Charles Hofmann, a commercial beekeeper from Minnesota was, in my opinion, one of the best photographers this industry has produced. Not because his photos are stunning, which they are, but because he knows bees, beekeepers and how to capture them both on film. Others have produced and published great photos, but none I know of have the same quality, the same sense of knowing the outside, and the inside of the subjectsboth bees and beekeepers.
Hofmann and his graphic designer son took the best of this lifetime collection and put them on video, and reconstructed the slide presentation he honed over many years of working with children, garden clubs and the like. Each scene is one of Hofmann’s exquisite photos, with this gentle man telling you what this is, what he sees. This is not a fundamental how-to video, it is much, much different than that. It is rich with information, fascinating details and exquisite images though. And Charles has a natural ability to tell each story, for each photo is a story, with humor, with enough detail to inform, but not so much to overload, and all with a sense of wonder.
You will learn of beekeeping here though, and the ways of bees and flowers and beekeepers how they all work together. And you will watch this video again, and again, and learn something new each time, see something different each time.
Kim Flottum, editor Bee Culture Magazine
The World of Bees is a beautiful piece of work. For a video put together from amazing still photographs it flows so well, the fading, panning and zooming give the effect of movement, and the narration brings the DVD alive. His dialog maintains interest, brings life to the pictures and he obviously has a great sense of humour and is an accomplished speaker. The musical score also fitted well with the movie and complemented the narration.
What more can I say other than the DVD had my attention from the beginning to the end and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have watched the DVD several times and enjoy it every time.
Dale Willemsen, Australia
Charles Hofmann was a commercial beekeeper in Minnesota in USA. He was also a fine photographer, and over many years he used his fabulous close-up pictures to create acclaimed talks for students about bees and beekeeping. His eldest son, Larry, has now produced this DVD based on Charles’ presentation, updating it with current technical possibilities, to create and extremely useful and engaging explanation of all the major aspects of bees, their flora, and the craft and science of beekeeping. The pictures are the best, achieving Charles’ aim of showing bees “as other bee see them”. Of course, Minnesota has long, cold winters and beekeeping appropriate for this climate is the system presented. This DVD would be useful for schools and for presentations at beekeeper’s meetings.
Bees for Development, Monmouth, UK
After all the news coverage about bees being killed by pesticides, I decided to learn more about them and purchased The World of Bees video. I am not a beekeeper, and have only a superficial knowledge about them, but this video gave me a good basic understanding of these vital pollinators.
The video features superb photographs by a beekeeper who was an educator his entire adult life; he also narrates the video. The narrative is engaging, sometimes humorous, and informative and gives a very good basic understanding of bees, their life cycle and what is involved in beekeeping. The video covers not only bees and their hives, but also a fair amount of botany and how the honey is produced.
The video's underlying piano score adds a feeling of serene beauty to the production.
I strongly recommend this video as an educational tool for anyone interested in learning more about bees, and I am convinced that children will find it interesting as well.
H. Mouritzen, St. Paul, Minnesota