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When a New Beekeeper Loses Interest


Thanks for the support, Mike.


As I have previously said, I think your videos are well made & engaging, & brave. It’s been interesting to watch the progress of your hive & your learning. I have nowhere stated that you in particular are not a ‘reputable’ source of education. I have also said that I recognise you are a new Beekeeper & learning, as am I. I have not gone into specific things regarding the videos because it records a learning process & I don’t want appear to be negatively picking apart what you do. I don’t believe it warrants that & it’s not what I want to do. I also said that because you are learning, I personally would refer to a more experienced beekeeper regarding my own practice.
I have had bees previously, although over 10 years ago. However they were established hives & my neighbour had set them up initially, I had her to go to & guide me. I had them for 2 years, but still regard myself as learning.

I have said that I don’t believe that the use of Youtube as ones primary learning tool is a good thing, especially where the animal husbandry or care of another animal/insect on this level is concerned.
I don’t think that the comments I’ve made have been personal or derogatory. I have stated my opinion, & qualified it as such.
I think it’s great that you ask for advice, you can’t learn without doing so. However if someone doesn’t have any other experience of something, they may not have the tools to recognise good advice from bad, good instructional videos from bad. I am no luddite, I recognise that the internet is a great source for communication & information, but the practical application of that information also requires, or at the very least is benefited by practical/physical hands on experience.
I wish you all the best with your bees & your videos. I will continue to watch them. I hope all your hives do well through winter, it sounds like it is quite harsh.
kind regards


Maybe I misinterpreted your comments. Like @berrmich, I read your initial response and it felt a bit pointed and I remembered similar things you posted to my channel. I have read a lot of criticism of my videos (as was expected…I chose to put myself on Youtube… no big deal) but it bothers me when the criticism and/or negativity is of something that does not exist. You said…

… as if my videos were suggesting that you should be following my ‘methods and practices’. They are not. That was the point I was trying to make.

Internet forums are a difficult place to have a conversation when interpersonal nuance is absent. Words can appear harsh even if they were not meant to be.

I do appreciate the conversation.


Kirsten’s message was advice to a new beekeeper that may have misinterpreted the purpose of your videos.

At no time did she imply they should be used as a learning aid, quite the opposite.

I also wouldn’t follow some of your methods or practices either, is it an issue if I tell other people this in a forum?

You’re saying people should watch your videos and ignore everything you do? You have to accept that at some point some new beekeepers may act on your advice in the videos, regardless of your original intention for the video’s use. (newbee voyeurism?) .


I’m not telling anyone to follow my advice on beekeeping! That is my point. My videos are a documentary. They are not intended to be instructional. (Some of my channel videos are instructional, but I’m specifically talking about my Flow Hive videos here.) I have heard this criticism over and over again… people poke into my channel and become completely negative and spout off, warning all viewers that I don’t know anything and I’m some kind of bad example. If you watch one or two of my videos you will see that I am well aware that I don’t know what I am doing and I am simply trying to learn and then share what I learn. I am completely up front about this. I’m not pushing any “methods” or “practices”. The negativity suggesting otherwise is unhelpful.

No, I’m saying that I’m a beginner. I’m taking my beekeeping education step by step and recording it. I’m sharing what works and what doesn’t work FOR ME, for MY BEES. Call it entertainment, call it a documentary, call it a blog. I’m not telling anyone to do anything. Maybe I need a disclaimer that is more descriptive than “Beginner Beekeeper” on all of my videos.

I’m not offering “advice”. Maybe you haven’t watched my videos? Imagine you are a new beekeeper and you’ve taken classes and read the books and maybe handled a few frames as an apprentice… Then you get your first hive and things are suddenly very real. It’s kind of terrifying. When I started (6 months ago, in May) I really didn’t know what the ‘day-to-day’ beekeeping experience looked like. I had watched videos, but a lot of videos I found didn’t cover the mundane, basic things you need to do throughout a whole season from a BEGINNER perspective. And even if they do, they might not pertain to my climate or my kind of hive. So I decided to MAKE those videos. I made the videos I wished I had watched before I started my hive. That’s it.

Newbee voyeruism. Exactly.


G’day Mike, it’s Jeff here. It’s great to see you on the forum. I hope you can liven things up a bit. Would you believe that the other day, this forum went for 14 hours without a single post. A bit different to how it was say, 12 months ago. I actually thought there was something wrong with my computer, so I posted something.

Good luck with your bees, take care, bye


And on the topic of Newbee Voyeurism, I would like to point out that probably over half of the people watching my videos are NOT beekeepers. I see this regularly in the comments and in emails. There are a LOT of people out there (thousands) who don’t have bees and will probably never have bees but enjoy watching my videos for whatever reason. Vicarious experience? Voyeurism? Who knows? This was totally unexpected when I started, but I can’t help but think it is a positive side effect of posting bee videos. If nothing else, there are more people in the world with an understanding and appreciation of the beekeeping experience and bees in general. (And of course, none of this would have happened without the Flow Hive, so thanks, Flow Hive.)


Jeff, are you talking to me? My name is Jim, not Mike! Good to see you here. I appreciate your comments on my channel! I noticed a jump in visits to my videos from this forum and I came over exploring to see where the traffic was from. Thanks for posting.


You sure it’s not Mike? Could have sworn you said Mike in the video.


G’day Jim, sorry about that, something I read quickly (too quickly) earlier gave me the impression your name was Mike.

You’re most welcome Jim. I’ve been a bit busy lately & haven’t caught up with your latest videos. I guess you’ll be battening down for winter, you have to be, we’re having a REAL summers day here at the moment. One of our Aussie reporters reporting on your upcoming election was well & truly rugged up on tv last night.


I made a comment earlier that said, “Thanks for the support, Mike.” I was saying ‘thank you’ to Mike (berrmich), not typing “Mike” as a signature. My name has always been Jim.

Yes, I have just winter wrapped my hives and am almost done insulating. We’re getting sub-freezing nights now, but the days are still pretty mild. I will be posting the wrap-up videos this week. It’s been a roller coaster of a first season… extreme record drought and two unexpected, neglected hives in my lap a month before winter. It’s been a whirlwind.

Thanks for your support, Jeff.



I’m surprised really that of all the comments you’ve received, the few of mine have been cause for reaction. I wasn’t seeking to offend you or belittle you, by any means.

I think you do set your self up as a giving advice. You recommend products & ‘explain’ what things are, for example your latest video ‘Use a Vivaldi Board to overwinter Bees’…When are people (particularly beginners) supposed to differentiate between it being demonstrative rather than documentation.

I think early on I made 2, maybe 3 comments on your videos on your youtube, suggesting that you look at getting answers to some of your queries from an experienced beekeeper or a mentor.
That you’ve now got a mentor will make a huge difference to you & your bees…but why would you not have gone to him prior to getting the bees?

My point exactly, people should be looking for some form of hands on experience with bees before they get them on their property & need to handle them.

Regarding peoples comments, it’s not just that you are on youtube, you actively ask for advice in your videos.This is something I would not do. I would prefer to go to someone whom I’ve built a relationship with, whose beekeeping practice I am familiar with. Someone whom I feel is worth listening to because they know what they are doing & have an ethos & way of doing things that makes sense & most importantly, works.
There are quite a few people on here whose Beekeeping practices I regularly follow, & whose advice I would seek & follow. However that’s after following what they’ve said/done & interacting with them on this site for over a year.


I’m responding to your comments on this thread. I referred to your comments on my channel because I immediately recognized your name and your comments here echoed what you had said earlier.

So people should handle bees before they handle them? A lot of the things you say are coming from a viewpoint of hindsight. Do you remember what it was like the moment you decided to become a beekeeper? There is no way to know all of the things you need to know before you start. That’s where a series of videos like mine can be helpful… to someone who is just thinking about starting and has no idea what questions they need to ask, or someone who has an idea that they want to begin but might not realize all the work they are going to need to do. Having a ‘mentor’ and taking a class still won’t prepare you for the amount of work it involves.

You do understand that it’s not always possible to just walk into someone’s bee yard and ask to apprentice? And (as in my case) your local beekeepers may not be the greatest source of information and might not be open to teaching. And even if they are the best beekeeper on earth, they may be horrible at teaching or (in my case) completely ignorant of the Flow Hive. When I asked my local beekeepers about foundationless frames, they just dismissed me as crazy. So, from the start, I was kind of alone.

And as I progressed, I realized that about 75% of what people tell you should be taken with a grain of salt. Most of my decisions this season were based on intuition. I needed help being pointed to the right place to research, but once I did my reading I did what I felt was right. What I did worked out in the end.

  1. I didn’t know he existed.
  2. Sometimes you don’t yet know what you don’t know.

Again, hindsight is 20/20. My videos are hindsight. They exist now. That’s why they are there. They are for me, a year ago, and for the person who wants to start, but doesn’t know where to start. That’s it.

You understand that I have a life outside of youtube and I have real people I talk to? And I read actual, respected beekeeping authors and web sites? And I like asking youtube because there are actual respected beekeepers commenting on my videos? I take in TONS of information and sort it out. You do your bees the way you want. I have a different approach. If there is one lesson I’ve learned this year it’s that beekeepers are the most opinionated people I’ve ever met. I have found a few that I trust and when I make my decision, and pass it by them, and they all agree… I know I’m probably going to be OK.


My first experience of handling bees in a hive situation was with an experienced beekeeper, yes.

Further than this I’ve said what I want to say. I understand what you are saying, I hope you understand where I am coming from.


You do realise a Flow Hive is just a Langstroth hive with a fancy box on top? 99% of their experience keeping bees is going to be directly applicable.

‘That mechanic definitely couldn’t help me with my car, my car has pop up headlights’


On a more positive note, do you have a video detailing your camera rig? Do you mic up or use external mic on camera etc.? Can you give details on the camera?

The quality of your videos is very impressive.


Of course I know that, but do you remember the Flow Hive backlash about a year ago when the hives started shipping? There was an outpouring from many experienced beekeepers breathlessly warning that the Flow Hive was going to be bad for bees, not work, and get people into beekeeping for all the wrong reasons. At the time, before anyone in North America had gone through a season or even had their hands on the flow hive, there was a ton of misinformation floating around. When I mentioned to beekeepers that I was getting a Flow Hive their immediate response was not a positive one. Even after explaining that ‘it was basically a Langstroth Hive with a new harvesting method’ they still looked at me with extreme caution and a lot of people just kind of said ‘good luck’. And when I started asking about my choice to start with foundationless frames, they just could not comprehend how it would work for me. I did not have any real local support. The only place I found real support and help was the internet.

The style of beekeeping around me is to buy mainly all plastic frames, drop in a package of bees in the spring, come back in the fall and rob the honey. If they make it through winter, you’re lucky. I have finally found someone relatively close to me who I can trust with questions. But even he doesn’t know I have a Flow Hive because I don’t mention it and he hasn’t been on my property yet. And I don’t think he knows bout my channel.

There is still a lot of Flow Hive hate out there.


Everything is made with a Panasonic G7 with a shotgun mic on top and iMovie. Very occasionally I use my iPhone or a GoPro for shots, but 99% of the bee videos are the Panasonic G7.



This may be, but I still don’t think it warrants ignoring established beekeepers. I wouldn’t classify it as hate as much as it is criticism, and like it or not, a lot of it is actually warranted.

Never before have I seen the number of spectacularly underprepared and arrogant new beekeepers entering the hobby. There a lot of Flow hivers who are doing research (many on this forum) and are investing some serious effort towards fully understanding the processes before starting. There are also a huge number doing some really stupid things with bees and refusing even very basic advice from experienced beekeepers because of an assumption that the advice is unnecessarily harsh because they own a Flow hive.

My greatest frustration is the attitude that they are ‘saving the bees’, when a large number are placing hives in their yard that will go unopened for years. This creates a massive risk to nearby beekeepers (and industry) due to potential to spread/harbour disease if the hives go unchecked/unmanaged. In this scenario, they aren’t saving as much as they are putting others at risk. Beekeepers have a right to be concerned about people entering the hobby without proper education because their hives (and livelihoods) may be put directly at risk by these new beekeepers.

I probably wouldn’t care so much if I wasn’t regularly seeing the impact of other unmanaged hives on local community and fellow beekeepers.


G’day Jim, don’t be afraid to tell that bloke you own a flow hive. If he is a fair minded person, he’ll understand. If he’s just like all the rest, he’s not worth having as a mentor.

That strategy you describe of putting a package of bees into a box of plastic frames looks evident with those hives you acquired. The only way I can see plastic frames being successful is if they are well coated with wax. Successful beekeeping requires a lot more attention (as you are finding) than putting a package of bees into a box full of plastic frames (I’m not saying that YOU ever thought it was that easy).

It would have been good if those blokes/ladies who rubbished the starter strip idea explained to you why they didn’t like the idea in reasonable detail instead of just going on the way they did.