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Vanishing of the Bees
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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. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables. 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 Capital 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 options abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery.
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Even worse, the accumulative effects of humans consuming the crops is proving devastating over time leading to cancer. In one South American country where soybeans have been grown for over 10 years with GE seeds, many cases of cancer and birth defects are showing up where these cases used to be rare.
Monsanto, the manufacturer of these seeds, conducted 90 day tests. Accumulative effects do not begin to show or take effect until past 90 days.
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.
See VANISHING OF THE BEES.
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). Audio is clear and clean throughout, dominated by interviews with a host of bee farmers, scientists and activists, plus narration courtesy of Ellen Page (whose high-pitched, emotionally involved intonations are a pleasant contrast to the usual sort of booming gravitas that often accompanies this sort of thing). Extras include "Honeybee Rescue" (a piece on how to correctly remove a bee colony from your land), "Beekeeping in France" (a piece about beekeeping in France) and "Colony Collapse Disorder" (an animated short outlining the specifics of the disorder). The disc is housed in environmentally-friendly (I guess?) but super-flimsy packaging, as the disc sits on a thin plush dot stuck inside an alarmingly thin piece of cardboard. This thing is going to get beat up after a few years no matter how carefully you store it. Ah well, the apocalypse will claim us all pretty soon, anyway.
-Full review at dvdverdict.com
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.