Project Description

Cover for the film, Vanishing of the Bees. Features a close up of bees against a skyline.

Vanishing of the Bees

2011 · Unrated · 1h 27m


Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives.

Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables.

Vanishing of the Bees follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capital Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees.

Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia, and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. As scientists puzzle over the cause, organic beekeepers indicate alternative reasons for this tragic loss. Conflicting options abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery.

About the Filmmakers

Vanishing of the Bees was produced by True Mind and directed by James Erskine. Find out more about the film at


“I now have a new found respect for the honeybee. This is an excellent film and should be required in schools at all levels from first grade to university level. This film really depicts the plight of the honeybee and why, as humans, we should all be VERY concerned with CCD or colony collapse disorder. It really should be called a phenomenon at this point. We can learn from other countries who have successfully rid themselves of CCD, but here in the US, we are too concerned about profits and politicking to care. A very sad and inconvenient truth indeed. When are we going to stop thinking we have better environmental skills than Mother Nature? We need to stop destroying our environment before we create our own doom.” – Tammy, Amazon

“I purchased this DVD because I am aware of the problems apiarists have been having and I wondered if they had discovered the cause and a possible solution. Apparently, they haven’t found the cause or a solution. The film does show the origins – or at least the discovery of the colony collapse. The film makes seemed very objective and filmed many different possibilities of the cause. They came to no conclusion. Hopefully one of the universities studying this will find a solution soon. The loss of bees would be as catastrophic as nuclear war – just slower to recognize.” – Fay Slater, Amazon

“Used the documentary in my Environmental Science Class. Students enjoyed it. It blended bee behavior and the plight of CCD very well.” – Peter Salciuanas, Amazon

“An extensive look into how corporate greed, money, and deception in America, can go unregulated at nature’s expense. Destroying honey bee populations by the arrogance of mankind. This is a great start to finish documentary.” – Ala Moana, Amazon

“If you care at all about the food you eat, you know that we need bees to produce as much as 1/3 of your daily diet. Bees are disappearing mysteriously and rapidly. “Vanishing of the Bees” investigates and supplies some of the answers that we desperately need to reform the way agriculture and our food supply is going. Highly recommended. It is beautifully shot too!” – Hagbard Celine, Amazon

“This is a well put together doc that highlights a crisis of global proportions. I thought this would just affect honey production if there are fewer bees in the world – how wrong I was. This is a very emotional doc and you can’t help but connect with the beekeepers and their plight to bring this crisis to the big wigs of the world. This really is a must see for every person who likes to eat, breathe and be alive.” – Jillian Lewis, Amazon

Related Reading on Your Daily Vegan

Honey is one of the most hotly debated topics among both vegans and non-vegans alike. Vegans avoid honey and bee products because they are made from the lives of bees. This makes sense. After all, vegans do not consume (to the extent that is possible and practical) animal products, and a bee is an animal. Others disagree and believe that avoiding minutia ingredients like honey can harm the vegan movement by appearing too rigid or difficult.

This line of reasoning is ridiculous and doesn’t give people enough credit. Worse, it’s faulty information and only ends up confusing people who are unfamiliar with what veganism is and means.

So, does the cultivation of honey and bee products hurt animals and the environment? Are insects even animals? Are vegans just being extreme by avoiding honey? What is the big deal anyway? To answer these questions, we must first take a look at who we obtain honey from, how it’s processed, and whether or not there are better choices available to us.

Spoiler alert: There are.

Continue to the full article >> Is Honey Vegan?

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Cover for the film, Vanishing of the Bees. Features a close up of bees against a skyline.

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