January 21st saw the premiere of a new film about beekeeping in the North East called ‘Ode to the Beekeepers’. Unfortunately, there could be no red carpet or champagne, because to comply with social distancing requirements the event was held online.
This was the conclusion of eight months of work that began last June when Maxim Neklyudov contacted the Association seeking our help with his next film making project. After some discussion a plan was agreed, and several local beekeepers agreed to take part. Both the planning and the filming were completed with social distancing.
Honorary President Sandy Gordon appears in the film with his Danestone bees and his Fergie tractor, and shares some of his wisdom and feelings after 52 years practising the craft. Sandy’s charming personality and calmness shine through, making him the star of the show. There is also a segment where Sarah and Martin Leahy demonstrate their queen-breeding skills with native bees in Apideas and then, against some beautiful drone footage of the village, Sarah talks about the attractions of Tarland as a place to live. David Morland explains how the strength of beekeeping in this area arose in part because of a historical partnership between the Association and scientists at the Northern College of Agriculture at Craibstone and tells us that the hobby has passed down his family from his grandfather, who was a scientist at the Rothamsted research station. Malcolm Watson takes his Land Rover up a hill track and demonstrates how this can be a useful vehicle for moving bees to the heather. And finally, viewers get to meet an unexpected visitor who drops into Sandy’s garden during the filming.
This 40-minute film represents many hours of work, and we would like to thank Maxim and all the participants for their efforts. It is an excellent production, which shows both beekeeping and our area in a sympathetic light.