Sunday Night Movie: Honeypot Warfare

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From John Brown’s visually stunning new documentary Empire of the Desert Ants:

I watched the full program last night. The cinematography is breathtaking- especially the underground scenes- and the story is largely plausible insofar as these TV shows go. Too much is made over the centrality of the queen in ant societies; in reality queens are just egg-layers while workers make the key decisions. Still, that’s a minor flaw in an otherwise excellent film.

The narrator, by the way, is Gollum.

5 thoughts on “Sunday Night Movie: Honeypot Warfare”

  1. I actually have this show set aside for a rainy day, but I think I’ll watch it now.

    I always have to wonder at the process behind making pieces like this, especially as to how the in-colony, underground shots are achieved.

  2. I saw it too on Youtube (isn’t that illegal?), and I agree with the overemphasis on the queen’s role. But then again a discussion of the nuances of communication within the superorganism isn’t what people really care about when they expect a dramatization of an ant colony life cycle.

  3. It’s said here
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-14474376
    that the filmmaker kept some colonies to film the “underground” scenes. Although, it’s still impressive how the corral colony scenes in the field match perfectly with the kept colonies. Amazing movie.
    Also it’s a mystery for me how the producers of the first ant movie of the series Natural World, Ant Attack, about the driver ants, get those incredible scenes inside the bivouac.

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