What are the bees telling us?

Seems it’s insect/creepy crawler week here at What’s for Lunch? Something about the smell of soil in the air makes me think of bugs…

A few years ago we heard a lot about colony collapse disorder and the alarming decline of the global bee population. The fear it inspired—nearly all of the food we grow depends on these little pollinators—seemed to dissipate for a while, but a recent UN report puts it all back on the table. Chemical insecticides, air pollution, the rise of “alien species” and climate change are all factors in the decline, and the report’s authors say that unless human beings change their behaviour, there is potential for a real food-production crisis.

There’s also a chilling new doc on the subject called Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us? making the film festival circuit. Check out the trailer here (yes, those are bees all over the woman’s body).

And if you really can’t get enough of bees, you shouldn’t miss this haunting video about a beekeeper’s efforts to keep honey bees in the concrete jungle of Hong Kong. (Thanks to City Farmer News for directing me to it.)

Teachers looking for resources on how to talk to kids about bees—and their essential role in food production— might consider these curriculum-based ideas from The Canadian Honey Council’s web site, including book suggestions and lesson plans for Grades 1-3 that touch on everything from the Waggle Dance bees do to indicate flowers are far from the hive to the honey bee life cycle.

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