2022 Video: In-Depth Reporting - Gold

For more than 30 years, Martin Dohrn filmed wild animals around the world. Suddenly locked down at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he became fascinated with the wild bees that inhabit his city garden. “Turning my cameras onto my own back yard is revealing things as spectacular as anything I have ever seen before,” he tells his viewers. “Transporting me to another universe. Another dimension of existence.” The resulting documentary is an exercise in citizen science, driven by Dohrn’s deep appreciation and understanding of the more than 60 species of bees he found and observed in his garden. Judge Michael Werner, a science journalist and film producer, praised Dohrn’s stunning cinematography. “Making this all the more impressive,” Werner said, “is how difficult it is to film creatures this small and fast. Excellent observations and natural history combined with creative storytelling make this story incredibly compelling.” Judge Angela Saini, a British author and science journalist, said Dohrn “took pandemic lemons and turned them, not just into lemonade, but into champagne.” She called the video “an astounding achievement, both in terms of the quality of the filming and in helping us recognize the natural wonders in our own backyards. The film shows how every one of us can become a scientist when we observe the world closely.” Dohrn, who also narrates the film, said: “We were just having fun really, experimenting with new lenses and lots of slow motion to see what we could see, trying our best to record some wild bee behavior. So, to have this film recognized as useful to science is a huge surprise—and a huge honor.” Sean B. Carroll, head of HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, shares his second AAAS Kavli award.