8 Videos About Bees You Could Be Watching Right Now

feature image via Earth Touch News, “The Many Faces of Bees.”

I’ve been dreaming of bees lately.

One night not long ago, I turned to my girlfriend in bed and said, “When we grow up, we’re gonna live on a farm and raise bees together.” She smiled indulgently, stroked my hair, and told me to go back to sleep. In the morning, she reminded me that a) we’re already grown up, and b) we’re both city girls. But she didn’t give me a hard “no” on the beekeeping, so I’m going to go ahead and interpret that as a “maybe/probably yes!” When Riese starts her radical separatist homestead in the Midwest, we’ll be right there with our beekeeping suits on.

Outside of my dreams, the media has been absolutely abuzz with bee news lately! Bees have been making headlines for their unfortunate love of nicotine. Recently, Wired ran a piece on how we’re all worrying about the wrong bees, and the Spectator ran a thinkpiece on how bees are better at democracy than people. In Seattle, millions of bees (somewhere between 14 and 22 million) recently spilled on the interstate, to great devastation and the dismay of the Oregon wine industry. Elsewhere in the country, hundreds of millions of honeybees are making their way to New Jersey to pollinate the nation’s blueberries and cucumbers. In New York, the police department’s now-retired-one-man bee-containment unit has come forward saying he was falsely accused of stealing and selling bees. And in DC, environmental advocates recently gathered at the White House garden to urge Michelle Obama and her husband to protect the bees.

Although our life together in a separatist commune may not exist yet, I’ve collected eight excellent videos about bees that all of us dreamers can all watch right this very minute. Enjoy.

1. TED Talk: Marla Spivak On Why Bees Are Disappearing

Maybe you’ve already seen this one? If not, you should watch it because it gives a very interesting overview on the importance of bees! Also: did you know that tomato growers often pollinate their tomato flowers with a handheld vibrator?

2. “Burt” Talks To A “Bee”

Here’s a weirdo video for you explaining how queen bees reproduce.

3. Queen Bee Dance

Spoiler: around the seven minute mark, the woman with 12,000 honey bees on her chest has a tea party.

If you’re wondering how she gets the bees off, there’s a video about that too.

4. Urban Beekeeping In London


5. Intimate, Embodied Bee Experiences

Lisa Jean Moore and Mary Kosut, co-authors of Buzz: Urban Beekeeping and Power of the Bee, discuss some of the surprising things they found out about bees and urban beekeeping via their research.

6. Women Beekeepers In Ethiopia

“I admire her diligence and hard work. What she does is even unthinkable for a lot of men,” says Tenaye Enos’s husband. Tenaye is an entrepreneur in Masha, Ethiopia, who began a beekeeping business in 2005.

7. Honey On Tap

Check out this awesome flow hive design! (Although not everyone is into it.)

8. Julia’s Pet Bee

This cute kid rescued a carpenter bee, and is clearly 1000x better at keeping things alive than I am.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

Laura Mandanas

Laura Mandanas is a Filipina American living in Boston. By day, she works as an industrial engineer. By night, she is beautiful and terrible as the morn, treacherous as the seas, stronger than the foundations of the Earth. All shall love her and despair. Follow her: @LauraMWrites.

Laura has written 210 articles for us.


  1. This is my favorite article on Autostraddle forever. I also want to raise bees, but my girlfriend is a little afraid of them.

      • My girlfriend and I are moving into a new house that has a sizable yard. Until she’s comfortable with a beehive, I will be planting native plants and building native bee houses.

        • Thank you for an article on beekeeping. I obsessed about it for years before I found the perfect spot for my hive and could do it for real. I love it very much and can talk about it for hours. The world could use more beekeepers. Especially Autostraddler beekeepers.

  2. This makes my entomology heart grow three sizes :)
    I love insect, bees and honey (in that order) so this is awesome. A couple of weeks ago I went on a bumble bee walk and it was wonderful. They might not make honey but they’re cute, fluffy and great pollinators.

    • Aww. The bees love you too, I’m sure.

      I want to go on a bumble bee walk!

  3. “…the Spectator ran a thinkpiece on how bees are better at democracy than people.”

    Does that mean that when it comes to democrac, we’re merely…wanna-bees?

  4. we planted so much bee balm this spring and i hope we see so many happy bees!

    my mother grew up on tobacco farms in rural NC, and she remembers just laying down in fields of bees as a kid. she says she never once got stung. she has some sort of spiritual connection with bees that i hope to have inherited. and she can attest that they really do love nicotine so very much. maybe thats why they were such nice, gentle bees? they were blissed out on nicotine.

    ok so this radical separatist homestead in the Midwest…couldnt be more excited quite frankly. are you going to be taking applications or is it invite only or what? is it going to be like in the hunger games books where we have an individual assessment and show off our greatest skill? i just really need to be prepared for when the time comes. i live in the midwest now and it is pretty lonely and this is exactly what i need.

    • Hunger Games, probably…

      But you’re excused, because you know about bees!

  5. i also really want to raise bees! i have a yard big enough that i probably could but we also live in a neighborhood with a lot of young kids and i feel like maybe their parents would not be real into it? i can read this article over and over again and DREAM, though

  6. Don’t wait to move to the countryside. You can totally keep bees now! There are lots of back yard and rooftop beekeepers in cities. I kept bees for years in someone else’s yard, because I lived in a small apartment. Search for a local urban beekeeping group to get you started.

    • What a nice neighbor, to let you keep bees in their yard. That’s really cool!

  7. Nope. No no no no no.

    I can’t watch any of these. Five years ago I was a counselor at a Girl Scout camp and we were walking through our campsite and a the girl in front stepped on an beehive and SO MANY BEES came out and the 6-8 year old kids were stung all over, and myself and the other counsellors were getting stung the worst because we were literally standing in the middle of it picking up panicked children and running them into a nearby cabin about 200 feet down the road and the girls were in there screaming because the bees flew up their shorts and t-shirts and were still stinging them under their clothes. IT WAS THE WORST. Later, the ranger put on a bee suit and went to spray and kill the hive, and he dug up the biggest underground hive I could imagine. About 4 feet from my tent.

    It’s the shit nightmares are made of. I don’t even know why I clicked on this article. I guess I just like reading things that terrify me. Bees can be good for the environment and all that, but I don’t want one anywhere near me.

    • This happened at a camp I went to where there was this underground maze thing that they made the whole group crawl into before they let anyone out (something about forcing people with claustrophobia and other fears to face them or some bs). Anyways, no one checked the tunnels before they forced the first group in and a bunch of sand wasps had nested in it. It was literally a nightmare and the kids basically tore their way out of this wooden structure with their bare hands and they had to air-vac all these kids out to the hospital for treatment o_O

  8. Oh bees I am aware of your ecological importance and respect you, but I don’t trust y’all.
    Will never trust you again after that time one a you landed on my hand at random on Mardi Gras day while I was perfectly still in my Save-a-Center camping chair and stung me after a life time of preaching at people not swat y’all cause if you don’t bother them they won’t bother you.
    Make a liar outta me will you, or maybe it was my special bad luck trouble attracting powers. I dunno but the trust is broken.

      • If this gif is attempt to elicit a negative emotional response such as fear, you have failed and always will. It elicits curiosity as whether or not the bees on the face are from the same cartoon as the bees flying out of Julia’s mouth.
        Also as to if you’re offended by people expressing not positive emotions about bees in general or just as comments in your positive post about bees distresses you in a special way.

        I feel the need to start a fight with or terrorise someone because things in my life right now. Don’t respond to me if it feels like I’m trying to threaten or elicit an emotional response Laura.
        Don’t do it, anybody not matter how creepy I get.
        *desperate flailing*

        • Oh, hey! I just thought that gif was funny and over the top. Definitely not trying to upset you or make you feel bad. Sorry if it seemed that way!

          • I don’t know if it seems that way or if it’s because my threat assessment thingy is going haywire. Lack of hostile intent or apology accepted?

      • I never said bees weren’t great because they are, without them there is no foods. I just don’t trust them like I use to all my life.

  9. Later this year we are moving interstate to Tasmania in Australia. We hope to live outside of a small village with around one or two acres of garden. You know the idea, grow veg, have trees, flowers and lots of native plants which will help to attract native blue bees. These bees are very small but are completely stingless, we might be lucky and attract enough to make some honey.

  10. Awesome! I’m looking at getting a top bar hive this year. I’ve been obsessing for years and all of a sudden I met 3 other people who have bees and are helping me out. It’s like magic bee destiny!

    • Yay top bar hives! Do it! I’m keeping in a top bar for my 2nd year as a beekeeper. I love that the bees are able to completely draw out their own comb and have more freedom. I’d recommend beekeeping to anyone who’s thinking about it. Good luck!

  11. I definitely read the title as “8 Videos About Bees That Could Be Watching You Right Now” and that lowkey scared the fuck outta me

Comments are closed.