15 user 6 critic

Vanishing of the Bees (2009)

Not Rated | | Documentary, History | 9 October 2009 (UK)
2:34 | Trailer
This documentary takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee. The film examines our current ... See full summary »





Credited cast:
Elliot Page ... Narrator (as Ellen Page)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bret Adee Bret Adee ... Self - World's Largest Beekeeper
Dennis Cardoza Dennis Cardoza ... Self - Representative, California
Henri Clement Henri Clement ... Self - UNAF President
Jay Feldman Jay Feldman ... Self - Executive Director, Beyond Pesticides
Emilia Fox ... Self - Narrator
Maryann Frazier Maryann Frazier ... Self - Department of Entomology, Penn State University
Jean Glavany Jean Glavany ... Self - French Politician
Davey Hackenberg Davey Hackenberg ... Self - Beekeeper, Lewisberg, Pennsylvania
David Hackenberg David Hackenberg ... Self - Beekeeper, Lewisberg, Pennsylvania
Gunther Hauk Gunther Hauk ... Self - Author, Toward Saving the Honeybee
Wayne Larsen Wayne Larsen ... Self - Pesticide Applicator
Dee Lusby Dee Lusby ... Self - Founder, Organic Beekeeping Group
David Mendes David Mendes ... Self - Beekeeper, Fort Myers, Florida
Philipp Mimkes Philipp Mimkes ... Self - Coalition Against Bayer Dangers


This documentary takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee. The film examines our current agricultural landscape and celebrates the ancient and sacred connection between man and the honeybee. The story highlights the positive changes that have resulted due to the tragic phenomenon known as "Colony Collapse Disorder." To empower the audience, the documentary provides viewers with tangible solutions they can apply to their everyday lives. Vanishing of the Bees unfolds as a dramatic tale of science and mystery, illuminating this extraordinary crisis and its greater meaning about the relationship between humankind and Mother Earth. The bees have a message - but will we listen? Written by Anonymous

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Little Bee. Big Mystery. See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Features The Happening (2008) See more »

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A Must Watch if You Care About Anything
10 January 2013 | by expatriate16See all my reviews

If anyone can watch this documentary without being scared out of their minds, they need to be smacked back to reality. I say this in jest of course, but seriously- the reason why we are in the situation we are in concerning honey bees (and thousands of other similar topics) is because of people's lack of caring. Vanishing of the Bees does a great job of laying out the problems with commercial beekeeping, the strange phenomenon of billions of bees disappearing, what other countries are doing, and what we can do here.

Honey bees have been looked at as prophetic for millennium; as the bees goes, so goes humanity. If this is true, then we could be in for some major problems. Although the documentary states over and over again that there is no reason for the massive amounts of bee disappearances, it also focuses on the reasons for bees disappearing, which is kind of odd. We're introduced to a number of larger beekeepers, some smaller organic one's, and beekeepers from as far away as Europe.

Much of the first half of the movie focuses on the ill moves of commercial beekeepers. The fact that almond growers were complaining about the lack of honey bees to pollinate their crops led the US government to import honey bees from Australia, via a 747. The farmer we are introduced to in Florida ships his bees to California, back to Florida, up the coast to Maine, down to Boston, and then back to Florida every year. Many big breeders make their own queens by separating a female bee, pinching something (I forgot this part), and then reintroducing it to the hive. This increases their profits, but greatly harms and confuses the bees. Although the blame cannot be put wholly on the beekeepers – honey being shipped from China (with dozens of other ingredients including milk and high fructose corn syrup) is selling for pennies on the dollar – these practices, we're told, surely contribute to the diminishing of bee populations.

After being confronted with these mind numbing practices of beekeepers, we're taken to France where we learn that the bees dying off probably doesn't have anything to do with this. France experienced the same problem as the US is experiencing, only it happened a half a decade before. After much studying, they learned that pesticides being sprayed by nearby farmers were killing off these populations. Protests occurred, government was harassed, and finally laws were passed banning certain harmful pesticides. Here in the US, we're told, that the EPA is in charge of making such decisions. Unfortunately, when the EPA is looking for information on pesticides, it has the pesticide industry write the report. Surprisingly, nothing has been done. In France, within a year of these poisons being banned, the bees returned as healthy and in as large of numbers as before. Seems like maybe there is an answer to, "what's happening to our bees."

Without bees, we don't eat. It's as simple as that. The pesticides being used all over the world not only kill bees, but also harm the human population. The companies – like Monsanto – who invented these pesticides also invented things like Agent Orange; chemicals that have been used to wipe out millions of innocents in times of war. Although having killed millions, we're now told (and mostly believe) that they are harmless to us and our animals. We are offered a solution though- keep bees! As someone in the documentary said (I believe it was Michael Pollen), "instead of one beekeeper with 60,000 hives, we need 60,000 beekeepers, each with one hive. GO GET YOURSELF A HIVE!

It's a shame that documentaries like this fly under the radar while multi-billion dollar movies with no educational value at all, are seen by the majority of the population.

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English | German | French

Release Date:

9 October 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Bienen - Himmelsvolk in Gefahr See more »

Filming Locations:

Australia See more »


Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)
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