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The Beekeepers

Distributed by Cinema Guild, 115 West 30th Street, Suite 800, New York, NY 10001; 212-685-6242
Produced by Richard Knox Robinson
Directed by Richard Knox Robinson
DVD, color, 28 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Animal Behavior, Climate Change, Environmental Studies, Physiology

Reviewed by Buzz Haughton, Shields Library, University of California at Davis

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 11/3/2009

This DVD focuses on bees as environmental harbingers. Raised by humans for probably five thousand years, it was not until Darwin’s observations in the nineteenth century that scientists realized how roughly four- fifths of the crops grown agriculturally depend on bees for pollination. The advent of widespread pesticide use (an outgrowth of early twentieth-century chemical warfare) has caused systemic declines in bee populations. Interviews with several beekeepers underline the potential disaster that may begin with bees and spread up the life chain to ourselves.

One minor caveat: To emphasize how humans’ disruption of the environment is causing disease and death in bees, the director introduces various film distortions (e.g. film miscounts and lack of focus). This reviewer thought at first there was something wrong with his computer! After a few minutes, the viewer will probably understand that this is a technique meant to underscore human interference in the natural order of things.

This video is highly recommended to an adult audience of high school and college adults.