thu 18/07/2024

DVD: More Than Honey | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: More Than Honey

DVD: More Than Honey

Honey, they shrunk the bees: humble bumble doc predicts apocalypse and Armageddon

Bees, whenever called upon, have always been ready for their close-up. They had a sizeable cameo in Disney’s Winnie the Pooh, played the lead villain opposite Michael Caine in The Swarm and got to be heroes in Bee Movie. Most recently there was The Secret Life of Bees, in which Dakota Fanning’s grieving teen finds solace in beekeeping. That was in 2008.

Five years later the world is waking up to the fact that in reality there’s no solace to be had from making honey. More Than Honey explains why.

From a very left field indeed, this documentary about the catastrophic collapse in world bee population predicts a combination of Armageddon and apocalypse for the human race. Why? Eighty percent of plant species, which supply most of our fruit and veg, require pollination by bees, and bees are everywhere disappearing - in the Swiss Alps, where traditional beekeepers are doing it the old way, in the vast almond-tree plains of California, and in China, where they have the manpower to attempt human pollination. No one knows why, but Markus Imhoof’s film runs through the various potential agents, before fetching up in Australia where an experiment in breeding uncontaminated bees offers a glimmer of hope.

Panoramic shots of mountains and prairies and astonishing close-ups of bee colonies earned More Than Honey its slot in the cinema, but it will get its vital message to a far larger audience on television. Part absorbing wildlife primer, part dire prophecy, it makes for fairly essential viewing. The DVD extras include an interview in which Imhoof reflects on the documentary’s surprising success. The only jarring element is John Hurt’s voiceover: the honeyed larynx sugars the pill, but somehow disengages the viewer from the urgency of the message that, unless something is done, one day soon we're all going to buzz off. 

  • More Than Honey is released on 11 November

Overleaf: watch the trailer to More Than Honey


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters