On a remote volcanic island, ten year old Manu and her mother catch swarms of wild honeybees in order to breed disease resistant colonies. Her father is taking part in a native Hawaiian movement to protect the sacred Mauna Kea mountain from the construction of a massive telescope. On the nearby slopes of Mauna Loa, six NASA scientists are participating in a yearlong mission designed to prepare for life on Mars. Meanwhile, the Kilauea volcano is stirring.
When bees swarm, the colony reproduces like a cell, by splitting in two. Half of the hive flies off in search of a new home, while the other half stays behind. The intricate workings of the honeybee hive offer a prismatic view of a precarious reality for Hawaii and beyond. If honeybees-- one of the most resilient and cooperative species on the planet-- are being pushed to the point of extinction, what kind of future do humans have on earth?