The Bee Ark

Bee Ark
by participants of Bees for Architecture – Architecture for Bees Workshop lead by Nigel Helyer

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The Bee Ark is a hive that was created during a 3-day workshop guided by acclaimed Australian artist Nigel Helyer in 2014. The materials are felt coated by natural wax and branches, and the finished structure is meant to be hung in a big tree. This unconventional hive is intended as a safe home for bees and does not allow human access. Therefore, the colony can follow its natural cycle and bees are encouraged to swarm when they feel time is right.

The workshop Bees for Architecture – Architecture for Bees was organised by Melliferopolis in 2014 at University of Helsinki Botanic Garden in Kaisaniemi, and the hive was hung in a pine tree at the Arboretum of the Garden. The swarm was donated by Arto Koljonen from  Helsingin Seudun Mehiläishoitajat and was placed in the hive to celebrate the conclusion of the workshop.

Please see also some reflections on the Bee Ark in the article Melliferopolis – collaborating with uncontrollable, flying, stinging insectspublished on VIS Magazine in January 2019.


The BeeArk is an outdoor installation and hive. Emerged as collaborative design from the workshop Architecture for Bees, Bees for Architecture under the guidance of Nigel Helyer, June 2014. It was exhibited from 2014 to 2016.
Featured image: Antti Ahonen, Slideshow: Antti Ahonen, Till Bovermann