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Home Lifestyle Life The Green Revolution: The Bees & Our Food-Petra Maartense

The Green Revolution: The Bees & Our Food-Petra Maartense

Invisibly, a huge revolution is underway: a green revolution. Isn’t it striking that the fastest growing sector in this time of crisis is the organic sector? What is the real crisis? What is it actually about? Exploitation of the earth, depletion of natural resources, power and manipulation. Yes. And that’s what our food has to do with, that’s what the bees have to do with, that’s what we have to do with.

But we as humans can do something. We make the difference. With every step we take, every choice we make, every penny we spend. What do we eat? How is it made and produced? Where is it from? Do we want poison, addictive and sickening products or do we want honest, healthy and natural products? We humans, consumers can make choices . 

This weekend there will be protests all over the world against Monsanto, but there are also a number of positive actions planned for the bees. No coincidence!

  • Saturday in Amsterdam, Fête de la Nature, cafe Roest, from 2 pm
    fete de la nature
  • Sunday in Rotterdam: an informative AT(E)EN lunch at Zenne, from 12 noon. The lunch is composed with ingredients that would no longer exist without the bees and has the theme: ‘If we provide enough food for the bees, they will provide us with food.’
  • The Documentary, for example, is being screened and is for sale, about what we can do for the bees ourselves. (see also: )



The call of the bees: ‘Prepare us a way!’

It’s man’s turn. No matter how hard they work, the bees cannot make the world any cleaner. That is our responsibility as human beings. We can all do something: provide flowering plants all year round,

use no poison, be aware of the importance of bees and other insects, work together and share our enthusiasm. If we prepare the way for the bees, it turns out to be our own way in the end. If we provide enough food for bees, they can provide our food.

For example, the documentary shows how simple, fun, necessary and valuable that is. The bee ribbon in Zutphen is an example of how people can work together: Public areas of ‘greenery’ are transformed into blooming, bee-friendly beds and together form a food route through the city.

What started as a small local initiative has now grown into a national project, for which there is also international interest. The Year of the Bee (2012) has been renamed BEIJLINT, a series of initiatives to lend a hand to bees.

Bags of bee-friendly flower seed are being distributed everywhere, beehives are popping up on city rooftops, beekeeping courses for beginners are overbooked and bee ribbons are being initiated across the country. It’s infectious.

People are touched by the bees. And that is very much needed, because the bees cannot survive without us. The bee mortality rate has been alarming in recent years and that is ultimately disastrous for humans, because without bees our crops will not be fertilized. They are an important link in our food supply.

Most people think we only owe honey to the bees and have no idea that about 80 percent of all crops would be gone if the bees were gone. We couldn’t eat a strawberry, apple, pear or pumpkin if it wasn’t pollinated by the bees! Apparently we don’t quite understand what it means when the bees die. Because who really depends on who? Yes, the bees need us to survive.

NOW. And of course much earlier… But: we need the bees to survive. We are not all aware of that yet. That’s why this revolution is so urgently needed. This revolution is about awareness. What do we actually eat? Why are the bees dying en masse? How is that possible? And what does that mean?Is the world so poisoned? What does that mean for our food?

Of course, protesting is a clear signal, boycotting certain products, yes, definitely do it! But it makes the most sense to put our attention and energy into what we DO want. To put our energy into building the positive alternative. We are a determining factor in the whole.

We make the choices. We do not have to accept that the world is being so poisoned, we can decide for ourselves what we do and do not take in and accept. It is up to us not to accept that any longer. We are all responsible.

And we can also take our own individual responsibility. We don’t have to keep complaining or moaning in the victim role, we can take a leading role, take responsibility. For ourselves, nature, our future and the future of the earth. We can be the example ourselves. We can all do something. Making new choices, healthy choices!

The Bees – the massive bee deaths of recent years – are the ‘alarm clock’ in this whole story. By now everyone has heard that the bees are not doing well. First you wonder why that is and then the next question is: What can we do about it? Can we do something about it?

Yes, everyone can do something. The bees are short of food and therefore it is important that there is a lot of diversity of blooming flowers, all year round. This can of course be done in your own garden, but also in public beds. The Bijenlint in Zutphen is a good example: residents have arranged pieces of public greenery in various places in the city in a bee-friendly manner. And with success, we see in the documentary For example, the bee ribbon in Zutphen .*

After the efforts of local residents, the bare beds have been transformed into cheerfully blooming fields full of bees. This creates a bee ribbon, a food route, in the city. The genius of the Bijenlintidee, which originated more than two years ago in Zutphen, is that it invites expansion.

The year of the bee, 2012, in which various bee clubs united to make an effort for the survival of the bees, has been renamed Bijenlint ( from 2013 onwards , as a result of which all initiatives for the bees now also include a bee ribbon. form and also expand and connect.

The Bee Ribbon in Rotterdam!

What can we do for the bees ourselves? That is the theme of the BIJ-EENkomst on Sunday 26 May at Zenne, in Rotterdam, where we can also taste what would never be without the bees. And that’s a lot! From strawberries, apples, pumpkins, almonds, tomatoes, parika, cougettes to various herbs and flowers. ‘If we provide enough food for the bees, they can provide us with food.’

The bees have had a very hard time in recent years and are moving more and more to the city, because the living climate there is better for them than in the countryside.

That’s why we can do more for the bees in the cities: putting the flowers outside! Ensure that there are flowering plants all year round, spray poison, beekeepers on the roof or in the park and above all: understand how important bees are to us!

In order to honor the bees and to bring about more appreciation from the general public, a very Special Bee Lunch will be served at Zenne on Willemskade on Sunday 26 May, with ingredients that would never have existed without the bees.

In the meantime, we hear from Immeke all about ‘the new beekeeping’ in the city, which is very popular these days. It is also an interesting meeting for children: A digital beekeeping course is presented by Moody Doodle, in which you can learn all about bees in a fun way. Everyone is welcome to participate in the Bijenlint! Don’t hesitate to drop by.

You can sign up for lunch by transferring 20 euros (10 euros for children up to 12 years) to the Happy View foundation, account number 8029936 in Utrecht, stating name and number of people.

For further questions or reservation information: [email protected] or directly at Zenne of course. (

For example, the documentary, the Bijenlint in Zutphen

While I was making the documentary ‘For example’, my admiration for the bees grew more and more. The bees really set the example for us. They show you how to work together. How everything is perfectly coordinated.

They just keep going. They know what to do. An ingenious whole. Only, they cannot make the world a cleaner place. Only us humans can do that. What I wonder is whether the bees know which flowers are poisonous, because yes… unfortunately, also our flowers and plants in the garden, our garden soil is treated with poisons, pesticides, which kill bees and other insects.

They seem to know that, but they don’t always have a choice.“When we are thirsty, we also drink the water that is available, and if that is only polluted water… we have to make do with that,” Piek Stor compares. In addition to being a representative of the Bijenlint in Zutphen, she is also an animal interpreter and in that capacity she communicates with the bees. For example, in the documentary, the bees themselves are the ‘golden thread’.

If we really want to take the bees seriously, we have to listen to them, understand their message and ask them ourselves what needs to be done. Maybe that’s why it was up to me to make this film about the bee ribbon in Zutphen, while I live in Utrecht.

I have been working with Piek for some time, we have made a book about animal communication together: In the Silence you hear everything, Piek Stor in conversation with animals (see For more information).

We also devoted an entire chapter to bees. Their message was urgent. More urgent than any other animal, although we can also learn a lot from the whale, the dolphins, the lions and the cows. We have ‘forgotten’ that we can communicate with nature and therefore also with animals. For the Indians, for example, that was always the most natural thing in the world.

Some people shy away from animal communication, but isn’t that the same as dominating nature, arranging and controlling and cultivating and bending the world to our will? Don’t we forget to respect and take care of all living things?

It is not for nothing that more and more animal interpreters are active. It is not for nothing that more and more people receive messages or know or see or feel clearly. It is our own ‘nature’ that we have lost. That’s understandable given the way we live and grew up, given history, given the suppression of these intuitive (female?) abilities.

They were not valued. We have lost balance in the world and in ourselves. But it is there and that too is returning in this new time. We are establishing a new balance. A recovery that is urgently needed. Living from the heart, producing on a smaller scale, cooperation, more attention to the real value of life. The old one no longer works. That’s a dead end.

“Prepare us a way,” was the urgent appeal from the bees, forcing us to ring the bell and get to work. The bees showed us the way: “Get out of the fight, work together, do something!” But also: “Tell each other stories, have fun!” The bees are urging us to unite. Focus on the solutions. If you want to change something, you don’t do it by getting stuck in the negative, what you don’t want anymore, the struggle, the discussions.

That is a universal law: What you pay attention to grows. So look at what you do want instead of what you don’t want anymore. Making people aware of the need to do something for the bees goes much further for me than just ‘the bee problem’, it is about ourselves and about our own awareness.


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