• Sitka groups band together to host the movie ‘Vanishing of the Bees’

The Sitka Film Society, Sitka Global Warming Group/Sustainable Sitka and the Sitka Local Foods Network are teaming up to present the movie “Vanishing of the Bees” at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, at the Coliseum Theatre.

This is a special Earth Week presentation (Earth Week is April 17-23, and Earth Day is Friday, April 22). Tickets are $8 and available from Old Harbor Books.

The movie, narrated by Ellen Page, describes a recent phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder, where entire hives of bees die off, leaving hives full of honey other bees won’t touch (normally when a hive dies off, other bees will raid the hive and take the honey). The loss of the bees is of critical concern for farmers and gardeners because honey bees are one of the major ways crops are pollinated. Without these bees pollinating the crops, we lose our ability to grow much of our food.

Here is the synopsis posted on the movie’s website:

Honeybees have been 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 and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables.

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 Capital 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 options abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery.