Chris Packham and Martha Kearney to explore world of honeybees on BBC Two

I'm very excited to be able to tell people about the current science of the honeybee and to explain more of their mysteries. As ever, I'll be hoping to learn a few things as well - the best bit of my job!Chris Packham
Date: 16.06.2014     Last updated: 15.07.2014 at 12.44
Category: BBC Two; Factual
In the height of midsummer - the busiest period for Britain’s honeybees - Chris Packham and Martha Kearney will be joined by bee expert Professor Adam Hart for Hive Alive, a 2x60 series for BBC Two, exploring the remarkable secrets of this iconic insect of British summer.

The two programmes will be filmed over two consecutive weeks, in the heart of rural England, providing a lively television event which will reveal the world of the honeybee as we’ve never seen it before. Cutting edge technology, exciting new experiments and an army of bee experts will help us discover just how amazing these insects are and what we can do to help them to help us.

With a world population of trillions of individuals, there are thousands of times as many honeybees as humans on Earth, making them one of the planet’s most abundant insects. Our relationship with honeybees spans over 10,000 years and, today, they play a vital role as pollinators, supporting a worldwide agricultural industry worth £50 billion a year. Without them, many of the foods we eat daily would be very hard to come by.

Executive Producer Paul Wooding says: “We’ll be revealing all the latest scientific discoveries about these remarkable creatures and capturing their world in a fantastic rural setting, using an arsenal of the very latest technology, including thermal, UV, infra-red and endoscope cameras, time-lapse photography and remote helicopters. We’ve attached sensors and microphones to our hive and tagged some of the bees to track them throughout their short but active lives. Our fantastic and well- informed presenters, Chris, Martha and Adam will be getting involved with experiments and monitoring feeds from cameras and sensors on live screens, to see what’s going on in our hive. It’s a celebration of just how amazing these creatures are and how important they are to us.”

Chris Packham says: “I'm very excited to be able to tell people about the current science of the honeybee and to explain more of their mysteries. As ever, I'll be hoping to learn a few things as well - the best bit of my job!”

Martha Kearney says: "As any beekeeper will tell you, the secrets of the hive are fascinating. We will be learning how their honey can save human beings, how they can navigate miles from home and about their incredible relationship with flowers."

Hive Alive is produced for the BBC by Impossible Factual. The Executive producer is Paul Wooding and the producer is Stephen Moss. It was commissioned by Tom McDonald, acting Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History, for the BBC.

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