Once I put my bees into their winter box I was a little bereft of things to do. Time to reflect. My main concern was that the colony had not grown very much over the summer. They had not even filled the single brood chamber. I needed to do some more research. Surely that’s what the Internet is there for?

I have previously found Randy Oliver’s web site stimulating, especially on feeding. He is a commercial beekeeper in California so there are things he does that I would not but I do like his approach. Having read his site I decided to see if there was anything else out there. What popped up was a LOT of videos. Now, I am book man, I am currently enjoying Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley, and my experience of videos has been limited to those links that work colleagues email to you of ducks on skate boards and kittens falling over, but now I am retired I can spend looking at things in a bit more detail rather then dismissing them out of hand and I have become a convert to internet video.

The Internet is a truly democratic place anybody can make a video and put it on YouTube. The problem is that anybody does put his videos online. Your opinion is worth as much as mine as long as it is well ordered and thought out, otherwise it is just pub talk. First warning. The Internet is full very strange videos uploaded by even stranger men, where they talk to camera or show unconnected images about how they have made a piece of useless kit, in recoilingly dangerous ways. OR; just talk about doing it! Seriously, if you are going to post something on the Internet treat it like a book, plan it out, edit it, get someone else to agree that it should be published.

So in an attempt to save you from wasting your life searching for the occasional interesting video here a few I have found while wasting my time.

Firstly if beekeeping has a legend it is surely Brother Adams from Buckfast Abbey. This is five short linked videos from a film made when Brother Adames was 90. The quality is a little poor but the content is wonderful. Partly made by the BBC in 1986 these are worth this year’s licence fee.

I’m not the first person to have this idea. Moray Beekeeping Dinosaurs have four pages of videos. I haven’t check them all out but Dave Goulson’s “Bees, Pesticides and Politics: the impact of neonicotinoids on UK bumblebees “, is an eye opener. The Close-Up Video of Queen Bee Mating Midflight with a Drone is amazing  (from More Then Honey). It also has a link to a short video called The first 21 days of a bee’s life which has the most amazing time laps video starting at 1.55 minutes.

The National Honey Show videos are generally excellent. Many of them are quite long as they are recording of talks at the shows. The Sustainable Apiary by Mike Palmer even has a cameo appearance by Sleaford’s very own Simon Croson, don’t let that put you off, it is very short appearance.

If you want something a little different try Bees And Beekeeping Using the Rose Hive Method.

There are a whole set of IWF (?) German videos with an English voice over. Very conventional, a little dull but very comprehensive. They do not seem to be collected to together in one place but this chap has made a list.

Next another one of my heroes, Tom Seeley, explaining how a swarm works in a series of 10 very short videos.

If you want to see how he did his research try this much longer video.

Sussex University’s LASI has a couple of good recent videos on oxalic acid treatment and Varroa infestation assessment.  Older videos not as interesting.

Simple (and inexpensive) honey extraction, THIS is what the Internet is for.

Now. You may have strong options on the Australian FlowHive system, but you can not deny they made a success of their business plan. They asked for $70,000 on the crowd funding web site, Indiegogo.com and received $13,263,553. I should be so lucky. They have used some of this money to make a set of excellent beginners videos.

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Just found thirty plus excellent videos from the University of Guelph in Canada.  Straightforward stuff but well done.  http://www.uoguelph.ca/honeybee/videos.shtml.

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At the risk of getting carried away.  High speed cameras study imprecise bee flight

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Not sure how I missed these the first time around and just across the border.  The Norfolk Honey Company has over 160 (yes one hundred and sixty) videos on YouTube.  (How can you miss 160 videos????)  Their YouTube listings page is here.

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These are videos about research into Varroa.  A three min sales pitch and a wonderful longer and later version.   https://youtu.be/Fyfyj-2O47Q and  https://youtu.be/DK2Xi0ST4rA

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Second Warning: The following should only be attempted by the stoical with nothing else to do.

I said wasted a LOT of my time watching inane videos. This is a prime example. This is 23 minutes of your life you will not get back. Is it a complete waste of time? Not necessarily. … No it is a complete waste of time.

If you have a favourite bee video, PLEASE, leave a comment on where to find it. I’ll try and make up collection of them for this web site.

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What to do in the Winter?
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One thought on “What to do in the Winter?

  • 26th January 2017 at 3:03 pm

    A rivetting read – great blog Graham !

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