A Web-Based Introductory Beekeeping Training Program

   DVD Temporarily Unavailable  

Sponsored by:

Ohio Produce Growers & Marketers Association
Ohio State Beekeepers Association


Presenting Beekeepers:

John Grafton & Jim Tew

Supporting On-Line Text Book:

Backyard Beekeeping
By Dr. James E. Tew

Video Segments

  1. Assembling Hive Equipment (6:20)
  2. Frame Assembly  (8:13)
  3. Branding Wooden Equipment (3:39)
  4. Lighting a Smoker (2:26)
  5. Spring Bee Flight (2:19)
  6. Spring Management Part 1 (5:35)
  7. Spring Management Part 2 (6:52)
  8. Spring Management Part 3 (5:35)
  9. Spring Management Part 4 (7:26) (Feeding Bee Hives)
  10. Correcting a Cross-Comb Colony (9:16)
  11. Refurbishing Hive Equipment (5:40)
  12. Evaluating a Queen’s Performance Part 1 (5:11) (Determining the need for a new queen)
  13. Evaluating a Queen’s Performance Part 2 (5:53) (Stabilizing the weakened colony until a queen can be purchased.)
  14. Evaluating a Queen’s Performance Part 3 (7:44) (Installing the new queen)
  15. Evaluating A Queen’s Performance Part 4 (5:45) (Checking the new queen release procedure)
  16. Package Bees Part 1 (5:14) (Preparing the hive and the queen)
  17. Package Bees Part 2 (3:07) (Releasing the bees)
  18. Hiving a Swarm (7:45) (From beneath the screen bottom board)
  19. Hiving Three Swarms (5:45)  (Three swarms found in three different situations)
  20. Laying Workers Part 1 (7:58) (How to combine it with another colony)
  21. Laying Workers Part 2 (6:03) (Combining a laying worker colony with a queen-right nucleus colony)
  22. A Quick View of a Propolis Forager (2:16)
  23. Water Foragers (3:24)
  24. Moving Two Bee Colonies (8:16)
  25. An Introduction to Wintering Biology (3:10)
  26. Basic Hive Equipment (7:08)
  27. Feeders Part 1 (8:00)
  28. Feeders Part 2 (6:09)
  29. Hive Supers (6:35)
  30. Preparing Colonies for Winter (3:53)
  31. Protective Equipment (5:32)
  32. Specialty Beehive Equipment (5:04)
  33. Transferring Bees Part 1 (8:34)
  34. Transferring Bees Part 2 (5:30)

PowerPoint Productions

  1. Honey Bees and Parasitic Mites – A Historic Review with Some Control Suggestions (45 min)
  2. Commercial Pollination (17:50)
  3. The Dynamics of Pollination (12:45)

Assembling Hive Equipment

John shows the process for assembling a modern super including comments on nail types and glue usage.   Metal protectors are installed to prevent wear on the hive ledge called the rabbet.  Next Lesson: Frame Assembly   Questions: Is it necessary to nail super corners from both directions? Why are frame rests used? What are two more »

Beekeeper Training – Increase your Knowledge and Skills

Now available on DVD! This 2 DVD set is comprised of 34 detailed training videos that address practical aspects of elementary beekeeping.  The video clips are short, 3-9 minutes in length, but provide concise information on the subject matter.  The videos may be used chronologically or independently.  Additionally , two slide presentations are provided as more »

Frame Assembly

John shows the procedure for putting a common wood frame together.  He shows the use of hammer and nails and he also uses a pneumatic pin driver.  Gluing all joints is a necessity.  Modern foundation “inserts” are used as a template for the bees to construct comb.  Next Lesson: Branding Wooden Equipment Questions: Should frames more »

Branding Wooden Equipment

Jim shows the use of a fire-heated brander used to sear an identifying mark into new hive bodies.  This equipment is normally used by beekeepers having multiple hives in many locations.  Once branded, the equipment will be marked for the life of the equipment. Next Lesson: Lighting A Smoker Questions: In this video is the more »

Lighting A Smoker

A smoker is a fundamental piece of bee management equipment. John takes a few minutes to show how to light a smoker and gives some comments on its use.   Next Lesson: Spring Bee Flight Questions: Should a smoker be lit on the top or the bottom? Is a hot or cool smoke preferred? Is more »

Spring Bee Flight

Jim takes a brief trip to the spring bee yard where the forager bees are bringing back early season pollen. The weather is still very cool so only out-of-hive observations are taken.  Next Lesson: Spring Management – Part 1 Questions: Should colonies be opened during cold spring conditions for inspection? Even on a cool spring more »

Spring Management – Part 1

John and Jim open an overwintered colony for the first time of the 2012 spring season. Capped worker brood is present. Uncapped queen cells are shown as the colony prepares for early swarming. Decisions are being made about the amount of remaining stores and the condition of the queen.   Next Lesson: Spring Management – more »

Spring Management – Part 2

A week later, this colony is once again reviewed for the condition of the queen and how the colony is progressing. John “reverses” the hive bodies for the season to provide more room for the developing brood nest. The litter found on the bottom board is discussed as the bottom board is cleaned. Burr combs more »

Spring Management – Part 3

Two weeks later, a recent heavy late-season freeze may have taken a toll on the colony. John and Jim inspect the colony to see how it can be helped. The queen cells seen earlier are revisited. They have been destroyed. Mature drones are now plentiful. The colony is okay, but not thriving. Next Lesson: Spring more »

Spring Management – Part 4

John and Jim discuss how to tell when a colony needs feeding and what type of feeder should be used. Two colonies are fed both sugar syrup and protein substitute.  Next Lesson: Correcting a Cross-Comb Colony Questions: What type of feeder is used in this segment? Why are both sugar syrup and pollen substitute being more »

Correcting A Cross Comb Colony

Last spring a swarm moved into some empty equipment that was missing some of the frames in Jim’s apiary. In this clip, John replaces the cross combs with needed frames. This is a messy, but necessary task for efficient beekeeping.   Next Lesson: Refurbishing Hive Equipment Questions: What may happen if frames are left out more »

Refurbishing Hive Equipment

It is not uncommon for hive equipment to need replacing. In this episode John shows how to undergo the process of putting new equipment on a strong colony. The end result looks nice.   Next Lesson: Evaluating a Queen’s Performance – Part 1 Questions: In this segment what are two reasons given for replacing equipment? more »

Evaluating A Queen’s Performance – Part 1

The colony being inspected has been opened previously and has been fed. Early queen cells were observed several weeks ago. Once again queen cells are present. It appears that the colony is preparing to supersede the queen.  Next Lesson: Evaluating A Queen’s Performance – Part 2 Questions: Without seeing the queen what can be used more »

Evaluating A Queen’s Performance – Part 2

John searches for brood frames to contribute to the colony that apparently has queen problems. John finds the queen and moves her out of the way in order not to accidentally move her to the other colony. This is being done to subsidize the weaker colony until a new queen can be purchased. Next Lesson: more »

Evaluating A Queen’s Performance – Part 3

The old queen must be found before the new queen can be installed. John shows how to search for a queen and the queen is shown. Sometimes she is found quickly while at other times, finding her can be frustrating. John shows how to use a “push-in” cage.  Next Lesson: Evaluating A Queen’s Performance – more »

Evaluating A Queen’s Performance – Part 4

Jim opens the colony being requeened with minimal smoke to see if the new queen is out of the cage and ideally, tries to see the new queen on the combs.  Next Lesson: Package Bees – Part 1 Questions: What is the reasoning for using as little smoke possible and minimal disturbance when checking on more »

Package Bees – Part 1

In this segment, John shows how to prepare the package and the queen. The queen cage is prepared for positioning with the empty colony. Due to high winds at the time of release, a slightly modified release technique was used.  Next Lesson: Package Bees – Part 2 Questions: What are the steps to preparing the more »

Package Bees – Part 2

In the second segment, John demonstrates how to release the bees onto the frame tops and onto the queen cage.   Next Lesson: Hiving A Swarm Questions: What are two of the steps used in dumping a package? Why is it good to place the shipping package near the hive entrance after shaking thee bees more »

Hiving A Swarm

Jim describes a swarm that landed beneath the colony on the screened bottom board. The only way to get to it was to disassemble the colony.  Next Lesson: Hiving Three Swarms Questions: Is it “normal” for a swarm to go under the parent colony? Why would you not want to destroy swarm queen cells within more »

Hiving Three Swarms

Swarms land in some unusual places. John and Jim describe three swarms that were all successfully hived but all were somewhat different.   Next Lesson: Laying Workers – Part 1 Questions: Are the bees in a swarm usually aggressive? Are all swarms the same as to make up and conditions? Can hiving a swarm be more »

Laying Workers – Part 1

A package queen was not successful in heading a package colony. John shows the symptoms of a laying worker colony and explains the process of using newspaper to slowly combine the weak colony with a stronger colony. Eggs and drone cells are clearly shown.  Next Lesson: Laying Workers – Part 2 Questions: What are two more »

Laying Workers – Part 2

The first effort at combining the laying worker colony with another queen-right weak colony was not successful. Jim and John discuss what to do next and decide to combine the dysfunctional colony with a strong queen-right nucleus colony. This procedure was successful.  Next Lesson: A Quick View of a Propolis Forager Questions: Is it always more »

A Quick View of a Propolis Forager

Propolis is only found within the beehive. Jim briefly describes the activities of a forager trying to gather a load of propolis that has been scraped from another colony. Propolis is vital to the colony, but difficult for bees to manipulate.  Next Lesson: Water Foragers Questions: How do bees transport material for making propolis? What more »

Water Foragers

During warm months, bees need water for cooling the hive and for diluting concentrated honey. Jim found bees gathering water from a rain puddle. The bees were dedicated to water collecting, but probably were also gathering minerals and trace elements.  Next Lesson: Moving Two Bee Colonies Questions: Why do bees need to collect water? What more »

Moving Two Bee Colonies

Beekeepers frequently must relocate their colonies. Jim and a friend moved two colonies about 50 miles away. Jim used tripod-mounted cameras both at night and during the day to show the effort required to relocate bee colonies.  Next Lesson: An Introduction to Wintering Biology Questions: Why were screened tops placed on the colonies prior to more »

An Introduction to Wintering Biology

Jim discusses wintering biology while standing in the bee yard. Due to the coldness, the colonies could not be opened up. Winter is a quiet, dark, private time for the quiescent colony.   Next Lesson: Basic Hive Equipment Questions: What is the temperature within a cluster of honeybees within a colony? Honeybees will usually begin more »

Basic Hive Equipment

John shows basic components of modern-day hive parts and he discusses the correct use of these hive parts. The generalized basic hive is covered in this segment.   Next Lesson: Feeders – Part 1 Questions: Why would you want to transfer bees from one location to another? When transferring should you attempt to use as more »

Feeders – Part 1

John shows the use of several types of external and internal hive feeders and how they are installed on or within the hive. Some comments are made on the practicality of each of them.  Next Lesson: Feeders – Part 2 Questions: What is the most common material fed to bees? What are three common types more »

Feeders – Part 2

John shows the use of different models of top feeders. Both old and new models are presented. Top feeders are more convenient for filling than some of the other feeders.  Next Lesson: Hive Supers Questions: How do the bees get to the feed in a hive top feeder? What are two advantages and two disadvantages more »

Hive Supers

Supers come in different depths. This means that some supers are heavier than others when filled. John discusses the different types of supers and how they are used. Next Lesson: Preparing Colonies for Winter Questions: Are supers all the same depth or height? Are supers sometimes sized to produce a specific product? In the normal more »

Preparing Colonies for Winter

During a light snowstorm, Jim gives an overview of wintering biology in the dormant wintering hive. Due to weather, the hive could not be opened. Jim also points out the melted snow on the hive cover that is caused by the bees being just beneath the outer cover.  Next Lesson: Protective Equipment

Protective Equipment

John introduces new beekeepers to the fundamentals of bee veils, gloves and bee suits.  Next Lesson: Specialty Beehive Equipment Questions: What is a very basic piece of beekeeping safety equipment that should always be used? Do veils and gloves come in a variety of styles? Is all safety equipment meant to be worn? Should safety more »

Specialty Beehive Equipment

John demonstrates a few models of entrance traps and restrictors, along with a slatted rack. Equipment like this is somewhat specialized within beekeeping.  Next Lesson: Transferring Bees – Part 1 Questions: What is the purpose of a queen and drone trap? Name three of the special pieces of equipment introduced in this segment? Where would more »

Transferring Bees – Part 1

John shows the concept of transferring a small feral hive to standard equipment.   Next Lesson: Transferring Bees – Part 2 Questions: Why would you want to transfer bees from one location to another? When transferring should you attempt to use as much of the comb as possible? Is transferring bees from one location to more »

Transferring Bees – Part 2

About one week later, John revisits the transferred hive in its new location and reviews its recovery progress.   Next Lesson: Honey Bees and Parasitic Mites Questions: About how long should you wait to open a transferred colony? What has happened to the rubber bands that were holding the comb in the frames? What are more »

Honey Bees and Parasitic Mites – A Historic Review with Some Control Suggestions

Dr. Jim Tew reviews the history of parasitic mites in the US and presents comments on the evolution of the bee/mite relationship for the past twenty-five years.  This presentation is hosted by an external website. Click here to open a new window with the power point presentation.   Next Lesson: Commercial Pollination

Commercial Pollination

Dr. Jim Tew describes the process of beekeepers providing rental beehives for commercial growers. Frequently, bees other than honey bees are used as pollinators and they are discussed also.   Next Lesson: The Dynamics of Pollination

The Dynamics of Pollination

This segment is a discussion of the mechanics of individual bee foraging and how the colony can be encouraged to pollinate the target crop.