Friday, Aug. 19, 2022 |
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LIHUE — A love song is typically most effective when it’s in the language of the one you’re trying to court. So when Elizabeth Diamond set out to create a love song for honey bees, she began by studying their buzz.
“I had the idea to go and find happy honey bees, content in their space, and record their sound and turn it into music, so that us humans could sing to the honey bees in chords and in the frequency that they could understand,” said Diamond. “It’s a little bit cosmic.”
The Wailua resident enlisted the help of Fred Dente, an ukulele and guitar teacher, and poet Kelly Ball, to interpret the sound and spirit of the honey bee. The result is an anthem intended to inspire people everywhere to protect our pollinators that help plants to reproduce and grow.
The track stars Island School students Olivia Gegen, who sings and plays the violin, and Lexi Warnock, who sings and also helped write some of the lyrics.
Honey bees have seen a sharp decline in colonies by more than 50 percent. The mysterious culprit is Colony Collapse Disorder, for which there is no known cause. Additional stresses on honey bees include the spread of new parasites, such as Varroa mites, pests including small hive beetles and the sublethal effects of pesticides.
The rapid decline in honey bee populations in the U.S. and abroad has big impacts for humans. Honey bees aid the growth of about one in every three bites of food in the American diet, according to an estimate published by the U.S. government.
“If we don’t have our honey bees, we’re done for,” Diamond said. “They are the true canaries in the coal mine right now. They’re telling us we’ve got to make a change because without honey bees we don’t have food, or very little of it. It’s very serious. So we’re wanting to raise awareness.”
What Diamond hopes to achieve with “Owed to the Honey Bees” is an Internet sensation. To that end, she has spearheaded the creation of a music video to accompany the song in hopes that images of Kauai’s beauty, coupled with the music’s important message, will reach and resonate with a wider audience.
“It’s a gift to the world,” Diamond said of the multimedia project. “We already contacted the Prince of Wales and the pope and Oprah. We’re trying to make it go viral.”
The “Owed to the Honey Bees” music video will premiere today at a fundraiser and mahalo party in Lihue. The free public event is set to take place from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Village Hall at Sun Village, located behind Wilcox Memorial Hospital. In addition to the screening, there will be live music and a pupu potluck. Proceeds from a raffle ticket drawing will help pay for the project’s remaining production expenses and outstanding bills and loans.
More than 100 community members have contributed their time and talent to the creation of the seven-minute music video, Diamond said.
“This is a gift to world, but it’s also a thank-you to the Hawaiian people, to the host culture here, for malama aina,” Diamond said. “It’s not just a concept. It’s a way to live. I wanted to send that out into the world.
“And people aren’t going to know what that is but they’re going to Google it and research it and I hope they’ll start thinking about it.”
For more information about the “Owed to the Honey Bees” project, visit www.beebuzzz.org.
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