Yesterday I visited two beehives that I have on a farm, before snow and rain came in to make that kind of thing not much fun. Here’s an 18-minute video of that visit, but I tacked on a 5-minute condensed version for the Readers’ Digest crowd.
Here’s an index of the big events in this video, though there’s a lot more than what’s listed here.
00:00 — A chunk of ice at the bottom of a hive.
02:00 — A bee poops on me. I put it back in the hive.
02:25 — My bag of goodies: smoker, sugar, etc.
03:25 — Another look at the bubble wrap wrapped hive.
04:55 — Bees clustering into the inner cover hole.
05:28 — Smelling alarm pheromones after using a staple gun.
06:03 — Bees eating sugar bricks, adding sugar, etc.
07:35 — Thoughts about tearing a hive apart in the winter to give the bees better access to their honey.
08:22 — Looking inside a hive that was just smoked. Lots of honey.
08:53 — A cool looking shot inside the hive.
09:30 — Why I didn’t add shrew-proofing mesh to my top entrances.
10:14 — Why I don’t like disturbing the bees in the winter.
11:20 — Idea to slightly widen 6mm / quarter-inch mesh to prevent clogging. I know a guy who does this with needle nose pliers, but I pencil might work too.
11:50 — A review of a good strong colony.
12:50 — Pros and cons of drilling holes in supers.
13:52 — Idea for a flat board to replace inner cover with a drilled hole / hive entrance below the ceiling of the hive instead of being at the same level and letting out all the heat. (Ventilation rims might defeat the purpose of that, but anyway.)
14:30 — A look at the D.E. Hive bubble wrap wrapped hive. Concerned with cluster not moving down towards honey.
17:30 — Chatting about dead bees falling to the floor.
18:38 — A black & white condensed version of this video (5 mins).
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
I have removed all advertisements from my YouTube channel. Let me know if you have to watch any ads before and during any of my videos and I’ll do what I can to squash that.
I never had any intention to make money off my videos, but a few years back one of my videos suddenly shot up in popularity (over 5 millions views so far), so I decided to turn on the monetisation feature for my videos.
A small trickle of cash came in from the videos (from the ads attached to the videos), just enough to help pay for the web hosting fees for this blog.
95% of the revenue came from that one popular video. But the views for that popular video have dropped dramatically over the past months since I began reporting copyright violations for it.
The video was often copied and repackaged without my permission to various YouTube channels. In fact, that’s the only reason I began using the “mudsongs.org” watermark on my videos — to make it more difficult for the videos to be copied and monetised for other YouTube channels.
I also began adding “end screens” to my videos — the YouTube feature where previews for other videos from my channel pop up at the end of a video.
Since I began doing that, the views to my channel have taken an even greater drop.
At any rate, I’ve never been fond of advertisements or all the other YouTube features that make the viewing experience feel more crowded and busy. Who needs that? And if none of it is helping me pay the bills (and it doesn’t any more), then what’s the point? I could reluctantly put up with it when it was helpful, but I can’t do it anymore.
If any one of my videos becomes popular again (usually some kind of pretty honey-related video that doesn’t have much to do with beekeeping), maybe I’ll monetise that one video. But otherwise, I’m shutting it all down.
I’m also not concerned about how attractive my videos are anymore. I used to aim for videos that were always visually instructive in some way, usually providing a step-by-step approach to showing how something is done (or at least how I do it). I’ll still do that when I can, but these days I’m more interested in talking about beekeeping — and talking about all the wrong things I do or have done. That’s how we learn — by being honest about our mistakes and being able to change our minds. Many of my videos are just me pointing the camera at the hives and talking, getting information out verbally instead of visually.
That probably isn’t a popular shift in style, but I think people who are interested in learning about beekeeping through shared experiences will appreciate it. I remember when I began beekeeping, how I could watch hours of visually boring videos of beekeepers just talking about their bees, poking at their hives, explaining what they’re doing and all that. Honestly, I think I’ve learned more from those kinds of YouTube videos than just about any other resource. (Honey Bee Suite comes in a close a second.)
My videos these days garner about 100 views in a week and maybe 300, sometimes 500 views within a year, and I like that. That’s not much considering that I used to get about 1000 actual readers everyday on this blog (as opposed to bots and spammers) before a certain life event shut my beekeeping down for a couple of years. But I like the personal connections I’m able to make with a smaller kind of crowd. The quantity might not be there like it used to, but the quality of the email interactions has gone up big time. It’s much more rewarding.
So that’s generally where I’m coming from and how I plan to go forward. There has never been any great plan with anything I do online. I have this beekeeping blog where I share my beekeeping experiences, and hopefully through those experiences, others might learn some new things about their own beekeeping, or find a way to get into beekeeping on their own. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. That’s as grand as my plans ever got.
I’m grateful for the thousands of YouTube views my beekeeping videos have received. Most of the views seem to be from people scrolling through YouTube while they’re bored at work, looking for a 30-second blip of entertainment before they forget about it and move onto the next thing. That’s the nature of social media. I get that.
If, on the other hand, I’ve been able to help anyone get into beekeeping the way I had others help me get into beekeeping when I started in 2010, then alright. I love it.
And hopefully none of those ads will pop anymore.