01 July 2011

Film investigates the cause of the vanishing honey bee

For the past few years, Colony Collapse Disorder and the disappearance of honeybees in mass quantities has been making headlines. Honeybees are responsible for a great majority of the foods we eat and without them, our food sources will seriously decline and our ecosystem would be in grave danger. The documentary, Vanishing of the Bees, directed by George Langworthy and Maryam Henein, and narrated by Ellen Page, is another effort to help raise awareness to the plight of the bees.

The film offers several theories as to why the colonies are collapsing, but mainly holds to the theory that monocultural farming and pesticides are at the heart of the issue. Other theories that are explored are cell phone towers (however, immediately rejected) and beekeepers removing nature from a natural process, such as artificially inseminating queens, re-queening, and replacing honey with sugar water. One beekeeper mentions that giving sugar water to the bees is like feeding them junk food and the quality of the honey they produce will gradually decline over generations.

I found the documentary to be very compelling and informative. I, personally, do not consume bee products, but I am aware of how important bees are for the fruits and vegetables that I eat. Vanishing of the Bees opened my eyes to issues that I had not really considered in relation to bees. I recommend the film because I believe that everyone should be as aware of the problem as possible. The film also offers ways you can help, more of which can be found on the website.

Vanishing of the Bees is currently available for screening in the US, Canada, Australia and Sweden. Dates and times can be found on the website as well.

Vanishing of the Bees - Trailer from Bee The Change on Vimeo.

Kristen McFarland | @MohawkedMaven
Kristen, a vegan from Cincinnati, Ohio, is passionate about animal rights and film. She has a degree in electronic media and spends her time working as a sideshow performer and a photographer. Follow Kristen on Facebook.

Photo credit:screen capture