by Anne Ehret
On Wednesday, April 22, there will be a film honouring Earth Day. This film , Queen of the Sun. What are the bees telling us? , will be shown at the United Church in Agassiz at 7 p.m. This film is a beautiful exploration of the life of bees, of bee keepers, and of the different causes of the decline in bee numbers. It also examines what our lives and the world as a whole would be like if there were no bees… a world without apples and watermelon and blueberries and cranberries, to name just a few.
Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms on Earth, from the tiniest bugs living in the soil, to the butterflies in your garden and the plants they feed on, the whales in the sea, and you and I.
Each species, no matter how big or small, plays an important role and plant and animal life depend on one another. When we think about our food and agriculture, we know that the more diverse the plant world is the healthier the ecosystem is and this in turn can help our environment recover more easily from a variety of disasters. This healthy world of animal and plant biodiversity would not exist without pollinating insects like bees.
But apart from this dependency we have on one another within biodiversity, what makes life most interesting, is the variety in all things, from within the bee world, to plant life and to humans. Nothing in nature is ever the same, no snowflake, no plant, no animal or human being. Everything, even though you may not be able to see it, has a variation and this is what makes for a fascinating world !
We are constantly made aware of the global issues of climate change, biodiversity loss, species extinction etc., and it is overwhelming. We know all the arguments for saving the ecosystem and we know what needs to be done but it seems that despite this, we sometimes feel more discouragement than anything.
But if we listen carefully, there are and always have been, many encouraging words being spoken and actions being played. Over the years, scientists, poets, religious leaders, artists, farmers and so many more have eloquently expressed an important message. Henry David Thoreau, Rachel Carson, E. O. Wilson , Stephen Jay Gould, Dave Goulson, Wendall Berry, Thomas Berry , to name just a few, have repeated the same message time and again. This message is: Nature, the world that we are part of, is full of wonder, and hope. And when we recognize that we are connected to all other life forms, we will see that nothing is ever itself without being a part of everything else. This realization that all life is part of the same chain can give us the desire to protect it and give us a reason for celebration and hope.
As Thomas Berry said, “The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human”.
On April 22, come out to Agassiz United Church and learn more about this world of ours by watching this beautiful film, and see how some people celebrate the life of bees. By donation only.