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  Queen of the Sun at Ford Point June 25
June 12, 2011

Doors open at 7:00pm, film at 7:30pm, Saturday June 25, 2011 at the NeXus, 1414 Harbour Way South, #1010. Suggested donation is $12 advance, $15 door. No one turned away for lack of funds. Call 650-207-3440 or go to VisionaryEdge.org for information and tickets.

The NeXus is a post-industrial temple which presents transformational events (speakers, films, music, workshops and more) and serves as a meeting place to help foster connections and conversations for the community around our emerging new story.
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On Saturday, June 25, 2011, The Visionary Edge will present a sneak preview screening of Queen of the Sun by film director Taggart Siegel, who also directed the popular The Real Dirt on Farmer John. The evening will include a talk by beekeeper Catherine (Cat) Fraley. Cat will also offer a honey tasting at the event. Bee-based products will be provided by Richard and Janet Baxter of Golden Harvest Beekeeping. Richard is president of The Beekeepers Guild of San Mateo County.
Queen of The Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? is an in-depth investigation to discover the causes and solutions behind Colony Collapse Disorder; a phenomenon where honeybees vanish from their hives, never to return. Queen of The Sun follows the voices and visions of beekeepers, philosophers, and scientists from around the world, all struggling for the survival of the bees. While other bee films focus exclusively on commercial beekeepers, Queen of The Sun emphasizes the biodynamic and organic communities who have differing opinions from many of the outspoken migratory commercial beekeepers and are often overlooked by the media despite their deep and profound insights into the long-term issues that have brought about the recent collapse.
Queen of The Sun reveals bees as a barometer of the health of the world. Bees fly millions of miles to keep the earth in bloom and have provided humans with honey, wax and pollination for our food for over 10,000 years. Through animation and illuminated imagery, Queen of The Sun uncovers how bees were highly revered by the Egyptians, Mayans and Greeks, but the bond between humans and bees, once a sacred partnership is now a complicated, profit-driven, industrial enterprise.
Queen of The Sun draws from the insights of Rudolf Steiner an Austrian scientist who, in 1923, predicted that in 80 to 100 years, bees would disappear. Steiner said: “The mechanization of beekeeping and industrialization will eventually destroy beekeeping.” Gunther Hauk, a main character in the film and a protégé of Steiner’s, against all odds, begins to build the first bee sanctuary in the world. Surrounded by industrial agriculture, he is creating a 600-acre farm to help support the bees in crisis. Through his insights, we are launched into a journey around the world to uncover the compelling perspectives concerning the complex problems bees are facing such as malnutrition, pesticides, genetically modified crops, migratory beekeeping, parasites, pathogens and lack of genetic diversity from over queen breeding. Seeking answers through unique and unusual beekeepers and scientists who have heart-felt respect for their bees we confront and address the harsh realities causing the bees to disappear. Queen of The Sun finds practical solutions and discover the deep link between bees survival and our own.

Queen of The Sun is unique in its approach: while investigating the apocalyptic crisis affecting the bees, it balances the dark reality we face with both the secret wonder of the beehive and the good humor of real, devoted beekeepers. It is neither a dour, nor a dire predictor of gloom. The film weaves the ‘beauty with the beast’: landscapes and beescapes contrast chillingly with the harshness of the Monsanto-dominated global agriculture. The expertise of the scientists and philosophers is clear as they present their cases in an easy-to-digest, unfolding manner, complemented by artful animation and clear compelling imagery.
The characters in Queen of The Sun share a common belief that solutions to the bee crisis lie in a renewal of agriculture and beekeeping that supports the needs of the bee and therefore supports the planet. While their solutions are simple and practical, they are not easy. Queen of The Sun demonstrates their immense efforts to rebuild a community in balance with nature.
Queen of The Sun presents a compassionate inquiry into the struggle of commercial beekeepers who, when faced with skyrocketing demand and staggering losses, do their best with the methods they were taught, often unaware that their standard practices are seriously flawed. For example, artificially bred bees are malnourished on a diet of high-fructose corn-syrup, are confined in plastic hives and are transported thousands of miles, bombarded by exhaust fumes, only to be over-worked in crops soaked in pesticides. A stunning revelation- that to manufacture a single non-organic cotton tee shirt, one third of a pound of pesticide is used- underscores the sheer volume of toxic chemicals commonly being applied to crops. Because of these conditions, the exhausted and weakened pollinators become easy prey for mites, climate change, environmental radiation, viruses, air and water pollution, and the challenging effects of genetically modified crops.

Media amplifies alarm about the worldwide collapse of bee colonies and scientists hunt for a silver bullet cure. In the meantime, bee advocates strive to renew a culture that takes its cues from the hive. They have wisely recognized that the bees, themselves, are our guides and they have looked to the bees’ example of collaboration and community as the model for their own actions. Einstein was right: it is impossible to change any problem by using the same tools that created it. With that in mind, Queen of The Sun highlights non-traditional approaches that do much to create positive global change.

The world is at an opportune moment to see the film. The current possibility for positive change and the universal commitment to saving our planet’s future are linked. Queen of The Sun mirrors the hopefulness of this time of volatile transformation and reassessment. The optimistic response of those who saw The Real Dirt on Farmer John leads us to believe that people are ready to confront the decline of the honeybee population and its dire consequences and to embrace the changes illuminated in the film. It is the positive and hope-laden message of Queen of The Sun that opens its viewers’ minds to the real possibility of a sustainable, healthy and verdant future.

Queen of the Sun is presented by the Visionary Edge. Sponsors include The UPS Store, Arrowhead Framing, and San Mateo Coast Properties.

Doors open at 7:00pm, film at 7:30pm, Saturday June 25, 2011 at the NeXus, 1414 Harbour Way South, #1010. Suggested donation is $12 advance, $15 door. No one turned away for lack of funds. Call 650-207-3440 or go to VisionaryEdge.org for information and tickets.

Located in Half Moon Bay, The Visionary Edge produces events to inform, inspire, and empower us all to create a wiser, sustainable and more compassionate world.

Running time
82 minutes

Contact Info for Beekeeper Interviews
Catherine (Cat) Fraley, CoastalBee.com, 650-728-5478, 650-451-8825
Richard Baxter, GoldenHarvestBeekeeping.com, 650-364-1102, 650-274-2856

Contact Info for Filmmaker/Producer Interview

Trailer Link

Press Kit (includes link for press photos)


Best Documentary
Youth Jury, Rhode Island International Film Festival

Audience Award
Indie Memphis Film Festival

Director’s Choice
Rhode Island International Film Festival

Audience Award
Maui Film Fetsival


“ The feel-good advocacy movie of the year. ”
— Box Office Magazine
“A remarkable documentary that’s also one of the most beautiful nature films I’ve seen.”
— Roger Ebert
“Entertaining, gorgeous and relevant…A tour of the physical world and the world of ideas…built with truly lovely cinematography and music, and taking us, once again, on a journey through a wood of confusion toward rays of hope… “Queen of the Sun,” demonstrates anew [Siegel's] rare eye and sensibility…The message here is vital and Siegel retains the gift of making you dream of making a difference.”
— Shawn Levy, The Oregonian
“A creative exploration of the global honeybee crisis replete with remarkable nature cinematography, some eccentric characters and yet another powerful argument for organic, sustainable agriculture in balance with nature. ‘Queen of the Sun’ reps a natural follow-up to his prize-winning ‘The Real Dirt on Farmer John’ … ‘Queen’ could generate some honey in niche theatrical.”
— Alissa Simon, Variety
“Queen of the Sun is stunning…as soulful as it is scientific, as uplifting as it is alarming. Siegel sets himself and his film apart with exquisite cinematography and awe-inducing visual artistry.”
— Christine Champ, Film.com
“A real gem … A brilliantly focused film discussing beekeeping throughout the world, and the problems that bees are facing… See it. This film is an important work, and thoroughly enjoyable.”
— Tom Ellis, Filmbalaya
“Not just another informative documentary about sustainable practices… It is a wake-up call to protect the future of food and farming. The film features an all-star line up of scientists and activists from around the world who all weigh in on the damage to come if the bee crisis is not addressed.”
— Sabina Dana Plasse, Sun Valley Mountain Express
“I never thought that a documentary about honeybees would make me both laugh and cry—but filmmaker Taggart Siegel’s Queen of the Sun is one such film.”
— Dennis Hartley, Hullabaloo
“A wild, entertaining and thoughtful documentary…You are engulfed by wonder.”
— Michael Van Baker, The Sun Break
“On this fascinating new documentary…Taggart Siegel circled the globe to interview the world’s most passionate beekeepers, and their testimonials make this an irresistible romance about the essential role that honeybees play in maintaining earth’s fragile ecosystem…a cautionary tale with a hopeful outlook.”
— Jeff Shannon, The Seattle Times
“A honey of a documentary about beekeepers… If you’re looking forward to this spring’s blooms, you owe it to yourself to learn more about the little dynamos that pollinate them.”
— Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Bee Movie is no B Movie. Whether or not you like honey on your morning muffin, you ought to be concerned with the health of the nation’s bees.”
— Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
“4 out of 4! Everything you wanted to know about bees.”

— Michael Janusonis,
The Providence Journal
“Colony Collapse Disorder should be a planetary wake up call akin to Rachel Carson’s 1960s pesticide expose Silent Spring.”
- David Lamble, Bay Area Reporter
“Quite an eye-opener. You’ll think twice before ever swatting another bee.”
— SF Bay Guardian
“Queen of the Sun is hardly the first documentary about the world’s vanishing honeybees but it may well be the best … If we hope to save ourselves and our planet, we first need to be prepared to save the bees.”
— Gar Smith, Berkeley Daily Planet
“Everyone, even apiphobes, should see this film, if only to appreciate the danger we’re all in of a buzzless world.”
— Gregg Rickman, SF Weekly
“Beautifully blends poetry and science to tell the story of what may be the most important co-evolutionary bond on Earth… Queen of the Sun’s optimistic tone suggests solutions will flower from the seeds of new perspectives.”
— Rick Marianetti, The Examiner
“Inspiring, humbling, thought provoking, entertaining, and beautifully shot, this film does much more than introduce the current crisis faced by the bees. A call for cultural renewal, for a holistic and compassionate understanding of these amazing creatures.”
— Rebecca Briggs, Biodynamics Magazine
“5 out of 5… Fascinating…”
— Maggie Rice, Denver Urban Agriculture Examiner
“Queen of the Sun inspires all to get involved in Earth’s ecological future, and gives an optimistic vision of the future of food production.”
— Carly Dahlen, Screenology
“Astonishing…luminous, compelling.”
— Jane Sumner, Austin 360
“Queen of the Sun breathes love and hope into the catastrophic crisis inundating our oldest domesticated animal, the honey bee. I was moved from tears to hope as the film gently offered next steps anyone could take to make the world a better place…”
— Barbara Booth, Santa Fe Waldorf School
“A fascinating, emotional look at industrial agriculture and its toll on Mother Nature.”
— Seattlest
“A spectacular movie celebrating the circle of life and the wonder of our natural world.”
— Allison Kennedy,
Education Director, Sawtooth Botanical Garden
“Full of moments that inspire that kind of childlike awe of these remarkable insects.”
— Morgan Rush, Alternatives Magazine