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Notice the bees, film discusses honeybee population decline
It’s springtime, have you heard the honeybees buzzing and pollinating the plants, what are they trying to say? To further examine the complexity of bees, the crucial need for bees to sustain life, and the decline in the honeybee population, Food Partnership Council (FPC) hosted the fifth film in its food film series, “Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling us,” May 16. With commentary from a unique cast of beekeepers from across the world, notable authors and activists, the film documents the changing culture of beekeeping as the increase in industrialized and monocultural farms have negatively affected the population of honeybees.
According to the documentary, there is a global crisis, evidence in the changing nature of honeybee colonies and agricultural society as a whole. The film introduced audiences to the phenomenon “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD), where the honey is there, the queen is there, but the bees are gone. World renowned biodynamic bee farmer, Gunther Hauk believes the disappearance of honeybees are telling human beings that they are in crisis and something needs to be done.
The history of beekeeping dates back to 10,000 years, but in 1923 Austrian Philosopher, Scientist, Rudolf Steiner predicted that in 80 to 100 years, mechanization would destroy the culture of beekeeping, and his predictions came true.
With the rise of mechanization and monocultural farms, the film explained that the bees are shipped to such farms from across the world to act as pollinators to these crops. Not only do these foreign bees bring outside diseases, but with only one type of crop prevalent on these farms, the bees are fed high fructose corn syrup and other artificial sweeteners to supplement their diet for strength. As a result, the bees' immune system is weakened and the ecosystem becomes distorted.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's) and the use of pesticides may also be the cause of CCD, as the film described these effects on the bee's abilities to learn and navigate their way back to the hive.
The film explained the deep connection between the queen bee and the sun, as the bee flies 600 feet into the air and is mated with up to 12 drones. Upon her return she has over 1 million sperm to lay approximately 1,000-2,000 eggs per day.
However, with the increase in bee breading, a monoculture of bees are forming, which is also weakening the genetic biology of the bee.