Author Topic: Documentary More than Honey  (Read 4213 times)

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Offline Bakersdozen

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Documentary More than Honey
« on: December 31, 2013, 08:30:02 am »
I highly recommend a documentary I watched last night on Netflix, More Than Honey, directed by Markus Imhoof and released in 2012.  Has anybody seen this?  If you don't have Netflix maybe a local library has this video.  The photography was amazing.  This seemed to be a German production.  The focus is on contrasting beekeeping styles between a 3rd generation Alpine beekeeper and a 2nd generation US commercial beekeeper that trucks his bees in for the almond crops in California, apples in Washington and then to North Dakota.
The Alpine beekeeper is focused on keeping his black bee genetics pure even though they are prone to swarm.  The US beekeeper seems willing to sacrifice his personal connection with the bees for the sake of business.  He does splits (brutal and hard to watch), watches his bees be sprayed with fungicides all the while knowing the consequences, and treats chemically.
The video contains excellent close ups of a queen hatching, mating in mid air and why, and laying eggs.  We see waggle dances and explained, bees chewing nectar and placing the honey in cells as well as wax moths, varroa mites and a great example of European Foul Brood.  There is segment of an older German lady grafting larvae into a frame of queen cups.  It's great footage of her technique.  She packages and mails her queens out to customers.
I can't emphasize enough the camera work.  Simply beautiful.

Offline Perry

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Re: Documentary More than Honey
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2013, 08:51:18 am »
I've seen it and yes, it is well worth watching. It is extremely well done. I question the  motives of the main character representing commercial beekeeping portrayals. I have read the book "Beekeepers Lament" written about him (recommend it as well) and he seems to take pleasure at being portrayed in a less than thoughtful manner.
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Offline blueblood

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Re: Documentary More than Honey
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2013, 09:37:18 am »
Have watched it, very interesting film.

Offline Slowmodem

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Re: Documentary More than Honey
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2013, 11:52:46 am »
We have it on our Netflix que.

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Offline BoilerJim

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Re: Documentary More than Honey
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2013, 12:28:21 pm »
Very good flick. Good recommendation.
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Documentary More than Honey
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2014, 10:11:22 am »
I didnt consider him (Miller) as exactly being the bad guy.  No punches were pulled, but.. thats HOW the big operations run to make a living.  While I didnt find it appealing, I also dont have thousands of hives to attend and a business to make work..    Wife hasnt seen it yet, so Maybe this evening I can watch it again..   Enjoyed it the first time.
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Offline tecumseh

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Re: Documentary More than Honey
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 06:21:38 pm »
I watched this film yesterday evening at Rice University participated on a panel to answer question after the film.  Seems the film is Swiss and we had both the Swiss consul and the vice consul in attendance.  The photography was quite incredible and the film maker had produced a very layered look at the situation.  I was told the film maker had circumvented the globe 4 times to complete the film.

The old alpine bee keeper was very old school and very traditional but the flaws in his system where also quite evident.  the american beekeeper really had a pleasant face that kind of made you want to smile and eventually he did get the idea that he spoke the unflattering truth from time to time < at first I though he might simply be an actor posing as a bee keeper but after seeing him drive the bob cat with a full load of bee I pretty much figured that yep he was the real deal.  Meanwhile in the desert southwest an old hippie beekeeper maintain what are likely africanized bees, collects a bit of honey from very isolated location and extols the virtue of africanized bees.  and finally to paint the picture of what life is like without the bees a women and her family travel 1300 miles to collect pear pollen which they then sell for hand pollination of fruit trees.

worth watching... 

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Documentary More than Honey
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2014, 07:05:02 pm »
Saw that one as well. Miller does a fair job of being the villain without being the villain.  His decapping process horrified me, scooping the bees up in buckets and dumping them back into hives.. man WHAT a mess.. but even then, he admitted his father (or was it grandfather?) would probably walk away in disgust..
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Offline tecumseh

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Re: Documentary More than Honey
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2014, 04:47:50 am »
well actually what I think you were seeing was automatic top bar cleaner that was associated with a nuc making production line.  these production line nuc making rigs were largely the product of the fellow who now makes the jzbz cages and such.  the first time I saw mention of one of these was in about 1984 in the ABJ.....

mr miller was quite a man of contrast... he seem to well understand his own weakest link (something about man just wants to grow and get larger) and seems to realize that the current path is walking him into oblivion.  greed and money are now more important that even attempting to do the right thing....  his comment concerning his grandfather does suggest he would like to do differently but one must run faster just to stay in the same place (a quote from the movie and the red queen of Alice in Wonderland).

Offline DLMKA

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Re: Documentary More than Honey
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2014, 10:28:10 am »
I enjoyed the videography and the different stories and points of view but it never really got down into the heart of the matter. I think my favorite part was the two older German women raising and selling queens.