So this morning a truck filled with bee hives tipped over on I-5 in Lynnwood near where I live. I was informed of the accident by frantic friends on Facebook who insisted on being fearful and stating how much the bees were impacting their lives. I immediately saw this as an opportunity to post about a movie I just saw a few days ago, More Than Honey.
I was first recommended this movie by the Root Simple Podcast (that I love to listen to while I am working) where they interview a gentleman who keeps bees the traditional way; without chemical treatments required by big agricultural corporate interests. I do not have much interest in becoming a bee keeper, but I am always interested in how our food is made. This seemed like a movie that I had to watch.
More Than Honey (2012) is a comparison between two styles of bee keeping in the world today. The movie starts out in the view point of a Swiss traditional bee keeper who has been raising bees in the same harmonious fashion as his father and grandfather. The second viewpoint is that of a commercial bee keeper in the United States who annually drives his hives around the country on the back of semi-trucks following the blossoming of the commercial monoculture orchards. They start in the Almond orchards of California, then move to the apple orchards of Washington and continue the loop around the States taking the entire year until it starts all over again.
The movie has beautiful cinematography of bees living in their hives while informing the viewer about how bees live and the process of making honey.
The movie itself is slanted in the direction of showing the cruelty of the modern commercial bee keepers and the natural humanized method of the traditional bee keeper. I think the movie makes it’s point when confronting the modern issue of commercial bee hives dying to unknown and mysterious causes. It demonstrates the way we neglect bees while tearing apart their hives to harvest their honey resources.
A final thought from Albert Einstein:
“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”
Fortunately the Chinese have found another way!