Honeybees, a keystone species vital to sustaining our ecosystem, are mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives.
Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries, almonds and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that provide one out of every three bites of food on our tables.
Narrated by Academy Award nominee Ellen Page, "Vanishing of the Bees" follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capitol Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees.
Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. As scientists puzzle over the cause, organic beekeepers indicate alternative reasons for this tragic loss. Conflicting opinions abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery.
Following the story for three years, directors George Langworthy and Maryam Henein chronicle the innermost thoughts and feelings of beekeepers and scientists as they fight to preserve the honeybee and make it through another day. Combining interviews from around the world, animation, 50's educational films and breathtaking nature cinematography, George and Maryam present not just a story about Colony Collapse Disorder, but a platform full of solutions, encouraging audiences to be the change they want to see in the world.
Special features include: "Honeybee Rescue" - how to remove a bee colony from your property without harming the bees and "Beekeeping in France" - which covers the history of beekeeping in France and the origin of the modern beehive, as well as an animated short film on the disappearance of honeybees by the film's animator, Antanas Skukas, entitled Colony Collapse Disorder (An Unfinished Story).