The Hexa-Hives illustrate how an outdoor live installation (landscaped garden installation) can serve as incentive for inter-species encounters and at the same time challenge the paradigm of conventional beekeeping. The Hexa-Hive is an experimental hive, designed to both host honeybees and serve as outdoor furniture for humans. Since 2012, the Hexa-Hive has been a semi-permanent installation in different locations in Finland.
The Hexa-Hive is part of Melliferopolis andwas launched in Helsinki in 2012.
A further development, the Hexa-Hive Village was first installed at the campus of Aalto University, in Otaniemi, Finland in 2013. Launched as artistic intervention, the Hexa-Hive village became a landscaped area hosting honeybees and inviting people to hang out.
Hexa-Hive Village with Airstrip for Bees:
In 2014, a further development – the installation “Hexa-Hive Village with Airstrip for Bees” – was exhibited as part of the art exhibition “Semi-Wild Gardens” at Kouvola city art museum and in 2016, the installation was placed in Tarja Halonen Park, a public area in the centre of Helsinki.
The article explores the effects of the installation assessed via a questionnaire. The findings include the emergence of a “garden quality” around the “Hexa-Hive”, the increase of local faunal and floral diversity and the notion of wilderness in the city. The concept of urban acupuncture and the mental and psychological value of public gardens for humans are described as features of the installation.
Hexa Hive Architecture
The Hexa-Hives are experimental hives that continue to be changed and adapted.
This page contains details on the Hexa-Hives.
Construction and operations of the hives, changes, alterations and best practices, in chronological order:
If you tweak a Hexa-Hive, or add changes that make the box a better place for bees or humans, please share this knowledge with christina(at)melliferopolis(dot)net!
The original Hexa-Hive, design by Kiran Ganghadaran (link)
First alterations to enlarge the hive, and lift it up from the ground. Now, the hive hosting the bees is on a pole, the boxes on the ground are for the comfort of human visitors.
The first Hexa-Hive Village is being built in Otaniemi :
A roof is added – made of copper, to protect the bees and the wood.
The hives are semi permanent in Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden. Honeysamples are taken for research.
Some ideas on the issues and possible solutions found in LINK- Hexa-Hive_constructiondetails.
The Hexa-Hive village is enhanced by the Airstrip for Bees, a flowering bed for pollinators. First installation in Kouvola Art Museum:
Several “invisible” alterations are added for the bees’ comfort – aeration and change of the flying hole towards the bottom board are the most important.
Internal changes: In order to make the work with the Hexa-Hive less destructive and to give the bees higher frames (the Hexa-Hive frames are very “short”), the box was changed on the inside. Some images:
2018: distributed Hexa-Hive Village
The Distributed Hexa-Hive Village:
a community of experimental urban beehives for Bees and Humans
The Distributed Hexa-Hive Village invites beekeepers to become part of Melliferopolis community and to host a colony of bees in a Hexa-Hive. These hives are placed in public or semi-public places. They are conceptually connected by becoming part of a global community.
The distributed HHV was started in 2018 and is ongoing.
You can find a list of places where these hives are hosted online at link
Bristol, Bremen, Pori, Helsinki
In 2018, two Hexa-Hives were sent across Europe. One is currently in Bremen, one is in Bristol.