Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? Is a compelling and informative documentary about the plight of the modern honeybee. In the last several years the news media has publicized much about the bee crisis in the US. Beekeepers have reported losses, in some cases, of up to 90% of their hives. Speculation about causal factors has pointed at various possibilities: pesticides, cell phones microwaves, GMO crops, killer bees from South America and others.
Honeybees play a critical role in our food supply: many of our fruits and other food crops will not survive in the absence of pollination. Director Taggert Siegel, interviewed by The Press daily newspaper in Christchurch, New Zealand, cited a quote attributed to Einstein in an article he read about Colony Collapse Disorder: "If bees die out, man will have only four years of life left on earth." This motivated him enough to start filming.
This movie draws us into the life of bees: We watch them progress from conception through their cycles of growth and life. We see them supporting the queen bee, building hives and honeycombs and gathering nectar. Intertwined with the beautifully filmed segments of these industrious creatures at work are the lives and activities of beekeepers, interviews with writers and scientists including folks like Michael Pollan, and Gunther Hauk, various experts, farmers, migratory bee keepers and environmentalists. Though no single cause emerges as the critical culprit, the viewer can clearly see how farming by mono-culture, crop toxins, pathogens and the effects of transportation and climate change all contribute to the problem.
Despite the severity of Colony Collapse Disorder, Siegel and his experts leave us with possible solutions as well as a clear understanding of how beloved bees and their honey are to so many. He shows us the increase in backyard beekeepers and individuals from all over the world taking small and sometimes large steps to help the honeybee thrive again. He leaves us with answers and hope. We need only to take action.
This movie is highly recommended for gardeners, farmers, environmentalists, honey lovers and anyone simply fascinated by bees.
For more information, see the Queen of the Sun web site.