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Review of Back Yard Hive's DVD on Beekeeping with TBHs


#1

Greetings, everyone!

My wife and I just finished watching Alternative Beekeeping Using the Top Bar Hive and The Bee Guardian Methods from Back Yard Hive. It’s a fairly well-made video, with most of the information given by a narrator; the only real issue I had with it was that there were times when people in the shot were making comments but we had to turn up the volume to hear them.

Other than that I’m glad we got it. Even though we are planning on attending a beekeeper course given by the association we joined, we know that the training will be Langstroth-hive specific. This video will help us when we start working with bees in our hives as it demonstrates how to work around the Top Bar Hive. The chapters were:

  1. Introduction

  2. Features of the Top Bar Hive

  3. The Location of the Hive

  4. Setting Up Your Hive

  5. Finding Bees for Your Hive

  6. How to Capture a Swarm

  7. Introducing Bees into the Hive

  8. About the Bee Colony

  9. How the Colony is Organized

  10. Working with the Bees

  11. Adventuring into the Hive

  12. Single Comb Harvest

  13. Processing Honey

  14. Fall Preparations

  15. Preparing Your Hive for Winter

  16. The Future

Naturally, there were some points made that disagreed with positions I’ve read elsewhere, but they were minor. One example was that they recommend against using sugar water to feed; they suggest using local raw honey mixed with a little bit of water whereas The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping recommends a 1:1 cane sugar to water to make sugar syrup.

Methods of moving bees out of the way when replacing top bars, how to use a hive tool similar to Matt’s Ultimate Top Bar Hive Tool, and other techniques are demonstrated, and are invaluable if you don’t have anyone locally to show you how.

It does get a little preachy about their “Bee Guardian” concept, but I really can’t blame them. They feel strongly about treatment-free or natural beekeeping, as, I’m sure does every other beekeeper using treatment-free beekeeping. Simply put, they see treatment-free beekeepers as the “guardians” of the future of bees by keeping the genetics of their bees strong so that if or when the whole commercial beekeeping industry collapses we’ll be there with our bees to keep things going.

All in all we thought it was a very good resource to add to the books we’ve purchased thus far. If you’re unable to attend Matt’s beekeeping classes or those of other TBH beekeepers this DVD is the next best thing. Actually, even if you are able to attend such classes the DVD would be handy to refer back to if, like us, you’re just starting out.

You can find it at http://www.backyardhive.com/. Their Bee Guardian site is at http://www.beeguardian.org/. (The Bee Guardian site apparently hasn’t been updated in a couple of years, so maybe they aren’t THAT passionate about it!)

Regards,

Tom


#2

Tom,

Thanks for this. I’ve seen portions of this DVD, but never the whole thing.