If you fly to YouTube and put a search on “honeybees,” you’ll get 152,000 hits! That’s a lotta popcorn, so we selected six movies/videos that explain the importance of — and threat to — our planet’s honeybees.
Note: If you’ve only got a minute, learn the basics from any one of HoneyBee Conservancy’s three, one-minute public service announcements.
OR, JUMP INTO A BIGGER HIVE!
What’s Happening to Honeybees?
Release Date: July 2013
“You’ve probably heard about the sudden and mysterious drop in honeybee populations throughout the U.S.A. and Europe. Beekeepers used to report average losses in their worker bees of about 5-10% a year, but starting around 2006 that rate jumped to about 30%. Today, many large beekeeping operations are reporting up to 40 or 50 percent of their swarms have mysteriously disappeared. This massive die-off of honeybee populations has been dubbed ‘colony collapse disorder,’ and it is a big, big deal.”
Who Killed the Honey Bee?
Release Date: July 27, 2013
“A lot of people out there don’t realize one out of every three bites of food they stick in their mouths, these honeybees put on their dinner table … Across the world our bees are dying. In less than four years, we lost 800,000 hives in the United States; that’s one-third of the bees in the United States.”
Why Bees Are Disappearing
Release Date: September 17, 2013
“Bees are the most important pollinators of our fruits and vegetables and flowers; crops like alfalfa and hay also feed our farm animals. More than one-third of the world’s crop production is dependent on bee pollination. Honeybees have thrived for 50 million years, each colony has 40-50,000 individuals coordinated in amazing harmony. So why, seven years ago, did colonies start dying en masse? Marla Spivak reveals four reasons that are interacting with tragic consequences. This is not simply a problem because bees pollinate a third of the world’s crops. Could this incredible species be holding up a mirror for us?”
Release Date: July 9, 2010
“No one anticipated the consequence of that [neonicotinoid] policy in terms of bees … Now we understand there’s a big problem and the federal law really isn’t set up in a way to deal with it.”
Messages from Bees: A Japanese Documentary
Release Date: August 16, 2012
“Summer 2010 … [is happening] again. We received reports of the massive death of bees from around the country. New pesticides called neonicotinoids, which have been used since the 1990s, are claimed to be the cause. But other factors such as global warming, parasitic mites, epidemic, genetically modified crops, electronic magnetic waves, and the multiple contamination of these are also suspected.”
And, finally, from back in the day when the news wasn’t so grim, catch this super educational flick guaranteed to land you squarely in the honeybee’s corner!
PBS Nova Tales from the Hive
Release Date: January 4, 2000
NOVA chronicles a year in the life of a bee colony with stunning images that take viewers inside the innermost secrets of the hive. The documentary team spent a year developing special macro lenses and a bee studio to deliver the film’s astonishing sequences. These include the “wedding flight” of the colony’s virgin queen as it mates in mid-air with a drone; the life-and-death battle between two rival queens for the colony’s throne; and the defeat and death of a thieving wasp at the entrance to the hive. The show also explores such mysteries as the famous “waggle dance,” with which scout bees signal the exact direction and distance of nectar sources to the rest of the hive. A vivid picture emerges of the bee’s highly organized social life, revolving around the disciplined sharing of construction tasks, the collection of nectar, and warding off enemies.”