Vanishing of the Bees

Here's a question for you: Which of the following crops are heavily dependent upon honeybees for pollination?

  1. pumpkins
  2. almonds
  3. cherries
  4. broccoli
  5. onions

Give up?  You may or may not be surprised to hear that the Correct Answer is 6: all of the above plus about 120 other crops.  It's a huge problem and one we really cannot ignore, especially in light of booming worldwide population growth and the already dicey problem of how to feed us all.

Nobody seems to know why whole hives of bees are being wiped out.  They've given the phenomenon a name: Hive (or Colony) Collapse Disorder, and there are a ton of theories about the mechanisms behind the disorder, but it's still pretty much a mystery.

And now, Hollywood has gotten involved. This is a Good Thing.  I hope that this documentary, Vanishing of the Bees, will make us think as much as Food, Inc, Our Daily Bread and An Inconvenient Truth make us think.  I have not seen the film yet, but from the synopsis, it appears that several theories as to the mechanics of Colony Collapse Disorder are highlighted.  I'm pretty sure that the blame ultimately lies at our feet. We have clamored for more plentiful and cheaper foods, and sturdier foods to survive long transport, and the Marketplace has heard us and responded with plentiful pesticides and genetically modified seeds that produce sturdy fruits and veggies that also produce their own pesticides.

We vote with our pocketbooks, and the more of us who vote for "cheaper," the less demand for "better" there will be, and the more pesticides and insecticides will be sprayed on our food. And bees are insects.

The makers of Vanishing of the Bees hope to spread the word about Colony Collapse Disorder and are counting on grass roots screenings to help get the word out.  I am Very excited to announce that there will be a screening in downtown Raleigh next Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 9pm at Market Restaurant.  My friend and neighbor (and amateur beekeeper), Thomas from Traveling Screens, will be projecting the film onto one of his Big Ass screens, and there will be live music!  Plus, Market has hives on their roof (and are raising money to get more), and there will also be a local beekeeper there with a demonstration hive, should you want to get up close and personal with the bees.  Double plus, Market shares a building with Escazu Chocolates, so you can Stock Up on chocolatey goodness while you're there!

If you live in the Raleigh area, I encourage you to come to the screening.  It should be a lot of fun, but it should also be eye opening.  If you've heard of Colony Collapse Disorder, you'll learn more about it, and if you've never heard of it before, you'll become aware of a real threat to our food sources.  And when you know about it, you can do something about it (click the other links under "Take Action" to see what else you can do to help).

bees and baked eggs 089Look! Here are some of Thomas's bees!

If you don't live in the Raleigh area, find a screening near you--there are screenings already scheduled all over the world, from the US, to Australia to the Dominican Republic.  If no screenings are close to you, consider hosting your own.  See the movie's website for more details.

I think that colony collapse disorder is a problem of monumental proportion that, if left unchecked, can have devastating consequences for us and for future generations.  So, come to the Raleigh screening, find one close to you or host your own.  And now you know.





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