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Burt's Bees, Isabella Rossellini Launch Short Films On Plight of Honeybees

Burt’s Bees is collaborating with artists and experts at the Pollinator Partnership to generate greater public awareness about the importance of honeybees to agriculture and the threats they face.

For such small, short-lived creatures, bees do a lot of heavy lifting to keep life on Earth in balance. In fact, an estimated one-third of the food on Earth depends on pollination by bees. Because they are instrumental to biodiversity, they are what scientists call indicator species, functioning as an alarm system for the health of ecosystems.

Since 2006, colonies of honeybees have seen population declines at around 30 percent each year. Some of the declines are attributed to a mysterious evacuation of the hive by its workers, which soon spells collapse for the hive, hence the name Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. Researchers around the world have been focused on trying to solve the mystery, but most agree there is no singular threat. Rather, bees and honeybees in particular are facing a number of challenges—pollution, exposure to chemicals, disease, parasites, poor nutrition, even changes in climate.

Nearly every scientist agrees that all bees need nesting habitats and a variety of healthy flower food to thrive - and they’re in short supply. Humans have used up all the land - we've planted crops from field edge-to-edge, lawns from yard to yard (no bee food there), and fancy ornamental plants where once scruffy natives used to stand. In most agricultural settings today, bees find only one kind of food for days and weeks on end, which is unhealthy (and perhaps boring) for the insects.

Burt Shavitz, co-founder of Burt’s Bees was a beekeeper. His bees made the wax in their first Beeswax Lip Balm. This June for National Pollinator Week, Burt’s Bees will premiere "Burt Talks to the Bees", a series of three short films created by Isabella Rossellini, actor, director and Burt impersonator. The films introduce the bees - the queen, the workers and the drones - in an effort to make viewers more sympathetic to their plight.

Coinciding with the launch of the films, Burt’s Bees will launch a website providing all the information and tools people need to do their part for the bees - everything from guerilla gardening to tips on hanging out with bees fearlessly.

As Pollinator Partnership’s Executive Director, Laurie Davies Adams, explains, “Each of us lives in a habitat, and we have the opportunity, in fact, the responsibility, to nurture and promote healthy habitat. By sharing a bit of lawn, a schoolyard, a farm border, an office landscape or a roadside with blooming pollinator-friendly plants, we create a connection that supports healthy ecosystems and a sustainable future. All of our actions join to build something invaluable to the very plants and pollinators that feed us.”

Earlier this year, Burt’s Bees launched a new brand of personal care productsto attract younger customers.

Bart King is a PR/marketing communications consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications. 

Bart King is the principal of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. He is also Associate Editor of Sponsored Content for Sustainable Brands. Follow him @bart_king [Read more about Bart King]

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