New Mexico Beekeeper Association conference happening this weekend

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — One of the biggest beekeeper conferences in the world will be hosted in New Mexico this weekend. The virtual event kicks off Saturday at 9 a.m. and will feature speakers from across the globe.

Amy Owen said she is excited to hop online with other fellow beekeepers, and learn how to better care for the hives she has all over the metro and in the East Mountains.

"We have topics that are good for beginners and then all the way to advanced, or even just people who are interested in bees," she said.

Owen also said the bees here in New Mexico have not been doing well lately.

"Last year’s winter losses were at 21%, which is a lot, but it’s actually lower than the national average which is 40-some-percent," she said. "It’s not going great."

Owen recently lost thousands of bees at one of her hives in the North Valle,y who had plenty of honey to eat, but struggled to keep warm. When it comes to their winter survival, there is strength in numbers.

"There’s not enough bees to make it through the winter, so this was kind of expected," she said.

Bees that survive the cold face other threats like pesticides, parasites and disease, but Owen said there are ways even non-beekeepers can help.

"One of the most important things you can do is don’t spray herbicides or pesticides of any kind on flowering plants, and don’t let it get into water systems,” she said.

You can also leave a shallow dish of water out in your yard, to help keep any visiting bees hydrated.

For more information on how to help our local bees or to become a beekeeper yourself, you can click here to register for this weekend’s conference.