QUEEN OF THE SUN NOW RELEASED ON DVD! Subtitled in 16 Languages

Today is a day for celebration here at the Collective Eye and Queen of the Sun! The QUEEN OF THE SUN: What are the Bees Telling Us? DVD is now available for Home Use.

WATCH INSTANT (does not include 16 languages or special features)

This DVD includes bonus features including:

• A Tour of Wild & Wonderful Beehives
• How you can Help
• Over 25 Amazing Bee Facts
• “Bug Song” Music Video
• Yvon Recites Poetry to his Bees
• Interviews with Gunther Hauk & Vandana Shiva and more!

Perhaps most exciting to us, with this new DVD we have been laboring incredibly hard along with a group of dedicated friends and translators from many countries. They’ve translated the film into a whopping 16 LANGUAGES (!) We’re so excited to be able to better reach an international audience all around the globe who has helped make QUEEN OF THE SUN a film with earth-wide impact.

Beginning today, we’re NOW SHIPPING the DVD!

Also soon to come:

• A full-color QUEEN OF THE SUN BOOK put out by Clairview Press with original essays on bees, the global bee decline and the philosophy of sustainable beekeeping by Gunther Hauk, Johannes Wirz, Kerry Grefig, David Heaf, Jacqueline Freeman, Horst Kornberger and poetry by U.K. Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy

• A QUEEN OF THE SUN App for Mobile Devices with all of the Extras featured on the DVD!

Please tell your friends to watch this wonderful and inspiring film. Let’s make a 2012 a year for the BEES!

Warmest Regards to all of you,

Taggart, Jon & The Queen of the Sun Team

Recent Screenings: Bioneers and the Biodynamic Assocation Conference

“Bioneers is inspiring a shift to live on Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations.”

This is the core mission of Bioneers, a non-profit organization promoting “revolution from the heart of nature.” Taggart Siegel, the director of “Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?” attended their annual three-day conference held in San Rafael, CA last month where our film was one of several featured screenings. The title of this year’s conference was “From Breakdown to Breakthrough: Transforming Civilization in the Age of Nature,” a theme that speaks directly to our relationship with honey bees and the need to rebuild a world that nurtures the pollinators so vital to a sustainable future.

People came from all over the world to discuss and explore new ways to foster ecological innovation and harmony with nature.

Gunther Hauk
Gunther Hauk at Spikenard Farm

The weekend was chock-full of inspiring programs and activities focused on topics from “Grassroots Healthcare Models”  to “Developing an Ecology of Love,”  and in between events, delicious sustainably farmed food was enjoyed by all. In addition, Gunther Hauk, a biodynamic beekeeper featured in the film, hosted a powerful workshop about Colony Collapse Disorder and what we must  do to reverse the tragic cycle of honey bee decline. To learn more about Gunther, visit the website for Spikenard Farm and Honeybee Sanctuary.

The energy surrounding this dialogue was truly inspiring, and with many biodynamic beekeepers in attendance, the future of bees was a fundamental piece of the conversation. Bees provide an ideal illustration for the type of mutual cooperation and connectivity that the Bioneers goals pursue. Pollination is the thread that unites flora and fauna, and the bees remind us of the importance of preserving the delicate balance of nature and of using it as a model for our own society. Taggart and and Gunther were honored to be a part of this event, and the film was well-received by an ethusiastic full house.

This month, the film also screened at another conference hosted by the Biodynamic Association in the UK. This event focuses directly on “The Future of Agriculture” and features interactive workshops that emphasize a biodynamic approach to farming. One workshop specifically explores solutions to bee decline, recognizing bees as “the heart of the biodynamic farm.” This workshop is taught by Heidi Herrmann, one of the founding members of the Natural Beekeeping Trust, an organization we were lucky enough to work with on Taggart’s recent trip to Europe.

Here at “Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?” we have been incredibly moved by the overwhelming fervor of so many people coming together to support this cause. If you missed these conferences, don’t forget that you can host your own Community Screening or pre-order your copy of the DVD soon to be released. There is still a long way to go to ensure future stability for the bees and for the planet, but if the Bioneers and Biodynamic Association Conferences were an indication of positive change, we know that together we can save the bees!

The Heirloom Seed Exposition

“The beauty of the seed is out of one you can get millions. The beauty of the pollinator is it turns that one into the million and that’s an economics of sharing. That’s to me the real economics of growth because life is growing.” – Dr. Vandana Shiva, from “Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?”


Earlier this fall, we were honored to be one of the featured films at the first national Heirloom Seed Exposition held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California. This was a spectacular three-day event bringing together farmers, gardeners, and eco-enthusiasts from all over the world to promote the sustainable cultivation of genetically pure seeds. Heirloom plants come from seeds that are naturally reproduced, openly pollinated, and handed down from generation to generation; this cycle of growth and rebirth is dependent upon pollinators like bees, and the bees in turn depend upon this biodiversity of flora, creating an essential partnership that keeps the earth in balance.

Over 2,000 heirloom varieties of vibrantly colored flowers, fruits, and vegetables were featured at the Expo, and each day was filled with vendors, lectures, art exhibits, and activities surrounding the cause. Keynote speakers at the event included Alice Waters, chef of Chez Panisse and advocate of locally-grown ingredients, as well as Dr. Vandana Shiva, well-known eco-activist who appears in Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? and has introduced the film at past screenings. Dr. Shiva’s speech addresses the rise of corporations such as Monsanto, misconceptions about the food industry, and the vast benefits achieved by ecological farming. You can listen to clips of her speech here.

With the theme of the Expo surrounding natural plant reproduction, the role of bees was an inevitable facet of the conversation. Scientists have confirmed that there are many factors that contribute to Colony Collapse Disorder and the decline of honey bees, but many problems can be traced back to large GMO organizations and commercially farmed monocrops. Due to modern agriculture’s focus on genetically engineered clones for mass production, bees are subject to pesticide contamination, lack of consistent food supply, and careless beekeeping practices among many other plights.

Dr. Vandana Shiva

The Heirloom Seed Exposition was a great opportunity to demonstrate the importance of returning to a world of biodiverse food sources. If we ever hope to reverse the catastrophic pattern of bee decline, we must support the growth of organically cultivated plants from pure heirloom seeds. We were so grateful to be a part of this inspiring platform; not only are heirloom seeds good for the planet, but their produce is often healthier and more delicious, too. To support biodiversity is to help the bees, and we can’t wait to be part of the second annual Expo next year!

Host A Community Screening

This is a key time of year to consider the importance of biodiversity and sustainability in our communities. Fruits and vegetables are being harvested and flowering plants are preparing for winter; this is the season when people work together to reap the earth’s bounty and appreciate the beautiful array of flavors, colors, and nutrients that keep us healthy. Here at Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?, we hope that the spirit of harvest also reminds people that this diversity would not exist without the bees. They are an essential link in the agricultural cycle, and as they continue to disappear at alarming rates, the need to spread awareness about the causes and solutions to Colony Collapse Disorder becomes increasingly urgent.

One way you can be a part of this effort is to host a Community Screening of the film in your home or in a public venue in your area. Hosting a screening is a great opportunity to bring people together to celebrate and support honey bee health and sustainable agriculture. It’s easy to do with a little planning, and there are many options as to what size and type of event works best for your community. There may be a local organization that would be interested in partnering on the project, whether it be offering a venue or promoting the screening through grassroots efforts. Past hosts have worked with a wide range of groups from beekeepers’ associations to conservationists to farmers’ markets. You could even set up a projector outdoors in a park, a college campus, or someone’s backyard!

If you’d prefer a smaller gathering of people to enjoy Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? in a more intimate setting, you could show the film in your home and augment it with a discussion group or a honey tasting after the film. To take a more educational approach, consider holding a screening at a public library or auditorium and inviting a beekeeper, farmer, or scientist to give a keynote introduction. It is up to you how you would like your event to run, and if you are in need of funding, you could charge an admission, ask for donations, or even hold a fundraiser leading up to the screening.

Whatever you decide, you will be creating a forum to share this important story and to start the conversation in your community about global solutions to this critical issue. Please go to “Host a Screening” under the “Screenings” header for more information about getting started. We look forward to working with you, and thanks for helping the bees from all of us here at Queen of the Sun!

August 20th is National Honeybee Awareness Day

Members of the ‘Queen of the Sun’ hive here in Portland are excited for National Honey Bee Awareness Day, happening today, August 20th. Today is the perfect opportunity to spread the message about honey bee decline to a broader audience, as well as to celebrate the many amazing ways that bees contribute to our lives and to the environment.

We commend the many beekeepers and bee activists who are using this day as a platform to host events that honor the bees! Many of these events aim to increase awareness and promote solutions to this global crisis while also sharing the bountiful products of the honey bees’ hard work.

In Los Angeles, you are invited to truly become one with the bees by dressing up as a bee (or a beekeeper!) to meet fellow bee-lovers at the Mar Vista Public Library for a fun and educational afternoon. (Learn More.)

Across the country, the Nixon County Park in Pennsylvania is the site for a day full of bee-centric activities, starting with a Family Bee Adventure featuring crafts, stories, and outdoor games followed by a honey tasting at noon and a lecture on Beekeeping basics. (Learn More.)

And in Fort Myers, Florida you will find a delightful array of artisan bee products from wax candles to tropical fruit to bee-inspired gifts at the Bee Awareness Day event at Terry Park. It will also feature beekeeping demonstrations, honey contests, and raffle prizes – a real bee carnival! (Learn More.)

These are just a few of the exciting ways people are getting involved on this important day. Why not make expand the day to National Honeybee Awareness Week (or month for that matter!) and plan something of your own. It could be a small get-together with a few friends where everyone brings a dish showcasing local honey, or you could visit an organic farm to see what it’s really like in the world of beekeeping; or today you could even just wear black and yellow in solidarity with the bees! Whatever you decide, please join us in paying tribute to nature’s most essential pollinators.

Have fun, and happy Honey Bee Awareness Day!