Local filmmaker focuses on bees in National Monument

Local writer and film maker Matt Kelly is working on a documentary film about researchers who are studying the bees of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah.

“The film will capture the real work being done and allow a wide audience to be introduced to this exquisitely beautiful world of native bees. And, ideally, inspire even greater action to protect these pristine, primitive places in our country!” wrote Kelly in his recent email newsletter, The Bee Report.

Researchers Olivia Carril and Joe Wilson of the University of Utah have been studying the bees at the national monument since the early 2000s. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument — an area the size of Delaware — is home to at least 660 species of bees, while the entire eastern United States has 770 species.

The pristine undisturbed environment is the perfect place to study the intimate relationships between bees and flowers, says Kelly.

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