Isabella Rossellini’s Kooky Educational Films about Bees
What Shakespeare and Aristotle got wrong, how bee spit becomes honey, and why having sex all day makes one totally helpless.
By Maria Popova
As the granddaughter of a beekeeper, I’ve always found bees to be utterly amazing and their social organization remarkably intelligent, so it breaks my heart to see their future so woefully precarious in the grip of colony collapse disorder. Yet despite their marvels and recent newsworthiness, bees remain largely misunderstood. Luckily, the ceaseless talents of Isabella Rossellini are here to help: After her delightful Green Porno series — fascinating, funny, kooky, and illuminating short films, in which Rossellini, clad in various bodysuits, reenactments the sex lives of the animals most biologically different from us with comically incongruous scientific accuracy — Rossellini has joined forces with Burt’s Bees to produce three equally kooky educational short films about bees, mixing goofy live-action with lovely lo-fi animation.
In the first, “Burt,” played by Rossellini herself, talks to the worker bees and shows us, among other things, why Aristotle was wrong and how honey is actually made. (Bee spit + plant nectar = deliciousness.)
In the second film, “Burt” meets the queen bee, also played by Rossellini, and learns about her utilitarian nymphomania, why Shakespeare was wrong, and how male bees are born fatherless from unfertilized eggs:
In the last, “Burt” meets a male drone — representative of just 11% of a bee colony — who is only capable of having sex and is otherwise helpless:
For more of Rossellini’s endearingly quirky science education, treat yourself to her Green Porno.
Published June 27, 2012