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Bee Movies & Documentaries

Numerous full length feature films and documentaries about honeybees and beekeeping are readily accessible via Internet. Whether you’re looking for resources for a class project, want to learn more about this fascinating hobby, or are looking to pass some time learning about these remarkable creatures, this page tracks the best films available for free. Enjoy!

 
Bee Aware — A Dan Rather Report about the EPA cover-up of the damage done by neonicotinoid pesticides.

Silence of the Bees — Silence of the Bees is the first in-depth look at the search to uncover what is killing the honeybee. The filmmakers of Bees take viewers around the world to the sites of fallen hives, to high-tech labs, where scientists race to uncover clues, and even deep inside honeybee colonies. Silence of the Bees is the story of a riveting, ongoing investigation to save honeybees from dying out. The film goes beyond the unsolved mystery to tell the story of the honeybee itself, its invaluable impact on our diets and takes a look at what’s at stake if honeybees disappear. Silence of the Bees explores the complex world of the honeybee in crisis and instills in viewers a sense of urgency to learn ways to help these extraordinary animals.

Tales From the Hive — PBS NOVA chronicles a year in the life of a bee colony with stunning images that take viewers inside the innermost secrets of the hive. The documentary team spent a year developing special macro lenses and a bee studio to deliver the film’s astonishing sequences. These include the “wedding flight” of the colony’s virgin queen as it mates in mid-air with a drone; the life-and-death battle between two rival queens for the colony’s throne; and the defeat and death of a thieving wasp at the entrance to the hive. The show also explores such mysteries as the famous “waggle dance” with which scout bees signal the exact direction and distance of nectar sources to the rest of the hive. A vivid picture emerges of the bee’s highly organized social life, revolving around the disciplined sharing of construction tasks, the collection of nectar, and warding off enemies.

Who Killed The Honey Bee? — Bees are dying in their millions. It is an ecological crisis that threatens to bring global agriculture to a standstill. Introduced by Martha Kearney, this documentary explores the reasons behind the decline of bee colonies across the globe, investigating what might be at the root of this devastation.

Honey bees are the number one insect pollinator on the planet, responsible for the production of over 90 crops. Apples, berries, cucumbers, nuts, cabbages and even cotton will struggle to be produced if bee colonies continue to decline at the current rate. Empty hives have been reported from as far afield as Taipei and Tennessee. In England, the matter has caused beekeepers to march on Parliament to call on the government to fund research into what they say is potentially a bigger threat to humanity than the current financial crisis.

Investigating the problem from a global perspective, the programme makers travel from the farm belt of California to the flatlands of East Anglia to the outback of Australia. They talk to the beekeepers whose livelihoods are threatened by colony collapse disorder, the scientists entrusted with solving the problem, and the Australian beekeepers who are making a fortune replacing the planet’s dying bees. They also look at some of the possible reasons for the declining numbers – is it down to a bee plague, pesticides, malnutrition? Or is the answer something even more frightening? (BBC Documentary)

Queen of the Savannah — The queen African honeybee rules the savannah – even elephants panic at the buzzing of her hive. This recreates the life of the queen and her colony as they fight to survive. Ground-breaking close-up photography shows a bee-eye view of their world, from the queen murdering her sisters to fighting off giant invaders and eventually migrating across the savannah to the great Mount Kenya.

Accompanied by short film Safe in the City with Dr George McGavin on the growth of the urban beekeeper.

People, Plants and Pollinators — Emerging Explorer Dino Martins says that from long-tongued bees to hawk moths, pollinators are the hidden workers that keep the planet running.(National Geographic Short)