Reaction to "More Than Honey" Essay example

Submitted By PSDoe
Words: 1318
Pages: 6

Already regarded as a definitive work on bees and the decline of the world’s honeybee population, More than Honey, directed by Markus Imhoof, is a captivating journey into the unseen world inside the beehive. Watching the documentary I was spellbound from the moment the film opened to the eerie drone of buzzing bees and curiously placed shots of honeybees working in their hive. From start to finish the film utilized cinematic shots to elicit the empathy of their viewers and engage them in a whirlwind exploration of the causes leading to the current crisis the honeybee faces today. The film’s plot is constructed through a sequence of interviews featuring a great range of characters from all over the globe including scientists, farmers, and curious bystanders that all offer unique perspectives on the crisis of the dwindling honeybee population. Their interviews were seamlessly woven together in a compelling narrative that slowly revealed astonishing facts and disturbing figures. We began the story in Switzerland with aging beekeeper Fred Jaggi who speaks about his grandfather’s experience in beekeeping and his own relationship to the honeybee. John Miller, an almond farmer, hails from California and speaks of the bee’s critical role to the agricultural industry and its direct impact on his livelihood. Because he imports his honeybees all the way from Australia, he also talked about the honeybee’s role in the global economy and the use of genetically modified/ specially bred bees in farming and the ethics of production. The ethics behind honeybee breeding are further explored through Heidrun and Liane Singer, scientists/ farmers from Australia who provide the honeybees used on Miller’s almond farm. By removing queen bees from their hives they fool entire colonies to raise new queen bees, thus manipulating nature’s cycle and facilitating the artificial creation of new colonies to ship across the globe. Randolf Menzel, a German neurologist, explains how this phenomena is possible due to the neurology of the bee, which lends itself to bees acting like neurons in a collective brain operating a hive. Across the globe, we witness the effects of the dwindling honeybee population through Zhang Zhao Su, a poor Chinese farmer who sells small packages of pollen. We then meet Fred Terry, a man with an interesting take on killer bees. Though dangerous, he believes they may be the answer to recuperating the world bee population because they are more resilient and have not fallen prey to domesticity in agriculture or disease. Throughout the story, interviews were introduced and embellished by voice-over narration from legendary British actor John Hurt. The use of narration in the film was interesting to open the film and offer additional facts and figures about bees, and I agree that the use of a narrator added to the film. Because the film contained some dense scientific information and had to tie together stories told in several different languages, I think the average viewer would have been lost without some further clarification about what was happening beyond the interviews. While some critics say they found the narration distracting, I enjoyed that it was very poetically written and airy, adding an even greater sense of beauty and mystery to the world of the bee. Watching “More Than Honey” didn’t necessarily sway me to think differently about the decline of the honeybee- as an environmentally conscious young person I already recognized the decline of the world bee population as a disturbing problem. However, watching this documentary certainly did better inform me of some of the key facts surrounding bees and their role in agriculture. Perhaps more significantly, in learning more about the honeybee my eyes were truly opened to the severity of the consequences of the death of our most important agricultural agent- 70% of human food crops and 90% of wild plants rely on the bee for pollination. The numbers are relatively easy to…