More Than Honey

Synopsis: An in-depth look at honeybee colonies in California, Switzerland, China and Australia.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Markus Imhoof
Production: Kino Lorber
  9 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min

My great-grandfather

and my grandfather kept bees,

and my father had bees, too.

I wasn't that interested,

I didn't like being stung.

But when my father got on in years,

he said,

"If you don't start getting interested

in the bees, I'll just sell them."

That really got to me.

I thought,

"If my father and grandfather

can put up with bee stings, so can I.

I'm no sissy!"


The bee's flying.

Konstantin, we can switch

the radar on now. I'm coming.

As we can see, the bee has decided

to fly to its original feeding site.

It gets to a location

where there used to be

a feeding place, but now it's gone.

The bee initiates a few search flights,

and flies around a bit.

But it doesn't fly back.

Instead, it makes a beeline east.

And east is the place

where the dance told the bee to go.

Someone's there with a feeding site.

And now it arrives.

OK, red 23 just landed,

and it's drinking.

And now it returns to the hive.

Not the way it has learned,

and not the way

that was communicated in the dance.

It takes a route

that it has somehow figured out by itself.

Now it's back at the hive.

We assume that even a brain

as small as a bee's

is capable of imagining two outcomes,

and that bees can predict the results

of their behaviour,

assess them and then plan:

"I've decided to do this

and now I'll fly to that specific site."

The bees are doing fine here today.

Let me tell you,

for them today is like Sunday.

No wonder their honey

turns out almost translucent.

Pure nature, no pesticides, no poisons.

It'll definitely be wonderful honey.

I can't wait to have it

on my plate.

Our native black bees are an old race

that acclimatized itself here

centuries ago.

If I were to bring bees up here

from the lowlands,

the colony would have problems

surviving the winter.

The bees up here

hibernate for more than half the year.

They've learned to acclimatize

themselves over generations,

so that's why it works.

What have we got here?

You and your yellow bum

have no business here. Scram!

Over there, beyond that mountain,

someone else has bees.

No idea what race he has.

But they fly all the way over here.

Mating takes place in mid-air.

Drones from other colonies,

from other beekeepers,

all congregate together

at the drone meeting area.

A queen mates with up to 10 drones,

so that's why

there are these half-castes.

- What race is that?

- Carnica.

It upsets me a little that

the old native race is dwindling away.

Look, it has those yellow rings

on its bum.

I had black bees for a long time,

my father always did.

Why did you switch?

As we say in Bernese German: No more

beekeeping with a ladder on my back.

- In other words, no hiving swarms.

- No?

Of my 70 colonies, only three swarmed.

- I don't believe it!

- Yes, that's all.

What's more,

the Carnica hardly ever sting.

- They sting less than black bees?

- Absolutely.

Sometimes I help people

who have black bees.

If I had to go beekeeping with them,

I'd quit.

- I couldn't work with 70 colonies.

- Really?

I don't even have a veil.

I never wear one.

Wouldn't you like to switch over?

I think I'm too old for that.

- You're not that old.

- But I am, I'm going downhill.

When I find that queen,

I'm going to twist her little neck.

There she is.

You little two-timer.

That's what happens to those

who seek pleasure elsewhere.

The queen lays an egg

here in this honeycomb.

Three days later,

a larva hatches from the egg.

It's the breeding stock

I want a new queen

with the same genes as her mother.

The bees will raise queens

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Markus Imhoof

Markus Imhoof (born 19 September 1941) is a Swiss film director, screenwriter, theatre and opera director. more…

All Markus Imhoof scripts | Markus Imhoof Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "More Than Honey" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 2 Dec. 2020. <>.

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