Beekeeper Review: Mr. Werner

It seems too soon to go back to the Scooby Doo franchise for the sake of another Beekeeper Review, but I’ve found yet another one in there and it’s an easy review, so here we go:

A small town is being ransacked by a bunch of giant monster bees. There are rumours that “the local beekeeper” is the cause of it all by going against nature and developing strange mutant insects. Mr. Werner, the apiarist in question, is being called “the Mad Bee Doctor” (in spite of the fact that he is not actually a doctor). Given the franchise, it should surprise nobody that when Mystery Inc. are brought in to investigate, they discover that Werner is actually being framed by costume-wearing criminals who want to disgrace him so he will be forced to sell the lakefront property on which his farm exists.

Mr. Werner’s Bee Farm seems to be very successful, he sells honey by the barrelful, so that’s a point to him. When he learns that he is being framed, he helps the Gang investigate, rather than waiting at the sidelines like a typical Apiarist in Distress. And his bees help chase and fight the criminals during the climactic confrontation. I do usually give points for a beekeeper that dabbles in science, and Mr. Werner does not, but overall he does rank as an above average beekeeper.

Three Honeycombs out of Five. I actually think this might be the last Beekeeper found in Scooby Doo to date, but I wouldn’t risk money on it.

Beekeeper Review: Amanda and Chrissy Williams

The Beekeepers I’m looking at today run a honey farm called “Chrissy’s Honey Bees” and are the main characters in the 2022 movie Umma. Only two people run Chrissy’s Honey Farm, those being Chrissy and her mother Amanda Williams, with the former being the one who instigated this family business. When she was just a child Chrissy acquired a book about beekeeping, brought it home, and demanded that they start doing it. Until then Amanda had been an accountant, but she always tried to be a perfect mother, so she overcame her own dislike of bees to indulge her daughter’s hobby. Starting with a single hive, they grew the operation into a business that could provide for them both. They’re so successful at the start of the movie, when an online influencer has spoke well of them online causing an unprecedented demand for their honey, they have to expand the farm even more to keep up.

But things aren’t perfect for this duo. Amanda was raised by an abusive mother who would go so far as to use electricity to harm Amanda. This has left Amanda emotionally scarred and terrified of electricity, to the extent that she claims to have a medical allergy to electronics (It’s likely Amanda’s original dislike of bees was because their buzzing reminded her of electricity). With this background, it is no surprise that Amanda abandoned her mother, changing her family name and ignoring her cultural heritage, even creating a fictional “grandparents” to tell Chrissy about. Now Amanda and her daughter live “off the grid” on a farm with no phones, no lights, no motor cars, not a single electronical luxury. (They do use candles at home, but I don’t know if they use their own bees’ wax to make them.)

The problems they face in this movie stem from Chrissy growing up. She’s lived a sheltered life and wants more, she wants to go to college. Amanda is protective of her daughter, who has trouble fitting in, and doesn’t want her to go, but risks becoming controlling in a way that reminds her of the abuse she went through. Coinciding with all this, Amanda learns her mother has died and the ashes have been brought to her. What results from this emotional turmoil is a haunting in which three generations of women have to deal with their emotions and traumas and place in the world. Beekeepers versus ghosts is a great setup for me, but the fact that the family keeps bees doesn’t really factor into the horror plot here. At one point the bees do seem to respond to the haunting, but not in any way that matters.

In the end Amanda breaks the cycle of abuse by confronting the ghost of her mother and making a kind of peace with her, but never denying the damage done. I’d consider this a very beekeeperly move, if the bees had been in any way involved (maybe as psychopomps to help the souls of the living and the dead communicate?). And Chrissy does get to learn more about her culture and gets to go to college, but I’m sure she won’t give up on Beekeeping. Her name is in the company’s name after all.

Three Honeycombs out of Five. They’re above average Beekeepers for sure, but the beekeeping doesn’t tie into their supernatural adventure here, so I can’t go higher.

Beekeeper Review: Nathan Stinger

The Scooby-Doo franchise has already provided me with a couple of Beekeepers to review. The Bee-Man of Alcatraz and Mr. Wilkins and Brittany have all been Beekeepers who have met the Gang either as friend or foe. But none of those were the first! Unless I’ve missed something quite obscure, the chronologically-earliest Beekeeper to meet Scooby-Doo and friends is one Nathan Stinger.

In a lot of ways, Nathan Stinger is very impressive. His name is “Stinger” for goodness sake! And he lives in a town called Honeydale! This is all excellent Beekeeper Branding. Plus, I’ve mentioned before that I like when Beekeepers are also scientists, well, to spoil the ending to his episode, he secretly works for NASA helping create and protect a supply of rocket fuel which is coveted by spies from other nations.

Stinger’s bees are similarly notable. We’re told that there are 95 million bees in Honeydale and presumably most of them are Stinger’s. Indeed, he has a very large operation. And the bees are smart too! They have that cartoon bee power where a cloud of them can come together and form into a shape like a hand or a fly swatter or something. It’s all quite good. The bees even help out in the fight against the baddies in the end.

But that’s the thing. The baddies. No matter how impressive Stinger and his bees are, we’re still meeting them in a typical Apiarist In Distress situation. The episode is about spies (posing as renegade giant killer bees, of course) attacking Stinger’s farm to steal that sweet, sweet rocket fuel. This greatly hurts Stinger’s business and they even kidnap him at one point. The show belongs to Scooby and the Gang, so they have to be the heroes. That’s just the facts. Under some other circumstances, maybe Stinger could rate higher, but as depicted in this episode he’s just a little above average.

Three Honeycombs out of Five. In Scooby-Doo monsters are more likely to return than supporting cast members, but let’s make an exception for Nathan Stinger, why not?

Beekeeper Review: The Beekeeper From Rugrats

This is definitely a review I didn’t actually need to do, but in the interests of being thorough I need to do it. A conundrum. So I did it.

The Beekeeper who appeared on the show Rugrats doesn’t actually even appear on the show Rugrats. The man in the picture is not the Beekeeper in question, that is Chas. Chas is the father of one of the titular Rugrats. He is a widower and, at this point in the show at least, he’s dating a lot, trying to find someone to have a relationship with. In this episode he goes on a series of bad dates, one of which is a beekeeper who wants to give him a tour of her hives. Chas is a nervous sort, so he brings a first aid kit on the date with him, in case of being stung. After we see Chas leave for this date we don’t see him again until he’s being set up with a different woman, with us seeing nothing of the apiary or the woman in question. So we know almost nothing about this Beekeeper.

She’s willing to date a single father, which is nice, but for a first date she just brings him to see her hives. Does this prove she cares about her bees so much that she’s showing them off? Or at least that she puts so much work in that she can’t take the time away to go elsewhere for this date? Does the date go horribly wrong with the bees attacking Chas? Does it go wrong because there’s simply no chemistry between the two? Or does it go right, but she decides she can’t be with Chas because of her devotion to the job? There’s so many possibilities and I just don’t have any evidence to go on. It’s almost like this is a character I’m being ridiculous by reviewing at all!

From what I can tell by looking at descriptions of the series, I don’t think that true supernatural stuff is commonplace in the world of Rugrats, so I can’t give this mystery woman the benefit of the doubt of maybe being a magical Beekeeper. Maybe she’s good at fighting and adventures, but we simply don’t know. Gonna have to go with a “normal beekeeper” rating.

Two Honeycombs out of Five.

Reviews like this one I can really point to when I want to prove I’m the world’s foremost reviewer of Fictional Beekeepers. Plus they’re really easy to write.

Beekeeper Review: Eustacius Jericho

Professor Eustacius Jericho, the Scourge of Scoundrels, is not the first Beekeeper I’ve covered that comes from the Doctor Who franchise. That would be Goronwy Jones. But Jericho comes closer than his predecessor to becoming an actual Companion of the titular Doctor.

Jericho was a British soldier in the Second World War, and saw many terrible things. When he returned home, he threw himself wholly into academic life, seeking largely (consciously or otherwise) to be detached from the “real world” because of the darkness he’d seen. By the 1960s, he had some rapport with the people of his village, but avoided close attachments. And, because science often pairs well with the keeping of bees, it was in this era that seems to have taken it up. We don’t know how many hives he had, but we know he liked to use their honey in tea. “Nature’s own shock remedy,” he called it. I suspect he found it useful treating his trauma left from the War.

When supernatural events barged into Jericho’s life, he doubted them at first, but his scientific rationale quickly caught him up. Even in dangerous situations, he hoped to continue researching and learning. And when he wound up stranded in the early 1900s with the Doctor’s Companions, he and they went on a years-long, world-spanning quest to help prevent the end of the world. And when that crisis came to its climax, he allowed himself to be captured by an alien army as part of the plan to bring them down. The plan worked, though Jericho didn’t make it back alive. He was, at least, happy in the end that after his sedentary decades, he got to have a big adventure in his final years.

The only problem is that we never got to see Jericho doing any Beekeeping. We only get that one reference to his bees’ honey. Certainly he couldn’t have been doing it after being stranded in the past and started travelling the world on a mission. That means that the part of Jericho’s life that is full of adventure and the part where he keeps bees are decidedly separate. That’s not the ideal situation I look for here in these reviews, and sadly that brings his rating down from what it otherwise could have been:

Three Honeycombs out of Five.