The Great Australian Bee Challenge

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Available: HD 2 x 60'

The Great Australian Bee Challenge




In this uplifting series, host Paul West (River Cottage Australia), leading entomologist Dr Tonay Latty and urban beekeeping expert Doug Purdie guide four families, as they compete against one another to build thriving hives that produce delicious honey. All the contestants are keen to do their bit, at a time when bees are under global threat – but they’re also keen to ace the challenges. Honey from the winning team will be used in a signature dish by acclaimed chef Peter Gilmore from the iconic Bennelong restaurant at the Sydney Opera House.

The teams of novice beekeepers delve into the very latest science behind bee communication, brains, and behaviour, learning about why bees swarm, experiencing how bees see the world through multi-lensed eyes, and sampling unique types of honey.

With two teams in the city and two in the country, our amateur beekeepers encounter all sorts of challenges on their journeys. For the country beekeepers, getting any honey at all is proves tough, as weeks of rain penetrate the hives. The city dwellers face a different set of challenges: house moves and access problems mean major disturbances for the colonies. A risky intervention might work – but could it spark a colony civil war?

This hugely inspiring series proves both entertaining and informative, as we follow the intrepid teams to discover the source of the sweetest honey – the city or the country?

Part of the Catalyst Series


Paul West
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Awards / Reviews

ATOM Awards 2019: Winner Best Documentary, Science, Technology and the Environment
International Format Awards 2020: Nomination Best Competition Reality Format
Silbersalz Science & Media Awards 2020: Nomination Best International Documentary Feature