The Making of The Ginger Arrows
Tree Bumble Bees movie.
We do a lot of video production for our clients at Reddishpink Media. Here was an opportunity to make something for ourselves, so we decided we should make a film and share the story of these little Bees with you.
The Tree Bees were filmed over approx forty days and brought several challenges.
How could we get close to the Bees with our macro lenses and lighting to create strong footage? How would we film the mating process? How could we do this without alarming our little furry friends?
In the end, it all came down to a careful approach and a lot of patience and perseverance.
Our admiration for nature documentary filmmakers like David Attenborough and Gordon Buchanan grew as each day of waiting passed.
As it turns out, the Bees were very easy-going with us. Each approach was made slowly and with great care. They almost seemed to get used to our presence. On a couple of occasions, they landed on our arms and just had a wander around. We also helped a very tired Queen we found on the ground by giving her a little sugar water and shade from the sun. Witnessing her recover and fly off again was truly wonderful.
The males were only interested in waiting for Queens, and the female workers focused on collecting pollen to feed the nest and, when necessary, protecting it from intruders.
The only thing that seemed to annoy them were vibrations from something touching the fence (where the nest box is attached). When this happened, quite a few came out and swarmed – a warning to anyone thinking of moving in.
Patience is the key. We witnessed many Queens leaving the nest during the forty days we were filming and watching.
Sometimes the Queen and her chosen male would come together mid-air and fall like stones to the ground together before mating. We also witnessed Queens flying off with a male on her back to somewhere more ‘private’ but sadly didn’t catch this on film.
The purpose of our little Tree Bee documentary is to share the news of these little creatures and encourage people not to fear them. Rather, we hope our fellow humans will welcome their presence and help them whenever possible.
To create the footage, we used a range of equipment, including Sony A7siii and Leica SL2 cameras and a range of lenses from zooms to Macro. When possible, we lit the Tree Bees using Relio lights with miniature modifiers.