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Video Marla Spivak: Why bees are disappearing

TLF ID M017159

This is a video of a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk by Professor Marla Spivak about the dramatic decline in the number of bees. The 16-minute video begins with a discussion of why humans should care about bees, including their critical importance for the world's food supply. Professor Spivak explains that bees were doing well until about 50 years ago and that their situation became very bad from 2006. She identifies that bees are dying from multiple and interacting causes: changes in farming practices; flowerless landscapes; pesticides; and parasites and diseases, and she concludes by describing what individuals can do to save the bees.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This is a valuable resource for the food and fibre component of the year 6 science and the year 9 geography curriculums. It is highly relevant for the geographical unit of study Biomes and food security, particularly for content descriptions that refer to human alteration of biomes to produce food, and the environmental effects of these alterations; the environmental, economic and technological factors that influence crop yields in Australia and across the world; and the challenges to food production for Australia and other areas of the world. The dramatic increase in bee deaths is a major threat to global food security, as bees pollinate a third of the world's food supply.
  • The video may also be of value for year 6 science, particularly for the content descriptions about how the growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment, and how scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to solve problems that directly affect peoples' lives. Professor Spivak's talk emphasises how bees are affected and destroyed by environments that are poor in pollen and nectar and rich in pesticides and pesticide residues. Based on her deep scientific understanding of bees, she proposes planting flowering plants wherever possible, and not contaminating them with pesticides, as the best ways to save bees.
Year level

6; 7; 8; 9

Learning area
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Humanities and Social Sciences

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: TED Conferences LLC
  • Organization: TED Conferences LLC
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: TED Conferences LLC
  • Organization: TED Conferences LLC
  • Description: Publisher
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Unknown
Learning Resource Type
  • Video
  • © TED Conferences LLC. Ted Talks are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial–NonDerivative (CC BY-NC-ND) licence