Don’t forget to pre-order the Queen of the Sun DVD where you’ll find many more great facts about bees as part of the DVD’s Special Features!
Next time you’re outside, stop and see if you can find a honeybee on a flower in bloom. If you stop and look at that bee for a little while, my guess is that some questions will start to pop into your mind:
- How do honeybees make honey?
- How does one bee communicate with another?
- And just how do they know how to navigate to and from their hive?
Questions certainly popped into our minds, so we’ve decided to post 10 answers to these questions and more below. The next time you see a bee, think about some of these!
1. Honey bees have four wings, six legs, two compound eyes made of up many, many tiny lenses and three simple eyes on the top of the head that are light sensors.
2. Honeybees perform a waggle dance to communicate the location and the directions to distant food sources that are 100 yards to 2-3 miles from the hive.
3. In one trip honeybees visit 100-1500 blossoms to fill their honey crop, an organ separate from their digestive stomach that is used to transport nectar.
4. Forager bees, steadfast and committed to their task, make up to 30 trips a day. Using their long, straw-like proboscis they collect nectar from the wild flowers and herbs of meadows. As Johannes Wirz says in QUEEN OF THE SUN, “Bees are the golden thread from flower to flower, keeping the world in bloom.”
5. The honey bee’s wings beat at incredible speeds! About 200 beats per second, creating the their un-missable “buzz”. A bee can fly up to 15 miles per hour and can fly a total of up to six miles.
6. Bees were not only one of the first sources for sweetness, but also for light! Beeswax candles were used by humans to provide long-lasting light in the darkness. Secreted from glands of the bee’s abdomen, beeswax is used by the honeybee to build the honey comb in the beehive.
7. In their entire lifespan, a worker bee only produces 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of honey.
8. The beehive is a “super organism”. All of the bees work together as a single entity. A lone bee cannot live on it’s own outside of the hive for even 24 hours.
9. In winter bees live on stored honey and pollen and cluster into a ball to conserve warmth. Their “body” temperature in the hive is close to human body temperature, 95-97 degrees, regardless of the temperature outside of the hive.
10. Some big numbers to think about! In producing just one pound of honey, bees from the hive visit approximately one million flowers. The entire hive of bees will fly 90,000 miles. This is equivalent to three and a half orbits around the earth just to collect one pound of glistening honey.
Take the world by SWARM! Be part of BEE-A-THON 2011, the free, global, online web streaming marathon to raise awareness and shed light on honeybees and native pollinators.
All day, from 9 AM to 9 PM PST on Saturday July 16th experts in science activism, naturalism, art-science fusion, education and entertainment (including us!) will share insights about the bees and other important topics relating to cultural entomology and biodiversity.
You can tune-in anytime throughout the day from living rooms, gardens, mobile devices and “backyard bee parties” all over the world, to listen to subject matter experts, ask questions and get inspired to take action. Your voice would be a valuable addition to this important conversation- You can listen in for 12 minutes or 12 hours – whatever you like!
BEE-A-THON 2011 is hosted by our partners, YourGardenShow.com, the first social network for gardeners.
Please RSVP to be part of this great event here!
QUEEN OF THE SUN opens today at Cinema Village in New York City! Don’t miss the 7 PM screenings during opening weekend with special Q&As by Director Taggart Siegel. The week is also packed with a line-up of great organizations that will be at the screenings for Q&As and introductions ranging from New York League of Conservation Voters and Manhattan Green Party to Audubon Society, Green Thumb NYC, Slow Food NYC, Grow NYC and many more! If you live in the city, be sure to make it out this week to see the film.
What the press is saying about QUEEN OF THE SUN:
“…Siegel buzzes around the globe and deep into the hive… Honey has never looked so delicious. Or so precious.”
- Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times, Critic’s Pick
-New York Daily News
- The New York Post
“…to nature’s underappreciated pollinators — whose existence has come under threat…making a sunny and optimistic case for why the world is worth saving, via gorgeous imagery and poetic appreciations of the bees themselves. “
- Ian Buckwalter, NPR.org
“RICH, ELEGANT, EDIFYING.”
“One of the most beautifully filmed documentaries that I’ve ever seen.”
-Hollywood Report Card
“…a lovely balance between scientific explanation and emotional advocacy…rich subject matter and persuasive presentation make this visually appealing nature documentary worth buzzing about.”
- David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
“Visually sumptuous…lovingly shot, near-psychedelic imagery, which serves as an unusually visceral reminder of the rich variety in nature—and what’s at stake if bees bug out for good.”
- Village Voice
“INSPIRING… ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF 2011.”
- Spirituality and Practice
“The film wows us with its objects of study at work that it creates a sensual awareness of our primary relationship with the bees.”
“MUST-SEE FILM… LIKELY THE MOST IMPORTANT DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR.”
There have been much going on with QUEEN OF THE SUN over the past few weeks. We are continuing to play in theaters across the country, with wonderful recent theatrical openings in Chicago, Austin, Philadelphia, Madison and many more. (Watch an interview with Taggart Siegel on WTTW Chicago.)
The most exciting news this week, however, is that we will be opening in New York on June 10th & Los Angeles on June 17th in anticipation of National Pollinator Week (June 20-26)! We are eager to bring QUEEN OF THE SUN to the two largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. at last.
We are working with countless organizations in each city including the League of Conservation Voters, Slow Food USA, Pesticide Action Network, Yourgardenshow.com’s Bee Counting Project, Just Food, the Majora Carter Group, and many, many more to cultivate awareness and action. We hope that by bringing the film to these two major urban centers, many more people will hear the word about the bee crisis and that attention will continue to develop about how we can all be part of the solution.
If you would like to be part of the opening in NY or LA please let us know by clicking here. Our grass-roots team will work with you to create awareness in these two great cities!
- Cinema Village, New York City – June 10th
- Laemmle Theaters, Los Angeles – June 17th
Other upcoming cities:
- OPENING May 13th – Lincoln, NE
- OPENING May 14th – Asbury Park, NJ
- OPENING May 17th – Honolulu, HI
- OPENING May 20th – Helena, MT
- OPENING May 20th – Cincinnati, OH
- OPENING May 21st – Pittsburgh, PA
Queen of the Sun will be throwing an Earth Day celebration to continue to bring awareness for the honeybee beginning April 22nd! The film will expand to 8 new cities in the U.S. and will be releasing theatrically for the first time OUTSIDE OF THE U.S. to over 45 theaters across NEW ZEALAND!
Earth Day Openings:
U.S. – Opening EARTH DAY April 22
- Portland, OR – Hollywood Theatre
- Salem, OR – Salem Cinemas
- Eugene, OR – Bijou Art Theatre
- Ashland, OR – Varsity Theatre
- Astoria, OR – Columbian Theater
- Birmingham, MI – Birmingham Uptown 8
- Santa Fe, NM – Center for Contemporary Arts
- Ithaca, NY – Cornell Cinemas
New Zealand – Opening APRIL 21
- Akaroa, NZ – Akaroa Cinecafe
- New Plymouth, NZ – Arthouse Cinema New Plymouth
- Ascot, NZ – Ascot Upper Hutt
- Rotorua, NZ – Basement Rotorua
- Whakatane, NZ – Cinema 5 Whakatane
- Te Puke, NZ – Capital Cinema 4, Te Puke
- Havelock North, NZ – CINEMA GOLD Havelock North
- Palmerston North, NZ – CINEMA GOLD Palmerston North
- Martinborough, NZ – Circus Cinema, Martinborough
- Hokitika, NZ – Crooked Mile Hokitika
- Wanaka, NZ – Cinema Paradiso Wanaka
- Dargaville, NZ – Dargaville Cinema Trust
- Opotiki, NZ – De Luxe Theatre Opotiki
- Picton, NZ – Ecoworld Picton
- Feilding, NZ – Focal Point Feilding
- Levin, NZ – Focal Point Levin
- Motueka, NZ – Gecko Theatre, Motueka
- Kaikoura, NZ – Mayfair Kaikoura
- Methven, NZ – Methven Paradiso
- Wellington, NZ – Paramount Wellington
- Ashburton, NZ – Regent 3 Ashburton
- Waikanae, NZ – ShorelineWaikanae
- Taupo, NZ – Starlight Cinema Taupo
- Nelson, NZ – State Cinema Nelson
- Takaka, NZ – The Village Theatre Takaka
- Whangamata, NZ – THAMES and WHANGAMATA MULTIPLEX
- Gisborne, NZ – Dome Cinema Gisborne
- Tokoroa, NZ – Tokoroa Cinema 3
- Blenheim, NZ – Top Town Blenheim
- Waiheke Island, NZ – Waiheke Island Community Cinema
Opening APRIL 22
- Sumner, NZ – Sumner Hollywood
- Oamaru, NZ – Movie World 3, Oamaru
Opening APRIL 28
- Geraldine, NZ – Geraldine Cinema
- Christchurch, NZ – Rialto Chrischurch
- Dunedin, NZ – Rialto Dunedin
- Newmarket, NZ – Rialto Newmarket
- Tauranga, NZ – Village Theatre Tauranga
Opening APRIL 29
- Taihape, NZ – Majestic Cinema Taihape
- Whitianga, NZ – Mercury Twinn Whitianga
- Odeon, NZ – Odeon Multiplex Theatre
Opening MAY 5
- Whangarei, NZ – Whangarei Film Club