Documentary explores lives of bees
Director Taggart Siegel will introduce his award-winning documentary “Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?” at a special screening 7 p.m. May 10 in the Byrd Auditorium at the National Conservation Training Center.
The event is co-sponsored by Fresh and Local CSA, a Shepherdstown biodynamic farm that advocates for the natural world, and The Locavore Project-WV, an initiative to raise awareness of area farms. The event is hosted by NCTC’s Community Lecture series and was made possible through the Herculean efforts of NCTC Historian Mark Madison.
Portland-based Siegel’s documentary is an in-depth investigation to discover the causes and solutions behind Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon where honeybees vanish from their hives and never return. “Queen of the Sun” follows the voices and visions of beekeepers, philosophers and scientists from around the world, struggling for the survival of the bees.
“Queen of the Sun” emphasizes the biodynamic and organic communities that have deep and profound insights into the long-term issues that have brought about the recent collapse.
Bees have provided humans with honey, wax and pollination for our food for over 10,000 years.
Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian scientist who, in 1923, predicted that within 100 years, “The mechanization of beekeeping and industrialization will eventually destroy beekeeping.”
“It’s not just honeybees that are affected by whatever is destroying hives, of course,” said Fresh and Local CSA farmer Logan Balliett. “Native pollinator’s, the ones that co-evolved with New World food plants are also dying out. Some 40 percent of our food supply requires pollination. This is getting serious.”
“Queen of the Sun” takes a journey around the world to uncover the compelling perspectives concerning the complex problems bees are facing such as malnutrition, pesticides, genetically modified crops, migratory beekeeping, parasites, pathogens and lack of genetic diversity from excessive queen breeding. The film elegantly finds practical solutions and discovers the deep link between bees survival and our own.
Beekeeper Gunther Hauk of Floyd Virginia calls the crisis, “More important even than global warming. We could call it Colony Collapse of the human being too.” Hauk also likes to say as often as possible – “Steiner was right, Steiner was right.!”
Recently, the U.N. released a study confirming that bee decline is a global issue.
“Of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees,” the head of the U.N. Environmental Programme warns. “The writing is on the wall. We have to do something to ensure pollination for future generations.”
Bees are the engines that keep the earth in bloom. “Queen of the Sun” presents the bee crisis as a global wake-up call and illuminates a growing movement of beekeepers, community activists and scientists who are committed to renewing a culture in balance with nature.
The talk is free and open to the public. The NCTC is located at 698 Conservation Way along Shepherd Grade Rd. in Shepherdstown, approximately 70 miles west of Washington and Baltimore.
The film will be shown at the Byrd Autidorium in the Entry Building at NCTC. No tickets or reservations are required, the public is encouraged to attend. For more information on the series please visit: http://training.fws.gov/history/publiclectures.html. If you would like more information on the speaker series contact: Mark Madison, (304) 876-7276, firstname.lastname@example.org.