Watch Vanishing of the Bees
- 1 hr 27 min
Vanishing of the Bees is a documentary film that explores the phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) among bees. Directed by George Langworthy and Maryam Henein, the film sheds light on the alarming decline of honeybees worldwide and its potential impact on the environment and human food supply. The film features beekeepers and scientists from different parts of the world who are trying to unravel the mystery behind CCD. Among them are Bret Adee, a fourth-generation beekeeper from California; Dennis Cardoza, a U.S. Congressman who advocates for bee protection; and Elliot Page, an actor who supports the cause of saving bees. The film takes the audience on a journey across the United States and Europe to examine the plight of bees and meet the people who are fighting to save them.
The film starts with a dramatization of a beekeeper's horror story. We see a beekeeper checking his hives and finding them deserted. Thousands of bees have vanished without a trace, leaving behind only the queen and the young. This scene sets the tone for the rest of the film, as we learn that this is happening in every corner of the world, not just in that beekeeper's apiary.
The filmmakers then delve into the history of bees and their importance to human civilization. They explain how bees are responsible for pollinating a third of our food supply and how their work is worth billions of dollars a year. Without bees, some crops, such as almonds and blueberries, would disappear, and the prices of others, such as apples, would skyrocket.
The film then takes a closer look at CCD, the mysterious disorder that has decimated bee colonies around the world. We learn that CCD is not a new phenomenon, as beekeeping records from as early as 1869 describe similar symptoms. However, the scale of the problem has exploded in recent years, with some countries losing up to 90% of their bees. The filmmakers highlight the devastating effects that CCD has on beekeepers, many of whom have lost their livelihoods, and on the ecosystem, which relies on bees for pollination.
The film then delves into the possible causes of CCD, exploring different theories put forward by beekeepers and scientists. Some believe that pesticides and herbicides used in agriculture are to blame, while others point to parasites and diseases, such as the Varroa mite and the Nosema fungus. Some argue that modern beekeeping practices, such as transporting bees long distances and feeding them with high-fructose corn syrup, have weakened bees and made them vulnerable to stress and disease.
Throughout the film, the beekeepers and scientists interviewed provide a wealth of information and insights into the world of bees. We learn how bees navigate, communicate, and work together to create a thriving hive. We also see the lengths that beekeepers will go to protect their colonies, from using natural remedies to high-tech monitoring systems. The film's experts provide a range of practical solutions for addressing CCD, from banning the most harmful pesticides to promoting sustainable beekeeping practices.
The film's message is clear: the plight of the bees is a warning sign that all is not well with our planet. The filmmakers argue that our food system is at risk and that we need to act fast to protect bees and other pollinators. The film ends on a hopeful note, with footage of beekeepers and activists working together to save bees, including a successful campaign to ban neonicotinoid pesticides in Europe.
Vanishing of the Bees is a thought-provoking and enlightening film that raises important questions about the role of bees in our world and our responsibility to protect them. The film is a call to action for all of us to pay attention to the world around us and to take steps to preserve the delicate balance of nature.
Vanishing of the Bees is a 2009 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1.