Monday, May 6, 2013

To bee or not to bee

Just saw this very good film about bees: "More Than Honey" by Markus Imhoof. I'm really at a loss for words – which doesn't happen often. So please bear with me when I instead re-post the official description of the film here below.

I basically only have one thing to say: see the film as soon as you can and ponder, ponder, ponder... You won't be happy doing it, but it really provides food for thought in this endless parade of human stupidity that we involuntarily wallow in. Self-destruction appears to be ingrained in the human psyche, period. Because, as the film shows so well, all types of "political" systems cause an equal amount of damage. The official diagnosis would be shortsighted greed. American capitalist or Chinese communist? It's all the same troglodyte causal thinking.

This film not only displays a phenomenal metaphor for human culture in general, but also an endearing and well made insight into a creature far, far more intelligent than human beings.

More than Honey
Worldwide, millions of honeybee colonies are dying each year. A complete understanding about its causes is yet to be determined, but one thing is certain: We are not just dealing with a few dead insects, and there’s more at stake than just a bit of honey. “If the bee goes extinct, man will surely follow within four years” is how Albert Einstein might have worded the problem.
In today’s industrialized agriculture, honeybees are invaluable for their pollination services. A third of all the food we eat has been pollinated by honeybees.
However, our dependency is mutual. Humans benefit from the bees – but the honeybee followed in man’s footsteps and thereby achieved worldwide expansion. “White man’s fly”, Native Americans called it, because it arrived with the Europeans and seemed altogether so alike in character: greedy, aggressive and diligent until death.
However, the balance of power seems to shift in recent times. Is today’s situation just a momentary fluke in the unwritten contract between human and bee or are we facing the early stages of a total collapse of the system? Is it caused by bees or us?
Searching for answers “More than Honey” takes us around the world to meet people living with and off honeybees. On our trip we meet almond growers in California, a Swiss mountain beekeeper, a neuroscientist investigating bee brains in Berlin, a pollen dealer in China, and a bee researcher in Australia. We even get to see “killer bees” invading the New World. We gain spectacular visual insights into the beehive –a fascinating world of fighting queens and dancing workers, of highly sophisticated swarm intelligence, where the individual constantly serves the requirements of the community.
The relationship between humans and honeybees tells us a lot about ourselves, about nature and about our future. We understand that stability is just as unhealthy as unlimited growth and that it is crisis and catastrophe that fuels evolutionary developments. And we learn that a remedy might sometimes arise in the camouflage of a catastrophe and from a totally unexpected source.
Everybody talks about the death of the honeybee. “More than Honey” shows us more about it’s life.