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The Monk and the Honeybee is also an insight into the workings of the hive, essential viewing for anyone taking up beekeeping – a precious visual study of a master breeder at work, the practice of a supreme bee-handler.
Almost a decade after Brother Adam's death, The Monk and the Honeybee is now a classic – the only complete documentary record of the life and times of this extraordinary Benedictine monk.
The film was shot over a season in the apiaries of Buckfast Abbey Devon, England, where Brother Adam had lived and worked since arriving from his native Germany at the age of 12 in 1910. The movie traces his early battle with acarine, which devastated the monastic hives, and spurred him to breed a disease-resistant bee. The quest took him on heroic journeys through Europe, the Middle East and Africa in search of genetic stock from which he eventually synthesised the Buckfast strain.
The producer, David Taylor follows Brother Adam to Sweden and Germany and a Buckfast isolation apiary in the Bavarian Alps. The film accompanies him on a remarkable expedition to the slopes of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania where Brother Adam hunted the elusive Apis mellifera monticola, a breed whose docility and resistance to cold he wished to incorporate in the Buckfast bee. When he died, Time magazine carried Brother Adam's obituary. But had he achieved his ambition? Devotees had no doubt.#The Buckfast strain was a superbee in demand across six continents.#Brother Adam was beemaster of the world.