Bee greetings from Helsinki

Harakka island got its new bee population in early June. The colony is from a beekeeper in Helsinki city. The bees are doing very well. Right now they have lots of food on the blossoming island. Since the beginning of August summer has been chilly and rainy, not so successful for stocking much honey but enough to feed bee babies.

Erkki takes care of the Harakka island’s hive and in the picture he’s preparing a new floor by disinfecting the box with fire.

erkki

When putting the new box on top of the hive we also met the beautiful queen.

harakka_queen

As a small island, Harakka has a unique climate and flora. The island is a nature reserve and grows great wild flowers. Now for example St John’s worts are blossoming and constantly visited by honey bees and bumble bees.

In Kaisaniemi Botanical garden, there are two new bee colonies in the Hexa-Hives. They have been active builders and quickly filled the second floor in two weeks!

hexa

From that hive I took a sample for Charli by cutting a piece of comb in order to explore what plants are visited by the bees in the garden. 

hexa_honeycut  honeysample

Post and pix by Hanna Vainio, Melliferopolis beekeeper

Building new urban ambients for the bees – Kouvola Semi-Wild Garden

This spring Christina and Ulla made a major physical effort to create an outdoor section for Poikilo Museum Semi-Wild Garden exhibition. In the centre of the city, the park area is hosting a Hexa-Hive Village with new work, Airstrip for Bees. Let´s see how the bees fly with this new construction in their village! More information of the exhibition can be found here.

Videolink of the building process.

The audio of the timelapse video is recorded by Till Bovermann during the summer 2013 in Aalto Otaniemi Campus. A microphone was installed to the hive and what we hear is the bees walking and communicating in the vicinity of the microphone. More experimental sound recordings by Till can be found here.

The colour of the Airstrip will hexa_airstrip June 2015 2change during the summer, the dominating lila will turn to the yellowi and red when the poppies, Isatis Tinctoria, lavanda and many others start blooming.

Opening at Kouvola Art Museum Poikilo

At the opening of the Semi-Wild Garden Exhibition in Kouvola, the bees were hiding, as it was raining.

An article in the Kouvola Sanomat mentions the work in the park (shortened online version, in Finnish only).

On the 12th of May, the gallery space was opened as well, with the Sundance Palimpsest. The Palimpsest is a collection of beeswax sheets with the recordings of the sun-rays in Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden, in the summer 2014.
The 37 sheets are framed and exhibited in the room, together with Heliocentric, a video work by Semiconductor (UK).

Both the installation and the audiovisual work, reproduce the path of the Sun, once recorded into beeswax and once on digital media. The works are a tribute to our Light Star, an essential factor of all Gardens of the World.

Palimpsest_small

Migrating a Swarm

What a lucky coincidence – during our workshop in Kaisaniemi a swarm appeared! Hanna and Mika have placed bees as part of the community gardens in Kuusiluoto. These bees from Artova ry Association have swarmed and Mika and his friends have caught the colony and agreed to place the bees in the Sensored Hive! The bees live on the island of Kuusiluoto and on Tuesday, 10th of June, we row them over to the mainland and give them a new home in Kaisaniemi.

Mika caught the swarm, Harri helped – a fisher net can have many uses…

fishernet

 

The cardboard box was too flimsy to keep the swarm contained. Extra cover with a textile helped – a bit.

 

P1090217s

Transfer to a Langstroth box made the transport to Kaisaniemi more stable.

P1090222s

The boat transfer to the mainland.

P1090236s