New Bees

Set some time in the near future, we learn that bees go extinct – the one of few families in the animal kingdom that actually made food for humans, omnivores and herbivores. Fortunately, we, humans, came up with a solution to replace them.

The advertisement, in the future, opens to a field of wildflowers and the female narrator explains that fields were once devoid of plant life five years ago, due to collapsed honeybee colonies, thereby ceasing of pollination. The reason why they have become lush again is because bees have returned, but not the bees we’ve learned to avoid being stung by – robotic bees, 2nd Generation New Bees.

New Bees: have been implemented all over the world; run on solar power; require little downtime to recharge; use real-time triangulation technology to map pollination zones; are armed with insecticides to fight natural enemies; require minimum maintenance; are a fraction of the upkeep costs compared to their natural counterparts; are easy to recycle, replace and activate; and can perfectly integrate with nature and not harm humans.

Robotic bees are video recorded as they pollinate flowers against a backdrop of dreamy imagery of nature; a pesticide clinical trials disclaimer appears while New Bees spray a predatory insect; and, while children are inspecting a New Bee on their forearm, a caption of the 2nd Generation New Bees operating system (NBIOS2) states that it includes humans as a “Friendly Creature” in its safety feature, leaving us to wonder if that setting was left out in NBIOS1.

As the advertisement closes with a scene of children, smiling in field and surrounded by busy New Bees, we’re left with questions of what wasn’t said: Will there be compliance regulations for this new technology in the agribusiness, as governments are slow to react to new technologies? How many “robot bee” competitors will there be? Wouldn’t the insecticide-loaded robots just exacerbate the problem for other species? How many different risks do we face if this technology goes wrong? Will we actually allow the extinction of bees to occur in the future?

Cast & Crew

Director: Polynoid
Creative Director: Alexander Kalchev
Production, Animation: Woodblock
Key Cast: Yoko Nova Schimschar, Luca Brunck Florez
Artists: Jan Bitzer, Tom Weber, Ilija Brunck, Marco Kowalik, Fabian Pross, Csaba Letay, Michael Heberlein, William Tirloy, Max Stoehr, Sarah Eim, Markus Eschrich
Service Production: Soilfilms
DOP: Tanja Häring
Soundtrack: World Gang
Commissioned For: Greenpeace

Ratings & Review

The story of this cautionary tale was told through words that weren't stated.
About The Author
- Joon Shin has always been an advocate for independent films and is a Co-Founder & Partner for Content of Characters, Board Director for both Dosha Pops and In The Lights PR, and serves on the Board of Advisors for TriplAgent.