More Than Honey (2012) Movie Script

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
from these re-deposited larvae.
They'll think it was a queen
who laid them there.
Only the royal larva is fed,
with royal jelly,
a secretion
from the salivary glands of the bees.
And then the larva, which would
normally become a worker bee,
turns into a queen.
Now I'm putting the frame
with the larvae into the nurse colony,
and I hope
I'll be getting 51 queens from this frame.
So, bees, behave.
You can see
the queen beginning to move her legs.
She'll hatch in the next few hours.
Now I'm going to stick it onto the honey,
here by the brood honeycomb,
so that the bees
can get to it from the bottom.
Still in her cell,
the queen opens the lid a bit
and sticks out her tongue
so that the bees can feed her.
This way, when she emerges,
she's already strengthened.
The clouds help you see it better.
Look! Over there!
Do you see all the drones?
There's the queen.
As soon as the queen starts laying eggs
and has covered the brood in the box,
she's taken out
and is ready for shipment.
This is nitro paint for cars.
We use a different colour each year.
That makes it easier
to find the queen in the hive
and you can see at a glance
how old she is.
To escort her on her journey to
wherever in the world she's being sent,
the queen is given a royal entourage.
Now a puff of smoke,
because the queen still smells of paint.
And some water
so they'll lick each other off
and become friends
and everything is fine.
- There you go.
- 60 euros? Thank you.
The price list.
And the invoice.
To Innsbruck, please.
- Sure it'll be there tomorrow morning?
- Yes.
This yellow neuron
not only tells the brain,
"That was a reward!"
It also tells the brain
that whatever is happening now is good.
And there are other neurons
that are responsible for fear or defence.
The most exciting question is:
in a social context, is an organism
as complex as a colony of bees
a controlled system
in regard to its emotional disposition?
We would think, yes,
the bee colony as a whole has feelings.
Let's have a look.
At first sight, it's looking quite good.
But there's hardly any brood.
Blast, Fred.
What do you see?
- Not good.
- No.
Look! A classic case, very bad.
This is a foulbrood honeycomb
if ever I saw one!
I hope that was the only one.
Something's wrong with this one, too.
I don't like the look of it.
They haven't cleaned the floor.
I don't like the look of that.
- We don't like that.
- Blast, damn it.
- See that?
- Yes, I do.
This colony is lost, Fred.
You can smell it.
Yes. If you can smell it,
the infestation is really bad.
Should we get everything ready
for sulphur fumigation?
- Any idea what causes foulbrood?
- Bacteria. It's highly infectious.
No idea where you got it,
maybe from foreign bees.
I'm so sorry. Rotten luck for you.
We drive south,
to Shanxi Province, by car.
It's about 1300 miles.
It takes us two days and two nights,
two drivers take turns driving.
That's a lot of distance to cover.
As soon as we get to the south,
we rent a big room to dry the flowers.
When the flowering period
in the south begins
we buy flowers from the farmers.
As soon as we have the flowers,
we start processing them.
We have a refrigerator in the car.
On the way back north, we connect it
when we stop for a break.
It helps to preserve
the pollen's fertility.
When the flowering period starts
here in the north,
we sell the pollen powder to farmers.
- Hello, I have the new pollen supplies.
- Hello!
Are two ounces enough?
There isn't very much pollen this year.
That's all I have now.
I'll contact you when I've sold these.
I take four yuan per packet,
but you can sell them for five.
One bundle, 50 packets, please check.
Pay when you can.
I'm sure you'll sell these fast.
Here. 15, 16,
17, 18...
The males don't sting.
See, I have it on my hand, and I'm fine.
- Is that the mummy bee?
- No, that's a daddy bee.
We believe it's crucial to preserve
the genetic diversity of bees.
We shouldn't try
to produce specific traits,
because then we'll continue
to lose genes and genetic diversity.
Instead, we should try to bring
new variants back into the population.
Killer bees have a better
immune system,
but we can't have wolves
living among us.
We need to live side by side
with the bees.
In other words, we have no choice
but to look for a compromise
between killer bees
and the bees
that we're currently breeding,
so that we can both live in harmony.
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Published 22/11/2013