More Than Honey (u)
Directed by: Markus Imhoof
Narrated by: John Hurt
Running time: 95 min
More Than Honey is out on DVD/ Blu ray from the 21st October
An in-depth look at honeybee colonies in California, Switzerland, China and Australia. And how, despite the radically different approaches, the same disaster is befalling them all.
More Than Honey is a documentary about bees. And the people who keep bees. Not interested? Well, you should be, and you should not miss this movie.
Bees are one of those things we just take for granted. They’re in the garden, the feed off pollen on our flowers, they make honey and occasionally the sting us. What so few of us don’t realise is that they are intelligent creatures with the ability to learn and without who mankind is in serious trouble.
It is reckoned that three out of every four spoonfuls of food we eat come as a result of the work of bees, bet you didn’t know that. Did you know that over the last few years we have been witnessing a mass die off of bees without explanation? Some reckon bacteria, others think pollution, some say it’s because of crop dusting. Whatever the reason, there’s nothing that can be done… so far. And believe me, scientists across the planet are trying.
What More Than Honey does is follow four bee keepers from the four corners of the earth who all do the same job, but in very different manners – for example, in California it’s all about mass production with machines and special equipment. In Switzerland it’s about walking up to the colony with jeans and a tee shirt and working among the bees. Radically different, but all facing the say inevitable truth – the bees are dying and no-one knows why.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, along the way we learn just how smart bees are – I was blown away by these animals who, despite working in a hive mind where everyone has a role and a place, they are caring and learning creatures. I’m not going to go into too much detail – you need to see it for yourself – but when you realise the bees can describe to the queen where they were on the hunt for food you’d be hard pressed not to be impressed. Nature truly is amazing.
Hurt’s narration is poignant and effecting – he himself comes from a family that kept bees, so he feels close to the plight – but it’s the keepers themselves who truly tell the story.
The cinematography is beautiful, going up close and personal, you’ll realise what it is to be in the hive, to fly on the hunt and to be there when the queen mates in order to repopulate her species. And yes, it’s hard not to be saddened – and worried – by the beekeepers’, and humanity’s, plight.
More Than Honey is a movie everyone should see, but sadly it’s a movie that few will… if you’re one of the few it’s your duty to spread the word.
Mother nature may just be about to prove, once again, that we are insignificant against her will. Scary times, indeed.
4 out of 5 Nerds