by Sami Grover, published on May 13, 2011|
The Vanishing of the Bees documentary has been creating a huge buzz around the plight of the honeybee. From narrator Ellen Page's eloquent appeal for honeybees to the directors' successful fundraising effort to create an abridged educational version of the movie, the response from the public has been a testament to how intertwined the relationship between humans and bees really is. So as Discovery continues its Bees on the Brink coverage, and as Vanishing of the Bees prepares for a DVD launch, we thought we'd sit down with directors Maryam Henein and George Langworthy and get their take on what's happening in the world of bees and the fight to save them. As you'd expect, they've got their finger on the pulse, and they're offering TreeHugger readers a nice little kick back too.
Given the incredible amount of coverage that Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) received over the past few years, we thought it would make sense to ask Maryam and George for their their take on what the top 5 developments have been in the search for a response.
Here's what they told us:
1. A resurgence in organic beekeeping and gardening.
Organic gardening has long been a favorite of Treehuggers everywhere. But from top-bar hives and Warré hives to 'tough love' chemical free beekeeping, we've seen a fair few examples of beekeeping alternatives too. And with urban beekeeping on the rise, there's an increasing diversity in approaches being taken to nurture our pollinator friends. "It's a great coup to see cities like New York legalizing beekeeping", says Maryam "It turns out that bees are doing better in cities than they are in monoculture crops."
2. Greater Awareness of Pesticides
While the exact causes of Colony Collapse Disorder have been hard to pin down to any one cause, the fact that bees may be "entombing" their own hives to protect themselves from pesticides was a wake up call that systemic use of pesticides is a dangerous thing. "Systemic pesticides, which by the way can remain in the soil for up to 18 years, are among the fastest-selling and most prevalent poisons in the entire world." warns George.
3. The Campaign Against Clothianidin
When it was revealed that EPA scientists were concerned about the pesticide clothianidin's impact on honeybees, organizations like Beyond Pesticides, Avaaz, Beyond Pesticides, Slow Food and Vanishing of the Bees collected millions of signatures as part of a petition to ban the product until it can be proven safe. Below is an interview, created by Vanishing of the Bees, with beekeeper Tom Theobold who helped leak the memo about this pesticide.
4. A Grassroots Campaign to Save the Bees
"Since the release of Vanishing of the Bees, we've seen hundreds and hundreds of beekeeping associations, permaculture groups, churches, and non-profits organize screenings as part of Vanishing of the Bees' grass roots campaign titled Bee the Change." says Maryam. "The response has been astounding, And the model is perfectly aligned with the honey bee's modus operendi: hive mentality for the greater good."
5. Understanding Bees as Our Allies
"If you had to pick a positive to come out of the CCD saga", muses Maryam, "It would have to be the increased sense of awareness about bees and our environment in general. This is really the first step toward affecting change and saving these sentential ancient creatures (not to mention saving us). For instance, because of CCD, scientists know more about the inner workings of a bee than ever before."
Head on over to Vanishing of the Bees to order a DVD or to help organize or find a screening. Mention "treehugger" (case sensitive) as a discount code when you place your order and the makers will even knock 15% off your order.