Garbage Pail Bees April 12th, 2009

Interestingly enough, the co-editor and sound mixer of American Colonies: Collapse of the Bee, Tim Powers, recently reported that his father’s waste management business found a cluster of bees inside one of their trucks. This is not the first time they’ve found a small group of the pollinators seeking refuge in one of their waste management vehicles.

What does this mean? Is it a small overarching symptom of the greater problem at hand.

They called in an entomologist from the University of South Florida and surmised that the cluster contained a queen and some worker bees. Apparently, this situation sometimes arises when a queen is older or unhealthy and she is ousted from the colony and replaced by another queen. A small group of loyal workers accompanies her to a new location — a garbage truck in this instance. Unfortunately, this cluster’s days are surely numbered.

Canadian Colonies April 12th, 2009

Yes, the film is entitled American Colonies: Collapse of the Bee, but that doesn’t mean that the ravages of Colony Collapse Disorder aren’t felt elsewhere. In fact, the rapid and mysterious decline in honeybees and other pollinators is a global problem (environmentally and economically).

Previous evidence showed that the problem was the worst in the United States and Australia. Plus, America’s arc of history is a great prism/perspective to see this issue through. However, places like Canada and China are deeply involved as well. Actually, any country significantly engaged in globalization along with the juggernaut United States is deeply involved.

Interestingly, one of the film’s key narrators provided some insight into how Canada is approaching their battle with CCD. And, I paraphrase: Canadian beekeepers were paid $100 per hive by the Canadian government to call the phenomenon something else besides Colony Collapse Disorder.

What message does this send to you?

To further justify the potentially limiting title of the film, Canada can still technically be categorized as an America.

Milk and Honey April 12th, 2009

It’s easy to forget the connection between an insect that can sting you and the species’ role in the ecosystem/food supply.

As one expert in the film explains,”Everyone in this country is an entomophobe.”

But, the proof lies in every flowering plant you may see in every garden everyday. Honeybees and other pollinators provide the human race with all our fruits, vegetables, flowers, honey and MILK!

As Migratory Beekeeper Dave Hackenberg says, “The cows eat clover and alfalfa, which the bees pollinate, to survive and produce milk.”

Here is an interesting tidbit. Milk is a mass-produced product with many supposed health benefits. However, human bodies can only reap those benefits if they are consuming the right kind of milk. Despite the implied messages of low-fat diets, whole milk is actually closer to the raw milk provided by the cow, and therefore, healthier to consume due to its high protein and fat content. Skim milk, however, leaves out the animal fat the body needs to assimilate protein. The result is a higher risk of nutrient deficiencies. Yet, many people opt for skim or 2% at supermarkets and in coffee shops. Next time you’re craving a latte, pay attention to how many of your fellow customers order a sugar filled espresso drink with low-fat milk hoping that, in some way, it will all balance out.

It’s their choice. But, nobody would get to make that choice if it wasn’t for the amazing pollinators.

Welcome to American Colonies Movie ! February 10th, 2009

American Colonies Movie official site was opened on Feb 10, 2009