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Beekeeping in the End Times is a documentary film that conveys Bosnian Muslim stories about the signs of the world’s looming collapse. It shows how Islamic apocalyptic lore informs human-apian relations with ecological insights that inspire both hope and dread. The film is currently shot at our apiary and compiled from the footage and findings of an ethnographic research project on local beekeeping under the conditions of extreme weather and climate change. It presents three tales: about angels waiting for the End, intimated by animal endangerment; about planting on the eve of Apocalypse; and about the vanishing flower named stid (“shame”). Connecting the footage shot within forage sites across former battlegrounds, toxic industrial edgelands, and wild thickets of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a tale about our family land and beekeeping trials. We embarked on filmmaking because climate futures of the world’s most beloved insects are surprisingly underresearched while the ecological tones of Islamic eschatology—the end time myths—are rarely acknowledged. The stakes are still closer to home: our apiary sits on our beloved father’s land, furrowed by a landslide creep and further unraveled with events of extreme rainfall, recurring each unseasonal spring.
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.