The three-minute films open with the real Burt Shavitz, a beekeeper who co-founded Burt’s Bees 25 years ago on a homestead in Maine. He’s soon replaced, however, by Rossellini, who plays both Shavitz (complete with a shredded-paper beard) and the hive inhabitants we encounter.
Rossellini combines scientific facts with children’s-theater-like pageantry to explain the roles of the queen, workers, and drones.
Rossellini, who also directed the shorts, combines scientific facts with children’s-theater-like pageantry—her props and costumes have an endearingly homemade quality—to explain the roles of the queen, workers, and drones. The result is one part performance art, one part public service announcement.
“At Burt’s Bees, we’ve always taken the health of the honeybees very seriously,” says Jim Geikie, the company’s vice president of global marketing. “The opportunity to work with an artist like [Rossellini] has allowed us the chance to illuminate this important issue in an incredibly light-hearted and comical way, which ultimately seems more effective than a serious message.”
Coinciding with the videos is “Wild for Bees,” a companion website filled with actions you can take, from guerilla-gardening how-tos to tips for creating a wildlife-friendly lawn. “Each of us lives in a habitat, and we have the opportunity, in fact, the responsibility, to nurture and promote healthy habitat,” says Laurie Davies Adams, executive director of Pollinator Partnership, the nonprofit that coordinates National Pollinator Week. “By sharing a bit of lawn, a school yard, a farm border, an office landscape, or a roadside with blooming pollinator-friendly plants, we create a connection that supports healthy ecosystems and a sustainable future.”