Nov.13 at 7 p.m., students and community members gathered to watch “Queen of the Sun,” the first documentary in the “Beyond the Hive” series sponsored by the College of Fine Arts and Communication.
Outside the theater, local organizations committed to sustainability and community issues set up booths and engaged passersby. Among them were Farmshed, Office of Sustainability, Save the Frogs and Students for Sustainable Communities.
In addition to informational booths the event had free popcorn and honey tasting.
“I never realized how much difference in taste there was between honeys,” said community member Elena Beideck, “some had a stronger taste than others, but they were all unique.”
Liz Fakazis, a communications professor at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, was the coordinator of the Beyond the Hive series.
“Ever since my trip to Greece, I have been absolutely fascinated by bees,” Fakazis said. “The different colors, honeys, sizes. They are incredibly complex creatures.”
While Fakazis does not keep bees, she recognized the importance of beekeepers and her passion was infectious.
The documentary then chronicled the journeys of individual beekeepers, multiple agricultural scientists and the overall industrialization of honey production.
Colony collapse disorder has become a problem in the agricultural systems and why it was occurring was covered in the documentary. While pesticides were a primary issue, lack of genetic diversity has a significant effect.