The Bees of Grand Staircase-Escalante film premieres on Sept. 24!

It’s been over a year since we successfully raised the funds for this project and returned to the monument to study the bees. During that time I’ve been working with an amazing team of people and partners to produce, promote and launch the film. And the day we’ve all been waiting and working for is finally here!

The Bees of Grand Staircase-Escalante is premiering on Sept. 24!

I’d like to personally invite you to join us!

This will be a virtual premiere, so you can enjoy the event from the comfort of your own home. After showing the film (which is a little over 20 minutes), we’ll be hosting a conversation among four experts on bees, public lands and climate change. We’ll also be taking questions from the audience as part of this conversation.

There will be more details on the event in the coming days. Follow me @bymattkelly on Twitter and Instagram to stay in the loop.

I’m so thrilled to finally be sharing this experience with all of you! Thank you so much for your support! And many thanks to the following partners for helping to make this film and premiere possible:

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

🗺 Joe Wilson