Sitz'she'chi'nhe is the name for Bee in Keresan Pueblo language

In Spring 2012, the Bee People arrived at Hamaatsa. Establishing organic healthy hives and nurturing these amazing bee creatures is critical to restoring the ancestral lands of Hamaatsa and regenerating our local foodshed.

Last year, founding director, Larry Littlebird studied with New Mexico's master beekeeper, Les Crowder and completed a certification course in top bar beekeeping.

This fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine to keep bees and is very timely for establishing a honeybee apiary at Hamaatsa. The bees have been doing it right for a long, long time and we are grafting onto something that is holy. ~ Larry Littlebird

We wanted to start our hives from stock with shared genetics from regional beekeepers. Zia Queenbees, in Truchas, New Mexico came highly recommended and we ordered two top bar starter nucleus hives of Rocky Mountain Reinas from the Southwest Survivor Queenbee Project. Our first hive arrived in early May on an evening of a nearly full moon as bright moonlight beamed across the lands of Hamaatsa. It was this experience that inspired the naming of our first hive, Got'ai'yah which means "Bright Moonlight" in Keresan.  Our second hive arrived later in the season, the week of summer solstice and that hive's name came forth asU'shra'dha which means "Sun". 

Our goal at Hamaatsa is to provide a place where people can discover the "spirit of bee" and come alongside our bee relatives. The model for a healthy hive begins with caring for the Bee People as one would nurture a treasured friendship. We have so much we can learn from the honeybee about valued relationships!

Join us on this journey of reverence and gratitude.
Hamaatsa Honeybee Apiary
We are grateful for a small grant which helped us begin the pollinator project this year.
Our goal for 2013 is to increase our bee forage
Copyright 2012, Hamaatsa.  All rights reserved.  HAMAATSA is a Native led 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.
Special Thanks to the Hamaatsa Bee Council
Larry Littlebird, (Laguna/Santo Domingo Pueblo), Founding Director
Deborah Littlebird, Executive Director
Alan Hamilton, Conservation Director, NM Wildlife Federation
Peter Callen, Pathways-Wild Corridors of NM
Cliff Wilkie, Albuquerque, NM
Mick Gorospe (Laguna Pueblo), Native Beekeeper, Albuquerque, NM
Lynne Whitbeck, Santa Fe, NM
Debra Roberts, Master Beekeeper/Educator, Asheville, NC
Our bees love these plants!
(Top to Bottom)
Bee Plant
Photo by Peter Callen
Maynight Salvia
Russian Comfrey

Black Locust bloom
2012 Catmint patch, provides long season bloom
Many experts express that it's not possible for one person to plant enough forage for a few bee hives.  We challenge this concept!  We believe it all starts with ONE. 

If we all plant honeybee pollinators, we can help the honeybees in our own backyards, neighborhoods and communities!

And planting ONE pollinator tree such as a Black Locust provides massive blooms. Just one locust tree can produce 800-1200 lbs. of honey!

If you don't have time or space to plant bee forage, join us at Hamaatsa and become a Friend of the Bee People!
Your meaningful donation sustains the Hamaatsa Honeybee Apiary and Pollinator Project! And on a global level, your stewardship contributes to the honeybee's vital importance to the environment, our global food supply and the future of all life!

Bee-works that your donation supports:
  • Apiary maintenance and hive upkeep
  • The Hamaatsa Pollinator Project which provides diverse forage for our bees and helps reseed native pollinators on our 320 acres of environmentally protected lands.
  • Scholarships for Native Americans for beekeeping certification course and apprenticeships to encourage healthy beekeeping practices on Indian reservation lands.
  • Harvest market crops and wild crafted medicinal herbal honey tinctures
  • Hamaatsa Honeybee Case Study.  One year data collection and documentation of hive observations and bloom times. Hamaatsa is being looked at as an organic apiary, as we are surrounded by 12,000 acres of pesticide free lands, ideal foraging for healthy organic bees and honey!