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Another Interesting TV Program


Hi All,
I finally watched it last night and found it reasonably informative, though more entertaining. the hive that was moved could have been managed a bit better, maybe by shutting it for a few days so the bees realise something has changed. I have heard that doing this & putting a branch in front of the door makes them retake orientation flights & it would have been interesting to see this experimented with rather than art recognition - though that was informative for other reasons. I now know why my bees don’t worry about me being near the hive, while my robber ‘friends’ are instantly in my face.

One thing I did notice however, was the lack of water for all the bees, except for the hi-rise lot who were placed near A/C units where condensation was available. However, none of the others were given any water - might have been why the bush colony suffered.

Anyway, thanks for sharing this show, and I will definitely be watching the next episode.

Cheers, Ian


Hi Ian, the second & final episode is on tonight. It’s easy for us to say what they should have & should not have included. Can you imagine how many hours of footage they had in order to produce a two hour show?

I thought they were a bit over the top with that hive removal. All that’s needed is a puff of smoke to drive the bees in. Insert the entrance closer, clamp the hive up, then take it away. One k is a bit close, I agree that they could have locked them in for a few days & used the branch trick.

When you make a show like that, your guided by an expert who is only going to show the methods he uses.


I just finished watching episode 2 & thought Cedar & Stuart would not have been pleased to see them remove the flow frame to harvest the honey. Sadly I didn’t think the winners were overly deserving seeing their hive was taken away for so long. I think the competition took over the real harvesting of honey when it was ready, not working on a time frame solely, as this is definitely not how bees :honeybee: operate. There were a lot more opportunities to educate people about bees, I felt were overlooked.


I agree with how they harvested the flow frame. They didn’t show much of it, however you could see honey dripping out of the frame, just behind the exit tube.

I found one BIG flaw in the program. They said that bees hatch instead of emerge.

I don’t know why they didn’t encourage the participants to strain the wax out of the honey samples. Just a tea strainer would be sufficient for small amounts.


Yes, I was shocked by the presentation of the honey with wax all over it. Even the flow honey jar had wax. I, too, noticed the hybrid flow super in the first episode. I know they wanted to show how the flow frames worked but most likely the traditional frames either side of the flow ones would have been capped. Actually, she ended up with 24kgs, didn’t she? So they would have harvested those too.
I felt sorry for the family who got the package. The producers made an assumption based on the environment they were going to, it turned out to unnecessarily disadvantage them.
Still, i think it was interesting and will have made bee keeping seem accessible to a lot of people.


I was also surprised with the number of bee suits available, they didn’t use them while opening the native hive. A bee suit makes it so much easier. Or at least a veil. Using that rubber mallet certainly stirs them up.


It seemed like they went way to early on the flow frame harvest for the sake of the competition. I would have been interested to see how the ‘jellybush’ honey drained out of the flow frames… I thought it would possibly be to viscous to drain.

I feel sorry for the bush properties, I live not too far from the central coats and the weather conditions have been pretty poor at the end of last year/middle of the year. Which looks like around the time when they filmed.


Jellybush honey doesn’t flow out of flow frames. No matter how hard I wind the handle, with traditional extracting, it wont come out of the comb. I have to scrape it out, or cut the comb out in readiness to press it out at a later date.

They did the right thing, in my view of inspecting the flow frame before harvest. The refractometer registered 20, which apparently is acceptable. I thought that was a bit high.


The one frame they showed- looked to be completely capped- with just those arcs the bees leave- and the arcs looked to be largely empty. So I was surprised at her water content. I have a feeling some of the other frames may have been less capped?

I have put some hives in someones backyard this spring- and the other day they rang me to complain that they ‘didn’t have any honey yet’. They said a friend of theirs on the coast had a hive and sent them a picture of 8 jars of honey they just got: so ‘why didn’t they have any’? I had already told him that it was a very bad year in SA- the worst in 40 years, and that just because a hive in one region has honey doesn’t mean other hives in other places will… but he said, ‘why can I smell honey then?’. I had to explain to him that he can smell it because it’s there but not yet ready, the bees are curing it… he ended up giving me an ultimatum: ‘6 more weeks’ or I have to move the hives…

He is a nice guy- but very entitled (baby boomer)- and I was tempted to tell him, ‘bees don’t respond to ultimatums!’ and move my hives away- but it’s a great location, and I do hope to harvest in a few weeks, so I am sticking with it. Originally I moved the hives there to pollinate his avacado tree: which the bees did superbly- they had hundreds of avocados- then we had wind, and a heat wave- and almost all the avocados were knocked off- he only had 11 left. The same factors that ruined his avocado crop affected the bees this year. But try as I might he seemed incapable of understanding.

I hope if he watched that show last night he learned that different hives in different location do differently. I hope he doesn’t fixate on those guys that got heaps of honey- or fixate on the fact that all hives produced some. As I was watching the show I was imagining what he might be thinking. The show gave a simplistic view on keeping bees- it never mentioned stings at all really… or dealing with neighbors. They never once mentioned exactly how long the entire experiment took- at the end they vaguely said ‘just a few weeks’- and that could give a very misleading impression to some people… When they moved the rooftop hive they never talked about how many bees would have returned to that roof- if it was just 1km- that would be quite a lot. I have bees coming back from a hive I moved 3.5km’s away…

the two guys that did get a lot of honey: it was interesting how small their yard was for such a strong hive… I wonder how their neighbors felt about that? Their success likely had a lot of viewers thinking: Hmmm- I am going to keep bees and get thousands of kilos of honey: easy as pie! The main issue I had with the show- was that it ddn’t seem to really be about teaching the participants about actual beekeeping- or if it was- it wasn’t very effective. It seemed almost more like it was about people hosting hives. It did seem as if the two urban guys had actually started to maintain their own hive which was good. But there was little information about the absolute basics: lighting and using a smoker, dealing with stings, inspecting brood, registration issues, neighbor considerations, how to read combs, using hive tools, etc.


G’day Jack, I would just move my hives away. I have zero patience/tolerance with people like that.

They did leave a lot out, for sure Jack. They could have made 2 more episodes.

That expert does roof top hives in the city. I checked his website on the price of bee classes. It’s over 300$ per person, which I think is a bit exey. Anyway if people are prepared to pay it, good luck to him. That’s for the beginners class, then there’s another 300+$s for the advanced class.


I hear you Jeff- and part of me really wanted to say ‘Fine: adios’. However I really love the location- it’s near me- and other than this rude phone call it’s been great. I am going to give him one more chance to learn- and to check his privilege. Little does he know I had planned to be very generous with the honey division: now I will just be fair :wink: Rudeness comes with a price- he will never know he paid- but I will… (unless you are reading this forum Roger - sorry buddy but that’s how the cookie crumbles).

I have looked at a few of the urban beek classes- and they tend to be on the pricey side. However- it is a specialist skill- and the cost of living is always going up- and it’s not like the bosses of the big banks are modest when it comes to their entitlements… Given how poor I am- maybe I should start training people up… :man_farmer:


I know exactly what you’re talking about Jack. I would do the same as you. I would try to avoid him when doing inspections.


What a lousy way to present honey to be taste tested. No attempt to filter out the wax. If one of the contestants had done that then they would have won. So little effort to better present the honey.
Did I like the program, it was made for entertainment and not to educate, obviously. There were areas of bee keeping that were not touched on and over simplified others. There were errors, in my opinion, but overall I enjoyed the program for entertainment value and gained nothing I didn’t already know…


It seemed like all of the honey samples had the wax like someone wanted it there for some reason. The flow honey should have been wax free. I like the clear plastic extractor. That expert (Doug Purdie) has them on his price list.

That show might have generated a resurgence in interest into beekeeping.

I also enjoyed the program for it’s entertainment value, despite the errors.

Off topic: We’re having some nice showers this morning. That might trigger a mass dragonfruit budding for me. I have a nice pile to cut up for the freezer later on.

cheers mate.