Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently considered as a clade Anthophila. There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven to nine recognized families,though many are undescribed and the actual number is probably higher. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, in every habitat on the planet that contains insect-pollinated flowering plants.
Bees are adapted for feeding on nectar and pollen, the former primarily as an energy source and the latter primarily for protein and other nutrients. Most pollen is used as food for larvae.
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.