Roger Ebert on “Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us”

by Dave Jennings Thursday, April 28th, 2011 8:27pm

Roger Ebert shares his thoughts on a film he says is “…a remarkable documentary that’s also one of the most beautiful nature films I’ve seen….”

Queen of the Sun
BY ROGER EBERT / April 27, 2011

In the Central Valley of California, there are 500,000 acres of almond trees. All almond trees. Nothing but almond trees. This is wrong. It is not natural. For these trees to bear almonds, they must be pollinated. But bees cannot live there, for there is nothing to sustain them when the trees are not in blossom. So hives containing millions of bees must be trucked more than a thousand miles, and then trucked back again.

Almonds are an agribusiness, run by corporations concerned only with profits. In “Queen of the Sun,” you will learn that bees would prosper in the valley if there were year-around nectar for them. Would it kill a corporation to set aside some tracts of land for flowers and vegetables? Wouldn’t that be easier and more pleasant than mile after mile and row after row of almond trees? Easier for the corporations and easier for the bees?

From time to time, a bee truck will be involved in a highway accident. These aren’t cute little yellow trucks, but long flatbed trailer-trucks. The bees escape, motorists panic, the cops are called, TV helicopters circle, exterminators swarm in, and no one asks — why in the hell are we trucking bees across the country?


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