We have blogged about the devastating issues the Maya beekeeping communities in Campeche have faced in several recent blog posts, and the courageous woman who refused to sit idly by and watch disaster unfold.

Beekeeper Leydy Pech won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2020 for her leadership role in fighting against genetically modified crops along with fellow beekeeper Gustavo Huchin.

In this powerful film, we see communities fight to end the planting of genetically modified soybeans on or near their lands.

What Happened to the Bees? This documentary explores the deadly effects of agrochemicals on bees, and how this trickles down and spreads to contaminate whole communities.

This documentary has only been shown at film festivals so far, but it will debut in cinemas in several states on Friday.

Here is the 1:14-minute trailer video by Humans of Film Festival for the documentary: What Happened to the Bees?



Filmmaker Adriana Otero and photographer Robin Canul made this documentary to tell the story of how Maya beekeeping communities in Campeche came together in 2012 to discover why millions of their bees had died.

Subsequently, they confronted their authorities and Monsanto, the giant multinational agrochemical company, for putting their livelihoods at risk.

In addition to being a study in courage and doing what is right for the earth, this is a very important educational documentary. It is rich with wisdom about how important it is to take care of bees, and how they pollinate vast amounts of wild and commercially grown plants.

Otero stated that What Happened to the Bees? shows that beekeepers Leydy Pech and Gustavo Huchin fought due to their dedication to protecting bees as well as the life of the planet.

The film clearly highlights the negative impact of agro-toxins and the agro-industry in general on pollinators, our environment, and our health. According to Otero, the documentary is a tribute to Mexico’s farmers.  

Another important theme in this documentary, according to Canul, is that it explores the impact of public policy on agriculture and beekeeping. He says that policies are decided by people sitting at desks that don’t take the knowledge and wisdom of communities into consideration.

What Happened to the Bees? will be screened at cinemas in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Cuernavaca, Mérida, and Campeche city starting on Friday. You can find more information about the 68-minute documentary including local screening times and locations here

A most inspiring takeaway from this film is that even if you feel small compared to the giant you must confront, and even if it is necessary to take on the elected political powers that be, you can do what needs to be done. Bees have no voice so we must be their voice.

This film showcases people that do what must be done for the bees, for their own communities, and for the planet. When we come together, we can move mountains.