Imagine going to your local supermarket and finding no fruits or vegetables in the produce section. It will never happen. Or will it?
The mass death of bees around the world is called colony collapse disorder (CCD).Yes, bees, the insects that epitomize hard work, unity, and cooperation, and the insects that are an integral part of a $15 billion-a-year pollination industry.
Vanishing of the Bees deserves four stars. It is an absolute must for ecology and environmental science courses. It is appropriate for grades 7 through 16. It makes an ideal subject for interdisciplinary teaching, particularly science, economics, social studies, and English language arts, and can be easily used to create a customized course in the biological sciences. It allows students to evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information, all of which address higher-order thinking. I highly recommend adding this DVD to your college's or district's library.
Using interviews, outstanding graphics, quotations from memorable individuals, and an awesome storytelling technique, the directors of Vanishing of the Bees permit viewers to investigate the where and the why of CCD.
The film has a very strong focus on the nature of science inquiry. Theories are discussed and disproven, generating many additional questions to be answered. The story of CCD allows students to encounter agricultural practices (monoculture), genetically modified crops, effects of pesticides on the immune and nervous systems, the precautionary principle, and synergistic effects. "Voting with your fork" is also mentioned. And how many of us knew that major metropolitan areas such as New York City have beekeepers?
Speaking of "voting with your fork," the film serves a smorgasbord of concepts, allowing an instructor to take full advantage of Roger Bybee's 5 E's (Bybee, R. et al., 2006, The BSCS 5E Instructional Model: Origins, Effectiveness, and Applications. Colorado Springs, CO: BSCS). The insightful use of this resource might generate an entire semester's coursework.