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NATURE: My Garden Of A Thousand Bees

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Courtesy of Martin Dohrn / © Passion Planet
Martin Dohrn filming a bumble bee hovering over a dandelion.

Encore Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV / On Demand

Discover the Unique Personalities of Bees!

Taking refuge from the coronavirus pandemic, wildlife filmmaker Martin Dohrn set out to record all the bees he could find in his tiny urban garden in Bristol, England, filming them with one-of-a kind lenses he forged on his kitchen table. See his surprising discoveries in NATURE “My Garden Of A Thousand Bees.”

The documentary, which kicks off Nature’s 40th season on PBS, follows Dohrn during the COVID-19 lockdown of spring and summer 2020, as he becomes bee obsessed and develops relationships with individual bees.

Preview: NATURE: My Garden Of A Thousand Bees

Filming more than 60 species of bees, from Britain’s largest bumblebees to scissor bees, which are the size of a mosquito, Dohrn observes how differences in behavior set different species apart from each other. Eventually, he gets so close to the bees, he can identify individuals just by looking at them.

Bee Mating Ritual Caught on Camera

Viewers will marvel at moments timely captured in “My Garden Of A Thousand Bees,” such as bees laying tiny eggs preparing for the next generation, green-fanged spiders feasting on male flower bees and a female yellow-faced bee attacking a Gasteruption wasp to protect her nest.

Other fascinating behavior featured in the program includes two male bees fighting each other over a female, different species of bees competing over territory and one busy bee building a nest with a shell and hundreds of sticks. Intrigued by the intelligence of one particular wood-carving leafcutter bee, Dohrn dubs her “Nicky” and sees life at her level as she leaves a lasting legacy in the garden.

Busy Bee Builds an Intricate Fortress

“My hope is that Martin Dohrn’s emotional connection with the bees in his garden will resonate with people and lead to a new appreciation for these vital insects,” said Fred Kaufman, executive producer for NATURE.

Watch On Your Schedule:

NATURE is available on demand concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.

Episodes are available on demand for a limited time after broadcast. Extend your viewing with KPBS Passport, video streaming for members at $60 or more yearly, using your computer, smartphone, tablet, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire or Chromecast. Learn how to activate your benefit now.

With the PBS Video App, you can stream your favorite and local station shows. Download it for free on your favorite device. The app allows you to catch up on recent episodes and discover award-winning shows.

Monster Bee Defends his Territory and his Mate

Join The Conversation:

NATURE is on Facebook, and you can follow @PBSNature on Twitter. #NaturePBS

Credits:

NATURE is a production of The WNET Group for PBS. Fred Kaufman is executive producer. Bill Murphy is series producer. Janet Hess is series editor. Danielle Broza is digital content and strategy lead. A production of Passion Planet, The WNET Group and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios in association with Ammonite Films. Filmed and narrated by Martin Dohrn, the documentary is directed by David Allen and produced by Gaby Bastyra. David Guy Elisco and Sean B. Carroll are executive producers for HHMI Tangled Bank Studios.

Support for NATURE “My Garden Of A Thousand Bees” was provided by The Hite Foundation, Bradley L. Goldberg Family Foundation and The Sun Hill Family Foundation in memory of Susan and Edwin Malloy. Series funding for Nature is also made possible in part by the Arnhold Family in memory of Henry and Clarisse Arnhold, The Fairweather Foundation, Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, Charles Rosenblum, Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Leonard and Norma Klorfine, Sandra Atlas Bass, Colin S. Edwards, Gregg Peters Monsees Foundation, Koo and Patricia Yuen, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by public television viewers.