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Chapter 3

Being Inspired

Global discussions of collapsing colonies and endangered bees often portray bees as “master pollinators” and present their importance in terms of human food supplies and the profitability of agri-business. Save-the-bee campaigns, likewise, take it for granted that these beloved insects are  keeping the planet flourishing by doing something, instinctive, by default. By contrast, the local apiculture approaches bees as knowledgeable medicine-makers: “flying pharmacists.” Most of all, the Islamic sources and Bosnian Muslim lore speak of the bees’ divine inspiration. Moreover,  what bees do and make deeply transforms some people’s lives. This chapter thinks beyond pollination as the unintentional insect bi0-service and, instead, considers intimate human-bee relations as folk arguments for apian knowledge and revelation.