The Honey Bees


“She was floating in this cloud of gold. Like the centre of a universe.

And the bees all hanging like stars. This bright, glittering sphere…”


As the world’s honeybee population dwindles, a family-owned apiary struggles to keep up with demand. Driven by matriarch Joan’s iron will, the business continues to grow.  And then Melissa arrives out of the blue.  Melissa is young, enigmatic and asking too many questions. The Honey Bees is a tale of Family and Empire; Action and Consequences and what happens when the bee finally stings.


The Honey Bees was originally commissioned by Onward Productions and developed by Red Stitch Actors Theatre, while writer in residence.  The play opened in Melbourne in June 2016. 




4 Female, 1 Male




90 mins total




"Set at a small family-owned apiary in outback Western Australia, this beautifully crafted story explores the life and history of a beekeeping household, including countless subplots, twists and turns that intertwine in a tight, enthralling manner."

Arts Hub


"Lewis's biggest strength is humour.  Kaczmarek's killer queen delivers barbs with entertaining venom and Seymour's character sasses all and sundry like the true daughter of the age of entitlement she is."

The Age


"Lewis plays his metaphors lightly.  But there's plenty of semiotic honey to be found if you're prepared to pick through the surface wax."

The Australian


"A strong debut from Red Stitch's Ink programme, The Honey Bees is a well-structured and ambitious play revolving around the story of a family apiary business in Western Australia failing due to colony collapse disorder, the causes of which remain mysterious."

Australian Stage Online


"A gripping new Australian drama."

Theatre People


"Lewis has an excellent aptitude for believable dialogue and a brilliant understanding of emotional counterpoint."

Limelight Magazine


"Caleb Lewis gradually and masterfully details his characters in a dexterous juggling of intersecting plotlines and overlapping relationships

SYN Radio


'An insightful and engrossing piece of theatre to add to Red Stitch's ever-growing repertoire of local successes.

Arts Hub


'A production not to miss.'

Radio Monash