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Natural World

  • Season 30
  • 14 episodes
  • Nature
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Episode 9: Natural World: Queen of the Savannah

Summary

The life of the African honeybee queen, from hatching and killing off her sisters to the battle to survive with the rest of her colony. Narrated by Tamsin Greig, the film provides a bee's-eye view of the world as the insects fight off giant invaders and migrate across the savannah to Mount Kenya before the dry season arrives. The documentary is followed by Safe in the City, a 10-minute film with Dr George McGavin on the growth of the urban beekeeper.

Review

The “Queen of the Savannah” in the subtitle is not a lioness but a bee on the plains of Kenya. Apparently, among African honeybees (the same species as British ones but with a different lifestyle) the queen is the only one whose sting is designed to be used repeatedly. Why? So that when she first emerges from her wax cell, she can wrestle with and kill her sisters, whose lives are brief, to say the least.

We follow this dynastic fight to the death and the subsequent adventures of the queen’s extended family, courtesy of some extraordinary photography. A very different end-section shifts the scene to London.

How to watch

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There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show.

Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

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NarratorTamsin Greig

Crew

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Executive producerChris Cole
ProducerVerity White
Series editorSteve Greenwood

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