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NOVA; Tales From The Hive


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Tales From The Hive
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

NOVA chronicles a year in the life of a bee colony with stunning images that take viewers inside the innermost secrets of the hive. The documentary team spent a year developing special macro lenses and a bee studio to deliver the film's astonishing sequences. These include the "wedding flight" of the colony's virgin queen as she mates in mid-air with a drone; the life-and-death battle between two rival queens for the colony's throne; and the defeat and death of a thieving wasp at the entrance to the hive. The show also explores such mysteries as the famous "waggle dance" with which scout bees signal the direction and distance of nectar sources to the rest of the hive. A vivid picture emerges of the bees' highly organized social life, revolving around the disciplined sharing of construction tasks, the collection of nectar, and warding off enemies. THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES pushes the boundaries of wildlife film making and opens up an unforgettable window on a strange and complex insect world.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “NOVA; Tales From The Hive,” 12/23/1999, GBH Archives, accessed December 8, 2023,
MLA: “NOVA; Tales From The Hive.” 12/23/1999. GBH Archives. Web. December 8, 2023. <>.
APA: NOVA; Tales From The Hive. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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