About the Movie

More than Honey

Worldwide, millions of honeybee colonies are dying each year. A complete understanding about its causes is yet to be determined, but one thing is certain: We are not just dealing with a few dead insects, and there’s more at stake than just a bit of honey. “If the bee goes extinct, man will surely follow within four years” is how Albert Einstein might have worded the problem.

In today’s industrialized agriculture, honeybees are invaluable for their pollination services. A third of all the food we eat has been pollinated by honeybees.

However, our dependency is mutual. Humans benefit from the bees – but the honeybee followed in man’s footsteps and thereby achieved worldwide expansion. “White man’s fly”, Native Americans called it, because it arrived with the Europeans and seemed altogether so alike in character: greedy, aggressive and diligent until death.

However, the balance of power seems to shift in recent times. Is today’s situation just a momentary fluke in the unwritten contract between human and bee or are we facing the early stages of a total collapse of the system? Is it caused by bees or us?

Searching for answers “More than Honey” takes us around the world to meet people living with and off honeybees. On our trip we meet almond growers in California, a Swiss mountain beekeeper, a neuroscientist investigating bee brains in Berlin, a pollen dealer in China, and a bee researcher in Australia. We even get to see “killer bees” invading the New World. We gain spectacular visual insights into the beehive –a fascinating world of fighting queens and dancing workers, of highly sophisticated swarm intelligence, where the individual constantly serves the requirements of the community.

The relationship between humans and honeybees tells us a lot about ourselves, about nature and about our future. We understand that stability is just as unhealthy as unlimited growth and that it is crisis and catastrophe that fuels evolutionary developments. And we learn that a remedy might sometimes arise in the camouflage of a catastrophe and from a totally unexpected source.

Everybody talks about the death of the honeybee. “More than Honey” shows us more about it’s life.

© 2012 zero one film / Ormenis Film

This post is also available in: German

40 thoughts on “About the Movie

  1. The photo of the hand (above) with bees on it already makes you film less credible simply because you used all drones ……..they have no sting .Did you get a model to pose the shot instead of a bee keeper????

  2. Thanks for your post. Very well spotted, Peter. These are all drones, and they do not sting. We do a lot of our research on drones at the University of Western Australia.
    The hand belongs to a CIBERIAN, by the way.

    But why do you think this picture would make the film less credible?

  3. I do wonder at the dieoff in other countries that don’t necessarily migrate hives. The real point is, it was never a good idea to focus on one type of pollinator, but encouraging natural pollinators without the use of migration of hives requires more than a quick technical solution.Thanks for the links. I agree, if we’re concerned we should research.

  4. Hi Afif
    Thank you for your contribution. We are doing research and it takes time. But I agree, there is no “quick fix” to this issue.
    To consider other pollinators as well is a good idea, I think. There is a lot of potential in that. Researchers are trying to breed or to attract solitary bees in high numbers for pollination of special crops. Bumblebees are already frequently used to “buzz-pollinate” tomatoes in green houses. However, they are commercially bred and their colonies are transported.
    I think in countries like the US and Australia, where there are not enough natural pollinators to pollinate all the food plants for the increasing human population, bees kept by bee keepers are still the most efficient option. Or would you enjoy a diet of mostly gruel?

  5. Is it possible to buy the DVD of the film? I’m in Australia ( born in Switzerland) and would love to get a copy



    • Hi Max
      The film will be available on DVD in German only (without subtitles) from March 15th 2013.
      Other languages will follow, but this will take a while, because the film is still running at movie theatres all over Europe.
      We are still negotiating about how to get it to Australia.

    • Hi Laura
      The film will be available in German only (without subtitles) from the 15th of March.
      Negotiations about dubbing it into English for the US market are still under way.

  6. Is the film that is still running at movie theatres all over Europe only available in German?
    And subtitled in other languages?

    • Hello John
      The film will be available in German on DVD from the 15th of March 2013. There are versions with English and French subtitles around and there are ongoing discussions about dubbing it into English.
      If you tell me which country you live in I can find out for you if and when the film will be shown there.

  7. I live in Portland and saw this at the Portland International Film Festival. I loved it! When will this film be available on DVD with English subtitles to the US market?


    • Thanks for your email.
      Great that you loved the film.
      There is no release date for a version with English subtitles, because the film will start at movie theatres in New York only from June 12th. Depending on how well it runs in the US, DVDs will be available sooner or later.
      So we just need a bit of patience, still.

  8. We’re going to see the movie tomorrow night at Images Cinema in Williamstown, MA. We’re very excited! How long is the film?

    • Hello Deirdre
      The Film is 91 minutes long.
      Depending on the introductory advertising and if it is shown with or without a break, it will be longer, of course.

  9. Hi, I am writing you from Norway, the two shows that the film was put up at the norwegian film-club Cinemateket, here in Oslo, was fully sold out. And since I was not fortunate enough to get tickets to those viewings, I was wondering if the film is scheduled to be put up for other dates here in Norway? If not, can I join a mailing-list for ordering the DVD when it is released with english dub, or subtitles!?
    All the best, Are

    • Hi Are
      My newest information is that we will have to wait for an English version of the film for another six months at least, because it is just about to be dubbed into English and released in English-speaking countries.
      All the best

  10. Hi ,I am also in Australia , When is the Film available to buy ether in German or English. Gret If I could buy a copy.
    Cheers Michael Meyer Tasmania Australia.

  11. Hi ,I am also in Australia , When is the Film available to buy ether in German or English. Gret If I could buy a copy.
    Cheers Michael Meyer Tasmania Australia

    • Hi Michael
      The film is available via amazon in German. The English version will have to wait another six months at least, because the film is just about to be dubbed into English and released in English-speaking countries.

  12. Hi,from Kythera island, Hellas.We are waiting for the english subtitles version.Keep on your tries,and please inform us about the DVD release date.You did a great job.

    • Hi
      Thank you for your interest.
      The DVD with English subtitles will not be released for at least another six months. The movie is about to be dubbed into English and shown in English-speaking countries. I will keep you posted as soon as I have more information.

    • Dear Blaise
      The film is in German with English subtitles.
      The English version is still about to be dubbed.
      Which country would you like to watch the film in?
      We might have a contact person for you to find out more.

  13. Hi, I am in New Zealand. I myself speak german but I was wondering if the DVD is available in NZ with english subtitles so I can show it to others too. I would like to buy one.
    Cheers, Mirjam

    • Dear Mirjam
      A DVD with English subtitles will become available around April 2014. It will include a version in which the narrator speaks English, as well.
      The film will only start in Great Britain end of August, that is why the release of the DVD was delayed.
      All the best

  14. Greetings and welcome from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I just saw your film last night and I must say it was absolutely marvelous. Thank you all for the work you’ve put into such a tremendous piece of cinema.

  15. Hi, I see above the film with English subtitles is supposed to be available in April 2014. Is there any further confirmation about this?

    I see it is possible already to purchase an American version, in English — would this then be a dubbed version?

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