I just finished up watching More Than Honey. There are quite a few recent movies out there about bees and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), and this is the newest to top the list. Honestly, I wasn't super excited about watching this film, as I figured it would be more of the same. And while it did cover a lot of the same ideas as previous films, it gave things a nice new twist.
The cinematography is lovely and it includes some amazing close-up footage. The film discusses the mating rituals and life cycles of bees, and emphasizes the fact that they work together as a super-organism, and not necessarily as individuals.
The film includes interviews with a variety of beekeepers, from pastoral to commercial, and the differences are astounding. Modern beekeeping has changed the process so much, treating these amazing creatures as if they were just another commodity to provide them with an income. We have lost respect for these insects that literally turn pollen into liquid gold.
One of my favorite parts of the film discussed the importance of bees to our entire agricultural system. They showed film from China, where many plants have to be pollinated by hand because there are no bees to pollinate for them. Seeing the workers standing on trees with a paintbrush of pollen, touching it to each blossom, was almost comical, yet also extremely sad. Humans are not efficient pollinators and our way of life is killing out the very backbone of our food base. Bees are literally the canary in the coal mine, announcing that our agricultural system in on the verge of collapse. And we seem to be doing very little to stop it.
The film also discusses CCD, but almost as a side note. The importance of bees to our food, and to our lives, is the forefront idea of the film. It stresses that CCD has been so mysterious because it is not one specific thing-- it's a combination of factors (pesticides, disease, stress) that is affecting the bees, and causing this incredible die-off that we are seeing.
Those of you who have read my blog in years past will know how much I love bees and love photographing them. I am not one to sit and be idle, ever really, yet I sometimes find myself sitting for 30 or 40 minutes at a time in my garden, simply staring at the bees. For me, it is a form of meditation, and I am looking forward to the coming days when bee-watching weather will be back. It's already just begun....
This film was lovely. I am going to show it to my class next term and I would love for you to watch it too. And then go watch some bees. It's a great way to soak it all in.
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