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COLONY COLLAPSE DOCUMENTARY?

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  • Peter Bernhardt
    On June 12 the New York Times critic, Stephen Holden, reviewed the documentary, More Than Honey by a Swiss filmmaker. Markus Imhoof. The critic described
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 14, 2013
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      On June 12 the New York Times critic, Stephen Holden, reviewed the documentary, "More Than Honey" by a Swiss filmmaker. Markus Imhoof.   The critic described the film as "fascinating but rambling."

      If you read the critic's synopsis you will have have the impression that the  filmmaker blames CCD on use of pesticides.  The word, virus, does not appear at all in the review.  What may be of particular interest to us is that Imhoof included footage of almond blossom season in California groves. This includes a sequence in which a honeybee is disabled by pesticides, recovers and flies back to the hive where "it will spread the pesticide."

      The critic seemed most impressed with an interview sequence with Randolf Menzel who addresses the bee colony as "a single, large animal."  Is this is an expansion of the "super organism concept" developed in the early 20th century?  I wonder if this has anything to do with field experiments made by Dr. Thomas Seely (Cornell)?  There was a nice piece on Seely's work on how a honeybee colony "makes choices" rerun on NOVA last night.   

      If this movie has some sort of impact on the press and public we may all be called upon to comment in the near future.  This may mean I have to view it when, and if, it arrives in the fancy, movie  art house near my town.  They will charge me $9 for a ticket.  

      Peter 
    • Brian Dykstra
      Dear All - Thanks Peter. I am interested in seeing and critiquing the movie as well. The popular book by Jürgen Tautz and Helga R. Heilmann entitled The
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 14, 2013
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        Dear All - 
        Thanks Peter.  I am interested in seeing and critiquing the movie as well.
        The popular book by Jürgen Tautz and Helga R. Heilmann entitled 'The Buzz about Bees - Biology of a Superorganism' (2008) expands on Seely's work, actually taking the time to compare honey bees to mammals, which for some less taxonomic minded readers caused some confusion.  
        I think it is a very worthwhile endeavor to provide commentary about popular media portrayals of scientific issues.  Unfortunately, more of us are not hired prior to the release of articles, books, tv shows, and movies, so that they may be accurate.  On this topic: I am currently reviewing the Pollinator Partnership NAPPC (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign) pollinator planting guide for Hawaiian Islands.  They have put it online already http://www.pollinator.org/guides.htm.  I have told them it contains numerous errors, misleading statements, and misrepresents the pollinators of the Hawaiian Islands.  It also provides suggestions harmful to endangered endemic pollinators.   I am glad to say they are open to my edits, which should replace the current mistakes.  An online guide can be changed, peoples ideas (once established) are much harder! 
        Brian



        On Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 4:42 AM, Peter Bernhardt <bernhap2@...> wrote:
         

        On June 12 the New York Times critic, Stephen Holden, reviewed the documentary, "More Than Honey" by a Swiss filmmaker. Markus Imhoof.   The critic described the film as "fascinating but rambling."

        If you read the critic's synopsis you will have have the impression that the  filmmaker blames CCD on use of pesticides.  The word, virus, does not appear at all in the review.  What may be of particular interest to us is that Imhoof included footage of almond blossom season in California groves. This includes a sequence in which a honeybee is disabled by pesticides, recovers and flies back to the hive where "it will spread the pesticide."

        The critic seemed most impressed with an interview sequence with Randolf Menzel who addresses the bee colony as "a single, large animal."  Is this is an expansion of the "super organism concept" developed in the early 20th century?  I wonder if this has anything to do with field experiments made by Dr. Thomas Seely (Cornell)?  There was a nice piece on Seely's work on how a honeybee colony "makes choices" rerun on NOVA last night.   

        If this movie has some sort of impact on the press and public we may all be called upon to comment in the near future.  This may mean I have to view it when, and if, it arrives in the fancy, movie  art house near my town.  They will charge me $9 for a ticket.  

        Peter 


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