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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Queen of the Sun

Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.

This beautiful documentary is a tale of tragedy and hope. “Colony collapse disorder” is happening all over the world, and especially in the United States or wherever “monoculture” exists. Monoculture is when only one crop is grown for miles and miles. In the U.S. colony collapse disorder is prevalent where only corn and soy beans are grown, for example. “Bees are the legs of plants,” one expert says. With monoculture, nature is thwarted.

Experts in the film love honey bees and consider them to be like the canaries in coal mines; when a canary died, it was a sign that gasses were building up for an explosion and miners had a chance to flee. Where honey bee colonies collapse, it is a sign that the food system is in crisis. Why? Because bees need to cross-pollinate, and with only one crop, this is not possible and other plants cannot grow. Pesticides kill insects in the food chain, starving the system. The genetic manipulation of seed that does not reproduce seeds, called “terminator” seeds, also contributes to colony collapse disorder.

There is an effort to breed queen bees that in the wild can live for four to five years. Bred queens barely last for a year, so even bee activity becomes artificial. They are artificially inseminated and fed antibiotics and high fructose corn syrup, again damaging the food chain. The process short circuits the cycle of life.

We still do not know the long-term effects of this manipulation of honey bees will have on nature and our food supply.

The film is not only science: it is poetry and reverence for God’s creation. One bee keeper says that “Pollen is marginalized light.”

There is now a need for honey bee sanctuaries and there was a “Pollinator Week” in New York City to legalize bee keeping that some are already doing on roof tops.

“Queen of the Sun: what are the bees telling us?” is an inspiring film about and by poet-scientists that can motivate us to respect nature and remind us that God’s way in nature is the best way.

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