Imagine a world where one third of the crop species in the United States were gone forever? No apples, nuts, broccoli, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, celery, squash and cucumbers, citrus fruit, peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, melons, as well as animal-feed crops. That is the scary possible future presented in PBS' The Silence of the Bees.
See, bees are necessary for all flowering plants, and suddenly and mysteriously in 2006 billions of them began to disappear. This thorough investigation of the global problem, termed Colony Collapse Disorder, travels to all corners of the world where scientists are working to solve the problem, where bee keepers are suffering losses, and where farmers have already suffered from the loss of bees.
The amazing footage, which keeps us in awe of the animal kingdom, particularly with the rare and wild “dance” the honey bees to as a form of communication is enchanting, and F. Murray Abraham does a nice job with the narration.
Since the airing of the show, scientist have made major breakthroughs in solving the mystery, isolating a possible virus, but everyone is still waiting to see if the epidemic is over.
The DVD is paired with the pretty but slightly less intriguing Parrots in the Land of Oz. The Silence of Bees was the recipient of the Peabody award, and rightly so. It's a harrowing portrait of a planet that is fragile, where every species can impact others, whether we are aware of it or not