Save The Bees

Cinema Politica Doc Explores the Global Bee Crisis and Why We Should Care

  • Where do bees go to die? Food growth is dependent on their pollination. Toxic pesticides are to blame. What will we eat?

Beekeepers have witnessed an alarming increase in the number of bees disappearing. The worst part? No one knows where they are going.

Cinema Politica’s next film screening, Vanishing of the Bees, directed by George Langworthy and Maryam Henein, investigates this phenomenon. Through testimonies of some of the most devoted beekeepers in America, the documentary reveals dramatic questions on the earth’s vital need for bees.

I was far from imagining the importance of bees in our food chain until I saw the film. In a nutshell, the fruits and vegetables that we eat on a daily basis depend on the insects or the wind for them to grow. It is through pollination that vegetation grows, making bees an important tool for the production of food.

It is estimated that $15 billion worth of food depends on insects to pollinate the crops. What is extremely disturbing is that bees are disappearing in large numbers in countries like the U.S, France, Argentina, Italy and elsewhere. Perhaps even more disturbing is that no one seems to know where they are going, as very few are found dead around the beehives.

Through the testimony of a long-time beekeeper David Hackenberg, the film highlights the severity of CCD, or “Colony Collapse Disorder.” Characterized by the death of a colony without any pathology diagnosed, and no dead bees to be found, CCD has preoccupied both commercial and organic beekeepers.

Although scientific research is currently being conducted to further understand the issue, many blame intensive monocultures as the main reason.

The use of toxic pesticides has been proven to affect bees by inflicting harm on their brains, which weakens their immune system. Agriculturalists say that fewer bees are found in monocultures because there is very little to eat in the non-diversified environment.

The disappearance of bees is believed to hold dramatic consequences for the future of food production.
Other explanations for the disappearances focus on the exploitative commercial practices inflicted on the bees. Some harmful measures discussed include the artificial insemination of the queen bee, the killing of the queen bee for her replacement by a younger bee and the substituting of bee’s honey by sugar-extract, making them more vulnerable to pesticides.

In France, beekeepers won a battle against the Gancho pesticide that was revealed to be the cause of the death of beehives.

The priority in European agriculture has been placed on safety and cautionary measures. On the other hand, Hackenberg criticizes the lack of prevention in the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency has been unsuccessful in determining the risks of pesticides used in agriculture, and beekeepers are calling for more precautionary measures.

This issue could be more complex than any scientist can measure, but it is not a mystery. Research has shown the link between our intensive agricultural practices and the disappearance of bees.

The screening is organized in collaboration with the Concordia Food System. All proceeds from the door will go towards the beehive project at Loyola.

Vanishing of the Bees / H-110 / Mon. March 21 / 7:00 p.m.

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