Thursday, August 18, 2011

The bee's knees

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 11:46 AM

You'll notice a 7 Days to Live pick in today's Indy, on p. 29, for the film Vanishing of the Bees. It's set to show at Stargazers Theatre and Event Center on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

BeeShot.png
  • VANISHING OF THE BEES

Thanks to Cross Pollination co-organizer Amber Coté, I was able to review the film ahead of the screening.

Here are my thoughts, of course biased by the fact that I'm a beekeeper:

The documentary, narrated by Inception star Ellen Page, starts out a bit slow and at first feels a little low-budget and amateur, relating the basics of what most of us have already heard in the media over the last couple years about colony collapse disorder.

Bees are disappearing, we depend on them for food, etc., etc.

We meet beekeeping protagonists Dave Mendes and David Hackenberg, who provide heartfelt (and at times tearful) testimony to the phenomena, eventually heading out on a fact-finding and news-sharing mission across the world.

Along the way, their story, as well as those of many other beekeepers and other interviewees, such as food-guru Michael Pollan, delve much deeper into the complex suspected causation behind declining bee populations.

No surprise, pesticides may not be safe for bees (let alone humans, thank you very effin', much EPA), nor is it good to feed bees corn syrup instead of allowing them to forage for their natural diet of nectar, pollen, etc.

The film becomes quite captivating and blood-boiling about midway through and sustains that tenor up to its conclusion. Yes, I'd use the cliché of calling it an "important" film, to be viewed as much for civic duty as for entertainment.

Simply put: If you eat, you should care.

As with all hopeful eco-related-documentaries like An Inconvenient Truth, King Corn, Fuel, etc., Vanishing of the Bees aims to inform and inspire change in our societal habits.

In this case, some of the ways in which you can help out honeybees: 1) Buy organic foods that aren't pesticide-sprayed and are raised sustainably; 2) plant bee-friendly flowers and considering growing some of your own food; 3) start your own beehive and increase the population of responsible, urban beekeepers with the help of the Pikes Peak Beekeepers.

I'll leave the rest for you to discover next Wednesday at Stargazers, and at other Cross Pollination events around town.

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