This documentary takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee.This documentary takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee.This documentary takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee.
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.
- Jan 10, 2013