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

16 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?


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