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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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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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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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