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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Vanishing of the Bees

This documentary by George Langworthy and Maryam Henein is about an insidious phenomenon: what beekeepers call "colony collapse disorder" or CCD. Quite simply, the honey bees are vanishing. Decades of intensive exploitation have meant taking the their honey away from them, and feeding them on inferior sugar-extract, making them weaker and vulnerable to pesticides, triggering a sudden eco-calamity. The implications are awful. Without bees doing their pollination work, vegetables and foodstuffs will disappear.

Langworthy and Henein sketch out the way this crisis has entered Hollywood's consciousness, in the form of M Night Shyamalan's sci-fi clunker The Happening, which disgracefully suggested that it was just a mystery and scientists' attempts at explanation were futile.

Vanishing of the Bees follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. 

The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capital Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees.

Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. 

As scientists puzzle over the cause, organic beekeepers indicate alternative reasons for this tragic loss. Conflicting options abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery.

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