Beeware! - © Matt Lemon Photography. All Right Reserved.

Bee on a thistle blossom. Tegel Forest, Berlin-Heiligensee, Germany
© Matt Lemon Photography© Matt Lemon Photography. All Rights Reserved.

While I was taking a close-up shot of these thistle blossoms in Tegel Forest near my family home, this bee suddenly posed for me, long enough for me to take this photo. Below are two videos about bees, one a beautiful song about a lonely bee, the other a scary documentary about the disappearance of bees which is potentially a bigger threat to humanity than the current financial crisis.

Shunned off from the colony

‘Honey Bee’ is a song about a lonely bee, shunned off from the colony. It is written and performed by Zee Avi, a Malaysian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and ukulele player. She was one of several Asian singers and bands I discovered during the years I spent between Thailand and South Korea, making friends from all over Asia. Click here to read the lyrics of her beautiful song.

Colony collapse disorder

Did you know that bees are actually dying in their millions? It is an ecological crisis that threatens to bring global agriculture to a standstill. This documentary by the BBC explores the reasons behind the decline of bee colonies across the globe, investigating what might be at the root of this devastation.

Honey bees are the number one insect pollinator on the planet, responsible for the production of over 90 crops. Apples, berries, cucumbers, nuts, cabbages and even cotton will struggle to be produced if bee colonies continue to decline at the current rate. Empty hives have been reported from as far afield as Taipei and Tennessee. In England, the matter has caused beekeepers to march on Parliament to call on the government to fund research into what they say is potentially a bigger threat to humanity than the current financial crisis.

Investigating the problem from a global perspective, the programme makers travel from the farm belt of California to the flatlands of East Anglia to the outback of Australia. They talk to the beekeepers whose livelihoods are threatened by colony collapse disorder, the scientists entrusted with solving the problem, and the Australian beekeepers who are making a fortune replacing the planet’s dying bees. They also look at some of the possible reasons for the declining numbers – is it down to a bee plague, pesticides, malnutrition? Or is the answer something even more frightening?


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