Tag Archives: honeybees

‘Queen of the Sun’ to pollinate awareness of honeybee crisis

Director Taggart Siegel will introduce his award-winning  documentary ‘Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?’ at a special screening 7 PM May 10 in the Byrd Auditorium  at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC). The event is co-sponsored by Fresh and Local CSA, a Shepherdstown biodynamic farm that advocates for the natural world, and The Locavore Project – WV, an initiative to raise awareness of area farms. The event is hosted by  NCTC’s Community Lecture series and was made possible through the Herculean efforts of NCTC’s Mark Madison.

Portland-based Taggart Siegel’s documentary is an in-depth investigation to discover the causes and solutions behind Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon where honeybees vanish from their hives, and never return. Queen of The Sun follows the voices and visions of beekeepers, philosophers, and scientists from around the world, struggling for the survival of the bees.

Queen of The Sun emphasizes the biodynamic and organic communities that have deep and profound insights into the long-term issues that have brought about the recent collapse.

Bees have provided humans with honey, wax and pollination for our food for over 10,000 years. Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian scientist who, in 1923, predicted that within 100 years, “The mechanization of beekeeping and industrialization will eventually destroy beekeeping.”


“It’s not just honeybees that are affected by whatever is destroying hives, of course,” says Fresh and Local CSA farmer Logan Balliett. “Native pollinator’s, the ones that co-evolved with New World food plants are also dying out. Some 40% of our food supply requires pollination. This is getting serious.”


Queen of The Sun takes a journey around the world to uncover the compelling perspectives concerning the complex problems bees are facing such as malnutrition, pesticides, genetically modified crops, migratory beekeeping, parasites, pathogens, and lack of genetic diversity from excessive queen breeding.  The film elegantly finds practical solutions and discovers the deep link between bees survival and our own.

Beekeeper Gunther Hauk of Floyd Virginia calls the crisis, “More important even than global warming. We could call it Colony Collapse of the human being too.” Hauk also likes to say as often as possible “Steiner was right, Steiner was right!”

Recently, the U.N. released a study confirming that bee decline is a global issue. “Of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees.” The head of the U.N. Environmental Programme warns. “The writing is on the wall. We have to do something to ensure pollination for future generations.”

Bees are the engines that keep the earth in bloom. Queen of The Sun presents the bee crisis as a global wake-up call and illuminates a growing movement of beekeepers, community activists and scientists who are committed to renewing a culture in balance with nature.


An independent filmmaker since the mid-1980’s, Taggart Siegel is best known as the director of the 2006 grass roots hit The Real Dirt on Farmer John. This critically acclaimed feature documentary about a maverick visionary farmer, won 31 international film festivals awards and was released theatrically around the world. Siegel is also known for his award-winning films The Split Horn: Life of a Hmong Shaman in America, Between Two Worlds and Blue Collar and Buddha, which capture the struggle of refugees in America. He is the co-founder of Collective Eye, Inc., a non-profit media production and distribution organization based in Portland, Oregon and San Francisco.

About the co-sponsors

More information on Fresh and Local CSA is at www.freshandlocalcsa.com.

More information on The Locavore Project – WV is at tinyurl.com/locavore-WV