Bill McKibben narrates a short, mellow video, "Dance of the Honey Bees." Planning an evening program for my retirement community about what's happening with bees, my search for resources turned this up on a Bill Moyers show. Sadly it ends with the dark side about honey bee demise. The link is from TruthOut, with transcript included along with a pledge you can sign to let Bayer (aspirin company) know you want them to stop killing bees.
Recently a number of scientists have identified neonicotinoids, a pesticide produced by Bayer, as the major culprit. Meanwhile, EFSA ( European food safety watchdog) has identified neonicotinoids as "an acute risk to honeybee health" but not to colony collapse. Bayer and Syngenta, major producers of the pesticide, have suggested their own plan to avoid the ban of the product that many are demanding.
Environmental groups in England and some other European countries appear more public in their demand for a ban than those in the U.S. In the past week, England has rebuffed this concern. Since Bayer is a German company, there is more interest in protecting it as an important player in the economy.
In this country the XL pipleline and fracking currently take front and center in the media. Speaking for the bees, the voices we hear in the U.S. are largely beekeepers and farmers and there are many in Oregon. Tom Foster, a neighbor of mine, had bee hives, sold honey before he moved here.
We're working on a program for June. Following his own deep history with bees--his father and grandfather were also beekeepers in the Northwest--we'll show a 20-minute excerpt from "Vanishing of the Bees." We hope to stimulate bee-connected interests among our members to buy local honey, maybe consider a bee hive on the roof of our building (where we grow tomatoes). Or, more modestly, borrow my copy of Foodopoly by the Wenoah Hauter, Exec Director of Food & Water Watch.
This informative and engaging 90-minute documentary, produced in the U.K., will be shown in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the next week. For a delightful, funkier take, an American one, try "Queen of the Sun." I'm hoping to find others as fascinated by bees as myself, an urban person moved to think more about the earth since connecting with a backyard in mid-20th century Baltimore.