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Chapter 1

Honey’s On the Wheels 

“Honey’s on the wheels,” local beekeepers in Bosnia tend to say. Because the seasons are scrambled and the weather is increasingly weird, the only way to catch honey flow, they suggest, is to get the bees on the road. Mobile beekeepers are chasing honey across micro-climates, foraging away from zones of industrial toxicity and urban development, and foraging towards and into the “new wilds.” The new wilds are often former frontlines of the 1990s Bosnian War. Sown by landmines but overgrown with pollinator-friendly shrubs, trees, and weeds, these “forage frontlines” are scarcely populated and ethnically mixed. Itinerant beekeeping, a deep-rooted and longstanding strategy of hunting for honey, is however increasingly faltering, as industrial contamination, over-development, pesticides, habitat loss, and most of all, the effects of global climate change are catching up with the beekeepers and their bees on the wheels. Complementing the book chapter, this website’s video-essays also give a tour of the new and old disaster zones in post-conflict, post-socialist Bosnia and Herzegovina.