In 2012, the Melliferopolis project introduced 3 new hives in the city of Helsinki and Espoo. The three locations are situated in quite different environments, representing various aspects of urban situations.
Harakka is almost like a nature reserve. It is very popular with birds and serves as a breeding place for geese. The vegetation on Harakka is very divers and attractive for bees, as we were able to notice in this first season. When observing the bees at their flying entrance in August, they carried pollen of various colors into their home and the honey harvest was rich and delicious.
Harakka is also the place where the Melliferopolis workshop in May 2012 took place.
Erkki and Sirkku are taking care of the Harakka hive. They are both working on the island.
Kaisaniemi Botanical Garden
At the Botanical Garden in the centre of Helsinki, an experimental hive was installed – the Hexa-hive. It was designed by Christina Stadlbauer and Kiran Gangadharan and should please bees and visitors alike.
The hive is placed in a public, accessible spot – and invites to watch, smell, hear the bees from close up.
In May 2012, during the Melliferopolis workshop the Hexa-hive was installed permanently in the botanical garden.
As the first prototype of Hexa-hive seemed a bit small, the bees got a bigger version of it, and were transferred on the day of the summer solstice 2012 to their new house.
In the botanical garden, the bees have a large variety of flowers to graze on. The honey tastes a bit minty and spicy, but there is not enough to harvest this year – as the bees got delayed with their work due to their moving houses. Laura and Peppi are looking after the hexa-hive and Lauri started a little research project with his students around details in handling of the hexa-hive.
Keilaniemi Business District
In the business district of Espoo by the office building of Fortum, the third Melliferopolis hive was installed in May 2012. Just a few days later, a tough storm hit the area and incredible enough, the hive got blown over. Luckily, the queen and a lot of the bees survived the blast, but they needed time and effort to recover. In August they had fully regained strength, but had not managed to produce a lot of honey. So, this first year, all they have collected will stay with them to feed them over the winter.
Bees are incredibly resilient and manage to live in all kinds of surroundings. With the bees and a little herb garden, nature is installed in Keilaniemi – but is stays a very business-like environment.