Eros, Venus and the Bees, Albrecht Dürer, 1514
Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables.
As with any great mystery, a number of theories have been posed, and many seem to researchers to be more science fiction than science. People have blamed genetically modified crops, cellular phone towers and high-voltage transmission lines for the disappearances.
"Vanishing of the Bees" documentary 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.
- Honeybees are responsible for one-third of our food supply, yet they are disappearing at a startling rate in a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD
- The documentary “Vanishing of the Bees” takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee
- CCD is most likely the result of a constellation of factors, one of the largest being the growing contamination of their hives with pesticides, especially the newer systemic pesticides, or neonicotinoids
- Bees appear to be suffering catastrophic effects after exposure to even low levels of certain pesticides, including inability to fight off infections, nervous system damage, disorientation and impaired navigation
- Bees are increasingly being raised “factory farm” style with artificial food, artificial insemination, and grossly unnatural hive conditions that further stress the colony, highlighting an urgent need to return to more natural beekeeping traditions
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.