Colony is a real visual treat, featuring extreme close-ups of bees, flowers, and trees. It presents artistic footage of beehives and beekeepers in a direct, penetrating way that is reminiscent of the work of Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra. These beekeepers and the millions of bees they keep are of inestimable value to agriculture in America. Bees play a crucial role in agriculture and horticulture, and are therefore essential to the food chain. In short: no bees means no pollination, and no pollination means no harvest. Currently, beekeepers are facing an extremely worrying problem known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD); colonies of bees swarm out of their hives but then fail to return. This jeopardizes not only the beekeepers' livelihoods, but also food production in general. In Colony, Carter Gunn and Ross McDonnell examine this problem from a number of perspectives. Beekeeper spokesman David Mendes is the public face of the profession, and as such is putting pressure on multinational companies such as Bayer, which produce agricultural pesticides he believes could be harming bees. A more personal perspective comes in the form of Lance Seppi, a young beekeeper who is just starting out. With a mixture of uncertainty and youthful overconfidence, he tries to keep his business going in extremely trying economic circumstances.
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