Where The Bee Sucks

This film originated from a chance meeting with bee keeper, Ralph Pattinson, who with his charm and enthusiasm drew me into the world of the bee. It was filmed through the course of a year, a full cycle of the seasons allowing the changing relationship between bees and man to be seen and appreciated.

Ralph is a sure footed and gentle presence. His outlook on life has been shaped by the stewardship of looking after his bees. As an architect, his admiration for honey bees starts with their amazing ability as builders of the honeycomb. The relationship with bees has also shown him the wonder, beauty, and danger of these natural forces with which he interacts on a daily basis.

Bees are not tame creatures. They are wild and can be fierce. Keeping bees has a purpose: to get them to make honey for the keeper. In order to exploit this ability, you have to understand how they function and to use the tools of the trade. These tools, used by the bee keeper today, are the same as those used by the first peoples who collected honey on a regular basis, the hunters and foragers. They used the eye, the hand, and observation.

Honey gathering is an aboriginal practice. In many ways it is unchanged through the millennia which is part of its fascination both for the bee keeper and for an audience. And if you succeed with your bees the reward is same as it was for our ancestors: a crop of nature’s richest, most complex, and desirable food: honey.

This film follows Ralph through the cycle of the year. He nurtures his bees; deals with swarms of bees that people want removed from their property; and takes his hives up to the heather moors so that the bees can make heather honey. Although the setting looks idyllic, the hives are in fact situated in the middle of a large city conurbation. Ralph and the bees are in a world where most relations are not natural, they are social. Where The Bee Sucks brings the audience a little closer to one of man’s oldest interactions with nature: the honey bee.

Adrin Neatrour. 2016, UK, 01:01.27.


Continue Watching

View All Titles