PBS/Nature: Silence of the Bees
Client: PBS/NATURE & Partisan Pictures
Role: Director of Photography
Format: HD (Varicam), Phantom
Locations: Pennsylvania, New York
“Silence of the Bees”: Peabody Award, 2008
In the winter of 2006, a strange phenomenon fell upon honeybee hives across the country. Without a trace, millions of bees vanished from their hives. A precious pollinator of fruits and vegetables, the disappearing bees left billions of dollars of crops at risk and threatened our food supply. The epidemic set researchers scrambling to discover why honeybees were dying in record numbers — and to stop the epidemic in its tracks before it spread further.
Silence of the Bees was the first in-depth look at the search to uncover what was and continues to kill honeybees. The film take viewers around the world to the sites of fallen hives, to high-tech labs, where scientists race to uncover clues, and even deep inside honeybee colonies. Silence of the Bees is the story of a riveting, ongoing investigation to save honeybees from dying out. The film goes beyond the unsolved mystery to tell the story of the honeybee itself, its invaluable impact on our diets and takes a look at what’s at stake if honeybees disappear. Silence of the Bees explores the complex world of the honeybee in crisis and instills in viewers a sense of urgency to learn ways to help these extraordinary animals.
I worked with Doug Schultz and Partisan Pictures on this Peabody winning documentary for PBS/Nature. We filmed with researchers around the world, beekeepers with mobile beehives, farmers and a slew of other bee-business related characters. This film also gave me the opportunity to work with the Phantom camera, filming bees in their hives and we also shot with telescopic lenses to go inside beehives.