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Honey Bees, They Rock My World (and Yours Too!)

May 20th, 2011

Pollen documentary

I’ve had honey on my mind recently, as a paper came out in Apidologie journal discussing the possible causes of CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder, which is affecting honey bees worldwide. I consider part of the privilege of living in our world, our garden of earthly delights, the responsibility to preserve these delights for future generations and for the equilibrium of our planet – and the mass disappearance of bees worries me.

If you haven’t heard about CCD, here’s a quick rundown: beginning in 2003, entire colonies of honey bees have been disappearing from hives without a trace. There are multiple consequences for this phenomenon, from the decreased livelihoods of beekeepers to drastically increased honey prices to difficulty in ensuring our food crops are all properly pollinated. What’s causing CCD? Though there are a number of theories, we have yet to find a concrete answer.

On the same day, I also discovered the breathtaking trailer for Louie Schwartzberg’s movie Pollen, which I could only find in French (it will be released in English under the title Wings of Life). Seeing as how bees are one of nature’s star pollinators, I thought it would be appropriate to share:

My command of the French language is far from perfect, but a transcript of the words in the trailer is approximately as follows:

All that surrounds us
depends on a unique relationship
Discover the history of the love
that nourishes our world
Pollinators are the essence of life
On their survival
our future depends
A history of love that nourishes our world
recounted by Melanie Laurent

If you’d like to educate your children on this phenomenon, here’s a link to beekeeper Shawn Caza’s Honey Bee Murder Mystery Game.

The existence of honey bees is something I cherish (even if it is partly for selfish reasons), and I do hope that we’ll be able to come up with a sustainable solution to save our bees and help them to flourish. If you’d like to know what (American) organizations are doing their part to aid in the research of CCD, The Daily Green has a list.

May 20, 2011 update: I have just found the Engish version trailer for Wings of Life. It can be viewed here.

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