Resources

Let me clarify. Successful beekeeping is directly related to locality, so these are Local Resources.

Apiaries
These community gardens have apiaries that are open to the public:
Ekar Community Garden at Denver Academy Of Torah - 6825 E Alameda
DeLaney Community Garden - 170 S Chambers Road
If you look into any of the windowed hives, be sure to shutter the window when you're done peeking.

Classes for Top Bar Hivers
Corwin Bell teaches for BackyardHive.com in Eldorado Springs.
Tracy Bellehumeur teaches at the Growing Gardens in Boulder.
Les Crowder teaches at the Permaculture Institute in NM.

Bees & Clubs
For free bees, get your name on the "swarm list" on the Colorado State Beekeepers Association (CSBA) site. More clubs are listed here. Swarm Lists are first-come first-served so do it now.

Packages can be ordered through the CSBA, the Denver Beekeepers Association, Highland Bees and the Growing Gardens as well. Please watch this video before ordering a package, as it may help you understand why packages often supercede their queen within their first months.

Nucs are a more costly way to start, but they are established families and are your best bet. ZiaQueen down in NM sells both Langstroth and top-bar nucs with survivor stock. You can rest assured that we will tell you ALL about it if we drive 300 miles with bees in the car. Within CO, but I think a further drive from Denver, is ApisHive in Durango. Their top-bar nucs are pick-up only as well. Without frames to support the combs, transporting a top bar hive can be a bit risky. We haven't purchased from Red Dog Expressions down in Colorado Springs, but their VSH survivor queen sounds really intriguing. Nucs of survivor bees on frames can sometimes be purchased from Donald Studinski and, once in a while, Grampa's Gourmet Honey. Some years they make up packages instead. Some years they sell single-deeps for pick-up only, which is the ultimate way to get your apiary started.

Hives
BackyardHive.com – just the plans, plans and top bars, or complete top bar hives fabricated by a master carpenter. Our hive is nicer than most of our furniture!
To Bee or Not To Bee – the beekeeping supply store in Denver.
Build-Your-Own: hundreds of hive designs can be found at the Beehive Journal, and of course there's plans for a Hardison Hive in The Appropriate Beehive.

Forums
  • Phil Chandler's (Biobee's) Natural Beekeeping Network: low-cost, low-impact, sustainable beekeeping for everyone. Mostly for horizontal TBH but Warré hive beekeepers are served as well. A very supportive group that welcomes Langstroth-style beekeepers, too.
  • The rest are not nearly as good as Phil's site, but the search function makes them somewhat useful: Beesource Top Bar Hives (Michael Bush often posts here); Beemaster Top Bar/Warré/Mason Hives.
Literature
  • THE BEST $10 YOU'LL EVER SPEND – The Barefoot Beekeeper by Phil Chandler
  • Be sure to explore the "The Appropriate Beehive" page of this site for Marty Hardison's indispensible booklet of the same name.
FAQ's and Good-to-Knows
Q&A's on TBHs documents hosted by ibiblio
A few Featured Articles on backyardhive.com
Basic Beekeeping Lessons: I found the first 30 or so incredibly helpful when I first started, and 5 years later I still find one useful now and again.
Intermediate Lessons in Beekeeping: heavy on text, light on pictures, but chock full of good info for both the beginner and second-year beekeeper. {link to webpage seems to be broken: lessons are now for sale on CD}
A handy pictorial calendar for Mason Bees by Our Native Bees.
Denver's Winter/Cold Season Statistics
Pollen Colors Wiki

Plant Info
LazyS is a plant nursery in VA with a fabulous selection of plants, site has really good pictures - gives ideas for pairings!
In the Garden of Paghat the Ratgirl - love this site for the real life experiences with a huge variety of plants.

Quick Links to my Xeriscape Plant Profiles posts:
Armenian Speedwell
Lamb's Ears
Rock Soapwort
Silver-Edged Horehound

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Lastly, I have to give PetitePets a shout-out as the source of my discovery of top bar hives. May they have success with the relaunch of NetShed.com.