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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

Even if you find one post on the subject, I've posted a lot on basic beekeeping skills like installing bees, harvesting honey, inspecting the hive, etc. so be sure to search for more once you've found a topic of interest to you. And watch the useful videos and slide shows on the sidebar. All of them have captions. Please share posts of interest via Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Secret Life of Bees

Not since Ulee's Gold in 1997 have I seen a movie portray beekeeping so accurately. There are many reviews of the movie: here, here, and here. Obviously the three beekeeping sisters are headed by Queen Latifah - her name in the movie is August, but that she was queen was also her role. And the movie is about a community mostly of women. The men are sidebars and one is clearly in the role of drone (the man who courts June).

As a woman who was in high school in 1964 when the movie takes place, I don't think Dakota Fanning's character could have moved into a household of African American women without community reaction, but that was not the point of the movie. It was a sweet as honey film with a loving portrayal of women's strength and sisterhood.

The beekeeping was extraordinary. Clearly Queen Latifah was comfortable handling the bees as was Dakota Fanning. I loved seeing them examining the frames of honey in the hives. And there is even tape of a queen bee in the center of workers on a frame! They lit the smoker authentically, wore veils, and August (Queen Latifah's character) advises Lily (Dakota Fanning's character) to approach the bees with love.

(I can't figure out how to post an audio clip to this blog, but there is an audio clip of Queen Latifah talking about her beekeeping education here - scroll down to the center left of the page and you'll see it).

I loved this movie and think it represents beekeeping so much better and authentically than the Bee Movie, released about this time last year.


  1. I read this book twice before the movie came out. The book, by Sue Monk Kidd goes more into depth about Bees and Beekeeping, along with the relationship of the sisters, May, June and August. The movie was very well done and was true to the storyline of the book. I highly recommend that everyone read the book, it is very captivating.

  2. Anonymous12:53 AM

    i hope bee keeping doesnt equate with profit through bee explotation, but rather a safety net for hard working bees to be free while they make honey =)

  3. Thanks for the review Tillie, I have yet to see the movie. Hopefully, soon!

  4. I loved this movie! Thanks for the review and your take on the accuracy. Your blog is fascinating!

  5. Hello,

    I just found your blog on Blogs of Note, and it is fascinating. I'm in the process of moving to a country house, and I gave the existing beehive there to a local beekeeper. I kind of wish now that I had kept it.

    Secret Life of Bees is one of my favorite books. It sounds like the movie will be a good one, too.

  6. I LOVEd this movie! There is a review on my blog. I saw it last week. I think the review was on Thursday. Interesting hobby/career.

  7. I watched this movie a couple days ago, and loved it! I usually don't watch Drama as I hate to cry 'cause I'm such a crybaby, LOL and this movie made me cry. Will be getting the book soon to read. Very touching story. :)


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