Synopsis by Mark Deming
In the fall of 2006, many beekeepers around the world began reporting a disturbing phenomenon -- the bees in their hives were dying at a tremendous rate, with some estimating that 90% of the bees in their colonies were gone. While this was obviously a serious blow to honey producers, the disappearance of the bees also posed a potential crisis for global agriculture; the United States Department of Agriculture estimates a third of all food consumed in the U.S. is in some way connected to bee pollination, particularly nuts, berries, vegetables and fruits. As entomologists try to find a solution to what has been called "Colony Collapse Disorder," filmmakers Carter Gunn and Ross McDonnel examines how the scientific community has reacted to CCD and how it has effected one family business in the documentary Colony. The Seppis are a California family who started a beekeeping operation, both to produce honey and to rent their hives to local farmers for pollination. However, the one-two punch of Colony Collapse Disorder and an economic crisis among local farmers has pushed them to the brink of financial meltdown, with no easy answers in sight. Colony was an official selection at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.
agriculture, beekeeping, bees, crisis