Sundance Palimpsest

The installation at Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden, Helsinki, captures the ever changing movement of the sun across the sky. Every day, the sun rays are focused through a magnifying lens hung above a sheet of bees wax – the material used as foundation in the hive by beekeepers. The hexagonal comb pattern is melted and leaves a trace of the solar trajectory. Both the sun’s altitude changing with the season, and the weather conditions are taken into account – parameters crucial for the orientation of bees on their travels.

The compilation of daily recordings will be arranged into a heliographic pamphlet, at the end of the summer.

The materials used are beeswax, jute, zinc wire and a magnifying glass lens.



Preparation of the installation

In the summer of 2014, in Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden of Helsinki, the installation Sundance Palimpsest is on show. Here the preparations….


Surviving the Winter Blast

The bees of the Hexa-Hive village are overwintering on the campus of Otaniemi under a simple shelter. Much to our surprise, in January, Charli went for a stroll and found the Hexa-Hives dismantled, open and full of snow!Trying to understand what had happened, we considered wild animals trying to rob the honey, strong weather conditions and wind, but unfortunately, the most probable explanation is human intervention….

Our predictions after seeing the picture were not good – but when checking in detail, it seemed that the bees had gathered in a ball and the colony had managed to survive this action – the cold and the snow! The hive was re-assembled and put back under the shelter for the remaining winter months!

These animals seem so fragile, but can be so incredibly resilient!

Hive Five Sound PicNic Video

Get a taste of the event at the end of August at Otaniemi, in the Hexa-Hive-Viallge!

Thanx to the artists!: Till Bovermann, Erich Berger, Markus Koistinen, Chi-Hsia Lai, Simon Lysander Overstall, Julian Parker, Veli-Matti Ikävalko

Please also visit Christin Boggs’ blog on the campus garden!

Excerpts of the recordings also found here:


Hive Five Sound PicNic

Yesterday, the Finnish weather-gods were more than kind to us and the concert attracted over 80 visitors throughout the day. The artists baked in the sun while bathing the audience in amazing ambience tunes. The guests spread out on the blankets tasting buzzing sounds and weekend chips and the bees stayed calm and carried on….

Thank you Till, Veli-Matti, Markus, Chi-Hsia, Erich and Simon!



some words about the event in Finnish on the hunajalla blogspot

The Hexa-Hive Village is open

The Hexa-Hive abandons the cubic box design of “modern hives” to replace it with units of hexagonal bodies. But, apart from bee housing, the Hexa-Hive can serve as outdoor furniture – as seat or bench. The design of the Hexa-Hive gives an alternative to bee-keeping in urban surroundings and invites interested visitors to come close and experience these valuable and special animals. 

In Otaniemi, we installed 9 sitting Hexa-Hives and 5 for bees. Currently 3 of them are populated with bees. The Hexa-Hive village is located at Ossinlampi, at the site where the new campus garden will grow. 

You are welcome to visit the Hexa-Hive village, explore the bees’ activity and use the seats!




See also here.

Open Call for the Pollen Workshop – sign up now!

Call for Participation
Workshop – Understanding the Essence of Flowers – Exploring Pollen
June 12th to 14th 2013, from 09:00 to 17:00
(more detailed program will be published later)
Harakka Island, Helsinki, Finland

There is an intrinsic link between bees and flowers. In evolution they arose at the same time, bees feeding on nectar and pollen; the flowers relying on the pollinators for reproduction. Bees visiting flowers and harvesting their essence is a choreography that nature performs each year. In these encounters, the flowers disclose their secret to the bees, who take it home in the form of scent and taste.

In this three-day workshop, we explore the environment of the Melliferopolis bees living on Harakka Island.  First, we concentrate on the scientific aspects of the bees’ surrounding in the chemistry laboratory built on the island in 1929 for military purposes.

In a second part, we focus on the poetic aspects of plants and pollinators, their relation and communication with each other. Inspired by these dynamics, we engage with the visual aspects of pollen, inviting drawing, painting and collage to reveal stories and metaphores behind this natural phenomenon of pollination.

To participate in the workshop no preliminary knowledge is necessary. Please write a short statement of motivation/intention (200 words) before the 20th of May and send it to:

A maximum of 15 workshop participants will be accepted, 10 places are reserved for students of Aalto University and 5 for other interested people.

The workshop is part of Aalto Biofilia –Base for Biological Arts program  and takes place in collaboration with Harakka Luontotalo of Helsinki Environmental Centre.  It is guided by Christina Stadlbauer (beekeeper, artist, chemist), Asta Ekman (chemist, responsable of the Harakka environmental laboratory) and Lina Kusaite (illustrator, artist).

The workshop is part of Melliferopolis –Honeybees in Urban Environements, a research project by Christina Stadlbauer at Aalto Biofilia, initiated in 2011.

Melliferopolis is supported by Biofilia at Aalto University, Kone Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Helsinki Environmental Centre and Luontotalo Harakka and Helsinki City Cultural Centre. Other collaborators can be found in the

More info at: