
by melanie
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Herbs4Bees is a project inspired by local farmers, beekeepers and researchers who are committed to promoting healthy forage for pollinators and humans.

 

Read more at www.herbs4bees.com

A FREE Field day is being offered June 16, 2017 at the NMSU- Alcalde Sustainable Agriculture Science Center and Embudo.

The 9am-noon agenda includes lectures by chemist Dr. Don Hyder of San Juan College (Farmington) with information on analyzing NM medicinal honeys, Dr. Jay Evans- Director of the USDA National Bee Lab with current research into pollinator health, Dr. Olivia Messinger- author of Know the Bees in your Backyard (Princeton Press), Dr. Julie McIntyre- Southwest Pollinator coordinator for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Todd Bates of NM Native Plant Recyclers will give a guided tour of his oregano farm and talk about the medicinal properties of oregano de la sierra (bee balm; wild bergamot), Rob Heyduck- NMSU Alcalde Research Horticulturist with info on the process of sampling and analyzing medicinal herbs, and Melanie Kirby of Zia Queenbees Farm & Field Institute with information on how habitat nurtures locally adapted pollinators and value added products for human wellness.

h4b field day flier

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ME News Blog #3 THE BEES IN YOUR BACKYARD- Princeton Press

April 26, 2017
by melanie
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Here is a blog post I wrote for Mother Earth News about Dr. Olivia Messinger-Carril who co-authored, The Bees in Your Backyard – about native pollinators. http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/bees-in-your-backyard-zbcz1704

 

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WSU June 2017 Beekeeping Short Course & Rearing High Quality Queens

April 22, 2017
by melanie
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I’ll be joining the Washington State University Sheppard Bee Lab this summer to help them rear queens!

They are offering several bee workshops the 2nd week of June- which I will be assisting with. If you are interested in a summer short course on rearing queens, this event is your ticket. Instructors include Dr. Steve Sheppard, Dr. Brandon Hopkins, Sue Cobey and Melanie Kirby.

Visit http://entomology.wsu.edu/apis/  or scroll down to read more and click on links for registration details.

Workshops offered by the WSU Honey Bee Program

bee keepingWSU Beekeeping Short Course

June 9-10, 2017

Interested in starting some bee colonies or want more confidence in working and caring for these? This 2 day course will cover bee biology, pest/disease identification, colony management, honey bee IPM, and gloveless beekeeping. The format is a combination of instruction and hands on demonstration. Bring a bee veil, whatever protective clothing you are comfortable in, and lots of questions.

Instructors: Steve Sheppard, Susan Cobey & WSU Bee Lab graduate students

Registration fees $125; To register for this workshop, you have the option to:

Print out a hard copy of the registration form and mail it to the Department of Entomology along with the payment for your registration fee

Click here for a printable Registration Form

-OR-

Fill out a registration form that can be submitted online

⇒ Click here to register with an online form.

Location:  Ensminger Pavilion, Washington State University Campus – Pullman, WA

Mail to:

Adam Williams  Washington State University  Dept. of Entomology 166 FSHN    P.O. Box 646382  Pullman, WA 99164-6382

Rearing High Quality Queens

June 11, 2017

The one day workshop will present what it takes to rear high quality queens. Basic biology and various methods of queen rearing will be presented. The workshops emphasize hands on instruction in queen rearing methods, with lecture and demonstrations. Students will be involved in various steps including: setting up cell builders, grafting, and establishing mating nuclei. Both queen right and queen-less systems will be demonstrated. Bring a bee veil and whatever protective clothing you are comfortable in.

Instructors: Steve Sheppard, Susan Cobey & WSU Bee Lab graduate students

Registration fees $175; To register for this workshop, you have the option to:

Print out a hard copy of the registration form and mail it to the Department of Entomology along with the payment for your registration fee

Click here for a printable Registration Form

-OR-

Fill out a registration form that can be submitted online

⇒ Click here to register with an online form.

Location:  Ensminger Pavilion, Washington State University Campus – Pullman, WA

Click here for the 2016 Beekeeping Short Course schedule, the 2017 schedule will be posted soon.

Mail to:

Adam Williams  Washington State University Dept. of Entomology166 FSHN  P.O. Box 646382  Pullman, WA 99164-6382

APIS Molecular Systematics Laboratory, Washington State University; Dr. Steve Sheppard, Contact Us

 

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ME News Post #2 by M. Kirby

March 30, 2017
by melanie
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Here is the link for my 2nd blog post for ME News!

Apitherapy: Bees as Medicinal Midwives

Making magic with plants and flowers has its roots deeply entwined in the interspatial relationships over millennia with insects as pollinators. Pollinators procured the sweet and tangy nectars and the rich and robust pollens for their own nutrition and self-medication. In so doing, they have helped to fertilize flowering plants and thus, have served as midwives to blooms across the globe producing food and medicine for varied species for millennia.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/apitherapy-bees-as-medicinal-midwives-zbcz1703

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I blog for Mother Earth News!

March 27, 2017
by melanie
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Back in late November 2016, I was invited to give a presentation in Portland, Oregon for the Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference. I had the great pleasure of meeting the keynote presenter Natasha Bowen- a new mother and author of, “The Color of Food.” http://thecolorofood.com/

We ate breakfast together and I shared with her that I am a writer, too. We shared insights with each other on everything from new motherhood to being a person of mixed heritage choosing to work as farmers in America. She encouraged me to branch out with my writing and introduced me to Kale Roberts of Mother Earth News, who invited me to become a blogger.

So- here goes…my first blog post for ME News. I hope you enjoy it and will continue to follow my blog!

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/lessons-learned-from-honeybees-zbcz1703

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In Her Majesty’s Chambers: Introduction to Queen Honey Bee Breeding & Rearing April 8-9, 2017 Gilroy, CA

March 7, 2017
by melanie
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Learn to BEE a pro-active honey bee steward by raising quality queens for backyard to commercial applications.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Cost is $200 and includes manual, cell cups, cages, class theory and field practicum instruction

Instructor Melanie Kirby has been keeping bees professionally for 20 years. She specializes in survivor stock; conducting exchanges of quality honey bee stock with beekeepers around the nation.

To Register and for more information, Contact dave.stocks@yahoo.com

Tel: 408.605.3977

For slideshow, click on play arrow or visit http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e4455784e5455324e44673d0d0a&blogview=true

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2017 Starter Nuclei & and Queen Availability

January 3, 2017
by melanie
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This year we’ll be offering limited production as we begin to work on additional research and consulting projects. For more info on our new projects, see the previous post- A New Era for ZQB…

For 2017, we are offering a variety of services and products like previous seasons. However, our bee availability is reserved for established queen producers and breeders, research endeavors and community oriented service and outreach programs. We are not able to accommodate orders for the general public this year. If you are interested in packages of bees through our collaborative affiliations- we will have a limited # available. More details on availability in an upcoming post.


Pollination– Contact Melanie at 505.901.2102 or email ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com for pricing and availability.

Starter Nuclei (only available for research and community oriented projects)- Call us at 505.929.8080 (Mark) or 505.901.2102 (Mel) or Email us at ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com. Cost is $250 Langstroth (4 frames). Limited top bar/warre dimension combs available upon request- Cost is $280 (6 combs).

Virgin Queens (available late April through September)- contact Melanie at 505.901.2102 (text for faster response) or Email. Advance reservation required (2 weeks minimum in advance). All virgin queens grafted from selected ZQB Longevity-based Breeder Pool. Each virgin queen will need to be placed in their own mating nucleus hive (split) and allowed to mate out with area drones and establish laying posture (approx. 3 weeks). This is a good way to integrate quality cross stocks. Cost: $20/virgin (shipped in JzBz cages within 3 days of emergence  to ensure exoskeleton hardiness and with attendants in each cage for prolonged viability; must be installed promptly and left uninterrupted for minimum 2 weeks). Added shipping cost through USPS Express shipping for locations east of the Mississippi; Priority flat rate available for locations west of the Mississippi.

Enchanted Empress Breeder Companions (available June-September)- contact Melanie at 505.901.2102 (text for faster response) or Email. All Breeder Companions are mated out in isolated mating apiaries in the southern Rocky Mountains. Diverse survivor drone stock saturates each mating zone giving cross stocks with diverse genetics capable of integrating into existing or developing breeding programs and rearing operations. Cost is $200/each (Includes marking. Conservative clipping available upon request). Express USPS Shipping with insurance add $35.00 (up to 10 queens in same container shipped in JzBz cages with attendants).

Package Bees (limited availability- reserved for established beekeepers)- We are collaborating with a couple of queen producers and developing bee breeders in other parts of the country to produce package bees with ZQB cross-stock lineage. We don’t have any firm #s of availability yet but we’ll post that info as soon as we can. If you are interested- make contact with us and let us know for how many as we are starting a list. These packages won’t be available until late April at the earliest. Cost still to be determined; approx $200 for 3# package.

Consultation– Melanie and Mark are each available for consulting opportunities. Each is skilled in advanced beekeeping and queen breeding facilitation and manifestation. Whether looking for one person or a team to help with developing or advancing existing programs- each is capable of assisting and coaching all levels of stewards and diverse apicultural projects. Consultation fee depends on location and duties required. All travel, lodging and per diem expenses are to be assumed by inquiring parties along with consultant honorarium. For requests, please submit in writing nature of requested assistance, location, and duration by email to ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com. Follow up telephone/conferencing interviews will be scheduled prior to decision.

Honey, Propolis, Royal Jelly, Beeswax Arts, etc. – We will be offering honey and other bee medicines as usual.

Honey: Limited quantity available from 2016 season. Pure and Raw, Unfiltered NM varietals from spring (Rio Grande Bosque Bliss), summer (Santa Fe & Taos), and fall blooms (Ojo Caliente and Christ in the  Desert Monastery).  2017 honeys will not be harvested until June at the earliest for spring bloom; August for summer blooms; and October for fall blooms. Retail is $1/ounce. Limited wholesale accounts offered for like-minded enterprises.

Propolis: Mark makes a mean tincture- destined to help with any ailment, from skin conditions to internal infections. Tincture is $10/bottle (infused in grain alcohol). Capsules also available for $3/capsule. Our pure NM propolis is also available by the pound for $150 in usuable, small flakes that are easy to dissolve. Also available is propolis balm at $15/jar (made with organic coconut oil and NM propolis).

Royal Jelly: Mel conducts specific grafts in different apiaries for royal jelly production. Our process is different as we utilize natural beeswax cups (which Mark makes from our pure NM beeswax) and Mel grafts queen larvae into them. These cells are then placed into cell-builders and left alone for 4 days for the nurse bees to fill with royal jelly. Then, queen larvae are removed from them and frozen for sharing with various organizations working on wildlife rehabilitation. The resulting product is a naturally drawn beeswax capsule filled with royal jelly. All capsules are immediately sealed and frozen to retain freshness and potency. Royal jelly capsules available for $3/each. Seasonal subscriptions can be requested by contacting Melanie at 505.901.2102 or by Email: ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com

Beeswax: All of our beeswax comes from fresh honeycomb cappings and is thus- light to golden yellow. Beeswax rendering is a very time consuming effort and is available with advance notice (minimum 1 week).  We offer beeswax for $25/lb. Limited quantity. Also available are hand dipped beeswax candle tapers, mold candles and beeswax arts including mobiles, pendants and jewelry.

Balms & Salves: We also offer wildcrafted pure NM beeswax based lip balms and healing salves. Lip Balms are available in mini tub or recycled plastic tube containers for $5/each. Healing salves come in 3 kinds: Plain/Natural beeswax with organic olive oil; Rejuvenation with essential oils of lemongrass and lavendar and organic olive oil; and Boo Boo or Todo-Tipo with essential oils of eucalyptus, spearmint, lavendar and organic coconut and olive oils. Healing salves are $10/each.

As always, we value all of our clients and wish everyone a healthy and prosperous bee season. We look forward to the coming years of ZQB and our individual and collective endeavors as we continue to share the best of what we have with as many as we can.

Gracias, Thank you, Merci!

M&M- ZQB

 

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