Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives.
Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables.
Vanishing of the Bees follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capital Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees.
Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. As scientists puzzle over the cause, organic beekeepers indicate alternative reasons for this tragic loss. Conflicting options abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery.
Bee Friendly Gardening
Brighten up your garden with some bee-friendly flower seeds – Plant wildflower seeds in your garden, patio pots or window boxes to provide essential nutrition for bees. Examples of wildflowers that bees find attractive. (*denotes native to UK) allow a patch of grass to grow long and densely plant an area of your flowerbed to provide bees with shelter from the rain or a sudden drop in temperature provide water for bees to drink – this can be as simple as a shallow edged dish of water with pebbles in it to help bees climb in and out do not keep unwashed honey jars outside the back door. Honeybees may feed on the remaining honey and overseas honey can contain bacteria and spores that are harmful to the bees, which they may then take back to the rest of the colony protect swarms – if you see a swarm of bees, contact the local authority or the police, who will contact a local beekeeper to collect the swarm and give it a new home.
Reduce pesticide use in your garden by:
introducing natural predators – by encouraging natural predators of any specific pest into the area, the pest in question will be controlled. Ladybirds, lacewings, frogs, hedgehogs and birds are all great at limiting numbers of garden pests such as aphids and slugs.
hand-picking – although time consuming and intensive, removing areas of infestation by hand may be beneficial to the rest of the plot.
water spraying – spraying with water or with a light soap solution has been used for some time to remove aphids and similar species from plants.
companion planting – by planting close together with species that attract predatory insects or disguise vulnerable plants, the impact on crop species can be reduced, as pests are less likely to find their food plants.
deterrents and barriers – many potential garden pests are sensitive to specific features. Slugs, for example, do not like copper piping or the sharp edges of eggshells, so surrounding plants with such materials may keep many species away. Other methods to keep pests away are plastic bottles and straw around the base of plants.