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Chapter 1

Are the bees still swarming? A tale of two angels 

“Are the bees still swarming?” two angels in the near heavens ask, once every hundred years. The angels are awaiting the world’s End. The tale invokes Islamic teachings on the Earth’s collapse, which is a divine promise and God’s well-kept secret. Bosnian Muslims retell the tale to highlight both the frailty of the world and the honeybees’ very special eschatological significance. The raised question opens the book on local beekeeping and other ecological practices pursued in the loaded present moment of the “not yet.”  The first chapter introduces local honey ecologies, weathering effects of climate change and beekeepers’ strategies to keep bees healthy and to secure honey. The chapter also introduces ecological dimensions of Islamic eschatology and argues that our catastrophic times are calling for an eco-eschatology: as a mindful practice that dreads and stalls the apocalypse.

A wicker skep on our land, with the last summer’s swarm.