UPDATE - November 11, 2015: I noticed that this video is no longer available for rent on Amazon Video and the price for the DVD purchase has plummeted to $1.99 - this is the price they used to charge for the rental....
So at this price, it's probably worth buying the DVD if you don't mind the shipping charges. After watching, you could always donate it to your local library, beekeeping club or thrift store. It really is a good place to start when you have absolutely NO prior experience. Still, there are things that could have been better so I am sticking with my 3 star review. My original review is below: **************************************************************************************************************************** ORIGINAL REVIEW: This review is for the Amazon Instant Video Rental.
BASIC BEEKEEPING is a pretty good video, but not the best I've seen. I covers the basics, although sometimes not as clearly as I would have liked. The sound is occasionally muffled when the speaker is talking from beneath a bee veil and I found those parts difficult to understand.
There are several different methods of beekeeping and BASIC BEEKEEPING covers the Langstroth method which is the most common form of beekeeping in the USA. If you are interested in organic beekeeping, you will not find information on that in this video. This is straight, mainline method, complete with instructions on how to medicate your bees and how to keep the hive clean using chemicals. This isn't a video that addresses sustainable, non-toxic procedures.
I did like that there is a clearly laid out menu of everything you will need to get started, including what you can expect it to cost (at the time this video was made). All the equipment is shown, identified, and there is an easy to understand explanation about how to use everything. This was great for me, because I was aware that a smoker existed, but had never seen anything addressing the why's and how's of actually using one. I especially appreciated the detailed instruction about what kind of bee suit you will need to buy and also there is some information about when the bees are most likely to attack as opposed to when the bees are happy, docile and calm. These are things that a lot of books and videos assume that you already know, and so the new beekeeper is left hanging with no real way to define a lot of what is being said. That is the real strength of BASIC BEEKEEPING - you will always understand in every step of the way EXACTLY what "Rancher Ron" is telling you. He doesn't give a whole lot of information (so you will not be overwhelmed with more data than you can process), but he does give a thorough run-through of the elementary aspects of beekeeping in a manner that will leave you feeling that you completely understand what this video is designed to communicate.
I saw one review that complained about this video being too basic. I thought that was a little bit unfair because, the very title says right out that this is BASIC BEEKEEPING, and so I hardly think it makes sense to give it a bad review based on the fact that it is basic. It is Basic and Helpful, but there are better videos on YouTube for free. Amazon policy will not allow me to link directly to them, but if you go on YouTube, do a search for "Backyard Beekeeping". This YouTuber has made a playlist of 27 videos that carefully document his first few seasons as a beekeeper. This is BY FAR the absolute best introduction to beekeeping in the Langstroth method I have ever seen. It is still not the organic, sustainable stuff that I want to eventually learn, but it is a great starting point for a beginner. And for those of you who prefer a more "Organic and Sustainable" approach, I recommend that after watching the beginner's vids, you immediately graduate to the book and the video, "NATURAL BEEKEEPING" by Ross Conrad. And I absolutely am allowed to directly post to the Amazon.com ad for the video:
Even so, BASIC BEEKEEPING covered a few things that I have never seen explained anywhere else, and that is why I recommend it for a RENTAL, if not an all out purchase. If you rent it, you are only out $1.99, and after watching it through a few times, you will be ready to go on to more complicated stuff. It is a good place for an absolute beginner to start. Then you can graduate to BEEKEEPING FOR DUMMIES, and beyond that, the sky is the limit! :-)
This is an excellent visual and audio introduction to novice beekeeping.
I live in a remote area of the U.S. I would have to travel hundreds of miles to take a course in beekeeping. This film, with some introductory books, is a close substitute to taking an introductory course in beekeeping.
Before purchasing a hive, I read up on the internet about beekeeping. However, there is no substitute for seeing, in video form (or live form) how to accomplish many of the tasks required for successful beekeeping. This video serves that purpose.
It starts with a very, very simple explanation of how a beehive works for the bees. From the introduction, you come away with an understanding of why the beehive is contsructed as it is. This is an important understanding for beekeeping because you can better understand why you have to perform the maintenance on the hive. This understanding will help you help the bees.
The film goes on to show you how to install a hive and a "package" of bees. This part of the film goes into a simplified use of a smoker (to calm the bees). The film explains why a little smoke is calming to the bees, and, shows you how much is a correct amount. It also shows you how to use a smoker - how to light it, and, what to put in it.
The film follows a chronoligcal sequence of preparing the hive for the bees, installing the bees, what inspections to make and how to inspect them. It briefly covers medications for your locality for bees. It also shows you how to determine if you may harvest honey, or, if you should leave it for the bees.
I wouldn't rely only on this film for establishing your own beehive. However, combined with other resources, such as The Beekeeper's Handbook, Fourth Edition, you can gain enough of an understanding to perform your own home beekeeping as a novice.
My family is thinking about starting a bee colony this spring and have been searching the internet for information. This video had everything we needed in one place. It goes in chronological order starting with the basic equipment needed and ending with putting preparing the colony for winter. My only complaint is the audio quality of the presenter is very bad at times. I rented this as an instant video for $1.99 which was way worth it. Most DIY people are use to things being a little rough around the edges so if you are thinking about getting bees, watch this video.
Narrator is quite likeable but production values are weak. Poor camera work. Bees are seldom in close up focus. Often the camera is not aimed at the bees when the narrator and master beekeeper are discussing some aspect of the hive that needs to be seen. Poorly edited and quite amateurish.
I found this video as informative as the Beekeeping book Ive been studying. This is better than the books in that you get to watch him physically tend to the bees. If you're a visual person and would like something to supplement your reading, I recommend this video.