Tiffany Haddish Thinks Her Bees Are From Outer Space
The Landscape With Invisible Hand star reveals her passion for her bees — and the mysterious plant they feed on.
Tiffany Haddish is quite the busy bee.
The actor just appeared in Disney’s new Haunted Mansion movie and had her own spotlight episode on The Afterparty Season 2 on Apple TV+, but her newest role is something completely different: hardworking mom Beth Campbell in Cory Finley’s touching sci-fi drama Landscape With Invisible Hand.
Beth used to have a high-paying law job, but after an incremental invasion by weird-looking, bureaucratic aliens, she’s forced to go back to basics to provide for her two children. “I don't play a mother often, only every now and then,” Haddish tells Inverse in an interview conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike. “And this mother is struggling to keep her children alive. She wants to see them thrive and she's struggling.”
But while she’s taking on more mother roles on screen, in her personal life, she has a maternal influence over a hive of bees. Thanks to a local partnership, she has in-house pollinators to help out with her rich gardens and create her own honey that’s totally unique — and, thanks to a special flower, could even have some mythical powers.
Tiffany Haddish Honey is now available for purchase at Flamingo Estate for $250, benefitting Haddish’s She Ready Foundation.
This interview has been edited for clarity and/or brevity.
So how did you get into bees?
Flamingo Estate does a lot of initiatives with fruits and vegetables, sending fruits and vegetable boxes to people and stuff. And I had gotten a partnership with them, because I really am passionate about people eating real things that grow from the ground without being processed. They approached me about doing something with bees and they were saying, "We're looking to put up a beehive for three or four months." And they did for six months, they had the beehive up in my garden and they were selling the honey for $250 a jar.
“It tastes like success!”
Anyways, they only did one season. And then I was like, "Oh... They were going to take the bees away,” and I was like, "No, I want the bees. Let's keep these bees here. I like the bees and I like the honey, let's keep it." And the beekeeper guy comes by once a month or whatever, but every day that I'm home, I sit out by the beehive. I have read that if you inhale the air coming from a beehive, it clears your brain, helps your body rebuild stuff, that it's really good for you. And if you eat the honey, it's really good for you.
So cut to: I'm sitting out there on a daily basis talking to the bees, singing to the bees, writing jokes by the bees, and I also have this plant that's right next to it, I think it's called the Devil's Trumpet. And they say if you sit under that plant, that it helps your imagination to be more creative. So I like to sit under that tree and the beehive is right next to that. And man, the beekeeper came last month and he said he has never seen a beehive do this good.
Over the last five months, he had to keep adding a box, because it was so many bees. And he was like, "I don't understand it, Tiffany. Out of all the hives, your bees are the busiest.” And he works on these beehives that are all across Los Angeles and I think I'm one of the few that are in South Central LA.
He said, "They make so much honey." I'm like, "Yeah, right. Yeah, right." He's like, "I've never seen a colony grow this fast." Maybe they're recruiting other bees to come, because they know that I'm talking to them and singing and having a good time and hanging out next to them.
Cut to last month, he harvested the hive and I have 48 jars of honey. Four of them are 32 ounces and the rest are 8-ounce jars full of honey. It is very delicious.
What does it taste like?
It tastes like success! I was thinking of calling it Haddish's Success Honey.
To go back, the Devil's Trumpet, isn't that the plant that’s featured heavily in The Afterparty Season 2?
Yes! So, about three years ago, beginning of the pandemic, I was doing a lot of digging into plants and stuff. And when we were on set for the first season of Afterparty, I was telling everybody how I want to go to Panama, so that I could get this Devil's Trumpet. I really wanted the seeds. I wanted to smash the seeds up and make a little powder out of it.
I read in a book that if you blow that powder in somebody's face, they lose their freedom of will and they can't lie to you and they will be very helpful to you. And they'll tell you anything you ask them, they'll tell you the truth. So I was trying to get my hands on that.
Maybe that's why your bees are so popular, because they're hypnotizing other bees to join through the powers of the Devil's Trumpet.
Maybe. I don't know. But I know every day between about 9:45 till about 11, the bees come, they all come out of the hive, and they surround the tree.
I don't know why they do this. I still haven't figured it out, because no one is disrupting the hive. I put a camera on it, nothing is happening to the hive. But what they do is they come out and they swarm around, all the way up into the sky by the power lines, and then they come down and they all surround and swarm over the tree. Then they hang out on the tree for about five minutes and then they all swarm back up into the sky and then they go down the street.
I don't know where the f*ck they go, but they all go away and then they come back like an hour and a half later, and they all go back into the hive.
That's so cool.
It's freaking awesome. And I'm like, "If I could train them to attack my enemies....”
“I definitely think they're from outer space, because I don't know if any other insect-type creature makes something that we eat.”
Are you in on Bee TikTok? Because that's how I know beekeeping, seeing people scoop bees with their bare hands on social media.
Oh no, I haven't seen that. But I can tell you that one time... OK, this might be doing too much, but I don't care. Look, it's legal in my state.
So one time I was out there smoking some weed and the guy comes with the smoker and he smokes the hive, but this particular time I'm smoking too, so I said, "Let me see if I can smoke them out." I started blowing this smoke all into the hive and they were loud at first and then they got real quiet. I was like, "Did I kill them? Oh my God, did I kill them?" So we open up this thing and they’re just chill. They’re just chilling.
I almost wanted to scoop them up. And then I thought, "Nah, I'm not going to do that." I've been stung by a bee one time, a long time ago, and I didn't like the way it felt. I'm not allergic to them or anything. I just didn't like the feeling and I'm not going to purposely do that. And they like me, we get along really well. I lean up right against the things sometimes and they don't land on me or anything.
What advice would you give to other people looking to get into bees, whether that's keeping bees or just hanging out with bees?
I would tell them to definitely look into it. Make sure you get an expert to help you with it at first and teach you everything you need to know. And love on those bees, because I think they are from outer space, to be honest. I definitely think they're from outer space, because I don't know of any other insect-type creature makes something that we eat.
Exactly. It's one of the few manufactured foods by nature.
Yeah. And I'm down for manufactured by nature. I'm slowly getting away from manufactured by man, but I do love Doritos.
Landscape With Invisible Hand is now playing in theaters.