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Vanishing of the Bees
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Vanishing of the Bees (2009) More at IMDbPro »

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Vanishing of the Bees -- Trailer for Vanishing Of The Bees


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Maryam Henein (written by) &
George Langworthy (written by) ...
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Release Date:
9 October 2009 (UK) See more »
A documentary for anyone who likes to eat. See more »
This documentary takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications... See more » | Add synopsis »
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User Reviews:
Listening to the Bees in 'Vanishing of the Bees' See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order)

Ellen Page ... Narrator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bret Adee ... Himself - World's Largest Beekeeper
Dennis Cardoza ... Himself - Representative, California
Henri Clement ... Himself - UNAF President
Jay Feldman ... Himself - Executive Director, Beyond Pesticides

Emilia Fox ... Herself - Narrator
Maryann Frazier ... Herself - Department of Entomology, Penn State University
Jean Glavany ... Himself - French Politician
Davey Hackenberg ... Himself - Beekeeper, Lewisberg, Pennsylvania
David Hackenberg ... Himself - Beekeeper, Lewisberg, Pennsylvania
Gunther Hauk ... Himself - Author, Toward Saving the Honeybee
Wayne Larsen ... Himself - Pesticide Applicator
Dee Lusby ... Herself - Founder, Organic Beekeeping Group
David Mendes ... Himself - Beekeeper, Fort Myers, Florida
Philipp Mimkes ... Himself - Coalition Against Bayer Dangers
Mike Painter ... Himself - Farmer
Jeff Pettis ... Himself - Head of Honeybee Research Lab, USDA
David Pettit ... Himself - Senior Attorney, NRDC

Michael Pollan ... Himself - Author, In Defense of Food
Billy Rhodes ... Himself - Beekeeper, Umatilla, Florida
Rick Smith ... Himself - Former Commercial Beekeeper, Yuma, Arizona
Randy Stone ... Himself - Farmer
Tom Theobald ... Himself - Beekeeper, Niwot, Colorado
Ava Tuenge ... Herself - Home Gardner
Tia Tuenge ... Herself - Home Gardner
Fred Westerhold ... Himself - Farmer

Directed by
Maryam Henein 
George Langworthy 
Writing credits
Maryam Henein (written by) &
George Langworthy (written by) &
James Erskine (written by)

Produced by
James Erskine .... executive producer
Peter J. Heller .... co-executive producer
Maryam Henein .... producer
David Langworthy .... associate producer
George Langworthy .... producer
Holly Mosher .... executive producer
Tricia van Klaveren .... co-executive producer
Cinematography by
George Langworthy 
Film Editing by
William Gazecki 
Art Department
Alexander Williams .... storyboard artist
Sound Department
Graham Colwell .... narration recordist
Lawrence Everson .... sound editor
Lawrence Everson .... sound re-recording mixer
Brian Power .... post audio coordinator
Other crew
Alura Bouvier .... assistant to director
Sue May .... transcriber

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
87 min
Filming Locations:

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Listening to the Bees in 'Vanishing of the Bees', 8 February 2013

In recent years documentaries including "The 11th Hour" and "An Inconvenient Truth" have been visually provocative wake-up calls about our impacts on the environment. Add "Vanishing of the Bees" to the list of very important "call to action" documentaries about our environment. Will we listen to the bees?

Honeybees from just one hive can visit more than 100,000 flowers in a single day ... thus the line, "Busy as a bee!" Honeybees collect pollen full of proteins, sugars, carbs, enzymes, minerals and vitamins for food and to make honey. They also have one of the most important jobs in nature—pollination. There's no manmade alternative to pollination; without the honeybee, our food sources would be much more limited.

In recent years, this dance with nature has been stressed for reasons still unclear. From Argentina, China, France and Italy to the U.S., bees literally have been disappearing without a trace (no worker bees in the colony, and no dead bees to be seen anywhere in the area) in something that has come to be known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

Bees have been "managed" in the pollination process for ages—bees were even floated down the Nile to pollinate crops. But today the process is like nothing before it. Hives are transported across the country thousands of miles to pollinate apple orchards, almond groves, pumpkin patches and blueberry fields and are responsible for $15 billion in U.S. crops.

The impacts of CCD have been so bad that to pollinate almond trees in California, bees were flown in on a 747 from Sydney to San Francisco in something that could only be described as unsustainable. The stories abound. One former commercial beekeeper from Yuma, Arizona, lost all of his bees in just two months, and the world's largest beekeeper (50,000 hives) lost 40,000 bee hives in just a few weeks.

Documentary filmmakers Maryam Henein and George Langworthy in "Vanishing of the Bees" investigate the story of how bees began disappearing around the planet and look at possible suspects, including what are called systemic pesticides.

Narrated by actress Ellen Page ("Juno" and "Inception"), the documentary follows two committed beekeepers, David Hackenburg and David Mendes. Hackenburg, who manages 3,000 hives in Pennsylvania, sounded the alarm in 2006 of huge bee losses. Mendes, a Floridian with 7,000 hives, joined Hackenburg in the search for answers to CCD, including a trip to France to meet with beekeepers.

France had problems beginning in 1994 when farmers began using a systemic pesticide, Gaucho, made by Bayer. French beekeepers banded together and protested Bayer. Ultimately, the French agriculture secretary banned the use of Gaucho, and French bees appear to have had a comeback.

Besides systemic pesticides, the filmmakers look at other potential culprits for the massive collapse, including corporate farming approaches which create vast monocultures that contradict natural order.

Food activist and author Michael Pollan lends an important voice to "Vanishing of the Bees." He says, "In one sense, it's a mystery, but in the larger sense we know exactly what's responsible—these huge monocultures that are making bees' lives very difficult and creating conditions where they're vulnerable to disease and exposed to pesticides. My take on colony collapse is that it is one of the signs—one of the really unmistakable signs—that our food system is unsustainable."

Besides building tremendous awareness of the problem, "Vanishing of the Bees" offers some practical choices that individuals can make to help save the bees. Among them are supporting organic farmers and shopping at organic farmers' markets, not using toxic chemicals in gardens and yards, growing your own gardens, replacing lawns with flowering plants and advocating for food systems that will better support bees.

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