Capturing the Bees Knees: A TED Talk

Nick Peotter

The Mirror

A bee landing on a tulip trying to collect its precious pollen in order to make food for its hive is an essential part of life for so many creatures that have coexisted for thousands of years. Little does that bee know, it’s bringing pollen from flower to flower which helps those plants reproduce. It’s more than just bees too: bats, hummingbirds, butterflies, flies are all creatures that help in the essential process of pollination.

Louie Schwartzberg is a photographer who specializes in slow motion filming of the world of pollination. Through his work, he hopes to bring attention to the coming crisis of bees and other pollinators becoming endangered. In his TED Talk, he gets quite existential with why bees are motivated to pollinate in the first place and he ends up asking the questions, “Why are we here?” “Who are we?” and “Why do we keep existing?” all in a very figurative way.

Pollination is such a crucial part of life on earth, so important that it is part of the answer to those questions.

“We depend on pollinators for over one-third of the fruits and vegetables that we eat.”

All those fruits and veggies have co-evolved with us and have been ingrained into our culture.

“It’s like a canary in a coal mine, if they disappear so do we,” was one of Schwartzberg’s strongest statements in his speech.

Colony collapse disorder is the phenomenon of bees disappearing from their hive and leaving the queen behind. This can be caused by pesticides being put on plants which get to the hive from worker bees. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been working to reduce the number of pesticides used on crops.

So far Schwartzberg has been very successful in spreading the word about the bee crisis, his phenomenal work has been spread around quite a bit and is worth a look by watching his TED Talk.