Photo: Zora Kuettner

Interview: Heloise Tunstall-Behrens & Auclair on becoming The Swarm

Heloise Tunstall-Behrens and Tanya Auclair are a pair of London-based composers and singers who met as part of Deep Throat Choir, and soon found they had a mutual interest in bees and beekeeping. Having then worked together urban beekeeping, Tunstall-Behrens invited Auclair to work with her on a project called The Swarm.

Initial iterations of The Swarm in 2016-2017 were in a live setting, with minimal staging and plenty of voices. Since then, they have continued developing the idea, with Tunstall-Behrens focusing on vocal arrangements while Auclair provided the complementary soundscapes. Together they honed the piece, and with their nine-woman choir recorded the 40-minute experience The Swarm, which is released as an album today through Deep Throat Choir’s new label Amorphous Sounds.

I spoke to the pair in Auclair’s house in East London. Together they told me about their experiences with bees, the development of the project, and took me step by step through the narrative of The Swarm.

What’s your history with bees?

HTB: We’re urban beekeepers. We kept bees for about four years in this car park slash community garden in Dalston, on a road behind McDonald’s. So yeah, we were in the midst of this really urban environment with two main roads on either side. I suppose that was our kind of window into the life of the bees.

Did you you start that together?

Auclair:  Yeah, we still keep them together, but they live in the garden where I live now, which is a lot more chill. So that’s nice. It’s nice to come away for the big main roads, but obviously that location plays a big part in The Swarm, as a sound scape for it.

HTB: Where we were in Dalston was kind of a community space. So there was a baker’s down in the carpark below,

A: It was there I joined Heloise and another beekeeper, Clara, and started learning with them. It was like learning on the job, because Heloise had asked me approached me about working together on an early iteration of The Swarm, and she invited me to come and see the bees and start to learn more about them. At that point you’d just started doing recordings inside the hive. And literally the first two weeks we had a swarm and then another swarm.

HTB: Yeah, they were just going for it and they decided to swarm basically on the opening of the bakery! They had this seating area and they’d set up a cafe outside and literally that day the bees decided to swarm and they landed on this bench, and everyone was just like ‘what is going on?!’

A:  It was their launch day and then there’s massive cloud of bees all congregating under one of their benches.

HTB: We were like ‘Sorry!’ We came in our suits trying to like shift them, but actually it was a really amazing way for people to understand what was going on and to see them in action. But yeah, they they did actually go and visit the bakers again and they got stuck inside their extractor fan! And yeah, That’s kind of like features in the kind of narrative of the album. The story we’re trying to tell is that kind of interaction with urban stuff.

What was it that attracted you to bees in the first place?

A: It kind of crept up on me. I went on a road trip around Sweden many years ago and, and as part of it, I did a bit of woofing – you know, volunteering on an organic farmers program where they give you board and you work for them. And I specifically chose a beekeeper and spent the week helping him with harvest and just had loads of experience working with them. It was a big switch for me, and I got really fascinated with them and started learning more about them. But at that point, I didn’t realize that it was possible to keep bees in a city – it wasn’t that commonplace in London in any case. And then it wasn’t until Heloise and I met through Deep Throat Choir, we got chatting one day, and Heloise was telling me about the bees that she was keeping in Dalston. As soon as I heard that, I was like, ‘Oh my god, I want to be involved!’ And pretty much from day one, from the first encounter with them, I just wanted to learn more about them, be a good ally to bees, to allow them to teach me stuff about nature. Through learning about the ways that they exist, I think about the world in a different way.

HTB: Growing up, we moved into my great granddad’s house, and there were these old hives in the bottom of the garden; he was a beekeeper. I suppose I was just kind of intrigued by what the hives were and the whole process. So, like Tanya, I went woofing in Italy with a beekeeper and just did loads of different tasks like caging the queens, moving hives around to different farm lands, and just kind of learning about the intricacies of the social organisation of the way of a colony. I found that really fascinating, like how they’re all distinct creatures but yet they’ve got this hive mind and they think as one. That way that they can make decisions I found really fascinating.

Around 2009 I was learning about bees, and back then there was a lot of noise about them dying out. I have not paid much attention the last 10 or so years – is that still a problem?

A: Yeah, yeah, I think that they’re an excellent and sadly an accurate barometer of how fucked things are in terms of the ways that we exploit nature. The depletion of their populations is continued – not just honeybees, but a lot of bumble bees that have been massively affected by the use of specific pesticides. And although the government has been given recommendations by think tanks that they employed to look into this, they’re still ignoring their recommendations.

HTB: It’s a bit scary that we’re leaving the EU, because the EU was kind of a big proponent in the anti-pesticide movement. Or, they were beginning to listen. And actually, the UK government allowed the oilseed rape to spread pesticides, so I don’t really trust the UK government on that. I think we see the growth in urban beekeeping as a reflection of the environment in the rural areas not being so habitable for bees. There’s masses of mono crops; the wild flowers that used to be quite prevalent are not so anymore because we’re just maximizing the land use for crops. So, I think it’s ever more important that we become aware of that in an urban environment.

Is part of your aim with The Swarm to raise awareness?

A: Definitely. Like the story that we told about the local bakery; initially people’s reactions were like, ‘Ah! What the fuck? Oh my god killer bees! Bees on the loose!’ Swarms have got bad press, they’ve got bad PR. And actually, at that point we invited lots of these people to come a bit closer and explained what was really happening and that they weren’t in any danger. The bees were actually very subdued at this point because they were doing a little pit stop before they moved on to their next destination. We had an extra suit, so we were able to give that to somebody to take a closer look. And actually, as soon as we opened the door, people just chilled out and got really interested and had a million questions. And while we were in that situation, in that garden, we would do open visits so people could come and join us for inspection on a Friday afternoon, or whenever. Inevitably people would come in and go ‘I’m really scared of bees’ and then when they got the suit on and started looking inside the hive they were just completely transported. So, absolutely, I think a big part of The Swarm is to open up the mystery, but also demystify some of the bad ideas, like the fear.

HTB: Yeah, and I think it’s a kind of way of helping people connect through sound and through allegory to the natural process of another species.

A: By inviting people into that world or into that journey that we take them on, bees are a bit more familiar. There’s something a little bit less alien or unknown about them. It’s definitely something people have said off the back of it, that they’ve been more interested and paid more attention when stories about bees come up in the news or in films.

Heloise, you started on a project called The Swarm a few years ago; is this still the same project or is it a different thing?

HTB: No, it’s the same one. We performed it as a stage production in 2016. We basically worked together on that and we performed at the Brunel Museum and then in 2017 in the Waterloo Vaults, and we took it to Liverpool as well. So there were nine singers, us included, and we had no staging, we just had the sound.

A: The idea was the soundscape would be the set. We used a little bit of lighting in the second iteration of it, but it was just us singers on stage and there was some choreography. The soundscape was trying to evoke the sonic landscape that the bees would have been traveling through. It was really simple stage production. And then and then we decided to record it as a record.

Has it changed much from the live version to this recording?

A: The original show had this opera singer who played the queen bee at the very beginning.

HTB: We were experimenting with getting the audience to participate to create a hum that would cause us to wake up and to swarm. So that was kind of her role, kind of playing the audience and getting them activated. But I suppose we didn’t really feel that there was a need for that in the recorded version.

You recorded the sounds of hives to begin with; did you literally just stick a microphone into it?

HTB: Yeah. I borrowed some DPA mics from a friend and hooked them up to the zoom recorder and, yes, stuck them in between the frames of the hive. I would just leave them there for like, a couple of hours.

A: They’re tiny, tiny – they’re like the size of a pill.

HTB: Yeah. Then I’d come back and they’d be covered in wax! The bees would start making honey comb on the microphones. I remember giving them back to my friend like, ‘I’m so sorry’. They’re not cheap either [Laughs]. But yeah, we’d do that like at different times of day and throughout the spring and then summer, and it was really interesting comparing the sounds from the recordings at those different times. I remember when we had first heard the sound of the queen bee, who makes this kind of like dark quack sound it’s like ‘wack wack wack wack’. But that’s the new queen, basically, telling everyone that she’s just about to be born.

A: She does the piping and then the unborn queens do the cracking. So she goes ‘weep weep weep weep’, and that tells the whole colony, ‘Hey, there’s a new queen about to emerge’. And then the other virgin queens who haven’t emerged will do a ‘quack quack’ sound in response. And then the whole sound of the hive shifts because they’re all on alert.

HTB: Yeah, so in the middle of just listening to this kind of like general hum, it’s suddenly like ‘what is that!?’, and that is the beginning of the process of when they start swarming. After they hear that sound, it’s basically the time when the old queen decides to go with half the hive and find a new nest site.

A: That’s the moment that sets in like in action a whole chain of events that becomes The Swarm. When that came up that was big; that was like ‘okay this is this is the way it should begin’.

Is that what you hear in the first track, “Solar”?

A: Yeah. In amongst the kind of crackle – which is solar radio emission audio – it morphs into the sound inside a beehive, and then within that you start to hear the ‘weep weep weep’ sounds.

So then did you kind of plot out what the shape of the piece was going to be? Or was it kind of dictated by what bees do?

HTB: Both

A: Yeah, both. We’d been doing a bit of research, and we did a week solid of putting massive big bits of paper on the table and blocking out the different chapters, the different stages of the process of a honeybee swarm, and then started to kind of delineate in our own way and our own understanding how the stages work.

HTB: And what would be going on in the soundscape and what would be going on in the voices of the bees. So we had that framework and then we were kind of building around it in kind of contours.

A: So each piece represents a different stage of the swarm. And within each stage of the swarm, there’s all sorts of patterns and processes and ideas that we then extrapolated and looked at how we could translate this into the human realm. What kind of human equivalent exists? What could be like a vivid representation of some of these ideas?

HTB: Especially looking at the spatial configuration of the bees during the different stages. They’re either really close together, squished together in this cluster – like how they how they were when they were underneath the bench at the cafe. And that’s contrasted with when they’re all up in the air, when they’ve just left the hive – they’re really spatially far away. The dynamics of that dictated, especially for the voice, how that would be.

Did you find it more or less challenging to have to work off the framework of a bee swarm as compared to when you’re creating entirely freely?

HTB:  I think the challenges came in other areas, but I found it super stimulating creatively to have that structure. Really early on, before we decided what that we were going to base it on the swarm, we were playing with lots of ideas of what aspects of bee experience we would explore with this; we’d had lots of different ideas for the focus, and then when we landed on the swarm. It was really like, ‘yes, this makes sense because there’s this process’, and that gave us so much. When we started to research the process of swarming, suddenly we’re like, ‘holy moly, there’s like so much material even within one chapter to explore!’ So having that kind of framework was really inspiring in a way that when you don’t have those frameworks, it can be actually quite tricky and challenging. Yeah, I think it’s one of those things with creativity, having limitations can allow you to like really expand within them.

A: Yeah, it gives you somewhere to focus your energies and channel your ideas.

HTB:  Also, just from keeping bees just feeling so passionately about how great they are, it was just such a pleasure to kind of make a translation of their world.

A: Yeah, it was like a total treat for us. Every time we go into the hive, every time we work with them on some level, we’re trying to be on some kind of level with them. When you do a hive inspection, you have to be reading all of their behavior, get a sense of what’s going on, understand how you can help them constantly; you have to stay super calm, not get agitated. It requires you to be super present, and so this was kind of like just an extension of that; an extension of our fascination, our passion. To answer your original question, it was actually very, very rewarding and kind of much easier to have a framework and it be something that you’re really super passionate about – something that’s not a million miles away from you.

Was it difficult to translate from bees to voices? Is every voice on the album analogous to something within bees or is it a bit more abstract than that?

A: I’d say the form of what’s happening with the bees informed what the what the voices are doing, but still as a superorganisms.

HTB: Yeah, so it’s like the kind of idea of everyone has a voice, but they’re all contributing to one sound. We were looking at like polyrhythms; everyone had different rhythms and they’d overlap to create a melody. There were also other forms of poly-melody, which creates this layered texture, but there’s no hierarchy to the importance of each melody, as there is some kind of other forms of music – they’re all equally important. But there’s this is interlocking idea where they’ll bounce out at certain points and create quite an interesting texture. That’s almost like our experiences of listening to the bees, where you can tune into one specific little buzz, but then you can also kind of zone out and experience it as a whole.

A: We felt like that was a really nice metaphor for the ways that bees self-organised, and the ways that they each have ever-evolving roles within their lifetimes, but it’s always as part of a bigger whole. And with this kind of polyphonic polyrhythmic approach to the way that Heloise wrote the choral parts, there was consistently this idea of us being the greater than the sum of our parts; that the bigger sound was the most important. Us as a collective working together, because the only way that any of these songs work is if we interlock in a very specific way.

HTB: Yes. So for example in “Dance Off”, it’s the point where the bees are basically comparing different locations that they sought out, and they’re trying to decide together which is the best one. And so, it was an evolutionary process; the idea that one bee would come back with certain information, which would be segments of words of the location. But then once these other bees went to go and look at it, only then would they collectively make a sentence together. So they’d like have different segments of the same word, and together, it would be one, it would become apparent what they’re looking at. So, yeah, the idea of like working together and generating consensus.

Very interesting. Heloise, you wrote the voice vocal pieces, but does that mean that sometimes people could suggest other things and it was a bit, as you said, evolutionary? Or was it quite strictly what you’d written?

A: It was strictly what she’d written! Although there were a couple of changes because the first piece was out of this world and like, not humanly singable in my opinion. So some changes were made, thankfully. But other than that, we stuck to the score. It’s so intricate, which is what’s so beautiful about it. It works because of that level of precision. And also, I think that’s really another reflection of how precise and sophisticated and kind of well-thought-out the workings within a bee colony are. But there’s so much when you start to research the ways that they self-organise and the way that a hive operates. It’s just so sophisticated, and so smart, and it isn’t random. Everything’s for a reason, everything’s timed exactly right. Everything is in response to the sun and weather and each other, and what the colony as a whole needs at any one time determines the job of each and every worker bee. So it would have been doing them a disservice if we hadn’t applied that same precision, I think… also she’s a madman.

That thing you were describing in “Dance Off”, they literally do that! They all communicate about ‘I think we should go here’ and ‘I think we should go here’…

A: Yeah! It’s mad! And they don’t move off until they come to a consensus about the best, most optimal space. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of like how bonkers smart they are.

HTB: Yeah, some people compare it to like how neurons work in our brain. There’s similar processes to how neurons are making a decision for us.

So, let’s go through The Swarm in order. It opens with the queens hatching in “Solar”, then “Swarming” as the old queen starts to get half the hive ready to move. Next comes “Cluster”, what’s happening there?

HTB: “Cluster” is when they’ve just left the hive and they’re gathered, like under the bench – it’s like a pit stop. And this is where all the scout bees are gonna go out and start searching for different locations. So yeah, everyone’s kind of clambering over each other…

A: Protecting the queen making sure she’s safe. So they get into this kind of ball, and they cluster around her and they take it in turns to be on the outside so they maintain a constant temperature and they just hold tight until the scout bees have come back with some options of a new nest site. So it’s very much like a way of conserving their energy because they don’t know how far away that home might be. And without a place to shelter, they’re very vulnerable at that point.

HTB: Yeah, it could be on a tree, or it could be like when they went and hung out at Topshop on Oxford Street. An inspiration for that movement was the idea of equal spacing – they’re all really close together, but with equal spacing. We looked at Euclidean rhythms to inspire that.

And the tone of “Cluster” is more tense and maybe a bit more fearful as well.

HTB: Yeah, it’s almost like, ‘right we’ve left now actually like we’ve actually got a really big task ahead of us so…’

A: Uncertainty as well. But also this idea of working as one organism outside of what used to be their home. Yeah, such a great tune, I love it.

And then “Scouting” comes next and that’s more out in the open as you were talking about. There are a lot more field recordings in there – is that around the Dalston hive?

A:  Yeah, I did lots of field recording mostly around Dalston Junction, then down to the canal and up Kingsland Road, and a train line that’s the other side of the High Street. That was great fun; I just went around with a massive fluffy mic recording loads of stuff and then just trying to imagine what their journey would be. I would capture that sound and then and then re-process it, listening for the rhythms within the musicality within some of the some of the ambient environmental noise. I was really interested in finding interesting phrases within it. So there’s stuff like interesting tones within the revs of the truck and different vehicles – taxis, cars, motorbike engines – and turning those into kind of melodies and then just hearing the melodies and the frequencies in them. There were some fun little weird loops that have a kind of musicality. I really love doing that kind of stuff anyway, so it was already a bit of my practice. But then it did get me thinking if bees think in patterns, and they have so many patterns embedded within their world, but how would they hear the urban environment? Would they hear these patterns within them? Would they hear this tonality? Would they be tuning into the frequencies in this way? So yeah, there was a little bit of trying to get in their head and then also just having fun with it and wanting to make something musical.

HTB: “Scouting” is also the looking into the cavities that they might be searching, and trying to imitate the sounds of different potential nest sites. So there’s a metal drum that they tried to get inside of; there was an extractor fan; we did inside of a tree log; some brick sounds in there…

Very cool. “Dance Off” is next and we talked about in terms of what it means in the bees’ story, but musically, what is the percussive element in that?

A: Oh, yes, the end of “Scouting” ends with this extractor fan doof doof doof, and then there’s a metal cavity. So that’s the beginning; the segue into “Dance Off”. And then I took a load of samples from the field recordings I’d done for “Scouting” and turned it into a rhythm pattern. So that rhythm pattern’s made of bits of paving stone from the canal, bits of the metallic chamber, bits of the wooden log cavity. So it’s like bits from their explorations, all combined to make this rhythm pattern that’s written into the underscore for the voices.

HTB: So that kind of changes with the different sites.

A: Yeah, so it progresses and they end up deciding on the wooden tree, so there’s the tree log sound at the end; that’s the predominant sound in the rhythm at the end of “Dance Off”.

It sounds like there’s some actual words in “Dance Off” rather than just voices.

HTB:  The words become apparent and the phrases progress when more bees are involved in singing it. It might be quite hard to understand but there is ‘curvaceous cylinder’, and there’s ‘hollow tree’, ‘garden not far away’, and then the other one was ‘shiny temperate’ – I think that was the extractor. Oh then there was a ‘smoke’ bit, saying the danger when they when they found the cylinder was actually a fire.

Very cool. “Buzz Run” is next, what’s happening there?

HTB: The bees have basically decided on the hollow tree and they’re still in the cluster. The leader bees go around making this buzzing sound which is basically like warming everyone up to get going again. So “Buzz Run” is just getting everyone revved up for launch to go to the site. They raise their body temperatures and they also raise in sound frequency. From listening to these recordings from the hive and from other bee swarms, we found that the bees kind of navigate from a G to about a C. And that’s the kind of narrative of “Buzz Run”.

And then “Cloud” is when they’re all moving – it’s exciting!

A: Ah, it’s so beautiful isn’t it? The ways that we’re singing also describes this really interesting way that they fly; the fact that within a cloud of bees, when they move off to find a new nest site, there are specific ones that do this particular kind of circular flight pattern around the entire cloud helping navigate them to their next nest site.

HTB:  Yeah, the looping refrain.

We should mention the 360˚ video for it, which is a cool experience. How did that come about?

A: It came out of conversations with Coda to Coda, who are a really brilliant sound and music studio. They’d come to see us in the Brunel Tunnel Museum, and they were like, ‘you should totally do an ambisonic 360˚ thing’. We’d kind of been talking a bit along those lines anyway, we’d started to work more with ambisonic mics. Then we started to build this idea, got in touch with a camera person that does 360˚ filming and set it all up. At that point as well, we were quite touched by the feedback of audiences and how ‘in it’ that they felt. For the performance, they’re in a circle around us, and we’re in the middle, and the whole room is this kind of tunnel shaft – so it’s another circle as well. We wanted people to have a little taste of that experience of being within the circle of beings, and that space has has incredible acoustics as well. We thought being able to capture a little bit of that, extending beyond the stereo and doing something that really puts someone in the middle of the circle of singing would be really special.

HTB: That’s quite an active form of listening and you can turn your head and it changes who you’re hearing in your ears. I mean, that’s only really used in gaming.

A: Even a lot of VR experiences aren’t using a kind of proper spatialisation. So the fact that when you turn your head the singer’s voice moves around exactly as if you are in this place. So yeah, it was really exciting and quite intense; we only had a certain amount of time in the space and we had to absolutely nail it. And, inevitably, when you absolutely have to nail it, then it’s like, ‘Oh, I think I fucked up’.

How many times did you do it?

A: I think we only actually filmed it twice. But we did a shit ton of rehearsals, and during those we’d get maybe a third of the way through and it’s like, ‘Sorry. I missed a bit!’ or ‘Oh God, and when do I come in again?’ I think we did pretty good; both takes were great. I think the thing that’s most challenging with that one is staying in pitch because we don’t have any guiding tone. So we had to stay quite solid; it moves up and down a bit, and if you shift your pitch then it can go all over the place.

For the whole album, did you record it live or was it done with overdubs?

HTB: It was a mixture, actually. We did record it in one day, which was pretty extraordinary. “Dance Off” I think was one take. But I think there were some other songs where we came in again and did overdubs. I think maybe “Cluster”, maybe bit of “Honeycomb”.

A:  We did the lion’s share of it in one day. And then a couple of extra sessions just to polish up some bits.

HTB: We were working with this really great, producer, Dan Blackett, who did a great job on the production.

Speaking of “Honeycomb”, that’s the happy ending of the album. There’s a lot of full sentences in that, but some of them are quite weird like “the bones and flesh of our new body” – is that to do with bees?

A: What’s weird about that? [laughs]

HTB: Yeah, I was thinking about the building of a hive, the building of honeycomb as the structure of their city. Not only the city, but actually, the kind of body of flesh of this multi-cellular organism.

A: The process of building honeycomb is really physical for bees, they produce the wax as flakes out of glands, like eight glands in their abdomen, and they like push it out, roll up with their legs, chew on it, and then form it into this incredibly complex structure. So it’s super physical – it is their body that’s going into it. It’s not just their body, but it’s fueled by the energy they get from plants. I think it was important to highlight that aspect of it – it’s a manifestation from their bodies.

HTB: Yeah, quite an alchemical process. Maurice Maeterlinck wrote an essay about bees, and some of those words are extracted from that and reworked with some of our juices. [Laughs]

A:  It’s the bookend in terms of the soundscape and music. It’s the only one that has a fully fleshed-out musical underscore; it’s synthesized, which happens at the very beginning during “Solar” and “Swarming”, and we wanted that balance to it. We’d been analyzing some of the in-hive recordings that Heloise had done and tried to pick out a specific frequencies. So that one was based on a G, which is their resting frequency – they’re at rest and calm and at home now.

HTB: So the beginning of the album, “Swarming” is kind of like nonsense syllables, which then kind of evolve into “Dance Off”, which is like fragmented words. Then “Honeycomb” has full-fledged words; it’s the feeling of completion, knowing that they’re home and there’s this sense of the end of a process.

A: And it’s the only it’s the only time we sing in unison, isn’t it? The whole way through the album, all nine of us are singing completely different things all the time. Or the same thing, but at different times to each other. We’re never singing the same thing as each other at any point except for “Honeycomb”, and that really signifies this coming together, this cohesion.

HTB: The whole process has been like making this decision and kind of allowing all the different views of voice. The idea of the collective has now culminated in a decision, so it’s like they’ve got identity now that they’ve got their nest and they’re unified.

That brings us to the end of The Swarm; are you excited for the album to come out?

HTB: Yeah! I mean, even just sharing a few of the tracks, we’ve had such a great response.

A:  Yeah. I mean, it’s quite abstract music and I don’t expect people to get everything about it, but it’s so lovely that so many people have found ways of connecting with it. Even if it’s not explicit what each piece is about, people are connecting with it and that feels like the most important thing.

Are you still hoping that you might get to perform it again some time?

HTB: We’d been planning to do a series of live shows in October and then the government announcement about group gatherings came out …  I just don’t know if it would work well – and there’s nine of us on stage alone.

A: We really hope that we can find a way to do it.

HTB: Yeah, we were really excited to try out a performance that’s different from the way we performed it last time. We were planning to blindfold the audience, and we were gonna be moving around while singing.

A: We’re gonna do loads of interesting spatial stuff So watch this space and come and see it. It’ll definitely happen.

Even if it’s not until next year.

A: We’ll just have loads of time to practice, we’ll be really good. It won’t be just me standing there counting frantically to make sure I’m coming in at the right time.

And finally, if there are any people who are interested in learning more about bees or getting involved with bees, do you have any recommendations of reading or places to go?

A: Oh, yeah, there’s loads and loads of books – but I wouldn’t recommend books so much. Just go and experience them. There’s a local beekeeping association in every borough in London – but then all across the country actually, every county and district has a beekeepers association. They can get in touch with them and find out about local groups you can go along. Most associations are more than happy to have visitors come and find out more about bees. You can do short courses like introductions to beekeeping and find out about your local beekeepers. Most beekeepers are so amenable to sharing knowledge, so just get in touch with them. I think just being able to be near them and having that encounter is amazing, and then people can take it from there. And then there’s lots of amazing documentaries as well.

HTB: Queen of the Sun, More Than Honey.

A: More Than Honey is good because it’s explaining some of the problems; the challenges that honeybee populations face. Honeyland is another incredible documentary about one of the last remaining wild beekeepers in Macedonia.

Heloise Tunstall-Behrens & Auclair’s The Swarm is released today through Amorphous Sounds.

You can find Tunstall-Behrens on Instagram and her official site.

You can find Auclair on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and her official site.

Deep Throat Choir can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.