Tuscaloosa meteorologist Richard Scott has turned his passion for beekeeping into an Emmy-winning documentary.
Scott has worked with WVUA 23 since 2007 and he was promoted to the chief meteorologist position in 2010. When he’s not working at the television station, Scott spends a good part of his spare time as a beekeeper.
The University of Alabama’s Center for Public Television and Radio, in collaboration with WVUA 23, produced a short documentary last year that highlighted Scott and his beekeeping hobby.
Open for business: New economic development leader wants to build on Tuscaloosa’s success
The five-minute documentary “Liquid Gold” captures some of Scott’s beekeeping responsibilities, including caring for the bees and extracting honey.
William Green, a video producer for the Center for Public Television and Radio, worked with a team of professional and student videographers to produce the film. Green and his team gathered in April 2021 at one of Scott’s bee farms. The crew members were swarmed with bees when they filmed Scott’s daily routine as a community beekeeper.
“We had to put on full beekeeping suits and operate cameras with thick gloves on in Alabama sun … It was definitely challenging, but it was a fun experience,” Green said.
The documentary proved to be “gold” at the 2022 Southeast Emmy Awards. The Southeast Emmy chapter covers Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina.
“Liquid Gold” won the Southeastern Regional Emmy in Outstanding Environment/Science – Short Form Content. The ceremony was held on June 18 in Atlanta and Green took home two Emmys that night.
“It was really exciting,” Green said.
Green, who has worked with the Center for Public Television and Radio for five years, said he doesn’t create his projects with the intent of winning an Emmy. Instead, he focuses on making each project the best it can be.
The documentary only gives a small glimpse into Scott’s daily routine as a beekeeper. There’s a lot that goes into raising honeybees and Scott calls it a “yearlong process.”
Scott’s beekeeping journey began seven years ago when he needed pollinators to grow his fruit trees. However, growing the fruit became difficult when he noticed a lack of honeybees in the community, he said.
Scott reached out to local beekeepers and researched how to start raising his own honeybees. The Linden native said his new hobby took some getting used to because he always had a fear of bees growing up.
Scott raises most of his bees in the backyard of his Tuscaloosa home. He said he currently has four bee yards, which contain around 60 bee colonies.
In addition to caring for his own bees, the meteorologist is often called to safely remove unwanted bee hives from homes across West Alabama. Instead of donating the bees, Scott said he brings most of them home to live on his bee farm as a cheaper alternative to purchasing new bees.
Scott also shares his beekeeping journey on his personal YouTube channel.
“I thought that’d be a cool resource to use, to just kind of get the story out about what I do and really try to get the message out of how important beekeeping is, and in helping bees because you know, they are very important to in our livelihood,” Scott said.
Scott said he believes there are many benefits of beekeeping, including helping the ecosystem, providing pollination, and also, the honey, which is a sweet reward that he and his kids enjoy together.
“You get to literally taste the reward of your work and it’s so much work that’s involved in it,” Scott said.
Reach Jasmine Hollie at JHollie@gannett.com.