Hexa-Hive- new aesthetics for bees and men
For more info, please visit also http://melliferpolis.net/melliferopolis-hives
Currently, the Hexa-Hives can be visited at Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden, in Helsinki, during the warm season.
Reportedly, honeybees are threatened and bee populations are decreasing worldwide. The reasons stay vague, but are often associated with high levels of crop protection products and inappropriate animal husbandry. Recently, the issue is being side-stepped by increasing numbers of city-bee-keepers offering honeybees a habitat in urban areas, with high floral diversity and lower levels of pesticide pollution. Following this trend, the Hexa-Hive answers the quest for a beehive that is both species appropriate, beekeeper friendly and fit for city situations, combining functionality with an aesthetic appeal, integrating aspects of playfulness and intimacy.
(June 2013 - the first Hexa-Hive Village is installed in Otaniemi!)
One of the colonies in the Hexa-Hives was equipped with 2 microphones - an experiment by Till Bovermann. More on these explorations can be found here: Tai Studio
Hexa-Hive is abandoning the cubic box design of the "modern hive" to replace it with units of hexagonal bodies.
Evidently, the design is bio-inspired and derived from the natural patterning in the bees' own constructions of wax. The hexagonal cell structure used by bees, is mathematically the most space efficient and least material intensive pattern possible.
The Hexa-Hive bodies with angles of 60 degrees, are suggesting the form that is so commonly associated with bees and their efficiency. The boxes are modular, can be stacked or aligned, and adapted to the necessities of the bee colony as well as the spatial circumstances of the location of the apiary. The design makes bee-keeping simple and practical, and its organic shape offers a bee-friendly alternative to the classical hive.
Apart from honeybee housing, the Hexa-Hives serve as park furniture or benches and offer new possibilities of aesthetics in open public spaces. The structures have a pleasant size and height as seating, they can be playfully associated, allowing for complete adaptability to the park landscape and the desired utilization. As visitor or user you are reminded of the valuable animals and are able to get the experience of immersing into a bee space.
The Hexa-Hive can be used as furniture both empty or when bees are occupying it. The courageous visitor, sits on the inhabited Hexa-Hive, experiencing intimacy with honeybees and a revelation for all senses - smell, sound and vibrations of a bee colony, without being endangered. The Hexa-Hive playfully explores possibilities to overcome a fear that is so often associated with flying, stinging insects.
The design of the Hexa-Hive brings bees closer to people and liveliness as well as playfulness to public, open space. It gives an alternative to bee-keeping in urban surroundings, and a species-appropriate housing for honeybee colonies.
In spring 2012, the first Hexa-Hive was installed at Kajsaniemi Botanical Garden, Helsinki, as part of the Melliferopolis initiative.
Hexa-Hive is a collaborative concept.
Idea - Christina Stadlbauer,
Digital images, drawings and conceptual renderings - Kiran Gangadharan
Hexa-Hive is a collaborative project. If you want to get involved - please get in touch!