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2015 ZQB Offerings & Services

January 14, 2015
by melanie

Now taking reservations for Langstroth starter nucleus colonies ($225 includes 4 combs of bees, brood, a mated queen, some food stores in a reusable weather resistant transport nuc box), Survivor virgin and mated queenbees & Enchanted Empress LongeviBee Breeding Companion Queens… see additional post for pricing information.

Chemical-Free Beekeeping Classes starting in May:

  • Intro to Apiculture -5-week Beginning Beekeeping Course Intensives offered in Santa Fe and Taos (which  can include a locally produced starter nucleus hive to take home); Cost $250 course instruction ($475 with a locally produced nuc).
  • Charm School for Beekeepers– next steps for enhancing and enchanting your hive management skills from splitting & rearing queens, to value added apiceuticals (medicinal hive products)- classes held in Velarde, Truchas & Taos. ($100)
  • In Her Majesty’s Chambers: 2-day hands on field intensive covering all steps of the survivor breeding & rearing process. Open to those with 3 or more years beekeeping experience. ($250 includes manual, qrearing tools & certificate of completion).

A Mid-summer’s Sweet Dream Anniversary Celebration for ZQB with cookout/campout, live music and mead tastings! Join us in celebrating the past ten years and toast to the next ten years. Summer Date TBA

Quick update:

We will only be selling Langstroth starter nucs- no top bar nucs.

Nucs and mated queens will be ready in late May/early June-September.

Virgin queens will be available starting in April.

To place a reservation- Call/text us at 505.929.8080 or email us at ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com

HAP_BEE New Year!!!


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Carnelian Center Holistic Health Holiday Raffle- $2/ticket

December 15, 2014
by melanie

carnelian center logo




Please support affordable holistic health services in Dixon when you enter to win:

Wood Cutting Board by Rob Stouch

Prayer Flags by Judith Buffallo

Pottery by Gaia Vaishnov & Siddiq Khan

Glass Platter by Shel Neymark

Rose Infusion & Tincture by Kate McDonald

Chai Soap by Wild Earth Remedies

Local Honey by Zia Queenbees

And many other wonderful local arts and crafts!

The Carnelian Center operates two food banks and provides discounted treatments (massage, acupuncture, body work) for community members who would not otherwise be able to afford these health services. With your support, we are looking forward to improving the health of many more. Get more info: carneliancenter.org Tel: 505-579-9630

 **Melanie serves as the Vice President of the Carnelian Center. She is selling raffle tickets and can be reached at 505.579.4563

Drawing takes place December 19th at the Pot Luck Winter Solstice Party from 4:30-8:30pm at the Carnelian Center in the heart of Dixon, NM. Need not be present to win.


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Four Directions Broadcast Ag Radio Program launches Dec. 4th @ 7pm on 96.5 FM KLDK

December 3, 2014
by melanie

Through the lens of the four directions – Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water – DJs Melanie Kirby, Rob Heyduck, and Adrienne Rosenberg strive to explore the many paths and traditions unique to Southwestern agriculture. We honor the teachers, human and non, who broadcast their seeds of wisdom for the future of farming and our community. Each show consists of thoughtful interviews with home grown experts, global news, a local events calendar, readings from the farmer’s Almanac, music, and poetry. This Thursday is the first broadcast, so tune in!


KLDK  (96.5 FM) is a low powered community sponsored radio station located in heart of northern New Mexico in the village of Dixon.


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HAP-BEE THANKSGIVING to the BEES, Beekeepers & our Creator!

November 27, 2014
by melanie

Mark and I want to extend a very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone…without the bees, there would be less food to eat and we would be without direction. Our small farm will be celebrating a decade of service this coming year. We are forever grateful to the bees, beekeepers and communities that have supported us over the past decade. We continue to learn and look forward to serving our communities for another decade +…Creator & Mother Nature willing. We are turning our small farm into a non-profit so that we can dedicate more time to outreach and research. We’ll keep folks posted on the Zia Queenbees Farm & Field Institute endeavor as we further develop our intern, breeding and apitherapy programs both locally and globally. Bee Blessed- Melanie & Mark Zia Queenbees

Tel: 505/929-8080

P.O. Box 317 Truchas, New Mexico 87578 USA

Updates posted on our blog at  www.ziaqueenbees.com/zia

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Home Grown event @ NM Farm & Ranch Museum- Las Cruces Nov. 22-23, 2014

November 18, 2014
by melanie

Home Grown: A New Mexico Food Show & Gift Market

                    Date: November 22nd, 2014 – November 23rd, 2014
Time: 09:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Location: New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum
4100 Dripping Springs Road Las Cruces, 88011Website: http://www.nmfarmandranchmuseum.org/

Food grown in New Mexico is showcased at this first-time event as vendors from around the state will sell their products as the gift-giving season approaches. The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum is partnering with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and the state’s growers to offer great product to buy, samples, as well as cooking demonstrations, book signings and much more.

We’ll be offering honey tastings of our pure, raw and all natural NM varietal honeys! We’ll also have NM beeswax lip balms, body balms, beeswax ornaments, pendants and jewelry- all made with NM bee goodness! We will also have gift packs available and NM crafts made by my loving mother– Rosemary Estrada Kirby!

Come visit us and taste the sweetness of our enchanted lands!


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Traditional Ag & Sustainable Living Conference Oct. 3-4 @ NNMC in Espanola

October 2, 2014
by melanie



The 9th annual Traditional Agriculture and Sustainable Living Conference takes place this Friday and Saturday- October 3-4th at the Nick L. Salazar Center for the Performing Arts on the Northern NM College campus in Espanola, NM.

This year’s conference is titled,
“Moving Forward with Our Neighbors to Protect Our Mother Earth”

For info on registration and the full agenda, visit:


Melanie Kirby of Zia Queenbees will be conducting a bee workshop on Friday October 3rd from 3:30-4:30pm entitled:

“Medicines from the Hive: Nature’s Mid-Wives Support Ecological and Biological Health”

And on Saturday, Oct 4th, from 5-6pm, there will be a showing of “Nicotine Bees”.

Additional presentations by Percy Schmeiser (vs. Monsanto), Nina Simmons of Bioneers, Roxanne Swentzell of  Santa Clara Pueblo’s Flowering Tree Institute,  and more!

This event offers insightful presentations and workshops, panel discussions while highlighting spirituality in agriculture.

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Sept. 13th Harvesting Hive Products Practicum @ EarthGoods- Taos, NM

September 13, 2014
by melanie

Our last class of  the season will take place on Saturday, September 13th from 2-5pm at EarthGoods on 120 Bertha Street in righteous Taos, NM!

Class will cover the variety of hive products, their attributes, and how to make value-added products that bring health and wellness. From wax and balms, to propolis and tinctures, royal jelly, to candles, varietal honeys and  mead- honey wine!

Cost $50 includes take home goodies!

Come celebrate the harvest and learn how to make products that are healthy and natural, for body, mind and spirit. :)

2014-01-27 11.11.13


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Charm School for Beekeepers- Series & Drop in- Taos, NM June-Sept.

June 9, 2014
by melanie


Individual workshops  $50

For more info, visit www.ziaqueenbees.com/zia

 Email: ziaqueenbees@hotmail.com      Tel: 505/929-8080

Classes held from 10am-2:30pm  at Tierra Drala Farm *El Prado-Taos Tel: 575/770-9387

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

August 16, 2014 Heavenly Hives: Preparing hives for Overwintering & Sustainable Pollinator Planning- Learn essential tasks for determining health and wellness of the hive super-organism and pro-active 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 and Bee Charmer! FOR DIRECTIONS- CALL Tierra Drala Farm @ 575/770-9387

*Bring bee gear if you have it (veil, smoker, hive tool).

** There will be a half hour lunch break so either bring a snack lunch or grab a bite nearby during the break.

***Bring a notebook and writing utensil.

September 13, 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 unique beeswax arts, and medicinal tinctures; including mead- honey wine with love from the bees. This class will be held at EarthGoods located at 120 Bertha Street in Taos.  Bring clothing that can get splashed with wax and wine :)

Classes taught by Melanie Kirby & MarkSpitzig of Zia Queenbees

Melanie is a native of NM who has been keeping bees professionally for over 17 years; starting as a Peace Corps Volunteer then working for 3 bee ops in Hawaii and Florida. She has kept bees on 2 continents, in 4 countries and 5 states.

Mark has been keeping bees professionally for 14 years first starting in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on the shores of Lake Superior. He quickly determined that he needed to learn more, so he went to work for a professional beekeeper.

Together they established ZQB which emphasizes local honeybee production, conscientious management and healthy bee products and services. They are humbled to work with such marvelous creatures and hope to help their region in promoting biodiversity, and sustainable food production and security.


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  21, 2014 Bees as our Teachers: Hive Revisions, Learn approach, observation and handling with 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 & Management. How to determine if and when to re-queen 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.

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ZQB/LongeviBee 2014 Offerings & Services

June 9, 2014
by melanie

For 2014 season, we will be offering survivor stock queen cells, virgin & mated queens, and Enchanted Empress 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. As we begin checking rounds of mating nucs, we’ll be offering some later in June and will post availability at that time. 

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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May 22-25: Pollinator Benefit Lecture Series featuring Dr. Juliana Rangel- President of the American Bee Research Conference & the American Assoc. of Prof. Apiculturists

May 14, 2014
by melanie


 Dr. Juliana Rangel

Dr. Juliana Rangel-Posada copy

 President of the American Association of Professional Apiculturists

 & the American Bee Research Conference

Queen Bee Reproductivity, Health & Management Research

  May 22:  9:30am-12:30pm NMSU-Alcalde Sustainable Ag Center with           additional presentations by NMSU Fruit Specialist Dr. Shengrui Yao & Center Superintendent Dr. Steve Guldan – Alcalde, NM Cost $15

 May 23: 1-3pm, ABQ BioPark Education Center– Albuquerque, NM Cost $15

May 24: 2-5pm Queen Rearing workshop @Zia Queenbees Farm- Truchas Hands-on Workshop-Class size limited Cost $45

May 25: 2-4pm Alamogordo Extension Office, Alamogordo, NM Cost $15

For registration info visit:   www.survivorqueenbees.org

 Juliana Rangel-Biographical Sketch

Born in Colombia, South America, Juliana moved with her family to the United States in 1998. She graduated cum laude in 2004 from the program of Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution at the University of California, San Diego, where she worked with Dr. James Nieh on multiple research projects exploring multi-modal communication in stingless honey bees from Brazil and Costa Rica.

That same year she began her doctoral studies in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Working under the supervision of Dr. Thomas D. Seeley, her dissertation explored the mechanisms and functional organization of reproductive swarming in the honey bee Apis mellifera. In particular, she led projects that examined the signals that initiate the mass exodus of a honey bee swarm from its nest, the identity of the signalers that initiate swarm departure, the types of agonistic interactions that occur between
competing honey bee swarms during their house-hunting process, and the potential for intracolonial nepotism during colony fissioning in honey bees.

She obtained her Ph. D. at the end of 2009 and in January 2010 she joined the laboratory of Dr. David R. Tarpy at North Carolina State University as the coordinator of the “Born and Bred in North Carolina: Queen-Rearing and Bee-Breeding Program,” through which she trained over 1,000 beekeepers across several states in the North Eastern United States. In 2010, Juliana was awarded one of 15 National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Biology. As a postdoctoral fellow, Juliana conducted field and laboratory experiments aimed at determining the mechanisms and causes of queen replacement in honey bees, one of the biggest problems facing the beekeeping industry today.

In January 2013, Juliana became the new Assistant Professor of Apiculture in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. Her research program focuses onthe biological and environmental factors that influence the reproductive quality of honey bee queens and drones. She is also an active member of the Texas Beekeepers Association and has spoken to numerous beekeeping associations in Texas and across the United States. As part of her teaching responsibilities, she will also be in charge of the new undergraduate course Honey Bee Biology, and hopes to develop a Honey Bee Management course for advanced undergraduates in the near future. In her spare time, Juliana likes to play the guitar, sing folk Latin American songs, and cook for friends and family.

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