Beauty of pollination
TED Talk Wings of Life, Bees, Mushrooms
This video was shown at the TED conference in 2011, with scenes from “Wings of Life”, a film about the threat to essential pollinators that produce over a third of the food we eat. The seductive love dance between flowers and pollinators sustains the fabric of life and is the mystical keystone event where the animal and plant worlds intersect that make the world go round.
Bees & Mushrooms
An excerpt from Louie’s Fantastic Fungi Awards speech:
“When I heard it the bees were disappearing. I realized I couldn’t tell the story about the bees, without telling the story about the relationship they have with flowers, the relationship and the love affair going on for 15 million years. And we can’t let it unravel. Because without the pollinators, the flowers, we wouldn’t be here. It gives us the food – the fruits, the nuts, the seeds, the berries, all the healthy food we eat to survive. And then I thought, well, if pollination is so important, this magical intersection between the animal and the plant worlds. What do plants need in order to survive? They need soil. And where does soil come from? It comes from largest organism on the planet. It can heal you. It can feed you. It can clean up an oil spill. It can even clean up the atmosphere. It’s fungi.” – Louie Schwartzberg
The beauty of being able to shoot nowadays with a high-speed digital camera and you can play back once you’ve captured is extraordinary. Shooting high-speed film historically made it impossible to truly capture the magical moments in Wings of Like, such as when pollination occurs. Pollination can take place in a quarter of a second – as the bee lands on the flower.
Making the Invisible Visible
Slow-motion reveals a beautiful magical dance that occurs between the bee and the flower. The film allows us to truly see experiences in nature. For example, buzz pollination, which is what the bumblebees do can be slowed down and visible to the human eye. As the bees vibrate, that vibration causes pollen to release from the bee and onto the flower. These advances have allowed scientists to see and learn from this occurrence. At 1000 frames per second, we make the invisible visible. We can watch monarch butterfly wings bend like foils in an aerodynamic way. Whereas, through the human eye, it just looks like they’re fluttering.
Wings of life reveal so much more to the human eye, discoveries that we can learn about from a scientific point of view. But perhaps even more captivating, Wings of Life makes us able to feel something spiritual and magical in nature.