mel mark stocking mating nucsWell, well….it is now 2016 and we are gearing up for our second decade of service, creator willing!

This year we are departmentalizing in order to stay sane and to get more efficient and organized.

We will be offering starter nuclei and queens and pollination services- as usual. For pollination information contact either one of us via phone or email (listed below).

We have two different starter nuclei “batches” this season-

First batch will be from our survivor stock outcrossed with some developing northern California survivor stock. This is a project that has been over 5 years in the making.

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

For the past few  years, we have teamed up with our buddy Aiden Wing ( who is based in Los Altos, California- in the hills above Palo Alto near the Bay area. This will be the first year that we will be sharing our NM-NorCal survivor cross stocks with beekeepers near and far. The past two years both ZQB and Wings of Nature have shared survivor cross stocks to increase our own numbers and to test out these natural hybrids in our various climates. And this year, we are proud to share some with the public. We will be headed to northern Cali in March to begin rearing. We will be offering queen cells and virgins starting in mid March. And the first batch of mated queens and starter nuclei will be ready come late April. These starter nuclei will come in four comb sets, with some brood, some food stores and a whole family of bees who have nurtured their own new survivor queen. Cost is $250 for starter nucleus hive (Langstroth; +$30 for top bar and warre modifications). Call Mark at 505.929.8080 for starter nuc orders. $12/queen cell (discounts available for quantity orders), and $18-$15 for virgins depending on quantity,  call Mel at 505.901.2102 for cell, virgin and queen orders.

mark catching queens

Second “batch” will be from our home breeding grounds in northern New Mexico. We utilize over 45 locations throughout the year to select, test and breed our diverse survivor stock. We strictly adhere to a 5 week rearing protocol to ensure that all queens are well-fecundated (mated) and are proven/established layers. This rearing timeline also minimizes supercedure. We incorporate stock from various producers that have tested out well in diverse climates and elevations and also integrate survivor feral stock from remote mating apiaries. We begin rearing in mid April and anticipate the first rounds to be ready latter half of May.

Cost for starter nucleus hive is $250 (Langstroth; + $30 for top bar and warre modification).

Call Mark at 505.929.8080 to place a starter nuc reservation.

We will also be offering royal jelly, queen cells, virgins, mated queens and Enchanted Empress Breeder companions.

Royal Jelly is offered in natural beeswax capsules that the bees draw. Each capsule is $3 and contains vitamins, and essential amino acids known to enhance health and wellness. Availability starting in April thru the year.

Queen cells are available for quantity orders only as timing is critical and shipping overnight is expensive. Queen cells are offered from diverse breeding stock for $12-14 depending on quantity starting in late April-September.

Virgin queens are available for pick up and shipping. Cost is $18-15/each depending on quantity + USPS Priority flate rate or Express shipping. Availability starting in late April-September.

Mated queens are available for $45/each (marking including). Discounts for quantity orders available. Availability starting in late May-September.

Enchanted Empress Breeding Companions are bred from our 3 and 4 year old stock and then outcrossed in our home mating yard @ 8300′ elevation in the southern Rocky Mountains with diverse survivor drone breeder stock. Breeding Companions are available for $200/each (including two-day USPS Express guaranteed shipping). Availability starting June-September.

Contact Melanie at 505.901.2102 to place a reservation for cells, virgins or queens.


Or email us at


Remember- you pay what you get for and though our prices may be higher than the average producer, we know our bees and their products are of the utmost quality- both in health, genetics,  origin, and production.

We will also be offering a few courses this season in both northern California and in northern New Mexico.

We’ll post info on the course selections soon-


Thanks and Hap-Bee New Year!


M&M- ZQB Farm & Field Institute

P.O. Box 317 Truchas, NM 87578 USA

Tel: 505.929.8080 or 505.901.2102