Exciting news about the Bees of Grand Staircase-Escalante film!

I know it’s been a while since the last update on the project. My apologies for that! (Yes, we are still on track to release the film by this fall.) But right now I have two really exciting things to share with you…

This weekend, Parade magazine is going to feature our project in their Earth Day edition! Parade is the magazine you find in the middle of every Sunday newspaper. Click on the link and find Utah in alphabetical order in the slideshow – you’ll find our project! Share widely!

Image of solitary, ground-nesting bee covered in pollen.

What’s even more exciting is that the Grand Staircase Escalante Partners are now an official friend and supporter of the film project! GSEP is a nonprofit organization that promotes science, education and conservation on behalf of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. I’m super excited to be working with these great folks to roll out the film!

GSEP logo

Meet the amazing Mr. Joe Taylor

Working on this film has been such a gratifying experience in learning to tell a story visually. But what I’ve really come to understand is that film making is not just about visuals—it’s about telling story through a full on sensory experience. The unfolds through what we see but also through what we hear. Each sensory experience provides a different and (ideally) complimentary texture to the story. This is true for the ambient sound that just hovers in the background, like the breeze rustling the a tuft of grass. But it is also the music.

That is why I am thrilled to introduce you to the amazing Mr. Joe Taylor who has agreed to compose the score for our film.

Joe is an accomplished guitarist whose instrumentals will blow your mind and move your soul. During his storied career, he’s worked with an array of artists and producers, including Donna Summer, Al B. Sure!, Keith Diamond, Ahmet Ertegun, Dave Koz, The Roches, Nile Rodgers and Emmylou Harris. He has also created numerous scores for film and television, including the hit CBS series “Stephen King’s Golden Years”, the Discovery Channel’s “SpyTek with Roger Moore”, ABC Television’s “Turning Point”, A&E Television’s “Spies” and Sony Studios “Veronica and Me”.

The music that Joe has begun laying down for the Bees of GSENM is simply magically. And I absolutely cannot wait for you to hear it.

“I am so pleased to be a part of this excellent team,” says Joe.

We are happy to have you, Mr. Taylor.

You can read more about Joe on our Team page.

One year anniversary for our paper on the bees of GSENM

Map of bee species richness in the monument.

It was one year ago today that Joe, Olivia and I published our paper that explores how shrinking and carving up the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument might impact the incredible bee communities that live there. The issues raised in the paper are what took us back to the monument this past summer to continue studying the bees and create our documentary film. Give it a read when you have the chance, it’s open access at https://peerj.com/articles/6057/.

🗺 Joe Wilson

The actual *bees* of GSENM

Image of bees pinned and labeled in collection boxes.

In addition to getting the film put together, there has been a tremendous amount of time and energy put into identifying and labeling all of the specimens that were caught in our eight days on the ground. And here’s a first look at that hard work! Now on to the analysis of this collection, so we can compare our new data with the results of the original study. 📷 Olivia Carril