Tell It To The Bees

Tell It To The Bees

In the quiet solitude of rural Scotland lies a story that whispers through the ages, echoing the complexities of love, society, and the profound connections that transcend human understanding. “Tell it to the Bees,” both a novel by Fiona Shaw and a recent film adaptation, unveils a narrative that intertwines the lives of two women against the backdrop of societal norms and prejudices of 1950s Britain.

Set in a time when conformity was paramount and deviation from societal expectations could be perilous, “Tell it to the Bees” ventures into the forbidden territory of same-sex love. At its heart, it’s a story of longing, belonging, and the innate human desire for acceptance and understanding.

The narrative unfolds in the quaint village of Inverness, where Dr. Jean Markham, portrayed by Anna Paquin in the film adaptation, returns to take over her late father’s medical practice. Jean’s arrival ignites a spark of curiosity among the villagers, but it’s her connection with the young mother Lydia, played by Holliday Grainger, that forms the crux of the tale.

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Lydia, burdened by the suffocating confines of her loveless marriage and the societal expectations placed upon her as a woman and a mother, finds solace and liberation in Jean’s company. Their bond deepens against the backdrop of Jean’s apiary, where the act of “telling it to the bees” becomes symbolic of confiding in the natural world what cannot be spoken aloud.

What makes “Tell it to the Bees” a poignant narrative is its exploration of the repercussions of love that defies societal norms. As Lydia and Jean’s relationship blossoms, they become ensnared in a web of prejudice, gossip, and fear. The villagers, steeped in conservatism and intolerance, become the antagonists in their story, threatening to tear apart the very fabric of their burgeoning love.

Yet, amidst the turmoil, there’s a glimmer of hope and resilience. Through their bond, Lydia and Jean challenge the status quo, daring to love boldly in a world that seeks to confine them. Their love becomes a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit and the capacity to find beauty and grace in the most unlikely of circumstances.


Tell it to the Bees” transcends the confines of its historical setting, resonating with contemporary audiences grappling with issues of identity, acceptance, and the pursuit of authentic love. It serves as a reminder that love knows no bounds, and that, like the bees in Jean’s apiary, it thrives in the quiet moments of connection and understanding.


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