A documentary about people whose hearts have been touched by honeybees
In November 2019 our team spent two weeks meeting people in Israel and the West Bank, who are working with bees as a way to learn from and embody the lessons from the hive. Common to all the people and projects we met was an interest in ecological thinking, re-wilding of species and systemic change. We found many fascinating stories, and the experiences we had are already taking shape as we begin to edit the documentary.
Our initial working title for this work was The Land of Milk and Honey, but even before we arrived to the Middle East it was pointed out to us that this biblical term has been widely used within the zionist narrative, and raised questions amongst some of our hosts as to whether we hold a certain bias or come with a preconceived story in mind. We had no preconceived narrative, we said, we wanted to hear from people who work with honeybees in innovative, non commercial ways, and through them get a glimpse into any regenerative social ecological practices that people across the political divide are developing.
It so happened that while we were in the Beit Shean Valley, we went to swim in the Assi river one day. Passing through the Kibbutz, we came upon the library which was getting rid of many of their books and had them piled up in the patio for anyone to peruse. A selected few caught our attention, among which was one called ‘Nature and Landscape in Israeli Heritage’, by Nogah Hareuveni. The first chapter of this book, we found with delight, is about the term land of milk and honey as referenced in various places in the Old Testament. It says that honey in the bible is always named in reference to wild colonies in trees. An abundance of milk (transient goat and sheep herding) and honey was not sourced from developed agricultural practices but from wild places. In this context the prophet Isaiah says that when the cultivated places will be destroyed in the aftermath of war, then the wild grass, field flowers and forest trees will return and milk and honey will flow again.
And so, it appeared that unwittingly we touched upon a deep thread of the story. A story about intensive agricultural practices, land development, and domestication which have eradicated what could have been a land of milk and honey. We found people who were interested in exploring models in which the land’s inhabitants share natural resources sustainably, and are inspired by nature in practicing ways to collaborate and coexist.
Our current working title for the film is Honey in the Heart, because what we found most of all, was people whose lives were touched by the sweet nectar the honeybee produces from the flowers of the field. A golden nectar to feed its colony, an invisible spiritual substance to feed our divided human hearts.
We hope you enjoy this glimpse of our project ‘Honey in the Heart’ and stay tuned for the full documentary.
To read more about the people and places we visited have a look on our blog entry Honey in the Heart
With the support and collaboration of:
Natural BeeKeeping Trust UK, Step Travel Grants, Yossi Aud, Sabina Engelhardt, Jemma Martínez, Marc Naya, Susana Gil de Reboleño, Jessica Stephens, Paquito Nogales, Ana Oliva Gallardo, Andrew Zionts, Carolina Trustram, Zvezdelina Stoyanova, Cristina Juan, Daniel Alarcón, Ramón Bonheví, Paloma Hurtado, Judith Gomez, Mireia Illamola, Francisco Gallardo, Laura Rojo, Pepa Palma, Ana Medeiros, Liliana Kroucheva, Ignacio Guarderas Merlo, Alejandro Ponce, Mara Berkhout, Constans Rodriguez, Lynne Shapiro, Marta Angulo, Francisco Esquivel, Xesca Salvá, Bàrbara Roig, Mihal Derlatka, Miguel Gomar, Chari Dominguez, Seka & Tania, Kerry Bernal Coates, Ángel y Magdalena, Juan Diego Calzáda, Fernando Casado, Ángela López, Estefanía Muñoz, Miriam Soliva, Rosa María Díez, Estigma Teatro.
Help us finish this project by supporting our work here.