More than HoneyIn partnership with Fayetteville’s PWC, Sustainable Sandhills is set to tackle another sticky topic at the second showing of the Sustainable Saturdays Film Series season on July 23: Honey - more specifically, the bees that make it. The documentary is titled More than Honey, but the topic is not necessarily sweet. 

“This is a bee movie, and everyone loves bee movies,” said Denise Bruce of Sustainable Sandhills. “This is a topic that is at the forefront of the public conscience. It is near and dear to our hearts.” 

And for good reason.

Imagine the world with no apples, blueberries, cherries or almonds. These are just a few of the crops that bees pollinate. According to the American Beekeeping Federation, honeybees add $14 billion to the value of U.S. crop production. The organization further cites, “Bees pollinate about one-sixth of the world’s flowering plant species and some 400 of its agricultural plants. Poorly pollinated plants produce fewer, often misshapen, fruits and lower yields of seed with inevitable consequences upon quality, availability and price of food. One of the few farm activities that can actually increase yields, rather than simply protect existing yields from losses, is to manage bees to encourage good pollination.” 

The National Resources Defense Council notes, “One out of every three mouthfuls of food in the American diet is, in some way, a product of honeybee pollination — from fruit to nuts to coffee beans.”

Attendees can learn firsthand about the role of bees locally. Scheduled speakers will talk at the event. Bruce noted, “I have contacted the Cumberland County and Hoke County beekeepers. They are really familiar with this issue. The fact that we are losing our pollinators — not just bees, although they are most commercially viable — is a big deal. We are committing every season to showing a film about the state of our pollinators.”

The award-winning documentary More than Honey examines bees, their lives, habits and current predicament as they face colony collapse disorder and other challenges. 

 This film is the second in a series of six films that are part of the Sustainable Saturdays Film Series, which takes place on the fourth Saturday each month at the Cameo Art House Theatre in Downtown Fayetteville. The other four movies are River Run: Down the Cape Fear River, Farmland, Soylent Green, The Burden and Community: Planet Neighborhood. The movies start at 11 a.m.

Sustainable Sandhills also owns the screening rights to a number of other films that cover topics like the dangers of plastic, carbon footprints, oil, farming-related issues, water-related issues and much more. The movies are available to check out for in-home and other private screenings.

While bees play an important role getting food on the table, Sustainable Sandhills has some programs that also focus on smart resource management — including food. The organization sponsors events like PopUp dinner parties that bring together local chefs and food producers as well as community members. With menus sourced from within 80-120 miles of Fayetteville, the goal of PopUp dinners is to recognize the importance of having a sustainable community. July 25 marks the next PopUp dinner. The theme is Caribbean Vacation. Find out more about this community event at the PopUp Dinner: Slow Food FAY Facebook page.

Community-supported agriculture is another way Sustainable Sandhills strives to connect people in the community with local farmers. In conjunction with Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative (SF2T), farmers from Moore, Cumberland, and Harnett Counties come together to support the CSA movement. According to sustainablesandhills.org, “SF2T has grown and expanded with its green mission, which now offers a diverse range of juicy berries, ripe fruits, fresh vegetables, heritage grains, goat cheese, fresh bread, granola, cinnamon buns, Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas trees.”

By participating in CSAs, people help financially support local farmers. They also save energy and resources because the food doesn’t have to travel far to get to the consumer. That means less fuel to transport the food and fresher food for the consumer because it didn’t have to go far to get from the farm to their table. 

For more information bout Sustainable Sandhills and its many programs, visit, http://www.sustainablesandhills.org.

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