Sister Bee

is a feel-good documentary about beekeepers and honeybees.

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Biggest head-scratcher

Suzanne-Connolly-Howes-action

This year has been the biggest head-scratcher for beekeeping for me in all the years I’ve bee-kept. One hive started strong and ended stronger. Another hive started weak and stayed weak. And I re-queened it. I went through it. I looked. I kept finding eggs and everything looked fine. I’d close it up, I’d look again. It made two frames of honey. That is all. I have no idea.

– Suzanne Connolly Howes




That’s my one problem

Marge-McLellan

It takes a certain amount of strength. And that’s my one problem because I’m not large. Being a smaller woman, it’s hard but you can figure out ways to do just about all of it.

– Marge McLellan


It transports me backwards

Ruth-Eastman-action

Honey: it transports me backwards. I can’t even explain it. It all tastes differently depending on what kind of flower sources are used. Whatever my bees have is what tastes really good to me.

– Ruth Eastman


Having them comfortable with me

Patricia-Butler-action

What I’ve found exceptionally interesting and difficult is just understanding the bees and beginning to be comfortable with their rhythms, and of course having them comfortable with me. And finding the queen; things you can’t really teach. There is a great deal of this activity that you simply have to experience.

– Patricia Butler


The flowers are very clever

Suzanne-Connolly-Howes-action

I started walking around the farm and noticing that at ten in the morning they were in the eucalyptus tree. And at two in the afternoon they were in the garden with the raspberries. And I started realizing that flowers flower at different times. Which makes perfect sense for the bees because if the flowers all flowered at the same time their pollination would get messed up. So the flowers are very clever and the bees follow that.

– Suzanne Connolly Howes





Fed up

Mery-Molenaar-action

They’re getting a little mad now. Can you hear that? They’re getting loud. Fed up with me bugging them.

– Mery Molenaar




I’m kind of interested in bees

Marge-McLellan-action

I don’t know if I told you this before, how we inherited the hives? Well, my husband had a friend that he worked with who was transferred to Zaire in Africa. He said, “I’ll give you my two beehives.” So we went over and picked them up. I didn’t know a thing about bees or anything . . . We put the beehives in the back of the truck but we didn’t secure them with any bungee cords or anything around them so they wouldn’t come apart. And of course they came apart. (Fortunately we didn’t go on U.S. 36. We went on the back roads.) But by the time we got here the cab of the truck was just full of bees. I jumped out and they came in the house right away. He (my husband) came in and soon we found out he was allergic to bees because he was swollen all over and it was bad. We had to go to the doctor and everything. Se we just sort of ignored the beehives that were out there and we didn’t do anything. He didn’t get near them.

After he passed away I thought, hmm . . . I’m kind of interested in bees. So I started becoming more interested in reading about them. And then I had a friend that was a beekeeper and that was how I just started learning.

– Marge McLellan


Beautiful creatures in the garden

Julie-Finley-action

They’re such beautiful creatures in the garden. When you watch them on the sunflower, or you just watch what they’re doing, they’re really intent and focused . . . They’re benevolent when you’re working with them.

– Julie Finley


I wanted to know more about it

Mery-Molenaar-action

I knew very, very little about beekeeping . . . And I did not know any beekeepers when I was growing up. But I just thought it was fascinating and I had the time and wanted to know more about it. It’s been a wonderful experience.

– Mery Molenaar


Something new

Mery-Molenaar-action

I didn’t know any beekeepers when I was growing up. I just thought it was fascinating and I had the time and I wanted to know more about it. I wanted to learn something new.

– Mery Molenaar



They’re such amazing animals

Suzanne-Connolly-Howes-action

My career is teaching environmental science . . . and of all the programs I’ve ever created, the one that I know has the most impact on people is the bee program because they’re such amazing animals. It helps draw people out of themselves and into an awareness and appreciation of something else.

– Suzanne Connolly Howes



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