Two sisters, an anthropologist and a filmmaker, follow bees and beekeepers foraging for honey through the changing climates of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They find bees roaming across former war frontlines, in new wildernesses born of abandoned land, far from pollution and pesticides. Bosnian Muslims have long cherished honeybees as divinely inspired and praised the beehive as a potent source of medicine. But extreme weather and altered ecologies are bringing their region’s bees to the point of starvation—a global phenomenon that is uniquely accelerated in Bosnia, which hosts some of the world’s most environmentally-damaging industries. This film conveys first-hand observations on climate change’s effects on bees and apiculture alongside folk stories and Islamic myths about the end of the world and its chances for salvation. Together, these are told around the sisters’ struggles to keep an apiary on their imperilled family land.
The filming is kindly funded by the Wenner-Gren’s Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship for ethnographic film. The archival footage and background research owes to the generous patronage of Wenner-Gren, ACLS, and Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs.