HM Reviews: More Than Honey
HM's Alex reviews the disappearance of Bee's in this compelling film.
We’ve all heard the ‘rumour’ – the bees are vanishing, actually disappearing in their droves without a trace. A staggering number of bees have left their colonies and no one really knows why.
Cue the genial voice of John Hurt, narrator of this documentary who, fittingly also recollects the beautiful way in which he grew up learning about bees. But as the film states, this is about more than honey. Hurts’ deep-rooted affinity to the insects spurs him to guide us through modern day bee-keeping trade and the potential factors to this unexpected epidemic.
There are some troubling factors, like the common practice of spraying pesticides and ‘treatments’ on blooms and the stress inducing distribution of bees as is carried out in America and Germany; all of which has detrimental knock-on effects on the colonies and the reproduction of bees. In Sweden there is an almost sombre reaction to the increased cross-breeding of bees: the colonies are dubbed as ‘foul brood’ and are extinguished immediately. Over in China we see how human pollination has been enforced due to a lack of bees, having been exterminated (in some regions completely) by insecticides. But the bees may be fighting back; reports of ‘Killer Bees’ swarming in parts of America is a growing concern, or perhaps as Hurts states, a blessing with adverse consequences. Down in Australia free swarming ‘drones’ are common, and further work is being done to preserve them.
So, this film continuously asks, where does the blame lay? Instead of forcing the obvious this film goes several steps further to offer a balanced look at all contributing aspects, using science experts and those in the bee keeping and associated trades as they try to deal come up with the answer.
One contributor simply states, “We’re Capitalists, we want to grow – total global domination” - it’s with this statement that clearly outlines the significant problem – Man’s greed and will to survive is responsible, but as Hurt’s sagacious speech quotes a rumoured and sobering Einstein conclusion “…if the Bees ever die out, Mankind will follow four years later.”
Combining impressive graphics, real footage and a heavy but never overwhelming dose of back story, More Than Honey is a fascinating, beautiful and illuminating watch.
More than Honey is available to by on DVD from 11 November 2013.
Words: Alex Kessie/@alexandrakessie • Images: Provided by ar-pr.