21 Nov 2012

Film Review: Queen of the Sun

I want to be a beekeeper.  My grandfather kept a couple hives on this same land.  I've always had an interest and admiration for those who keep bees.  Last year I read "The Year of the Flood" by Margaret Atwood and some of the best imagery in the book is when on of the characters communicates with the bees she stewards with light touch and pheromones, numerous times throughout the book.

I recently saw "Queen of the Sun" (2010).  It is a very important story for many reasons.  In modern agriculture most of us do not realize how important bees (and other pollinators!) are to the human food supply.  Pollinators carry pollen from a male flower to a female flower as they search for nectar, which in turn allows the plant to produce fruit.  Pollinators are important in producing fruit, nuts and seeds and everyday items such as almonds, apples, bananas, chocolate and coffee.  They important in kitchen gardens for producing squash, cucumbers, pumpkins and tomatoes.  Pollinators include hummingbirds, bees, insects and other birds.

This movie was short and sweet and included many talented beekeepers and activists, including my favourite hero, Vandana Shiva (who I just recently saw speak in Toronto!)  The film educates us about the honeybee crisis and how millions of honeybees have died due to pesticide and herbicide use.  Not only does it advocate for a more sustainable and ecologically responsible way of farming, it also educates us about why bees (and other pollinators) are important.  When I was a kid, I remember being scared of bees.  I thought they would sting me and that I should be afraid of them.  Now I realize that much of my fear of bees, was really of wasps and yellow-jackets.  Now when I see bees in my garden, I welcome them.

For more information see: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1645852/

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