THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES, based on the New York Times best selling novel and set in South Carolina in 1964, is the moving tale of Lily Owens (Fanning) a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother (Burton). To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with her father (Bettany), Lily flees with Rosaleen (Hudson), her caregiver and only friend, to a South Carolina town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by the intelligent and independent Boatwright sisters (Latifah, Okonedo and Keys), Lily finds solace in their mesmerizing world of beekeeping.
The youngest bees clean and repair birth cells and feed royal jelly to their sibling eggs. Slightly older bees attend to and clean their queen, transmitting her orders through the rubbing of antennae. Others act as guards, sniffing out the pheromones of bees that enter the hive to guard against intruders. And others repair drafts in the hive with the sticky propolis that foraging worker bees bring back from neighboring sappy trees. Then there are the honey producers—those who relieve slightly older worker bees of the precious nectar they collect, and take it through the final steps of transforming into honey.