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Vanishing of the Bees (2010)

 NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)

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Vanishing of the Bees + NOVA: Bees - Tales From the Hive + More Than Honey
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: True Mind
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2011
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004SO26RE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,507 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Honeybees, a keystone species vital to sustaining our ecosystem, are 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, almonds and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that provide one out of every three bites of food on our tables.

Narrated by Academy Award nominee Ellen Page, "Vanishing of the Bees" 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 Capitol Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees.

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 opinions abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery.

Following the story for three years, directors George Langworthy and Maryam Henein chronicle the innermost thoughts and feelings of beekeepers and scientists as they fight to preserve the honeybee and make it through another day. Combining interviews from around the world, animation, 50's educational films and breathtaking nature cinematography, George and Maryam present not just a story about Colony Collapse Disorder, but a platform full of solutions, encouraging audiences to be the change they want to see in the world.

Special features include: "Honeybee Rescue" - how to remove a bee colony from your property without harming the bees and "Beekeeping in France" - which covers the history of beekeeping in France and the origin of the modern beehive, as well as an animated short film on the disappearance of honeybees by the film's animator, Antanas Skukas, entitled Colony Collapse Disorder (An Unfinished Story).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Help Save The Bees - Start by watching this movie June 2, 2011
If you care at all about the food you eat, you know that we need bees to produce as much as 1/3 of your daily diet. Bees are disappearing mysteriously and rapidly. "Vanishing of the Bees" investigates and supplies some of the answers that we desperately need to reform the way agriculture and our food supply is going. Highly recommended. It is beautifully shot too!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Giving new meaning to the phrasal verb, "Buzz off" September 4, 2011
As I write this in September 2011 and summer is coming to a close, the 2009 documentary VANISHNG OF THE BEES makes me realize I have not seen many bees throughout the season. Come to think of it, the past few summers I've encountered relatively few bees.

The way VANISHING OF THE BEES explains the situation, bees are not avoiding just me. What the film deems Colony Collapse Disorder results in beekeepers discovering their honeybees literally disappearing. VANISHING OF THE BEES reminds us honeybees pollinate enough crops to be responsible for "one out of every three bites of food on our tables," so this is not just nature taking its course.

So, why are the bees buzzing off? Because agribusiness, pushing pesticides and farming monocultures, fails to heed the Chiffon warning, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature." In the name of cutting costs, the food industry unwittingly undermines itself by killing off irreplaceable honeybees.

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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid bit of educational filmmaking July 17, 2011
Judge Clark Douglas, DVD Verdict-- In late 2006, bees in North America started disappearing. This startling new trend (dubbed by scientists as Colony Collapse Disorder) generated a wide variety of conspiracy theories about the root cause of the disappearances--perhaps cell phones were to blame, or maybe it had something to do with the forthcoming apocalypse--but scientists were unable to effectively pin down the culprit responsible. The 2009 documentary Vanishing of the Bees isn't any more successful in terms of finding the official cause, but it does provide a reasonably compelling suggestion and mostly manages to avoid the absurd hyperbole that has surrounded the Great American Bee Debate.

In fact, so much of Vanishing of the Bees is so reasonable that it's a little startling when the film tosses us a fleeting curveball (as it does every 10-15 minutes).

Given some of the doomsday conversation that has surrounded this topic, Vanishing of the Bees does an admirable job of staying away from the kind of sensationalist rhetoric that has fueled so many magazine articles on the subject (which usually begin by quoting Albert Einstein and end by proclaiming that we'll all be dead soon if we don't figure this out by yesterday). Perhaps recognizing that it's taking enough license with its slightly-overconfident pesticide proclamations, the documentary otherwise chooses to focus on the effects CCD has on beekeepers and crops.

The DVD transfer is sturdy if unremarkable, faring the best when it focuses on its striking collection of farmland imagery. There are quite a few talking heads, along with some animated slides that look kind of crummy (along those lines, the pieces of archival footage employed look rougher than they ought to, also).
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vanishing of the Food June 13, 2011
By MinXo
Small creatures are giving us a BIG warning.

You may have heard about the honeybee "issue" across the news media over the last few years and not have given it too much thought. You maybe unknowingly helping in destroying food as we know it by the choices you make at the supermarket.

Vanishing of the Bees shows you this global problem in a wonderfully directed, shot and paced film, that I recommend everyone watch right away! The film shows all the heart, dedication and passion of the beekeepers that are on the front line of this issue. You will care about what is going on, what needs to be done and how you and your family can help. What more can you ask for in a documentary?

Yet another reason to change our food system.

If films like Food, Inc., Earthlings and Forks Over Knives or books like John Robbins: The Food Revolution, Micheal Pollens: In Defense of Food and Thomas Campbells: The China Study have not changed the way you and your family consume the food you eat 3 times a day then Vanishing of the Bees maybee your opportunity we need for change.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pollination September 21, 2011
This is a most enjoyable review of a serious problem. As a hobby Beekeeper for 26 years, I have seen the impact from parasites, pesticides and mis-management. The honeybee is a remarkable barometer of our local environment. The trends in recent years to parricides to manage mites resulted in mites resistant to those same chemicals. the idea the sub-lethal pesticides is also a cause of CCD is alarming at first, yet also promises a change if our local farming practices can adapt. Without pollination, we will lose many foods that require the honeybee to produce viable fruits and vegetables. This DVD offers many insightful cause/effect situations that are within the control of our farmers and governmental officials.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Canaries in the coal mine August 10, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film has suspense, mystery, likeable characters, pithy quotes, a wealth of easy to understand information from a variety of sources, and is highly watchable. It also takes on a subject vital for our future survival. Bees are the "canaries in the coal mine" of the environment, and this film helps us answer the question, "What are the little bees telling us?"
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars much better than UK version!!
This version with Ellen Page as the narrator is much better than the UK version narrated by Emilia Fox.... Read more
Published 12 days ago by mana jo
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Published 21 days ago by hokie fan
5.0 out of 5 stars delivery and packaging is excellent. price is ok
most of these bee movies are similar....draws one's attention to the plight of our vanishing bees. you really only need one of these videos...the newest to get the most from it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by kathyblankenship
5.0 out of 5 stars PROTECT THE BEES
This is a serious problem. I am glad it has finally been linked to genetically engineered seeds. These seeds are developed with a cell of a poisonous substance inserted into the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Wilma K. Mussen
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It was Ok
Published 1 month ago by Bruce Buurma
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent eye opener on how pesticides are destroying the bees.
Published 2 months ago by MommaP
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative. Very well documented and explained. And ...
Very informative. Very well documented and explained. And, provides ways that we can each help change what's going on.
Published 2 months ago by brendep
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thought-provoking and well written. The subject should continue to command attention.
Published 2 months ago by doziepug59
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent for the beginning bee keeper
Published 3 months ago by Vincent G Boucher
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film
Great movie. Everyone needs to watch this movie and steps need to be taken by all to save the bees.
Published 3 months ago by Jarrett Morris
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