"Be the Bee" 360 VR Video with Ted and The National Honey Board

It's National Honey Month and we are so excited to share this video by the National Honey Board which stars Savannah Bee's Founder and President, Ted Dennard.  "Be the Bee" is an immersive 360 VR video by the National Honey Board that gives us an inside look on what it takes to bring honey from the Hive to your table.

The National Honey Board explains:

"Bees are important not only for honey, but also for our food supply – one in every three bites of food that we eat depends upon a bee for pollination. Given that beekeepers lost 33 percent of their honey bee colonies in 2016, bee health continues to be a key concern that should be shared by everyone. The National Honey Board used VR video to create 'Be the Bee,' an immersive hive-to-table experience from the point of view of a bee, to educate about where honey comes from and the importance of bee health."

We are honored the National Honey Board chose Ted to speak for the bees. We hope you enjoy this experience as much as we did, and learn a little more than you knew bee-fore.

Ted writes about his experience:

The Honey Board came to our place and film some bee hives and bottling. The goal - to create a film that really gave people a look into what it takes to bring honey from the beehives to the table. Also to highlight the hard work of the bees and the beekeepers for this simple and pure delight.

The first day, two film agency people showed up to drive around to scout the places to film.  The next day we began to film with a huge production crew and models and PR agency people and honey board representatives. It was truly hot weather. There was a script and shot list and we got to work with multiple takes inside and outside and with models etc.

All of this is filmed in 360 VR video. At one point they ask for an interior hive shot of the queen. It is hard enough to find a queen much less have camera inside the hive then have the queen stay put for the shot. Lots of experimentation with different techniques -  we finally landed on one that might work. We pulled frames of bees and honey from a hive, we placed in an empty box that had lights rigged into the sides. We found the queen and did some takes.

To film the 360 VR video it isn’t like you can watch it to see if it worked.  The VR video is knitted together by a computer before it even looks recognizable.  So you shoot a take and the experts check what looks like The Matrix code to decide if we got the take they can make work.  The arduous post production happens back at their studio.

There were lots of changes to the script which for me didn’t really hurt because I can’t memorize it anyway. Did I mention we did a lot of takes? In hindsight, everything came together. The teams worked hard and were all professional. They had a little bit of fun and we lucked out with some fortuitous events.

That forest shoot was pretty crazy. The drone to film aerial shots was the size of a table. It felt like helicopter wind right on our heads. The sun began to cook us when we started to shoot as the sun was directly overhead. The poor volunteers from the crew - who had to wear full bee suits - were about to have heat strokes. One of the guys was deathly allergic to bees!

Everyone did a great job. I hope we got the story down and showed the bees to be the heroines they truly are.  Also to acknowledge the beekeepers for their care and hard work. We wouldn’t have the same world without them all.