A New Reality Series Coming to Aussie TV "The Bee Whisperer"

It starts on the 2nd of October on SBS Viceland. The trailer shows what looks like some cowboy beekeepers removing bee colonies from wall cavities in the U.S.

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We watched it last night. My mentor reckons he did everything wrong. He did some things right in my view, however with a lot of rush, tear & bust, resulting in a lot of unnecessary bee deaths, not to mention a lot of stings that could have been avoided.

I notice in the opening trailer that he looks like he’s assembling a Flow2, which could be in another episode.

At the end of this episode he attempts a tree trap-out which went horribly wrong. I would have done it differently without any banging & a different funnel, which would have finished up with a positive result.

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Watched the 1st of the series last night. As a summary it was worthwhile and enjoyable viewing. The characters had a cowboy spirit about them, but bear in mind it produced/edited to be entertaining.
Recommended to watch.


Hi Felmo, it was entertaining, to say the least. However hard to watch knowing that there’s easier, although slower ways of doing things with less bee casualties.

I had no idea what that huge wire funnel was going to achieve, as well as how he was going to attach it to the tree. I was out of the room when he upset the bees. Wilma said that he had some sort of hand tool he used to chip away at the entrance for some reason. I wonder if he’ll show a successful trap-out of those bees in the next episode.

It wasn’t a bad show last night. They did (at a university) some drone popping, queen grafting, as well A.I. The last segment after the hurricane really illustrated the foul smell that can develop with many thousands of dead bees mixed with hive beetle larvae with slime. We thought that he could have worn a mask with Vicks Vaporub inside his nose to help mask the foul odor that caused him to gag so much.

I didn’t think that dumping it all on the ground outside was a good idea.

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I watched it too Jeff. Very interesting indeed. When he said the dead bees were destined for trash… I thought he meant trash can… :sweat_smile:

I can’t fathom purposely infecting a colony with Varroa, but why not in the name of science.

For those unaware, one can watch it on demand from SBS.

Hi Fred, I missed that bit about Varroa, I was making my tea.

I figure that a lot of beetle larvae was in that stuff he tipped onto the ground, making it easy for them to bury under the ground, only to complete their life cycle. Probably thousands of them. I guess with the aftermath of the hurricane, a hive beetle infestation would be the least of any local beekeeper’s problems.

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Another interesting program, episode 4.

In this one he’s very excited to put his Flow hive together, ready for bees.

Apparently a hive that has a laying worker is doomed & it’s VERY hard for a beekeeper to rectify the situation. We on this forum know better. A laying worker doesn’t mean that a colony is doomed & it CAN be easily rectified.

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Episode 5 was interesting. He put a colony into his Flow hive & devoted a whole segment to it.

@Bianca would identify with what I was talking about in relation to not rubber banding the old comb into empty frames. Nice straight brood frames from a healthy hive, flanked by stickies would seem to be the easier option.

Putting the chain on back to front on his chain saw was entertaining, to say the least.

Bit gung-ho for me but he did give Flow Hives a good rap.
Hopefully in a later series he’ll return to the FH to show his audiences the results.

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A great series. What I can’t understand is that Charlie does these cut outs and transfers for nothing.
Any one who spent all that time and effort to transfer bees from a roosters beak deserves rewards.

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He said that cut-outs are his bread & bitter. He charges anything up to $1500 for a real complicated cut-out, so he said last night. He also said that he collects swarms for free. That rooster trap-out didn’t need to be as complicated as he made it look. I tried smoking bees out of a large cable drum. Smoking drove some bees out, however the majority stayed behind. Maybe I didn’t use enough smoke. I got the rest of the bees out with a simple trap-out. It seemed like he was using a trap-out as well as smoke, until the smoke delivery pipe got blocked with comb.

I wish they would stop calling the colony a hive. :weary:


I watched the first episode a couple of weeks ago (I must have missed this thread) and to be honest, it was painful.

I was crying out at the tv multiple times e.g. watching them jackhammer at the stone wall for 2 days up a cherry picker when they probably could have just lit the fire for a day to make the bees leave. Watching him catch the swarm in the front yard on the young tree was a clear indication of his way of doing things, which was scary. Particularly as he could be setting a precedent for so many beginner beekeepers, around the world.

The entertainment in this show for an experienced beek is him not really knowing what he’s doing. I don’t think I could stomach another episode but I definitely have to see what he’s said about Flow Hive. Thanks for the heads up @JeffH

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Hi & you’re welcome Bianca.

I think there might be some method in his madness. If he uses controversial methods, people will talk about it & maybe grow a larger audience. One example was in the last episode where he put the chainsaw chain in back to front. If I did that in one of my videos, I would have edited it out. Having said that, now I wonder if he stirs bees up at times on purpose for the sake of getting the desired effect.

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I think you’re on the money @JeffH :smile: :+1:

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I think that anything drawing attention to bees is a good thing but I get the feeling he was a beginner beekeeper before he started the project and good on him for getting it going and selling it to the world.
I had to laugh when he assembled the FH then put the Flow super on back to front and then when he put hive in the hive🤨 he put the lid on back to front. Funny. As Jeff says these errors show the inexperience of the keeper and the producers of the show.
Maybe they should have watched a few of Jeff’s YouTube videos first.:grinning:


Everyone is so supportive, I love it. You have a great point @skeggley. I’m all for the real stuff.


Episode 6 is another interesting program. He unboxed a brand new 20 frame honey extractor, inspected his flow frames, caught a swarm out of a large diesel locomotive & got some help from two “tarts”, among other things.

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I have to say I found this particular episode really aggravating,
Treats the bees with disrespect. How many bees are killed or crushed by his rough handling? He is not gentle in the least.
Glad I have a Flow Hive.
I don’t think I’ll watch any further episodes.

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