From the native bush and orchards of Australia to the industrial farmlands of the United States and the highlands of Papua New Guinea, Honeybee Blues is a scientific detective story that tells a 21st century cautionary tale.
The European honeybee, or Apis mellifera, is used for commercial honey production and by a global pollination industry worth up to $100 billion. Without it we would lose a third of the worlds food supply.
But honeybees are under threat from all directions. Industrial agriculture and habitat destruction have taken a toll but the biggest threat is a deadly parasitic mite which Anderson discovered and called Varroa destructor. It has decimated bee populations everywhere except Australia which is now the only country that still has European honeybees living in the wild. While in Papua New Guinea, Anderson discovers another lethal mite, Varroa jacobsoni, that adds to the threat to the worlds honeybees.
Denis Anderson believes the solution to eradicating the Varroa mite lies in the genes of the honeybee. He is trying to switch off the honeybee gene that tells the Varroa mite to reproduce. If he succeeds, he could save the last of the worlds wild European honeybees from extinction.
The film features observational sequences and interviews with biosecurity officers, bee exporters, pollinators and honey producers.
Combining macro photography of the insect world, a lively blues soundtrack and animation sequences, Honeybee Blues tracks the incredible journey of the worlds oldest domesticated animal and its predators around the globe.