Las Hurdes

But the olives are usually eaten by insects.
The best animal for such infertile land is the goat.
Its milk is reserved for the gravely ill, who mop it up with bread...
...brought from afar by the beggars, and given only to the sick.
Goat meat is only eaten when a goat dies.
This happens from time to time on the steep slopes.
The main industry in Las Hurdes is apiculture.
But most of the hives don't belong to the Hurdanos.
And the honey the bees get from heather is very bitter.
The owners of the hives are from La Alberca.
They only let the Hurdanos have the hives in winter.
It's milder here than in the neighbouring province of Salamanca.
In spring they take the hives to Castilla.
Then, it's common to see pack animals laden with hives...
...heading for Castilla.
One day, we came across a donkey laden with hives.
Two Hurdanos are taking it to Salamanca.
Later, while we were eating, we were asked for help.
The donkey was tied up and one of the hives had fallen.
It was being attacked by bees.
It tried to defend itself...
...but more hives had fallen.
And swarms of bees had descended on it.
An hour later it was dead. A month before our arrival...
... three men and eleven donkeys had died the same way.
May and June are the hardest months in Las Hurdes.