During the pandemic, life changed for us. Our day-to-day activities were disrupted. We were homebound for significant stretches of time, and some of us were in a state of high anxiety. I spent most of the quarantine wringing my hands and eating pimento cheese by the vat.
But wildlife filmmaker Martin Dohrn was a little more industrious. From his home in Bristol, England, he set out to record all the bees he could in his little urban plot of land. He wasn’t haughty about it, never looking down his nose at folks who may have accomplished absolutely nothing during this time of timelessness. In fact, when he first looked at himself through the camera’s eye, he immediately grabbed his stomach and shamed himself out loud for his extra paunch. All in that beguiling English accent.
I would watch this film just to watch him. He’s absolutely adorable!
I’m not the only person who thinks so. The bees can’t resist him either, and Dohrn forms relationships with individual bees during this project. Really! Filming more than 60 species of bees, from Britain’s largest bumblebees to scissor bees, which are the size of a mosquito, Dohrn observes how differences in behavior set different species apart from each other. Eventually, Dohrn gets so close to the bees, he can identify individuals just by looking at them. And his commentary along the way is just so much fun.
And, I would watch this film just because it’s important to Ann Brown. A rock star in the world of pollinators, Ann is involved in Bee City USA, as well as a master gardener.
“My Garden of a Thousand Bees” premiers nationwide Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. on PBS. But you are invited to a special film screening on Tuesday, Aug. 9, at Chattanooga State at 7 p.m. in the Humanities Auditorium.
This program will be presented in partnership with the Bee City Lookout Mountain Chapter, Bee City Chattanooga State Campus Chapter, and the Master Gardeners of Hamilton County. Don’t miss it.
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Ferris Robinson is the author of three children’s books, “The Queen Who Banished Bugs,” “The Queen Who Accidentally Banished Birds,” and “Call Me Arthropod” in her pollinator series “If Bugs Are Banished.” “Making Arrangements” is her first novel. “Dogs and Love - Stories of Fidelity” is a collection of true tales about man’s best friend. Her website is ferrisrobinson.com and you can download a free pollinator poster there. She is the editor of The Lookout Mountain Mirror and The Signal Mountain Mirror.