3 Movies about Honey Bees: A Fun Way to Learn About Bees

What better way to learn about honey bees than by watching movies? Luckily there are quite a few very good documentaries about the bees. When I first became excited to learn all I could I hit the library and checked out the entire row of books dedicated to bees and beekeeping, as I talked about here. I learned a lot from the books, but I ran out of time and several went back to the library barely skimmed.

Watching a movie is just plain old fun, even when you’re learning about a complex subject. These three films are about much more than just bee anatomy, beekeeping and honey. Since honey bees and entire beehives began dying and disappearing about a decade ago, what is now called Colony Collapse Disorder, anyone involved in beekeeping or concerned with our planet has been on a serious mission to get to the bottom of this alarming situation. These three films are no exception. Each one takes a slightly different approach, but all have similar aims of educating us about what is going on and what can be done to make it better. Spoiler alert: Human’s are at fault. It’s actually more intense than you might imagine, going into this world of interaction between us and honeybees. But hopefully you will come away with a better understanding of the state of things, the issues we are currently facing, and possibly an interest in getting involved on your own

Queen of The Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?

My favorite of these three is Queen of The Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? directed by Taggart Siegel. It is actually free to watch on Amazon Prime, if you have that. All of these films can most likely be found at your local library as well.  This is a fascinating journey into what has caused Colony Collapse Disorder.  We get to hear from many beekeepers and scientists at the forefront of this worldwide crisis best natural weight loss supplements. We see organic beekeepers in France, Germany, Australia and the US and hear their differing opinions and relationships to bees.
We see how very recent human intervention through mechanisation, monoculture and chemical products may be forever changing the viability of bees.

The film showcases a few people who are working towards a better situation, such as Gunther Hauk, who has built a massive bee sanctuary. Many others have gone on to do the same on smaller scales. There is ultimately a message of hope as we are shown dedicated beekeepers with no signs on giving up on bees.

Queen of The Sun is a thoroughly engaging film that explains the problems and also showcases a few people deeply involved in finding solutions. It will hopefully leave you feeling motivated to get involved to help bees and the health of our planet. And you get to see a woman dancing with an entire swarm of bees on her mostly naked skin, if you like that kind of thing.

Vanishing of the Bees 

“The future of beekeeping is not one beekeeper with 60,000 hives, but 60,000 people with one hive.” –Vanishing of the Bees

This documentary is directed by George Langworth and Maryam Henein and narrated by Ellen Page. It follows commercial beekeepers as they struggle to keep their hives healthy, working in a commercial system that they recognise as horribly detrimental to bees. We see commercial beekeepers search for an explanation, meet with European and other beekeepers and look at the political and corporate systems that are contributing to this crisis. It is a great introduction to how commercial beekeeping works in the US, with trucks loaded with beehives travelling across states to pollinate monoculture crops for short periods, being fed with corn syrup and sprayed with pesticides along the way.

The directors Interview a number of people active in the beekeeping and food movements including Michael Pollen who had a great quote: “My take on Colony Collapse is that it’s one of the signs, really unmistakable signs, that our food system is unsustainable.” Vanishing of the Bees shows how commercial beekeepers have been forced into activist roles and are intertwined in a complex scenario with many players more powerful than themselves, with the unfortunate victims being the bees themselves. And since 1/4 of our food is pollinated by bees, our entire food system comes into question. Definitely worth a watch!

More than Honey

More than Honey is directed by the Swiss filmmaker Marcus Imhoof who has a long line of beekeepers in his own family. This film also explores the relationship between honey bees and humans, showing small beekeepers and huge commercial operations. This film has some amazing close up footage of bees with beautiful, detailed cinematography. One review said that this film, although gorgeous, was more like a horror story. I agree completely. It points the finger very clearly at humans’ short sighted, toxic, and exploitive actions towards honey bees and places the blame for the crisis we are now in on us, in no uncertain terms.  It looks at the commercial migratory beekeeping in the US where 80% of the world’s production of almonds takes place in California, completely dependent on pollination by commercial beekeeping operations. There are startling images of humans pollinating fruit trees in China, with little pollen sticks made from purchased pollen. The film is asking, Could this be our future?

In all honesty, it’s a bit sobering to watch these films, especially if you’re new to learning about honey bees in broad terms. But there is no better way to learn a lot, while sitting on your couch (organic popcorn optional).

Let me know what you think if you check any of these out. Or if you have others you like as well!

As always, thanks bees!

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10 thoughts on “3 Movies about Honey Bees: A Fun Way to Learn About Bees

  1. I love this post. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had discussions with people explaining the importance of bees. People don’t seem to realize that without bees we would not exist. Me and my wife have been looking at starting a small hive because we have the land but we have no idea where to start. Do you have any specific books or videos that you’d recommend for the ABSOLUTE beginner haha. Thanks

    1. One of the first books I read seemed cheesy, but was written by very knowledgable beekeepers:The Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping or The Backyard Beekeeper is good too. I think all states have beekeeping associations. Depending on where you live, I’d look them up and take a beginning class if they’re offered. You could also just get a simple starter kit on Amazon and give it a whirl. I’d say do a little research, but not so much that you get discouraged. There are actually a lot of short videos for free on youtube as well – great to just get a sense for it and check out different kinds of hives, etc. Let me know how it goes! And good luck!

  2. Oh my goodness! How insightful and what great article. I can’t wait to check these movies out.

    I’m an old hippie (well…not that old really). I believe in Mother Earth and all things natural. Everything on this earth is here to keep balance.

    My friends would make fun of me when I would talk about the disappearance of bees and the detriment it would bring upon the world. But what they don’t realize is that we would lose a great portion of our food supply if bees aren’t here to cross pollinate our agriculture.

    This has been on mind for almost 20 years now.

    I ask them… you like cantaloupes, cucumbers, and berries, don’t you? They just roll their eyes.

    I totally love this site! Keep on getting the word out there.

    1. You are so right Sheila! Your friends may one day be thankful that you opened their eyes, even a little bit. Just keep on ignoring their eye rolls and keep on talking! Thanks so much for your wonderful comments!

  3. Bees are fascinating and very critical to the Eco system on our planet. I see a lot of talk on social media about disappearing bees these days so your post is very timely.
    I am interested in everything natural and conserving our planet. Your blog and the books you have referred to is just what I am looking for.
    Thanks for sharing
    Cheers Kev

    1. That’s great Kev! Glad you are seeing a lot of bee info out there. I do think awareness is growing. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. We are HUGE documentary fans in our household, and I had only heard of one of these, so thank you for this post. Summer is the perfect time to kick back and learn something new, so we’ll definitely be putting these on the list!

    1. That’s so great Hillary! Let me know what you think! What are your favourite docs? Any recommendations? Thanks!

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