Another Interesting TV Program

I will be watching this tonight 29th Jan 2019 on ABC
***Watch part one of Catalyst’s Great Australian Bee Challenge tonight at 8:30pm AEDT or [on iview]


Hi Busso, I’ll also be watching. cheers

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Soooooo… call me a critic…but for as entertaining as the show was I think it showed a few bad practices. For starters, it’s not best practice to install a Nuc and a Super at the same time…especially out in the mountains and then be surprised when you need to remove the Super…

I’ll be watching the next (final) episode though :wink:

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I watched it and will watch the final episode. A couple of things that I thought didn’t make good choices but overall an interesting program. For someone interested in getting into bee keeping you could do much worse than watching it.

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I found it very interesting and look forward to the final episode. I think it’s educational for anyone new to beekeeping or considering getting into it.


I agree about the second super. Also with all of the brains trusts, I wonder why they left the galvanized lids unpainted.

It was past my bed time anyway. I wont watch the conclusion. Maybe I’ll watch it on iview.

Yes I agree @Helmut, it IS very educational & informative.


Jeff: I have a feeling if you watched the part where they talked about hive beetles and said ‘the only way to control them is with traps’, you were shaking your head…

One of those fun facts I found astounding: it takes 5 million flowers to make 1 KG of honey!?!? can that really be true? Last year I got 144 KG’s from hives in my backyard. I’m finding it hard to believe my bees visited nearly 750,000,000 million flowers!


Hi Jack, I did shake my head a bit because he said this trap was the only way to control beetles. I guess there’s nothing wrong with controlling beetle numbers, I kill as many as I see. The sense of false security people feel when using traps is what I caution against.

I tend to believe those figures about the 5 million flowers to make one kilo of honey. That can be looked at in a number of ways. One way is how it sounds literally. Another way is the number of flowers bees visit to build the comb, raise the brood, the honey used to keep the hive going, then the number of flowers visited to produce the pollen. I think it would be easy to believe those figures in that context.

That’s similar to when they say it takes x number of litres of water to produce a kilo of beef.


i’d love to know more about the numbers aspect of honey production- for instance what percentage of flowers visited by bees go on to produce seed? If we say 1 in 10- then for every KG of honey- the bees pollinate 50,000 flowers. What is the average weight of a seed? Lets say 0.01 of a gram (radish seed)- then for every KG of honey bees produce- indirectly- they are partly responsible for making 500 grams of seeds.

Obviously the rate of pollination and the weight of seeds would vary greatly.

But assuming those figures are correct- and we then say that of those 50,000 seeds 1 in 50 germinate- then for every kilo of honey produced 1000 plants are also produced!


Jack, that’s all too much for me to get my head around. I’m going outside to play with my worms.


That many flowers is easier to imagine when you remember that one “flower” might really be a cluster of 100s of tiny actual flowers :hibiscus::cherry_blossom::blossom::sunflower::tulip::honeybee:

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Yes and that the same flower can be visited by multiple bees on multiple days.


And I’m still trying to figure the maths out, I might join Jeff looking at his worms.:grin:

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Hi Peter, I must confess to not looking yesterday, but had a look this morning. I can definitely confirm that they don’t eat shredded plastic. Also out of the fermentiny grass I put in several days ago, a nut grass sprouted. It’s hard to kill that stuff.

Anything to stimulate bee numbers is good.
That said I was disappointed with the show. There was more emphasis on getting the nicest honey for a cooking session.
Maybe I am a bit cynical in my old age. I expected that the programme would enable anyone to get out, get a hive and manage it. While the bits shown were good and Mr Purdy (not sure of spelling)was informative, but a detailed establishment of a single hive in Episode 1 would have been more beneficial. Then go out and get 15 or 20 people to get started and follow those in further episodes. Then at the end have the cooking bit and judging of honey.
But that’s me, getting in the way of entertainment.

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@busso Not just you. I had a similar reaction. The fact they are seeing who “makes” the tastiest honey is rubbish. I agree there should have been a bit more in the way of education regarding setting up a hive. The way they did it on the show just sets people up for headaches and issues.

I agree- it was a bit of a disappointment- light on information and heavy on the ‘Reality TV’ competitive ‘drama’. The entire ‘tastiest honey’ aspect is just silly. I only half watched it- I was most interested in the science, and any new information I might glean.

there are so many variables with setting up a hive- it’s all going to be down to pure luck for the competitors. They really should have given them all TWO hives :wink: I always say to people: ‘if you have one: you may as well have two’. Tastiest honey is very subjective and depends on what the bees eat far more than the beekeeper.

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[quote=“Semaphore, post:17, topic:20835”]
Tastiest honey is very subjective and depends on what the bees eat far more than the beekeeper.
[/quote] Also depends on who is tasting it :slight_smile:

One thing to remember is that this is a TV show made for a very general audience, possibly mostly made up of people who know very little or nothing about bees, and therefore don’t see it in the same light as experienced beekeepers. It’s also not a documentary, but designed to entertain, so they make it into a bit of a competition.

Just my thoughts :slight_smile:

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You are probably right and we expected more.:disappointed_relieved:

Hi @JeffH

I haven’t watched the show, but understand the lids. It’s all to do with climate (particularly sun angles) along with two factors, conduction and direct solar radiation. I am presently studying architecture, and interestingly my lecturer keeps bees also.

He paints his lids, while I do not, and we applied the heat transfer formulas to our hives for fun, and to see how they stacked up. Without going into a whole heap of maths, it turned out that at Perth where my lecturer lives, painting was good, and unpainted not so good (not bad). While at Warwick, unpainted was good, and painted was not very good at all.
The reason for this is we at Warwick, have very hot summers, and below freezing winters, while Perth has similar summers, but much milder winters.

White lids perform similar to silver in heat, but in the cold, white allows more heat to escape (as does any other colour), so silver is better here and either in Perth.

Probably clear as mud lol, and working it out is a pain, but something I had to do for this subject, so I wouldn’t even suggest trying ( I am looking forward to exams when I will never have to do this stuff again), but if you are interested, Steven Szokolay has a book, Introduction to Architectural Science : The Basis of Sustainable Design,( Taylor & Francis Group ) where you will find everything you need to work it out for yourself.

Cheers, Ian

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