Silence of the Bees

In the winter of 2006, a strange phenomenon fell upon honeybee hives across the country. Without a trace, millions of bees vanished from their hives. A precious pollinator of fruits and vegetables, the disappearing bees left billions of dollars of crops at risk and threatened our food supply. The epidemic set researchers scrambling to discover why honeybees were dying in record numbers — and to stop the epidemic in its tracks before it spread further.

Silence of the Bees is the first in-depth look at the search to uncover what is killing the honeybee. The filmmakers of Bees take viewers around the world to the sites of fallen hives, to high-tech labs, where scientists race to uncover clues, and even deep inside honeybee colonies. Silence of the Bees is the story of a riveting, ongoing investigation to save honeybees from dying out. The film goes beyond the unsolved mystery to tell the story of the honeybee itself, its invaluable impact on our diets and takes a look at what’s at stake if honeybees disappear. Silence of the Bees explores the complex world of the honeybee in crisis and instills in viewers a sense of urgency to learn ways to help these extraordinary animals.

Silence of the Bees premiered on PBS October 28, 2007.

Exclusive Podcast: In this podcast, scientists and bee experts featured in the program discuss the crucial role that honeybees, a “keystone species,” play in our economy and ecosystems, as well as bees’ fascinating social organization and what we can do to reverse the decline of nature’s pollinators.

  • Caroline

    A Few Thoughts On Genetically Re-engineered Foods

    I’ve seen the Silence Of The Bees program twice now and realized that our genetically re-engineered foods were not mentioned at all. What if the pollen created by the genetically superior food blossoms is somehow to blame? I’m no scientist, but what good are organically grown foods if they are grown from genetically perverse seeds? The bees will be feeding on pollen that may be lacking in needed nutrition. It’s no different than pure bread dogs in the respect to certain breeds becoming less intelligent or more aggressive over time. Could the pollen created thus be losing it’s nutritious qualities to bees over time, to reflect the malnutrition mentioned in the program?

    Really, who needs softball sized tomatoes? Maybe we should consider that the entire plant, not just the fruit, is no longer the same and thus not only is it effecting us in different ways, but the bees as well. I see the loss of the bees as a precursor to, the world realizing the impact of these genetic giants that we ingest. Once upon a time, preservatives and certain fats were considered the “end and be all” in the food industry. Notice that they are now both limited in their use and consumption for adverse health reasons. Look at the exponential growth of disease effecting the citizens of the world. Many nutritionists blame not only “junk foods” but the foods we eat. If these foods could be proven to be the cause of some of these diseases because our bodies somehow have become effected over time by processing these new foods, why wouldn’t they effect bees too? It’s said over and over, “we are what we eat”. This must apply to bees as well.

  • Will

    Caroline; you raised an interesting point about genetically engineered plant foods. But most of the research done in this area involves grain foods such as newer strains producing higher yields consisting of largely wind pollinated wheat, oats, barley and corn—not really a problem requiring honey bees. However, the analysis posed in solving the dilemma dealt with the biological, chemical, and disease epidemiology in search of a cause for CCD in Honey Bee hives. Yet, one important factor was overlooked.
    Several years ago I contacted the USGS-(United States Geological Survey) with an inquiry regarding the Earth’s magnetic field. Two geologists affirmed for at least the past 50-years the planet’s magnetic field has been weakening. This means the Earth’s magnetosphere is also gradually shrinking; hence, causes larger ozone holes over the Polar Regions. A smaller and thinner magnetosphere allows more UV-light to penetrate down through the atmosphere to the surface. Higher UV-radiation means two things, first increased skin cancers, which has been happening, and the extinction of UV-sensitive species such as frogs or other moist skinned amphibians and insects. Biologists studying these creatures in the tropics have also noted a marked reduction in frogs and various insect species in Central American jungles during recent years. Factor this problem with the others already examined in the Nature Documentary and we discover a correlation exists. Moreover, this should sound alarms around the globe considering the magnitude of the ramifications if this problem remains ignored. Left not addressed the global honey-bee CCD dilemma guarantees a global wide famine of unprecedented proportions within 30 or less years.

  • Ranbo

    As I watched the documentary, the first thought I had was that shipping bees from place to place is going to expose them to lots of different diseases. Bees in one place may get hit by a disease from time to time, but if you take them everywhere, then they are going to get hit by lots of them. The show indicated that there was a wide range of problems found in some of the bees. I wonder if sharing more bees among fewer places would give the bees more of a fighting chance?

    Also, I wonder why China hasn’t tried re-importing bees? Or are they still using the pesticides that would kill them back off?

  • robert weatherly

    I just watched the Bee Documentary on PBS and I had never heard of this CCD problem before. Why is a problem as important as disappearing bees not more out in the open? Our gosh dern bees are disappearing for heaven’s sake.
    I have one question – Has the first comment by Caroline been sent to every genetic engineer on the planet? (I sure hope so) When are we humans going to be OK with what we have? Oops, – that was two questions.
    One thing is certain – we shall soon find ourselves busy as bees tryin to figure this one out. That or a diet of wheat and corn. No wait, corn is for cars now. Oh I’m so confused… SUPPORT THE BEES… BRING ‘EM HOME…

  • Noah Sanders

    As I watched the Nature special on CCD I was alone in my home, eating breakfast, and quickly became enthralled. About three-fourths of the way into the program it begain to describe the loss of bees in Beijing, and then mentioned that China was exporting royal jelly to feed larva in breeding hives all over the world. I exclaimed out loud- “It’s the royal jelly!”. Moments later the american scientist at the Australian symposium stated that royal jelly from china was found to contain the Israelian Bee disease.
    What studies have been done to connect hives being fed chinese royal jelly and hives afflicted with CCD? We have all seen continued evidence of China’s lack of food and product quality control. It seems obvious that bee farmer’s need to find a new source of royal jelly for breeding and that they should completely quarantine entire farms, not just hives, of bees which have any evidence of infection. Who else can we write to about this devestating natural disruption?

  • Timothy

    Of “genetically re-engineered foods”,I would think that would have been one of the first things looked at and would have been easily proven to be the cause if it was. So I don’t re-engineered foods are in issue in this instance.

  • Sonya

    Just a tiny nitpick. Caroline wrote, “what good are organically grown foods if they are grown from genetically perverse seeds?” If a product is certified organic, that means that in addition to being grown without pesticides, etc., that it is not grown from GM seeds. The USDA organic certification program does have some flaws, but it does prohibit GMOs.

  • Jeff

    Living in the country in SE, Minnesota for the past 30 eyars we have seen a steady decline of pollinators. It has risen rapidly with the introduction of GMO seed ( corn / beans ). This seed seems to have the effect of an insectcide on all insects and this past year or so many of the neighbors who plant soy beans have simply said they cannot find soy bean seed that is not coated with an insectcide. But these folks that peddle this stuff only care about controlling the crop structure and frankly don’t give a hoot about the damage done by their actions. Today is the 4th and our Linden Tree is in full bloom. You can get the aroma a half mile away downwind. Right now it is full of flies and not honey bees. At least the wild insects that are somehow surving around here are helping. This should be a major concern we all need to do something about.

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  • Sara

    I agree with other readers that genetically modified crops may very well be a culprit with CCD. I also would not be surprised if the global expansion and use of cell phones and microwave technology are having a strong impact.

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  • Anthony A. Capobianco

    I have not heard another thing said, good or bad, since having seen your special about CCD, and am wondering if the disappearing honey bee issue has been resolved or not? Please advise.

  • Chris

    I’m surprised no one has even considered the possibility of radiation.

    “German research has long shown that bees’ behaviour changes near power lines.”

  • Truditru Khouri

    If you want to contact her Sen Barbara Boxer is working on this problem in her role as a member of the Senate Agriculture subcommittee. There are some excellent posts on this thread. Things I had not thought of. Good stuff. Thank you

  • SnaggleTooth

    I first saw this show in June 08. It gave me a knot in my gut that won’t go away. I’d been unaware of the scope of the issue. We have to solve this mystery ASAP! I haven’t seen a local honeybee all summer yet- for the first time ever this year.
    I’m posting about it this week, linking here.
    Please keep the research going- so many factors, so little time-

  • Byron

    I agree with #8 Noah Sanders. In the name of a fast buck the Chinese first tried to poison our kids with lead paint. Then they tried to kill our pets with bad dog food. Now it looks like they are killing the bees with bad Royal Jelly.

  • Colony Collapse Disorder « Lovely Plantings

    [...] A recent episode of Nature, on Public Television, on this very topic, was entitled, “Silence of the Bees.” It was compelling, with the message that colony collapse disorder is probably caused by many factors. The full episode can be viewed on the PBS website: [...]

  • jake mario age 9

    i have an idea for keeping bees myself using brown japenese knot weed tied together i am going to try this and i hope it will work.

  • Scott Castille

    Imagine our world without bees, This would be an incredible problem, for food. I hope the current scientists can come up with some way to Restore Precious Bees..

    Nature Freak I am, Thank you PBS for all of the Content on Nature, I Love IT!!!

  • Keith Farnish

    If you happen to be a viewer of the PBS television network in the USA, which is watched by 73 million people a week and provides “high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment”[vii] then you may have come across a documentary called “Silence of the Bees,” which showed the potential impact of Colony Collapse Disorder. I hesitate to quote from the trailer, but here goes:

    “Life as we know it, I don’t think will exist.”

    “You won’t get any fruits, and you won’t get any vegetables.”

    “We’re scared to death!”[viii]

    I hope those people were quoted out of context because they really looked like they were gearing up for global collapse. Actually, that may not be such a stupid idea, but it probably won’t have anything to do with bees. The sober truth is that if the world’s bees disappeared we would be faced with a disaster of sorts, but that disaster would be far more economic than ecological.

  • conrad mooney

    the humans are busy killing them selfs.Imagine life without bees,no fruits no vegetables camon people treat nature with respect because without nature we cant survive

  • Davin George

    Great Documentary! And you can’t blame the Chinese for adopting capitalist ideals in terms of ‘lets make a buck’. How often has the western hemisphere done exactly the same thing? Only we’ve covered it up numerous times and not been caught. They were just unlucky in my opinion. And this has been shown to contact the what? Israelian Bee disease? And where would that have come from? So we have an Israeli export to China which is now destroying our bees. Don’t go blaming China in this case, follow it back to its source, thats your problem.

    Why isn’t more being done to encourage the local native bees? We should be encouraging the local bees and other pollinating species and going back to basics. At least then if we can produce food we can build upon it, but at the moment without pollinators we’re screwed. What this should show us is that if you get dependant upon one product or service it will eventually bite you, and at the moment we’re getting bitten! Hopefully we’ll learn from this? Hopefully

  • Robert Tormey

    I watched this video and was intrigued enough by the subject to do some additional research. Unfortunately, I found out some disturbing facts that show some bias by the filmakers in their coverage of this important event-
    According to Michael Shacker’s book, ‘A Spring Without Bees’ the French first began to face CCD in the mid 90’s and are far down the road in understanding CCD and in resolving it. Having run all the traps from mites to genetically modified crops etc. the culprit appears to be a class of chlorinated nicotine based neurotoxin pesticides called neonicotinoid most typically imidacloprid and Fibronil. Sometimes called IMD’s these products are marketed under the names GAUCHO and the product is made by BAYER, the German Chemical Company (known here in the US for it’s aspirin products). In any case, after the French banned their use, bees in southern France did recover and ‘came back’ as early as 2005.Curiously, this film did not mention the French conclusions nor the recovery of the French Bees as early as 2005. The film seemed to show extraordinary sympathy to the researchers at Pennsylvania State who are working so hard to address CCD. However, as Schacker points out, Page 106 and 107, Bayer’s US operations are in Pittsburgh and Bayer has close ties to Penn State having given over $3.7MM to the university and $300,000 in scholarship grants. Curiously, the Penn State CCD Working Group has spent no time, according to Schacker, researching the French conclusions about Bayer’s IMD products.Schacker feels that Bayer is influencing the Penn State work away from examining its product.

    I don’t suspect NPR is biased in any way but find it curious that I’m the only one in this blog to have commented on the ‘French Connection’. I’ll be pleased if NPR allows my post to stand or if Bayer will somehow file a protest. But Schacker’s work is available for anyone to review and is clearly in the public domain. I don’t feel there should be harm in asking others to consider his conclusions and when last I checked the French are serious enough scientists regardless of what else we may think of them.

    Thanks. give a look see too.

    Bob Tormey

  • Dominick

    well i can say everyone has a different theory as to why they are dissappering. so all i can say is my piont of veiw. with the first time i started to hear about CCD and talking with other beekeepers some had problems and some did not and from what i see and hear from the first case to now.. is care for bees..if you work to hard and dont get time to rest your immune system gets weak and you can at times get sick..if you ship your bees from wisc. to florida, to calif. and ect place after place with forced to work certian fruits then they naturaly are not getting the proper food they need.. if u eat fast food for a long period of time and thats it then your body will start going backwards. you get your honey let them sit and take care of themselves dont get greedy for that extra dollar there like kids take care of them our bees sit for almost 5 mons before they go to calif. for the pollination and then we sit them and work them back to health so the are good for the next crop yr we dont push them to the end……dont be greedy take care of you kids(bees)…

  • Larry Heine

    Thank you Bob Tormey! I am headed to right now. I am on a focus group to advise our local Board of Sups as to the need for a ban on GMO’s. I have bees and formed the opinion there is a link in CCD and increased GMO production in our area. This will give me another tool to use. Thanks again,
    Larry Heine

  • Lauren Payne

    I want to thank PBS for providing such a wonderful Educational material, my students at BCIS watched the documentary and are preparing Power Points based on the Silence of the Bees.
    They learned so much….

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  • Wesley

    I’m a Horticulture major at West Virginia University. Multiple factors effect disease in the Western Honey bee (Apis Mellifera). We’re dealing with Mites, Viruses, Fungi, and even the bee’s own behaviors. Will brings up a very good point about the Earths magnetic field. Honey bees build their combs North to South. Without that magnetic field the combs are built in a random direction. However I don’t believe this would effect their ability to forage during the day since they don’t need a strong magnetic field to function.

  • Swamiolsson

    Well, this is interesting debate. #36 Wesley finally points to multiple factors causing CCD. I think He’s right.
    I’ve been a commercial beekeeper for 40 years, working 5 species of bees on four continents. I worked for a number of years as a “problem-crusher” with A. cerana and have worked particularly on disease, pest and absconding.
    I’ve seen CCD in many populations at many different times and localities since 1972. It is most often caused by a new disease, and the bees tend to overcome it after some years, the always-present “resistance” being transmitted to the offspring of those colonies that survive and manage to swarm. I’ve seen it with the Thai Sackbrood virus in Apis cerana, and I’ve seen it in my own bees when Varroa entered my country (Denmark). We saw it with the “Isle of Wight-disease”, which wiped out the bees on that island. Widespread collapse was also seen for some years, caused by using formic acid for treatment. And now, after 25 years, I can lean back and see that the mites are all gone.
    (Well, I did go to Primorsky and collected some queens and brought back home for hybridization with my own stock. That was a successful idea…)
    The CCD is most probably a phenomenon which takes place at various localities at various times, and the beekeepers weep for a while but then they cheer up when it is all over, because they now have better bees. Americans are notorious for weeping very loud when misfortune strikes, and there are many great beekeepers who see their livelihood threatened.
    Man always mis-estimates his impact on Nature. Sometimes he does great damage, sometimes Nature repairs Herself easily.
    The honeybees have been around for a long time and though they are easily killed locally, they’re also very adjustable and mobile. I don’t think they’ll die out globally, and if they’re badly hurt in one locality because of Man’s stupid actions – well, the people of that locality will have to bear the loss and learn from experience.
    I also agree with those who claim that the beekeepersw “overwork” their bees, moving them continously among crops for pollination. It is quite possible, that bees have to undergo a natural annual development-cycle to maintain their immune-system.

  • Pat Michel

    Excellent observations Bob (#29) – I am highly suspicious that there is a STRONG chemical lobby at work here that is controlling the research. Bottom line for beekeepers……don’t use chemicals in your hives and avoid exposure to pesticide chemicals whenever possible. Can’t understand why they keep saying that CCD is a ‘mystery’ when we know the answer is chemicals. The ‘French Connection’ is right-on. Thanks for bringing that to light.

  • Needles

    is it possible for human communications tech to somehow disturb bee communication?

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  • Carol

    Why aren’t researchers looking into or even mentioning the wireless boom in the disappearance of the honeybees? ‘Think’ cell phone and wifi towers and antennas especially. Colony Collapse Disorder parallels the wireless boom perfectly, and it might explain why the bees just fly off and die, instead of returning to the hive. See graph below, and google the Bioinitiative Report to see what chronic exposure to unnatural levels of electromagnetic/microwave radiation can do to the body’s immune system.

    Bye bye, bees. Can you hear me now?

  • The Bees and the Balance « Growing Revolution
  • jerry

    Hey everybody, We are talking about bees right. Let’s back up and remember that the United States is killing millions of babies. That would be human beings! God created babies and bees. If we kill His babies then do you blame Him for allowing the bees to be killed! Think about it. God rules everything!

  • Carol

    Don’t blame genetically modified blossoms or pesticides alone until you’ve listened to B. Blake Levitt’s ‘What’s Happening in Nature?’…

  • ang

    Check out an informative (and very entertaining) video about bees:

  • Mike


  • Deirdre Hamlett

    I’m sure there are MANY reasons for the demise of the bees. I was saddened to see the cell phone theory dismissed so suddenly when Dr. Frank Carlo in Florida has been researching this topic in bees as well as homing pigeons and has tons of anecdotal evidence. The bees can’t get home because their homing mechanisms are operating at the same frequency.

    The theory about disease from the study by the professor at University of Florida, I found was funded by T-Mobile. As usual, FOLLOW THE MONEY! A lot of my non-American friends were disbelieving and appalled at this obvious self-serving largesse.

    Having said all of this I’m sure that lack of habitat, pesticides, GMO’s, etc. play a role as well, and always have. But the sudden rise in CCD can be attributed to much of our wireless technology.

    Either way, no one is willing to make any sacrifices to give up their conviences or profits … if they can’t see it, it’s not dirty.

  • John Matel

    I was surprised to watch this program and then I saw it was made a couple of years ago. I remembered that I read that the bee collapse had been explained and addressed.

    It seems to be human nature to swing to the wildest explanation and then not update our understanding in light of new information. Each year some bees die. Some years more than others. It requires constant work but not panic. (Honey bees are not native to North America, BTW, and have always been a “managed resource” here.) This year there is a surplus of bees working in California.

    The program carried a lot about China. China is an ecological disaster. We did not go down that route and I hope the Chinese get off it. Otherwise we are all doomed.

  • Alex Allyn

    I would like to see more on comments #29 and #37 covered- A parallel reporting of the French bee issues and resolution would have made a lot of sense. Also, why haven’t the Chinese pear farmers re-established the honeybee on their hills? If the pesticides are gone, this is a natural next question. The Royal Jelly looks like the real culprit in spreading the issue so widely in such a short period of time.

  • Rick

    I’ve noticed recently that bees seem to be getting into buildings more than before. Why would bees and wasps come inside a building ? I’ve seen them flying around and I’ve seen them dead on the floor. Also, one summer when it was extremely hot in our city, I was seeing butterflies dying and I assumed it was just too hot for them and not enough rain to cool things off..

  • Derek

    I found this documentary to be far too alarmist throughout in its delivery. There are numerous other species of bees, leafcutters, orchard mason, bumble bees, that pollinate crops and are not effected by CCD. Hell even in the documentary they mentioned the Africanized honey bees as being immune to the virus they believe was the culprit to the most recent wave of hives losses. The idea we’ll all be eating gruel if the commercial honey bee industry collapses is just not true.

  • Sarah Wilcox

    I do think that there are many factors that are affecting the honeybee population- diseases, pesticides, viruses, and others. The chinese royal jelly probably plays a part. But what I have seen on the program and on this blog, I think I may of came up of what how the world’s bees are dying. Now before I start I must say that I’m not pointing fingers at anyone.

    It may of started with the large usage of toxic pesticides on plants that bees pollinate, getting it into their systems, weakening them. Also, the toxins may of gotten into the royal jelly that was being collected in China and being shipped to bee breeders to feed the larvae with so the toxin travels from hive to hive, weakening them and getting the toxin in all the things they make. Also, disease may of had a role to play. On the program, they talked about a disease called IVAD that was present in all the hives that were suffering from CCD. It’s from the Middle East, so it may of gotten carried from the bees there to Australia, where a bee convention is held yearly,there it was transfered to other bees there, which spread it world wide. It also may of been in the bees that the chinese royal jelly was obtained. But this may not be the sole culprit. There are other factors to consider, so they may be only two of the probems causing CCD to occur but they may be the major culprits- the heavy use of pesticides and disease. This is just my idea of what happened.

  • Gerald Bell

    I have not read all the comments above, but watched the program tonight on PBS. I am astounded that no one seems to notice that, in the cities at least, all insects are disappearing. In the last few years I have not seen any hornets, wasps, bumble bees, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, etc. and also incidently no honey bees. There are a few flies lately because of the garbage workers strike, but usually I may see one or two a year. Are they all subject to CCD? There are also no bats, no songbirds, no spiders, very few skunks, etc., because of the lack of insects. I am convinced that it is diet drinks doing the damage. Schoolchildren take two gulps and leave the rest for the wildlife. If you go two miles or more into the wilderness you start to see small polinators and I suppose if you go far enough you will actually find bees. I have tried to get government officials to investigate this poison but have had no luck. I assume it is fear of reaction from certain corporations but if consequences are as bad as pedicted –

  • bobby

    @John Matel (and possibly others (didn’t read every comment)) anyway – just watched the show then wiki’ed ccd to find out more. Boy was I surprised to find out that the honey bee is NOT-NATIVE to North America and that no native species really require such pollinators except at large monocultural scale…WOW. can they even be considered non-genetically modified themselves?

  • Victor

    It’s sad that people dont pay attention to this wonderful creature, the honeybee. Its work is fundamentally important…try pollinating as much as they do. Cant do it.

  • Tessa at Blunders with shoots, blossoms ‘n roots

    This was a very interesting show tonight, very interesting. And I enjoyed reading all the comments as well.

    I know where the bees are- in my organic backyard garden! We were just recently commenting about how many bees we have in our yard this year- noticeably greater in number…hmmm. I think it may be that our bees are smarter than we know (or are). Maybe they don’t like the industrialized farms with their genetically altered crops as much as we don’t like the watered/pus filled, anemic looking, tasteless vegetables in our markets :). Could it be that hanging out in these fields, working diligently as bees do, lowered their immune systems and when we introduced these Australian bees to our already physically compromised bees, their little bodies couldn’t fight off a new virus? I mean seriously, does anyone really expect there to NOT be problems when we play around with genetics? We are at the top of the food chain, are we not? What we do to the environment on a large scale will effect us- duh! Doesn’t anyone notice that we are all unhealthy, and have problems ranging from women having hysterectomies earlier to little girls starting their menstrual cycles earlier, people dying all around us, some at much younger ages? Pesticides, hormones, synthetic fertilizers, genetically altered foods- yes, foods- tomatoes are top, soy is another top and it’s in everything. There are (especially in the US) so many hectares of land dedicated to GMOs- it is staggering! They, in turn, affect (or infect!) the organic farms that are near by.

    Why is it that we can’t learn that maybe their might be something wrong with a seemingly harmless synthetic fertilizer- when the worms take off in soils where they’re used? Are we smarter than the worm? Are we really so stupid that we don’t see that we need to go back to small acre or 2 sized micro farms located in cities or just right outside that produce ‘real food’ locally, fresh. Does anyone even remember what a tomato is supposed to taste like?

    Okay, I’m done ranting- great program and one that obviously got my panties in a wad!

  • todd griswald

    Could the approaching of the year 2012 have something to do with this problem?

  • Sarah Wilcox

    The year 2012 has nothing to do with it at all. It’s just a myth that the world will end in 2012. Not trying to insut you here.

    By the way, we need to reduce pesticide use. Unless we want to kill other animals becides honey bees>

  • Donna T.

    What jumped out at me in the piece was the bit about fungus, that the bees were all found with the same fungus that is found in all humans with auto-immune disease. so, is it pesticides that cause auto-immune disease?? What will cure an internal fungus (in a human?)

    Also, the fact that the Chinese are sure it’s pesticides that killed their bees….makes sense to me that is must be pesticides that are killing our bees as well….but the chemical industry is paying researchers to continue to look…so that we look the other way too.

  • Jill B.

    Well Friends my vote goes to the pesticides that we are now using everywhere. Mostly though as a culture
    we have lost touch with our Earth and where our food comes from. As a first grade teacher I am astounded at how little the parents know about insects and how
    freaked out they are when they see one. I am doing a small bit to try to get children interested in our
    environment. We all need to pitch in to educate.

  • Ed G.

    This program and others like it are significantly silent on one of the major sources of chemicals to which bees are exposed to routinely and that is the chemicals put in the hive by the beekeepers themselves. Just go to the Dadant BeeSupply Online Catalog and see the variety of chemicals available to and used by most commercial and many hobbiest beekeepers. Chemicals to kill mites, bacteria, protozoa, hive beetles and also chemicals for storing empty hives boxes to prevent wax moths from invading. All these chemicals hurt the bees and reduce their immune systems and also get absorbed into the wax which is reused every year to store honey and eventually can make their way into the honey. There are about 3000 of us organic beekeepers who do not use any chemicals at all and as far as I know have not experienced the Colony Collapse Disorder. We do lose hives from time to time but usually that’s because of beekeeper stupidity, misjudgment or really bad winter conditions, bears, skunks etc. For a really good explanation of what we are doing go to

  • Cesar Jardon

    Genetically modified food were created to relace insecticides…Once-as an experiment-I bought an apple ..I kept it for one year and it never rotten. It shrank because it became dehydrated…These apples were difficult to digest…they never ripened…With genetically modified pollen and nectar, bees are dying because they can not digest them…DOWN with Monsanto: GM Vegetables and Plants…Lets go back to Nature and the real thing..

  • steven beazley

    I live in virginia and i watch the program the other night. i really didnt think that it was all that serious untill this morning when i stepped outside my house and looked at the flowers to find no bees on them at all. there are no bees in site still.

  • Sarah Wilcox

    I live in Michigan and we have a lot of flowers up here, so ther should be a lot of bees but this yea has had the least amount of bees I’ve ever seen.

  • Ray Monya

    Hey guys, this ‘CCD’ order is simply the bees dissapering, leaving behind their Hive, young and queen, right?

    Where’d they go?

    For the last week now eveytime I go outside there is a bee on it’s back with it’s legs waving around and it can’t flip over. Sometimes when I find them they have no pollen on them and ants were begining to swarm and eat them.

    Could other symptoms of CCD be Loss of balence, Direction problems, dizzyness, moter skills failing and death by the common ant that finds the confused bee on the ground?

    I’m not finding one or two bees, i’m find 20 to 40 bees, I pick up every one I can and place them on flowers and trees to escape the horeds of hungry ants. Ants often cut up their prey and take it to the nest to be eaten, so that would explain why no bodys are found, the bodys are in pieces underground.

    I don’t know how or why the bees fall but when they do, they don’t get up without help. Bees are very importen to the world and to people.

    If this helps then i’ve done my good deed, if you need to know where I am finding the bees, I live in NW Arkansas, Springdale. I find them on sidewalks and roads everywhere. From the tiny honey bees to the huge bumble bees.

    I do the best I can but it’s not enough.

    ~Ray Monya.

  • Dan Eden

    I am very surprised at the comments here. This has already been deifinitvely determined to have been caused by Clothianidin, made by Bayer Pharmaceutical. Check google. The Germans outlawed it and everything returned to normal. Does pbs have anything to fear from Bayer? sponsorship maybe?

  • Kathryn

    Okay so Germany has bees. No need to panic. Bees are just one of the pollinators anyway. How come all these “scientific” documentaries are made as warnings and seem to create panics and sell $19.95 videos to raise money for public programming? This is bogus science.

  • Corey Bergsrud

    I believe strongly that Caroline (the first post) is correct on her theory. Google key word ” GM Foods affecting butterflies. ” This will bring up articles on how GM foods have a porportion to kill off 50% of the butterfly population when tested.
    Note that Albert Einstein quoted ” “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” This is pure logic and reason in which he used.
    “In fact, about one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”
    Also, the chemicals that farmers spray on their crops could play a role.
    But how can we reduce the GM food, and the chemcial spraying with the demand of the food world wide? And if we do not reduce these two entities, then it seems inevitable that the bees are going to be reduced drastically like they have been already, and thus will pass a threshold of no return?

  • Liliana

    This show made me feel real sad… A few weeks ago i found a beehive in my rose bush and decided to just leave it there. Something told me, they must be something wrong with them if they are not attacking me, or just hanging in such an odd place. After watching this I didnt know what to do with myself, wow! what are we as humans gonna do? those poor busy workers are dying on us!

  • Sherry

    I recently processed a research paper on the declining honeybee & how it is & will continue to affect agriculture. I found this research paper very interesting. I had no idea this was such a serious issue. I have seen various news clips on the disappearing honeybee; however I didn’t realize what a significant decline there has been over the past 2-3 years. I can see that if this continues our agricultural crops will be in danger of pollinating. I realize there are many other insects that can pollinate; however the honeybee is the most dominate of them. I feel there should be more publicity on this matter as there are many people that don’t realize how serious this is, nor do the even know there is a problem with the honeybees disappearing. I feel everyone should be informed of this & take steps to protect the honeybees we have. We need these little insects to keep food on our tables.

  • V Hart

    Hey Mel, accourding to the documentary regarding ccd is that both wild and kept are some what effected. They have narrowed it down to a Virus, plus the fact of Chemicals, pollution, and even diet play a role in all bee’s. It actually has been traced to bees from Australia, which in 06 with the USA decline in bee’s we got replacements from Australia. The bee’s had traces of the virus but it wasn’t totally conclusive at the time of this documentary.
    Anyways I can’t wait to harvest my honey….
    Bee healthy eat your honey.

  • Joyce Day Guy

    I love Bees. I love Honey Bees. I lived and managed an apt complex in Arkansas & I used to purchase Bee- Alive Honey Products & Royal Jelly from this company in 1994 so had some in my refridgerator. Seeing a bee on the ledge seemingly die from its 28 days of work or what, I was prompted to go get some Royal Jelly ( cold or not) and put some by its little mouth area. After the shaking quit of chills, it got up slowly and began doing a cross walk of back & forth movements to probably direct itself back or however they find you again. I then saw a spider coming after it so I picked it up in the spoon and it of course let me as it was near more jelly, to which I sat it on the Mum Plant I had.It took off approximately 10 minutes later and more came back with it that afternoon. The moral of this story is I love bees. I had a similar story here in Ok this spring. By feeding one little dying bee some sugar water, no Royal Jelly this time, I sat that slow walking little bee on the spoon and put it near the bowl of sugar water. Thinking I had done my best to save it’s life I came inside forgetting about it. About 4:30 when my husband went out to feed our dog there were over 1,000 bees swarming that bowl and spoon to which he was a bit disgruntled at me as he could have been stung. I said, “Oh No, they love me and know this is an offering of love.” To which I went out and moved the bowl near the garage and most of them followed and soon all were pretty much moved.
    Oh I forgot to mention the entire bunch was back the next day wanting more sugar water…and thus I did give them two bowls….but a little further from our back door. I live out in the country and my mom used to have two Supers and we all enjoyed that part of the farm life. I still do but rent now so can’t harvest honey without owning a home where I can care for them. I do not know why most of the Bees are leaving or dying however I do believe it has something to do with the current process of pesticides, and chemicals in our current foods where by many may swarm trash cans, flowers that have been sprayed. I also noted a film of sorts or fungas growing on the bees dead bodies. We had a whole hive here at our back door in an old elm tree that is over 75 years old and the hum was so loud I got it on video camera. Then we had a drove of Big Black Carpenter Ants which invaded the tree. Which in no time at all, less than a month, all the bees were being found dead on our porch and at the bottom of the tree areas. Either they brought a disease to them or they had some form of way of killing them with a virus or fungus. I do not know but they all died out in less than a month. I was so sad. Then our landlord came and sprayed with the strongest poison available for the embedded Scorpions under the house and all around it. We were being invaded by them as well. It has shown us something is out of kilter with the animal kingdom here for one reason or more. The bees relocated and come back with I put out sugar water. We have good ecology here now because we also have Hummingbirds, Swallows, Cardinals, Blue Jays, House Wrens, Mocking birds, Bluebirds living in my gourd and we buy good quality song bird feed. We like to see checks and balances in our yard and all working together for Gods blessings in our lives of Nature. God bless you for your work and may you see, hopefully a clue through some of this here in the countryside of Davis, OK where nature may be trying to come back to “Balance City.” Sincerely yours, Joyce Day Guy, Minister

  • Boo Boo Pie

    Interesting documentary, but I was disappointed to hear towards the end that genetically modified bees may be the only solution to the problem. Don’t get me wrong, I love african bees, but i love diversity more. i don’t want to see the extinction of *any* bee species. why are we looking for the “one” cause of the disorder and not taking action based on what we’ve already found out? If there are multiple problems causing the suppression of bee immune systems, isn’t that enough to address to begin with? Maybe taking some straws off the camels back will help the camel survive under the weight of the “one”? I vote for bee diversity.

  • rubyquail

    I’ve noticed over the last month that the bees are eating the dog food like crazy. They just don’t have any flowers? I leave water out for them, but they are attracted to dog food.

  • Dezire

    although i really don’t like bees i know they play a very big part in our world. they help so that more flowers grow. and if you are like me and don’t like bees but want to help them here are some tips.
    it’s good to plant flowers out side your house but far away from you as posible.
    i also notice that if you take some honey or peanut butter and spread it on the grass they come in and eat that too.

  • Jim

    I feel we as consumers should give up honey for 5 years so the bees can eat food meant for them. Hey they’re stressed enough as it is.

  • Jimmy Nightingale

    A few posters have suggested that wi-fi and cellphone towers and/or the change in the Earth’s magnetic field may have something to do with declining bee populations worldwide. Australian bee populations haven’t experienced the decline occuring in the US and elsewhere and the big difference is the absence of Israeli acute paralysis virus and the parasitic honey bee tracheal mite here. I’ve referenced a paper on the former below:;318/5848/283

    Given that we rely on bees to pollinate about one-third of the crops/vegetables/fruits that end up on our dining table, we do need to be proactive in finding a solution. I’m aware that Australia has been exporting bees to the US, China and Europe and being used to populate irradiated hives in these countries. This is good, but ultimately we need to eradicate the virus and the mite causing the problems.

    I’d hate to think what would happen if these two vectors ever managed to get a toehold in Australia.

  • Landon Meadow

    You cannot eradicate the virus or the mites. the virus will mutate and the mites just become resistant to the miticides while poisoning the honey. The answer is in healthy bees that are resistant to the mites and the virus. Chemical free bees, and they already exist among many of the hobby beekeepers and some commercial operations.

  • Joshua Cruz

    I watched the Silence of the bees and it was a big eye opener, I am a sophomore in High School and I am doing research for this forensics thing and I thought that this should be a bigger global concern than global warming.

  • gforce

    What if we were to recrate the honey bee.We take their honey away and they loss their abltily to figth of inflection. That is why man has create a problem.If we were to create a old or new honey bee from fossil record like amber fossils. Find a queen and see if we could take the drone gene off the queen and revifive it. Then we could see what happen to it when it meets the diese.

  • dan winter

    new- Scientific MECHANISM:
    HOW the GMO Corn Killed the BEES..

  • LaCarey Jefferson

    i feel bad for the bees.out of control pesticides from some people that spray(must dont pay attention) kill them too.

  • John Smith

    Sometimes the answer is right in front of us – “Fipronil”.

    What we are looking for is a stealthy colony killer. Is it any coincidence that Fipronil, used in Termidor, is designed to contaminate termite workers unknowingly so they infect the entire colony. This chemical is so powerful and lethal to insects that one only needs minuet trace amounts for it to work. One small 20 oz bottle of Termidor SC can make 25 gal of full-strength product, which once applied, can treat the area for 9 years!!

    Do some research. Do the math – it adds up. It’s been on the US market since 2002. Because this stuff is virtually invisible, doesn’t repel insects, doesn’t kill right away, high transmission rate, a single bee could come into contact with only trace amounts of this stuff and then contaminate an entire hive. It’s by design of the product. I believe the bees getting “lost” and “confused” are simply exhibiting the lethal affects of the chemical.

    This chemical (pesticide) is used in termite control, flea (Frontline) control, and – here we go… agriculture pest control. I’m sorry, 2 + 2 is looking a lot like 4.

  • Zola de Firmian

    Einstein has been quoted as stating that if the honeybee were to ever disappear, life, or human existence, would be imperiled. (my paraphrase, from memory. He may have used the word, “over.”)

    Smithsonian had an article on this a couple years ago in which a colony collapse researcher had discovered that one molecule of a pollutant zaps scent molecules by the droves: Thus, since honeybees cannot navigate home without those scent molecules to guide them, they will never get there.

    What I’ve wondered, is why was that the only time I’ve seen mention of this discovery in any articles on CCD? Does anyone know?

    MORE to be wondered about is …what is each one reading this willing to be doing to shift things around?

    Do you only buy and/or promote 100% nature derived organically sourced products? What is your and my complacence index, every single day? Keep checking!

    Thank you for this story.

  • tecumseh

    First off I am a beekeeper with almost 50 years of experience under my belt and have kept bees over much of the easter and mid United States. I have kept bees first as a hobby, a couple of times with large migratory commercial folks and now maintain a good number of hives as a retirement gig. I also produce queens and new hives and lots of free advice for new beekeepers wishing to take on some of the garb of real beekeepers.

    I have noted the disappearance thingee several times in my life with each time the cause being a bit different. As one of the prior comments tells other similar die off can be tracked back to the late 1800’s. In almost all there is also a common thread.

    This time it appears the difference is a disease/pathogen/fungus called nosema carena that until this die off was noted was not suppose to be present here in the US. It is the pathogen that is highly associated with royal jelly from Chinese sources… very few beekeepers use this product since if you have large numbers of hive it is fairly simple product to produce (collecting this product is another thing). On this occasion you would also need to add beekeeper applied miticides (some approved and some not) applied by SOME beekeepers as a significant part of the problem.

    The common component over the decades has always been nutritions (typically that available in the prior season) and the inability or ineptness of beekeepers to address this basic nutritional need in a timely fashion. In almost all of the prior occasion another common thread is that a lot of beekeepers will blame almost anything besides their own short comings in attending to the needs of the bees as a significant part of the problem. In this case de-nial is not a river in Africa.

  • William von Rentzell

    I watched this episode “Silence of the Bees” a few hours ago on WTTW Prime, Chicago. Their experts put forth the possible outcome that we’ll be left with only foods from wind pollinated plants, mostly grass grains, wheat rye corn etc. should the bee colony collapse epidemic not be stopped. They understate the result for human existence. It’s ironic that they attribute a share of blame for the CCD events to malnutrition in the bees from monoculture which they are exposed to in our vast areas of 1 crop, typically 1 variety. They realize that the bees REQUIRE greater variety of plants to have normal good health with fully functional immune systems yet they speak as if humanity will have no such threat to survival from depletion of physical health due to loss of food source variety. If we lose food variety we will lose essential nutrients required for survival. We already know this occurs in poor urban populations due to lack of access to the more expensive foods, being left with access to only the “fast foods”, high in carbs and fat but low in all the other nutrients equally essential to anything but POOR HEALTH. For humanity as well as bees, variety is much, much more than just the “Spice of life”. IT IS ESSENTIAL TO LIFE! The more I think about this pollinating species thing( it goes WAY beyond the honey bees)in my mind it keeps coming back to one HUGE fact of modern agriculture , the UNIVERSALITY of monoculture. Even this total reliance on the honey bees is an aspect of that. Nature will have it’s way. Nature ABHORS monoculture and WILL thwart mankind’s psychotic insistence on it.

  • John Harding

    Hello, My name is John Harding, Stourbridge, UK.

    Honeybees are NOT dying from due to pesticides, global warming, mobile phones or masts or any other modern man made product, yes I know tha the Varroa mite has esculated the problem into the media and mainstream public due to the alleged statement by Einstien (he didn`t say it, somebody else did). I am a passionate beekeeper of 30 years experience, due to using the legal chemicals when Varroa first hit our shores, I found they were killing my queens, as the treatment was out of season the virgin queen could not get mated or very poorly, so the colony collapsed and died. SO I STOPPED ALL CHEMICALS AND SUGAR GOING INTO MY HIVES HOPING THAT ONE DAY I WILL FIND A NATURAL SOLUTION, THAT WAS 18 YEARS AGO, BUT I HAVE FOUND A NATURAL ANSWER AND SOLUTION. HONEYBEES DID NOT CHOOSE TO LIVE IN BEEHIVES, MANKIND (BEEKEEPERS)FOUND HONEY AND DECIDED TO DOMESTICATE HONEYBEES, CENTURIES AGO. THERE IS ONE COMMON DENOMINATOR. WHO IS TO BLAME FOR THE DEMISE OF HONEYBEES? BEEKEEPERS, NOW AND FOREVER IN THE PAST, BY TAKING HONEYBEES AWAY FROM THEIR NATURAL SOURCE WHICH BEES NEED TO SURVIVE. HONEYBEES HAVE BEEN DYING EVER SINCE MANKIND FOUND HONEY, AND MOVED THEM INTO BEEHIVES WHERE MANKIND WANTED THEM. BEEHIVES ARE OK BUT MUST BE PLACED IN THE RIGHT POSITION, GUARANTEEING SURVIVAL AND A GREATER CROP. IT WORKS, I HAVE PROVED IT, IT IS IN MY BOOK, “AN HOLISTIC WAY IN SAVING THE HONEYBEE”

    Thank you for your time and reading,
    John Harding

  • Christian Leale

    This is clearly of case of genetic engineering due to corporate greed. I could be wrong but most likely I am not. Other serious problems have already taken place due to careless genetic engineering by greedy corporations. yes! we do Not need genetically re engineered foods ….on the current levels. However, corporate farms industry depends on these profits. This is about money and greed. We need government regulation of corporations instead of governments that are run by corporations otherwise we are headed for serious global disaster.

  • Emilia Reyes

    Hello… I live in sothern california and i have noticed a bunch of bees eating my dogs food, why? i don’t have idea, i look on inernet for the tipe of bee, cause we though they were sand bees, but the pictures i have found on internet of sand beees does not look like the ones eating my dogs food, i found out they were beewolfs, wich is not even a bee, is a tipe of wasp and reading about them i found out that they prey most on honey bees, i though it was interesting after reading about why honey bees are disapearing, and this may be one of the reasons. Two months ago i read A SHORT STORY OF THE HONEY BEE, very interesting and fascinating, after I read it I have never seen Honey the way I always did, It makes me think of the hard work involved on making honey and the importancy of honey bees on almos two thirds of the worlds plants and fruit thanks to pollination.
    Very interesting video “SILENCE OF THE BEES”

  • D Artemis

    I watched your PBS Nature program “Silence of the Bees” on Sunday, September 19, 2010. It is quite evident that the corporations have even silenced PBS. As Monsanto is one of your corporate sponsors, it must have worked closely with your editors to ensure that not a single word was mentioned of the relationship between genetically modified seeds and Colony Collapse Syndrome.

    It is quite likely that the undigested pollen in the bees’ stomachs was caused by the genetic modifications that disrupt the organism’s ability to process nutrients. Deaths of insects visiting GMO fields have been widely reported and it is shameful that you are no longer allowed to do honest and in depth reporting.

  • Carol

    It’s too bad that researchers keep looking for a pathogenic cause (virus, fungus, mite, or germ) for Colony Collapse, when there is increasing evidence that the microwave radiation emitted by cell phone and wi-fi antennas and towers (which are everywhere now) may be to blame. In fact, even if a pathogen is involved, exposure to microwave radiation has been proven to affect the growth of numerous pathogens. So unless we are prepared to pollinate our food supply by hand for the rest of our lives, perhaps it is time we all stand up to the government and the industry…

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  • alex

    NOT THE INFO I NEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But it’s kewl.


    i feel pretty much the same way

  • Stephanie Green

    Could it be, bees are dying from pollinating genetically modified plants?

  • lee lewis

    has anyone looked into the pesticide called avid. illegal in canada but sold in lots of hydroponic grow shops. i think its legal in the states and is the most toxic substance to bees.i think it is a systemic pesticide that stays in the plant for 6 to 8 weeks killing anything that lands on it . somebody told me that 1 drop in a creek or river would kill fish a mile downsteam. does anybody know if its legal in america

  • lee

    the pesticide i mentioned avid is used to kill mites.but sometimes it doesnt kill them all creating a pesticide resistant mite that wreaks havoc on your crops and causing a genetic fade on whatever crop you are growing.that would tip the scale in the favour of pests maybe causing a famine as bad as the potato one in ireland in the 1800s.caused by lack of variety in the crops

  • Alan

    Cell phone blame and radio tower blame is a bit ridiculous since the bees in the city on the roof shown in this episode aren’t affected at all, and cities have the highest concentration of radio waves (cell mainly reside on rooftops/towers). Genetically modified foods is even more farfetched, since most modifications of that kind are forced cross pollination. And a lot of the Monsanto focus is on wind pollinated plants. This is a global problem, so it must have something to do with global conditions. Global warming, changing weather patterns, too much UV coming through the ozone? Who knows, maybe the ozone layer is actually worse than we know, and the governments are telling scientists not to say anything or it will cause mass panic. Maybe bees immune systems are weakend by the higher exposure to UV rays? I wish I knew, and I hope it can be fixed.

    In any case, this is pretty scary stuff, and since I work in the grocery industry as an analyst … I really wonder how this will start to affect pricing in the coming years. Just goes to show that as a species we have outgrown the balance of our own existence, we are the unnatural animal.

  • Alftan

    What about bringing the bees back to their normal small size.
    This might be a result of breeding bees to a too large size thus weakening their immune system.
    Read something about that from a bee keeper in one of the Canari islands.

  • Satyanarayana

    Given time and money, surely agricultural giant Monsanto and others will sove this problem. You may never need bees after all

  • Brandulph Christophersen

    Satyanarayana says: “Given time and money, surely agricultural giant Monsanto and others will sove this problem. You may never need bees after all” Hmmm… Satyanarayana might of course be working for Monsanto, but that doesn’t change the fact that she (or he) has posted an incredibly stupid comment, deprived of all insight into this most disturbing situation.

  • Thomas Hanusek

    maby this is tied in with the birds that are dying randomily people should take test of the foods the bees and birds ate before the time of death then we can focas on the problum and maby see if one food product is having a genitic disease or disorder. maby it is geting worse and the plant is having more effect bees birds maby small rodents. also another one is what are the bugs under the ground eating at the same place maby you should take some worms or small rodance and conpare.

  • Russ Stephens

    Nature, thank you for the rebroadcast! I think it’s pathetic that here, in 2011 ( 5 years later ) we, the people are still “in the dark”, as far as being informed on this report. Main stream media had really dropped the ball on this. I’m still wondering about any new reports:2011 on CCD. The last report you posted is from May 2009. Can you get back to me on this? Thaks, again.

  • Cindy

    I believe Chem-Trails are to blame. Barium & Aluminum are 2 of the main ingrediants that are being sprayed heavily into our skies every day around the world. They hang in the air and sprinkle down on everything and eveyone. Barium is also used to make portions of x-rays stand out. It can also interfere with the bees’ ability to find their way back to the hives. Aluminum is highly toxic and easily crosses the blood-brain barrier when inhaled or even just absorbed through the skin.

  • Jon

    I’ve read thourgh all the posts and made my conclusion, The honey bee’s are not dissappearing it seems in canada and astralia. So in turn what was stated in the above resources is the fact that the USA CHINA AND UK ARE HAVING PROBLEMS WITH HONEYBEE’S that being said, i do believe it’s the hybred
    s that are spawning from the africanized bee’s and the honey bee’s of the type were used To, and they are dieing because of the colder weather! Since they have the traits of the africanezed bee’s and it must be more dominant then in others. Also the pesticides probly don’t help one bit at all, But what really is organic anymore? the FERT you buy from a store, that says it’s organic but is bottled in a non bio degradable plastic container……? ya your awesome for buying organic that really helps!

  • Faye

    I live in Louisiana and periodically have followed this issue with regards to honey bees since my grandfather had tended bee hives during my childhood. This afternoon as I was sitting on my deck I kept seeing these no seeums and had commented to my friend about them then noticed larger bugs were flying all up in my 20 foot Chinese Elm. Upon closer inspection I found I must have close to 200 plus honey bees in the tree flitting from tiny flower to flower. They are still around but sometimes in unusual places. I do not spray my trees or flowers specifically because I don’t want to decimate honey bees, butterflies, etc. However, I do have an love to hate relationship with fire ants.

  • Christopher Hall

    Could the rise of cell phone use globally bee a contributing factor to the bees decline globally? It may bee worth considering to do an analysis of the incredibly fast rise of cell phone and microwave product use around the world, and compare that with the onset and location of mysterious loss of bees globally and see if there is a contributing coorelation. Perhaps this growing new energy grid bees have to fly thru may bee a contributing factor to the bees decline along with the other mulitple factors present in the Nova nature film “Silence of the Bees”. Please don’t leave any rock unturned in your quest to find a solution to this critical issue. Thx.

  • Brad L.

    I have a couple questions. It seems that a great deal of the evidence points to bee food from China as a potential beginning or crossover of CCD. I would like to know what happened to the town in rural China that lost ALL it’s bees and have had to hand pollinate their pears. It would seem that the simplest sollution would have been to re-introduce bees into the area. Was this done? With what result? Did those bees die off as well? China seems to be tied to every place where CCD has had an effect. Is this the beginning point? What had China done to answer their problem with CCD.

  • Cheryl Maves

    I saw no mention of weather.. Even the most uneducated person has but to look around and see the changes in weather patterns these last years. Whatever the cause of the CCD, I certainly hope a cause and cure can be found. This is extremely alarming…

  • Shawn S

    Robert Torney, I am so glad your post has remained. I am certain that you are 100 percent correct in your comments about corporations influencing research. It happens all of the time, it is painfuly obviouse. These corporate arch criminals simply pay thier way out of any wrong doing. This…(frankenfood) and harmful pesticides that these corporations crank out have caused millions to suffer. Anything that ties in these criminal corporations to things such as wide spread disease in honey bees will be ignored or diverted in other directions artfuly and skillfuly done so that some how, despite that facts that you so skillfuly pointed out yourself, people will not see the truth and look in other directions. The problem for this wide spread decimation of bees as well as many other henious acts should fall right at the feet of corporate America. They know full well they are the root cause of this, but in thier maniacal greed will just let this happen. When your motto is (more is not enough) why would they care if every honey bee on the planet became extinct?

  • Mike

    wanna know why the bees are disappearing, maybe due to this, watch this movie, it will blow your mind and you surely have seen this all across the united states, just look up!

  • Yu

    People who are blaming the GMOs for the disappearance of the honey bees are morons. Genetically modifying foods is just another type of selective breeding, only fine-tuned so the desirable trait is achieved in a shorter time. However, some GMOs are modified to have defenses against pests, i.e. BT corn, which kills insect that eat them, and perhaps the honey bees as well. That means what ultimately killed the insects isn’t because the plant was genetically modified, it’s because the plant expressed pesticides.

    For those of you that are against GMOs, you are against all the domesticated animals and plants that have been, are, and will be produced in the future. Domestication is really the process of selecting a trait from the plants and animal that are beneficial to people. It is inherently artificial – genetically modifying the plant or animal is just speeding the process that took decades to take.

    On what scientific base can you claim against GMOs? Because it is political, socially unjust because only 1 or 2 companies control this technology, or the words genetically modified sound unnatural? Then you are being bias and base your opinions on groundless emotions and not looking at the benefits that GMOs offer. The only problem that I’ve read on GMOs is the fear of making super weeds or super bugs but that argument rarely surfaced – most I hear from anti-GMOs groups are “it’s unnaturally”, or “we’re playing God” – again, emotionally charged and not scientifically based

    You nay sayers will say, “Well, organic plants (domesticated) and organically raised farmed (domesticated) animals is better because it’s ‘natural’ (so is poison ivy btw) and it’s possible to feed the world with organic farming” because you live in the la-la world. Our population was become so big that our foods have to be industrialize so we can feed most (notice I did not say all) of our people and GMOs offers stable food source and enhanced crops, Golden Rice that expresses Vit A. It’s because of few uneducated, ignorant minority that are afraid of GMOs because it is not ‘natural’, that governments and farmers turn down GMOs that could have potentially save their nation from malnutrition and starvation.

    Back to the honey bees, I don’t think the GMOs are the culprits.

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    But we would even we like to here from you and get in touch for good of bees and nature at large, otherwise bees will die and nowhere shall be found again as dinosaur.

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    Get Monsanto out of our FDA. They have been injecting pesticides into seeds via viruses. This explains the honey bees AND Salmonella outbreaks through Spinach, Tomatoes, and other crops. (You may also want to note that if you are vegetarian you are likely eating plants that have been injected with animal DNA).
    This information used to be hard to find, but I promise you if you spend 5 minutes researching Monsanto in the FDA, Monsanto’s dairy, and Monsanto’s GMOs you will find an endless supply of legitimate information that shows the level of corruption and lack of care for our welfare. They will argue that they are “putting an end to world hunger” yet children’s death rates are UP in starvation. They have stolen farmer’s livelihoods, given their seeds to Mexico to replace our corn COMPLETELY, and will stop at nothing to turn the world into their customer by force.
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  • Joan Mapes

    Several years ago I met a beespecialist from Texas. He was on his way to a conference in San Feancisco to address the sudden disappearance of so many bees. We talked fir a long time about this catastrophic loss . I’ve just moved to the Boise area from Califirnia. I’m interested in helping to end this .severe problem. I started purchasing my honey near Ventura from a retired man & his son who started his hives a hobby & produced a wonderful organic honey.

  • Caitlin

    I am currently working on a project that will help female coffee farmers in East Africa diversify their source of income. I proposing to build a butterfly and bee farm which will not only help these poor and disempowered women, but it will conserve biodiversity, and promote the management of the natural resources of the community. I think what you are doing is so incredible, and I would love if there is any help you could give to me in terms of creating this project. If you could email me at I would appreciate any help. Thanks

  • beeperson

    It’s getting clearer that CCD was due to the GMO’s subleathal effect (by feeding bee with the GM corn’s syrup especially during the winter time…) better get rid of all GMO stuff….

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  • Tim R.

    This was a very interesting show. It really shows how much we need bees. I personally dont want to spend my adult life eating corn mush, and rice is boring without spices, which cant be grown without bees. I think that I personally can help by starting a hobby beekeeping in my own backyard, and hopefully that will contribute.

  • Satinka

    Just finished watching a video “Silence of the Bees” Research from many parts of the world and after years of
    trying to locate the problems with the bees, they did discover, that there were chemicals in their bodies. Still did not explain as to why they suddenly disappeared . However, when bees came close to smart phones, they started to act aggressively and then dropped to the ground. Now this is just a wild guess, but for the last few years, many reports came in when the “Smart meter” was installed bees ended up death, and so did shrubs that were nearby.
    Apparently bees have a very sharp hearing , is it just possible, that all the electromagnetic pulses over the the world is finally taking effect on our wild life . Over the past years cancer has alarmingly increased by some 75 %.
    What are we doing to our environment? It has been proven world wide, that smart meters are dangerous to humans and wild life. What does it take for the corporations and politicians to wake up. TOTAL DISASTER/

  • Andrew

    There were no bees before columbus, in america. We’d probably do fine without them.

  • Robert

    This is really disturbing. It’s the little things like this, like bees disappearing, that brings home the environmental situation we’re in right now. Not a happy thought at all. But, somehow it seems more real and relatable than global warming or some “huge” issue.

  • James Sweet

    I’m also very concerned about our (national) bees. I’m curious to find out what effects the chemtrails (aluminum and barium sprays) could be having on the bees. It would stand to reason that could be a contributing factor in the bee disappearance.

  • Judy

    Spring has just begun in Australia. Normally, the wattle flowers and the plants are covered in bees. This year there weren’t any bees, which prompted me to start observing everywhere I went, and in the last 4 weeks I have seen 3 bees. Bad,bad,bad, but what to do? Its started me thinking and doing some research.

  • John Harding


    An English beekeeper has found the answer to stop honeybees dying.

    My name is John Harding with the finite answer to stop honeybees dying needlessly of varroa, guaranteed!

    It is quite normal for any organism to respond to illness if it`s immune system is below par. What do I mean by this?

    Honeybees have been taken away from their natural source of survival and are placed in beehives where man wants them, and yes away from the honeybee’s source of survival, this weakens them, their immune system and their defence system so anything they can normally deal with like neo-nicotinoid or the parasitic varroa, now become a much greater threat.

    My honeybees are by pesticide, GM crops and are NOT dying because I have given them what they would have in the wild, a natural phenomena, it’s free and works.

    I have been varroa and decease free for many years.

    I have not used chemicals for over 20 years.

    BBC Countryfile are monitoring my work.

    My first book explained my journey, An HOLISTIC Way in Saving the Honeybee.

    My next book (unfinished as yet but free to anyone who contacts me direct) How to create a Varroa Resistant Honeybee.

    This explains how to use any specie without any breeding techniques and it becomes varroa resistant within 8 weeks and more with a 2 to 3 times bigger crop.

    It has taken over 20 years of research and experiments to find this finite answer relating to the Electromagnetic Field and Honeybees.

    I hope I have given you something of interest to make you think as to who really is the unknowingly guilty party however it is human nature to want to blame someone or something rather than themselves.

    Kind regards


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