Monday, February 28, 2011

Vanishing of the Bees screening: Bad News but Sweet Honey

Students in the Agriculture, Food and Environment program (or students who take Ag classes at Tufts) learn a lot about soil science, fertilizer use, and most of the inputs necessary for plants to grow inside our agricultural system. But rarely do we hear about the pollination services (namely, honeybees) that are also needed to grow most of the food we eat (in fact, 1 out of every 3 bites of food that you take is produced with the help of honeybee pollination).

This Sunday, Slow Food Boston, Slow Food Tufts, and Slow Food BU teamed up to host a screening of the documentary “Vanishing of the Bees.” This movie, narrated by Ellen Page (Juno and Inception) shed light on the current research into Colony Collapse Disorder, how it affects different beekeepers, its implications on agriculture, food safety and society as a whole, and what is being done to remedy the situation. I highly recommend the documentary for anyone interested in learning more about beekeeping and pollination services in agriculture and current events related to Colony Collapse Disorder. This issue may turn out to be a large political and scientific problem in the near future, and all Slow Foodies should educate themselves about it in order to best promote clean and fair food.

After the movie, a panel of local beekeepers(including Golden Rule Honey and Allandale Honey Co) discussed their feelings about the film and their personal experience working with beehives. One overarching theme of both the film and the panel is that there is a new wave of hobby beekeepers in the U.S. Many major cities (including Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York) have made backyard beekeeping legal again, and Michelle Obama even installed a beehive into the organic garden at the White House. Lastly, we all got to taste the delicious, original honey produced by these local beekeepers. Local honey has such a distinct taste, and can change in taste and color depending on what crops honeybees get pollen from.

It was a pleasure to watch this eye-opening film, hear from local apiarists (and taste their honey) and meet members of Slow Food Boston and Slow Food BU. Hopefully there will be many more opportunities to collaborate on events in the future!

Watch the trailer here:

Vanishing of the Bees - Trailer from Bee The Change on Vimeo.

Also, thank you to Slow Food BU for hosting the event!

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