You may have seen bees flying around your backyard or local park, but it can be difficult for the naked human eye to grasp the full complexity of the lives of these pollinators. During the pandemic, wildlife filmmaker Martin Dohrn decided to shed some light on the secret lives of bees.
Filming in his own backyard in Bristol, England, Dohrn captured footage of more than 60 species of bees. Using specialized equipment, including a wide angle lens and slow motion recording, he recorded bees making nests, laying eggs, and eating. One day, he recorded the entire five-hour process of a red-tailed mason bee making a “tent” nest using a shell it found in the garden. His footage aired on PBS in “Nature: My Garden of a Thousand Bees.”
Dohrn’s elaborate project not only captured the habits of different bee species, but also the behavioral quirks of individual bees. He tells Treehugger, “Most people would have imagined that in filming insects you could only film what the species does. But with this film, I discovered that you could film the lives of individuals in a way I really didn’t anticipate.”