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Queen of the Sun

reviewed by Kristine Morris

Directed by Taggar Siegel / Produced by Jon Betz

Queen of the SunIn 1923, Austrian scientist, philosopher, and social innovator Rudolf Steiner warned that in 80 to 100 years, bees would disappear. Now, beekeepers, farmers, scientists, and philosophers are confirming the truth of his alarming prediction: bees all over the world are vanishing from their hives, and no one seems to know why. Queen of the Sun, a multi-award-winning documentary, takes a profound look at not only at what has been named “bee colony collapse” but at the urgent message that the bees — and those who care for them —have for us.

Director Taggart Siegel traveled the world to meet and interview the passionate and devoted men and women who are continuing the practices of a beekeeping lineage that goes back 10,000 years. From places as diverse as the rooftops of New York City and a 600-acre bee sanctuary in Virginia, the message is the same: the bees are in trouble and want us to know that we are, too. Included in the film are New York Times bestselling author Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma), Indian physicist and activist Vandana Shiva, and Gunther Hauk, a biodynamic beekeeper, farmer, author, and founder of Spikenard Farms and the Pfeiff er Center, who called the crisis of the bees “more important even than global warming. We could call it colony collapse of the human being, too.”

But, in spite of the manner in which corporate giants like Monsanto continue to trade the health of our planet and that of its inhabitants for profit, the news is not all grim. Many are awakening to the warnings of the bees and are taking action to protect the natural world and its pollinators. The film shows how, no matter where we live, we can take simple steps to help. We can plant bee-friendly flowers and flowering herbs in our gardens and yards; think more kindly of weeds, like clover and dandelion, that are needed by bees; stop using chemicals and pesticides on lawns and gardens; buy and eat local, raw honey; place around our gardens some small, shallow basins of water with stones in them for the bees to rest on while drinking; buy locally grown, organic food; learn how to be a sustainable beekeeper; learn that honeybees aren’t “out to get us;” share ideas and solutions with our communities; and let our elected representatives know what we think.

Beautiful and moving, the film affirms that the lessons of the hive are tailormade for twenty-fi rst-century humans: cooperation, respect for the intricate balance of nature, and dedication to a calling larger than that of the individual ego are essential if the bees — and we —are to survive.

> Back to May/June 2011 Reviews

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