Scientific American - Blog By Felicity Muth
Last night I went to see the documentary ‘More than honey’, directed and produced by the Swiss film-maker Markus Imhoof. As I work with bees (bumblebees) and have already read a bit about colony collapse disorder and honeybee farming I wasn’t expecting too much from the film: an education on all the crops bees are needed for, how they’re dying out and perhaps a plea for pesticides to be banned. However, I was pleasantly surprised, as the movie was not the science-education type of documentary I was expecting.
The film starts in Switzerland, with a Swiss-German bee farmer, Fred Jaggi, who comes from a long line of bee keepers. We see him hiking through the Swiss mountains wearing a Swiss hat and smoking a pipe. The filming captures the beauty of the mountains and creates an atmosphere for this man’s rural, bee-centric life. We are introduced to his bees, and how he lovingly cares for them, but with strict rules and punishments if they violate these rules (for their own good, of course). I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say he’s a character.
From here we are transported to America, where we meet John Miller, of Miller Honey farms. He provides bees on a commercial scale to the almond farms in California, and then ships them over to farms in Idaho and North Dakota. Our first introduction to Miller is him standing in the almond farms under the acres of trees and buzzing bees...