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Vanishing of the Bees (2010)

 NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)

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Vanishing of the Bees + NOVA: Bees - Tales From the Hive + More Than Honey
Price for all three: $39.69

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Product Details

  • Format: 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 (109 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004SO26RE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,213 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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
34 of 40 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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13 of 14 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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20 of 25 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
1.0 out of 5 stars Vanishing Bees
Full of New Age junk. God is the Creator and we did not like the New Age influence. We trashed it.
Published 33 minutes ago by Michael A. Maes
5.0 out of 5 stars Save the Bees!
Very interesting and informative. This a great documentary that everyone should watch. Save the Bees! We are beekeepers but is good for overall awareness.
Published 1 day ago by Bryan Schultz
5.0 out of 5 stars Good educational film
Very interesting film about what is happening to the bees in the United States. Also interesting to view how other countries have dealt with this problem compared to the the United... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Aunt705
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative Reality
A number of years back I briefly heard mention an article on the news about the drop in the Bee population. Read more
Published 10 days ago by William S
5.0 out of 5 stars great sad story
Although I knew so much already. But this film is eye opening and truly sad. Its shoking how humans can control these poor little creaters... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Amazon shopper
3.0 out of 5 stars Knew about this problem, we had hives also.
This was very informative, but a little too long. Would have been better if they gave an update of the status of the beekeepers in the program.
Published 23 days ago by Paula J Stanvick
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see
Then after weeping over such horrendous disregard do something plant your lawn in flowers give up pesticides contact Lowes and Home Depot to stop selling round-up buy only organic... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lyn Govette
5.0 out of 5 stars Gives all viewpoints except those who did not wish to participate
I needed the facts about the vanishing bees and this documentary provided these for me in an interesting format. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Clarese busy busy
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative and moving.
Very informative and motivationa. Makes mel want to plant flowers that bees are attracted to for their survival. Thank you!
Published 1 month ago by Debbie
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and Informative
This is the second movie I've watched that explores the plight of vanishing bees and the dangerous effects their disappearance will have on humanity. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Spudman
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