In a remote corner of northern China, Lao Yu raises bees. At 71, he would like to pass the torch to his son Maofu, a 20-year-old Westernized young man who has just returned from the big city where he’s been studying marketing and picking up odd jobs as a migrant worker. Although his father wants him to learn about and develop a love for beekeeping, Maofu would rather come up with ways to market the honey, insisting he doesn’t have to know how to be a beekeeper in order to sell the product.
Impatient and disappointed with his son, Lao Yu complains to his wife, Chang Nuo Niang, who is more understanding. Is the transmission of rural know-how still possible?