More on The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney


First, for those readers of this blog who are outside the UK, I should say that Martha Kearney is a heavyweight current affairs presenter for the BBC. She is also a keen beekeeper and cares greatly about the plight in which the bees find themselves. She is a patron of Bees for Development and has presented previous programmes about bees. This is the first programme about her own bees.

As a natural beekeeper I found the first episode distinctly disquieting. Here was somebody who, in the words of the Guardian, came across as ‘a warm and engaging presenter’ yet her relationship with the bees seemed largely driven by her self-confessed passion for honey. Indeed the production of a particular sort of honey is what the programme is all about. Sadly, as is often the case, once one focuses on honey, one can so easily loose sight of the bee. This, I fear is the case here.

Two carefully considered responses to the programme are here and here. A somewhat ill tempered response appeared on twitter from another well known beekeeper.

Gareth, Cotswolds

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7 Responses to More on The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney

  1. jen3972 says:

    I agree – it was entirely production/honey-based and really nothing about the ‘wonder’ of bees at all…

  2. salp111 says:

    It seems a terrible shame that she doesn’t seem to have connected in that wondrous way with her bees …she can’t have otherwise killing the queen just cos she’s a feisty lady (the queen I mean!) wouldn’t enter her head! However, I wonder if she’s even very aware of another way of approaching life with bees? Perhaps her mentor bee master person keeps her in the dark….hmm…makes him sound a bit sinister….? However we know we aren’t their favourite people.
    Has she ever been approached by a person who can talk intelligently & knowledgeably about a more natural way of beekeeping, I wonder? Perhaps that’s something we could do. It would make for good telly an’all!!

    • jen3972 says:

      I think you’re absolutely right – I felt quite sad that her response to the two colonies being queenless in the spring was to simply buy two more! I’d be heartbroken. But if that’s all she knows or has been taught then it’s a shame but can’t really be a criticism. I started off with a BBKA regime and had a few doubts etc but I did it all the same before I questioned it and changed my methods and opened my mind.

    • simplebees says:

      Keep watching. She does spend time with natural beekeepers (none other than Heidi H) and films with them.

  3. jen3972 says:

    Oh ok, I didn’t realise that! Thanks for the tip-off! 🙂

  4. salp111 says:

    well, bang goes my theory ! Even after talking with Heidi. Maybe Heidi has planted a seed. Maybe something will grow through the doctrine given a little warmth, light & time!! Maybe

  5. Ingrid says:

    I found it difficult to watch, but will try to stick with it.

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