How To Bee documents the three beekeeping seasons that filmmaker Naomi Mark spends learning to keep bees from her father who is living with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
Through archival photographs and interviews with family, the film explores the history of Don Mark’s beekeeping in the Yukon and traces his journey in the present day as he spends the summer passing his knowledge onto his daughter.
From the politically charged climate of late 1960’s America, Don came to Canada to live a simple life and get away from the masses. By age 40 he had lived a wild adventure: travelled the world, studied in the Arctic, trapped for a living, built his own cabin, run his own dog teams and worked in the fire towers, the mountains and the mines.
Starting a family late in life with his wife Ruth, Don wanted to build a life that was based on self-sustainability - an interest in beekeeping lead him to pursue the development of his own apiary which soon became one of the most prolific the territory had ever seen. A lack of focus and a burgeoning young family combined with a series of unfortunate events in the apiary lead Don to put his passion on hold.
Now diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and retired from his job on the highway maintenance crew, Don has returned to his passion maintaining a small apiary north of Whitehorse. Don’s health is a constant hurdle for him.
As Don’s health changes Naomi struggles to accept what the new found space between her father and the bees really means.