Date Of Production
An episode of John Nash Ott's weekly television program How Does Your Garden Grow?, focusing on the honey bee's life. How Does Your Garden Grow? first aired in 1951 on the Chicago television station WNBQ (channel 5), and became part of NBC network programming where it continued to air until 1956.
Host John Ott greets the audience from his home studio and introduces the day's topic, the honey bee. He introduces an "observational beehive" to the camera constructed by a friend named Walter Straub, and narrates as closeup footage displays the encased bees as they clean their hive, use their wings as fans to evaporate moisture, huddle together to conserve heat, search for pollen and nectar, perform a waggle dance to alert each other to the proximity of flowers, and produce wax.
The scene transitions to Lake Shore Honey Farms located in Fort Pierce, Florida, where Walter D. Leverette makes a living raising queen bees. Leverette opens up a beehive to procure and transplant worker bees into a queen bee starter box, and then demonstrates his technique for creating wax cell cups, priming them with royal jelly and one-day-old larvae, and lining them inside a starter box. When the cells have been built up, he places them inside a finishing colony. He eventually moves them into an array of hatching and mating boxes suspended on an anti-predator wire and adds a cup of freshly doused worker bees to each box.
The scene shifts again to close-up footage of a hatching queen, and Ott describes her nuptial flight as well as her prolific egg-laying for the rest of her life. Leverette displays a small cage used for the queen's commercial shipment, and Ott's narration reveals that during the springtime, Lake Shore Honey Farms ships 300-400 queen bees per day.
The film concludes as Ott explains Lake Shore's springtime practices of regularly shipping almost 20 tons of live bees to its apiaries. At these sites, combs of honey are collected for processing at a plant, and then tins of honey are transported to a bottling plant.
26 min 41 sec
Has Been Digitized?
Language Of Materials
Participants And Performers