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Apr-22-2011 01:12printcomments

REVIEW: Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? Opens Earth Day Nationwide

Winner of numerous International Film Festivals, the film is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis by Portland Director Taggart Siegel.

Queen of the Sun

(SALEM, Ore.) - In Oregon, honeybees have been long respected as an integral part of the food chain, as they are in other agricultural "bread basket" areas. Mother Nature mandates that pollination occur for crops to produce at any reasonable level, and without bees... the world would be an entirely different place. Fruitless, one might say.

Imagine the shock beekeepers felt when they came into their bee yards to care for their hives, and discovered that the bees had disappeared. Where healthy, thriving colonies had resided just days (or hours) before, now were found suddenly completely empty. This strange occurrence repeated itself, not just in the United States, but around the world. Such an event is catastrophic to the beekeeper.

The mysterious killer is a phenomenon is called “Colony Collapse Disorder”, a name given to it without knowing the reason behind the collapse- where honeybees vanish from their hives, and never return.

This is an enormous problem for humanity, whether or not we are all aware of it.

In response to this global concern, Portland-based Director/Producer Taggart Siegal has released Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? It is an in-depth documentary which investigates the causes and solutions behind Colony Collapse Disorder, presented at a crucial time for honeybees.

An independent filmmaker since the mid-1980's, Taggart Siegel is best known as the director of the 2006 grass roots hit The Real Dirt on Farmer John, a documentary about a maverick visionary farmer which won 31 international film festivals awards and was released theatrically around the world.

Queen of the Sun explores the mysterious world of the beehive, weaving together dramatic stories of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world and emphasizes the biodynamic and organic ‘communities’ that have deep and profound insights into the long-term issues that have brought about the recent collapse.

The film is beautifully shot, all over the world, and is a pleasure to watch. The subject matter is not as comfortable however, nor should it be.

Tackling the problem of Colony Collapse Disorder was no small undertaking, but this film proves that regardless of the difficulty, progress can be achieved through remaining vigil to the cause.

The many charismatic people interviewed in Queen of the Sun share a common belief that solutions to the bee crisis lie in a renewal of agriculture and beekeeping that supports the needs of the bee - and therefore supports planet Earth.

Beekeeper Gunther Hauk calls the crisis "More important even than global warming. We could call it Colony Collapse of the human being too."

There is not a singular solution to the life and death issues facing bees today, but they deserve our undivided attention. After providing humans with crop pollination, honey, and wax for over 10,000 years, they have never before had to literally fight for survival. And yes, “man” has plenty to do with it.

“(Within 100 years) the mechanization of beekeeping and industrialization will eventually destroy beekeeping."
~Rudolf Steiner, Austrian scientist, predicted in 1923
In addition to confronting Colony Collapse Disorder, the documentary goes head on with the complex problems honeybees are up against such as malnutrition, pesticides, genetically modified crops, migratory beekeeping, parasites, pathogens, and lack of genetic diversity from excessive queen breeding.

The U.N. released a study confirming that bee decline is a global issue. "Of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world's food, over 70 are pollinated by bees."

Yvon Achard

The head of the U.N. Environmental Programme warns, "The writing is on the wall. We have to do something to ensure pollination for future generations."

Queen of the Sun follows the voices and visions of beekeepers, philosophers, and scientists from around the world, together striving to maintain the health and longevity of the bees they appreciate so much. The film offers practical solutions and demonstrates the deep link between the survival of honeybees and our own.

I have often described the workings of a honeybee hive as the perfect ecosystem. The bees work together as a body, to the benefit of each and every individual. No egos, no selfishness, no jealousy... And no corruption. At least, none that the bees are responsible for.

Queen of the Sun presents the current bee crisis as a global wake-up call and illuminates a growing movement of beekeepers, community activists and scientists who are committed to renewing a culture in balance with nature. Idealistic as that may be, it is certainly a good goal to work toward, and each of us is equally able to participate.

This film will be enjoyed by viewers of all walks of life. Whether you are dedicated to the health of your children, or the environment, or our planet, or if you just love honey, or appreciate the multitude of medicinal qualities it possesses... Even if you are afraid of bees, or deadly allergic, or if this is the first time you’ve ever even considered the value of the honeybee, this is a film for you. As my mom always says, "if you eat, you're involved in agriculture." So true.

It is refreshing to see this subject get such attention, and acclaim, as it provides an incredible amount of information to the viewer that may indeed change the way they look at those busy little bees.

Not only are honeybees and other pollinating insects intriguing to see up close and personal, but learning that the world as we know it may be a thing of the past if we, as humans, don’t take better care of those beautiful little worker bees is a very good reason to see this film.

Those girls literally keep the whole world in bloom, and we really need them to stick around.

Celebrate Earth Day by attending the premiere of this film:

Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? in Salem, Oregon as part of its nationwide theatrical release: Salem Cinema, 1127 Broadway NE, Salem, OR.

Producer, Jon Betz, will be in attendance for a Q & A on Saturday, April 23rd after the 6pm showing.

April 22nd 6:00 pm; April 23rd 12:45 & 6:00 pm; April 24th 2:15 pm; April 25th 12:30 & 5:30 pm; April 26th 5:30 pm; April 27th 8:20 pm; April 28th 8:20 pm

For more information, go to : Calendar Event


Publisher Bonnie King has been with since August '04. Bonnie has a wide ranging media background and in her career she has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and NIE/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers. View articles written by Bonnie King

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