If you’re reading this post, thank you for visiting The Bee Diaries! The project is drawing to a close and what a journey it has been.
A few short months ago, a pitiful solitary bee spluttered across my kitchen floor. The plight of this little bee and her arduous 3-day recovery became the basis of inspiration for my final major project. At the time however, I knew very little about pollinators with the exception of widely acknowledged truths like ‘bees are important’, ‘bees are in trouble’ as well as bees are interesting. Countless books, scientific journals, 6 interviews and a few tanks of petrol later – I began my attempts to combine these defining characteristics in a short radio documentary advocating the plight of the bee.
Documentaries can be powerful tool for social change. Subject matter sprawls every continent, social class, gender and species. Blackfish is the ultimate example of how documentary form can be used to bring animal related issues to the public domain to huge positive effect.
Nonetheless, there’s a bit of a stigma associated with animal advocacy orientated programmes. Whatever plight or cruelty they document, it can be tricky to garner a mass audience. So, what about natural history programmes? The BBC’s Natural History unit has been setting a global standard since Attenborough’s earliest days. Their latest series, The Hunt, is tribute to this. In this series, the BBC tells natural history using a thrilling and captivating narrative that demands the attention of any channel flicker. Then, with a loyal following inevitably gained, the final installation turns viewers’ attention to the desperate need to protect these animals. I imagine this final programme will have left a lasting impression on many viewers – it certainly worked for me! This technique that employs captivating science to engage people with conservation is what I sought to achieve in the Bee Diaries.
The Hunt is, of course, a million miles ahead of my little project, it’s the golden standard and dream production for someone like me after all. But plight of all species whose natural lives are being infringed upon by man is so widely acknowledged now, that natural history programmes inevitably seek to engage the public with conservation efforts.
The Bee Diaries has also been a unique opportunity that reaffirmed my unwavering dedication to advocating conservation through scientific documentary form. Of course, I knew this before, but now I’ve taken the first tentative steps into the world of nature documentaries and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.