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Got Bees? Meet a Swarm Chaser Up for the Challenge

The Swarm Chaser | Short Film by Maxwell Monty

When bees swarm, most people run as fast as they can in the other direction. Portland beekeeper Mandy Shaw does the opposite.

Each spring, she spends her days responding to calls of wayward honeybee swarms in the homes, gardens, and workplaces of her neighbours. Although thousands of clustering bees may sound like the stuff of nightmares, Shaw is quick to reassure worried callers that bee swarms are mostly harmless to humans. Part of a colony’s natural reproduction process, they occur when an expanding population splits and the queen leaves with a large group of worker bees to find a new home.

In The Swarm Chaser, join Shaw in the field as she tackles the challenges of relocating honeybee colonies during swarm season. Directed by Maxwell Monty (who was introduced to Shaw when he had a bee problem himself), this short documentary is a charming look at one woman's passion for educating others about the honeybee and the unique way it connects her with the people in her community.

WATCH: The Swarm Chaser | Film by Maxwell Monty

Want more honeybees? Watch a woman's mesmerising dance with 12,000 swarming bees, join this man's death-defying hunt for rare honey in Nepal, and see how larvae hatch into bees in this breathtaking time-lapse.

Follow filmmaker Maxwell Monty on Vimeo.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.

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