The last time I gave bees much thought was when I was about five years old and the bee’s name was Maya. But last night’s screening of Vanishing of the Bees, presented by “Whole Foods Market Do Something Reel” film festival, made me realize how much we depend on these industrious little insects.
According to the film, a third of everything we eat grows through pollination, “apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables”. Bees are the only efficient way for many crops to pollinate, and without pollination, there can be no food.
In 2007, beekeepers from around the country began reporting the mysterious vanishing of tens of thousands of bees - in a matter of hours. The vanishing bee phenomenon, officially called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), is alarming not just for the welfare of the bees, but for the welfare of our crops and food supply.
Where are these bees going and, more importantly, why are they leaving their hives?
These are the troubling questions Vanishing of the Bees seeks to answer. It’s narrated by Oscar-nominated Ellen Page, and as a documentary it’s intriguing, entertaining and extremely educational. In 90 minutes, I learned more about bees than I ever thought I’d care to know - and I was glad for the education. (I still can’t get over how much we depend on these insects!)
And like all good documentaries, Vanishing of the Bees provides simple steps that we can take to protect nature’s little workers - because at the end of the day, we depend on bees to provide something that’s very near and dear to us all: food.