A new documentary about disappearing bees, Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?, examines the global bee crisis through the eyes of beekeepers, scientists, farmers and philosophers. According to its website, the film unveils 10,000 years of beekeeping and highlights the impact of industrial agriculture on the relationship between humans and bees.
From the makers of The Real Dirt on Farmer John, the film features Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva, and Gunther Hauk as well as beekeepers from around the world who keep bees in natural and holistic ways. Instead of focusing on commercial beekeepers, the filmmakers say the documentary emphasizes the biodynamic and organic communities who have differing opinions from many commercial beekeepers about the causes and solutions of colony collapse disorder, the global phenomenon where honeybee colonies vanish from their hives.
Wild and managed honeybee populations have been in decline for the last 30 years, according to the USDA. But in 2006 beekeepers began reporting 30 to 90 percent losses in their bee colonies, and the term colony collapse disorder became synonymous with the mysterious disappearance of bees around the world. While the reason isn’t fully understood, possible causes include pathogens, viruses, pesticides, environmental change-related stress, malnutrition and migratory beekeeping.
The alarming and uplifting 82-minute movie will play in select theaters around the country. If you can’t find a local showing, consider hosting a community screening or buy the DVD and spread the word.
How can you help? Here is a list of 10 things you can do to help bees, including what to plant to promote bee-friendly habitats, where to sign petitions, how to write to congress, and how to support your local beekeepers or become one yourself.
Check out the trailer for Queen of the Sun.
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