Ultimate Swarms

Synopsis:
Genre: Documentary
 
IMDB:
5.6
Year:
2013
4 Views

Swarms are one of the greatest

spectacles on earth.

At times horrifying,

and also a thing of wonder.

As part of the swarm,

the smallest of creatures can

become a force of nature.

I'm George McGavin, a zoologist

and explorer

and I'll be travelling the globe

to get right into the heart

of some of

the world's most impressive swarms.

HE LAUGHS:

I want to show you that far from

being the ultimate nightmare,

swarms are one of nature's most

ingenious solutions.

Ow!

Swarms are extremely powerful.

By joining together,

even the simplest of creatures can

achieve the impossible.

And by understanding how

swarms work,

we're gaining some fascinating

insight into our own lives.

My journey begins in North America,

in southern California.

I am hitting the highway in pursuit

of a swarm most sane people

would go out of their way to avoid.

At some point,

this little insect's sting might

have totally ruined your day.

Whoo, damn!

But in extreme cases,

this is a swarm that can kill.

I don't think you want to be outside

right now. There is a swarm of bees.

The honeybee.

A terrifying swarm,

but one that worldwide is worth

a staggering $180 billion a year.

Without them, over a third of all

the food we eat wouldn't exist.

And nowhere is the bee's pollinating

handiwork more crucial than here.

California.

More fruit and vegetables

are produced in this state

than anywhere else in America.

And bees are so important

to the process that every year,

farmers actually import almost

2 million hive-loads of them.

This is the perfect place to

understand the secret of the swarm

that takes group intelligence

to a completely new level.

To understand how it works,

I need to get right to the start

of the swarm, to the moment a queen

gathers a loyal team of workers

around her and goes house hunting.

Now, in this temporary

swarming state,

they are really non-aggressive

because they're not protecting

anything,

they're not protecting young,

or honey -

they are simply

protecting or shielding the queen

that's in the heart of their swarm

until a new home is found,

and they are so relaxed

non-aggressive

that I can actually put my hand

right into the swarm here

and just jiggle off a little

handful of bees.

Now, there's no way

I could do this with a normal hive.

It's only possible when they're

in this temporary swarming state.

Now, if I can persuade the worker

bees that I'm a queen bee,

they should swarm around me.

It's only going to be possible

because the swarm sticks together

by following chemical

signals called pheromones.

Looks have nothing to do with it.

It's an attraction so powerful

that the bees should be prepared

to ignore the obvious

and accept me as their queen.

To put it to the test,

honey bee expert Norman Gary is

giving me a queen bee makeover.

I'm going to put droplets

of a pheromone mix on your clothing.

That pheromone is the odour

that the queen bee emits

that makes the other workers swarm

around it.

These are all females, did you know

that? The females are now loving you.

Yeah.

Have fun, George! Hah!

'There's no backing out now.

'My only defence is a bit of insect

repellent on my face.'

I'm gonna start low, George,

because they tend to migrate up,

so here we go.

There you go.

'At this stage, it's hard to tell

'whether the bees are going

to stick around.

'And if I'm honest, right now,

I'm not sure I want them to.'

This is not funny, because...

It's in my eye, it's in my eye!

Argh!

Just relax.

I am relaxed.

I'm so chilled, I can't tell you.

It looks like the workers

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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"Ultimate Swarms" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 19 Oct. 2019. <https://www.scripts.com/script/ultimate_swarms_22465>.

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