Tullisaari Flea Market

We sell the new season Mehiläisten seura honey (300g / 5e, 500g / 8e), vintage clothes and other treasures from Aino’s cupboards.

Niko from Sweep house is coming with hand made brushes and baskets and Anna will be in the park selling coffee from her coffee bike.

Come and sell your used goods, clothes or even harvest delicacies at the Bee Company’s Grassroots market in Tullisaari People’s Park on 15 August 2021 from 11 am to 3 pm.

The fleamarket is open for all and free of charge, but we in Bee Company hope that you inform your intention to come and sell for us in advance by texting +358 407175011.

Anyone can come with their belongings to the park’s grass field to sell, as long as they take the unsold items with them and clean up after themselves. Everyone is responsible for their own belongings and rubbish. 
If the parking lot’s rubbish bis are full, please take your rubbish elsewhere!

In the area there are a limited number of parking spaces and we recommend that you come to the park on foot or by bike. Due to the corona pandemic, safe distances petween people should be kept. Arrange your point of sale loosely and definitely stay home if you feel sick. We suggest that sales people wear face masks and protective gloves in close contact sales situations. Download the Mobilepay app on your phone so you can trade without cash.

We follow the guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus infections published by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Department of Health and Welfare on 31 May 2021.


Rules for using the grass field of Tullisaari People’s Park:

1. A maximum of 200 people can be present at the same time.
2. Events must be free of charge and open to all.
3. The noise level should be reasonable. Inform nearby
residents and operators of the potential disruption.
4. In connection with the event, small-scale sales activities are permitted. The sale of alcohol is not allowed.
5. Making an open fire or fire shows is not allowed.
6. Access routes or escape routes must not be blocked.
7. Garbage should be cleaned out in the appropriate containers.
8. Parking is only allowed in official parking spaces.
9. Grass, trees or plantings in the area must not be damaged.
10. The event must not endanger persons,
the environment or property.
11. Make sure there are loose structures such as tents
safe and taken away at the end of the event.
12. Follow the booked event time. Construction and
dismantling is included in the allotted time.
13. Comply with the law of order.
14. The events must be in accordance with Helsinki’s values.
15. The event organizer is always responsible for the event.

If you are interested, please contact us.

Saari Residence (plans)

Plans for the two weeks in Saari:

  1. In a two week residency in Mynämäki we do artistic pre-work and research.
  2. We work on and relatively slowly think aloud what are the sustainable and fruitful ways of collaborating for us.
  3. We call a fumbling Teams-call for the honeybees in Tullisaari.
  4. We count bumble bees and revise the cornerstones of our existence.
  5. We sleep some nights and write a book at that time.
  6. We stay awake the other nights and write another book.
  7. We eat our words and go swimming instead.
  8. We walk a new route so many times that it becomes older.
  9. We write down a fantastical plan and a weak performance.
  10. We draw maps without an agenda.
  11. We make flower arrangements and thought arrangements.
  12. We enjoy summer and each other.

Timetable draft for Saari residence

Draft made 7.6. [edited 16.7] [Please notice! Changed several times during the residence 20.7-1.8.2021]

Tuesday 20.7: 12-16 arrival, 17-19 food shopping in Mynämäki and settling down.

Wednesday 21.7: 9-12 get together, 14-16 planning and mapping, 16-18 REKO Mynämäki, Sauna 

Thursday 22.7: 9-12 Ina hosts, 14-18 afternoon trip to Mietoistenlahti

Friday 23.7: 9-12 Suvi hosts, 13-15 Pyhe market (lunch), 16-19 Marlon hosts, Barbecue

Saturday 24.7 : leisure, Sauna in Kivijärvi

Sunday 25. 7: leisure

Monday 26.7: 10-12 planning the night trip: 14-18 silent work: 22-05 night trip (sunset 22:22, sunrise 4:52)

Tuesday 27.7: 14-18 Matt hosts, 22-05 night workshop 

Wednesday 28.7: 14-18 Ingvill hosts, Sauna

Thursday 29.7: 9-12 Aino hosts, 14-18 to be decided later

Friday 30.7: 9-12 documenting, 12-14 Pyhe market (lunch), 15-18 skep/other making and talks

Saturday 31.7: 9-12 skep/other making and talks, 14-18 documenting and silent work, Last supper

Sunday 1.8: Departure

Garden life & The Home of Peonies

Magical solstice celebration with bees and their company in the Garden of Puutarhurin mökki, where we’re creating a living garden installation as we speak. We scythed paths, weeded the bed of flowers and drank rhubarb juice with our friend’s and people who live in the park.

Mehiläisten seura made a trip to Taivassalo to The Home of Peonies to buy six carefully selected cultivars for our bed of flowers in Tullisaari. Money for these was made in the previous markets we have had.

Bartzella. Photo Aino Aksenja.

Laajasalo grassroots market on World Bee Day

Join us for seedlings and kombucha on Thursday 20th of May at 6 p.m.

Under the willow at the plot 45, close to the parking area in Tullisaari park.

You can pay with cash, mobilepay or with your own seedlings.

List of seedlings for sale:

  • Tomato ‘Outdoor Girl’, bush tomato growing outside in the open
  • Courgette ‘Zuboda’
  • Courgette ‘Goldrush’
  • Leek ‘Hannibal’
  • Celery ‘Tall Utah’
  • Lemon balm Melissa officinalis
  • Wild sage Salvia nemorosa
  • Salvia sclarea
  • Basil Ocimum basilicum ‘Genovese’
  • Anise hyssop Agastache foeniculum
  • Oregano Origanum vulgare
  • Poor man’s orchid Schizanthus pinnatus ‘Angel Wings’
  • Tagetes tenuifolia ‘Reg Gem’
  • Tagetes patula ‘Tiger eyes’
  • Tagetes erecta ‘Smiles’
  • Sweet pea Lathyrus odoratus

Our seedlings are grown in small domestic spaces in Laajasalo and Roihupelto. They have been lived with and looked after. Seeds are from Hyötykasviyhdistys.

Laajasalo grassroots market, Saturday 1st of May at noon

Welcome to the first grassroots market of Bee Company at the Tullisaari park First of May from 12:00 to 15:00.

We sell homemade mead, vegan doughnuts and straw bales.

You’ll find us close to the parking area in the plot number 45.

Come as you are, bring a face mask and cash. We also accept Mobilepay.

We serve one family or kin group at a time. The doughnuts will be packed uniquely.

Bee Company also collaborates with family members, friends and relatives. Enthusiasm, presence and help that is found close by is appreciated and not taken for granted. These signs were made in a workshop with Ina’s children.

This project started from Aino Aksenja‘s and Ina‘s wish to create some local, communal fun(damental important action) as part of Bee Company.

#mehiläistenseura
#beecompany
#tullisaari
#skr2021

#SKR2021

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Photo: National archives of Finland

The Finnish Cultural Foundation has awarded a generous grant for Mehiläisten seura for starting its work in Laajasalo.

Grant was awarded from the Paavo Koskinen fund that was founded on the testament of Doctor of Medicine and Surgery Paavo Ilmari Koskinen in 1969.

First winter of the hives

Some observations from the last 8 months:

When at the hive and the bee suit on, I and my deeds were looked at unconstrained, and I was often chatted at and asked about the bees. I liked to talk about the weather or the park with the interviewers. Sometimes people had their own experiences with the honeybees. Most of them had given up on their hobby after the arrival of Varroa-mite in Finland in the 80s.

I remember one particular encounter in the Rudolf’s playground. I texted the honey bayer that we could meet there after work and have a chat. He was originally from Bashkiria in South Ural, where honey has a special meaning to people. In Soviet times, honey was an export product — everything that was purchased by the Central Union was sent abroad. And therefore, to get honey one needed to keep bees or to know a beekeeper. Bashkiria managed to get away from the “export duty” and its honey was sold in stores.

The Oak that fell in the 21st of September.
Photo Ina Niemelä © 19.1.2021

I went to the park every week. I rarely looked at the landscape. More often I saw what was dry or moist, what was blooming and what was withering. What disappeared under the other plants and what was it that took more space. I learnt to calm down with the bees and tried to feel the difference in weight of the hives by hand. I always smelled and listened to the hives in addition to other tasks, but I admit I have much to lean in interpreting those signals.

I have read this and that about bees and the most insightful books for me this year were The Dancing Bees: An Account of the Life and Senses of the Honey Bee by Karl von Frisch and a recent book by a Swedish author Lotte Möller called Bees and Their Keepers: Through the seasons and centuries, from waggle-dancing to killer bees, from Aristotle to Winnie-the-Pooh.

Karl von Frisch, Mehiläisten elämästä, s.190-191, Suom. Olavi Sotavalta, Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otavan kirjapaino, Helsinki 1968

Surely I followed the discussions around beekeeping in social media also. The most interesting has been to read what beekeepers (hobbyists and professional) think what is good beekeeping and what are their aims in that matter. I think that if one chooses to keep honeybees it is essential to give value (in the human realm) for the honey they make and the pollination service that follows. For in the end it is also about the livelihood and lebensraum of the other bee species too. On the other hand I think small scale animal keeping and food growing hobby keeps oneself intertwined with the questions of life and death, precent moment and the seasons. The overall feeling of the last eight months has been that, all that time spent with my children, allotment and the bees, has been time well spent.

David writes it down well in his blog (theapiarist.org):

If you want to keep bees because …

  • you like honey  – you’d be better off in every regard (time, money, health) just buying it. Not from the supermarket. Buy directly from a local beekeeper – it will be better honey.
  • you want to improve pollination and help the environment – you’d be better off making homes for solitary bees, as they’re more efficient pollinators.
  • you’ve been told that “bees are threatened” – do some more homework on hive numbers and why they’re threatened … then, and only then, get some training and some bees.

Beekeeping, done well, is a fabulous example of working with nature and the environment. It’s a fascinating hobby 1. Every year brings new experiences and things to learn.

However, as a beekeeper you’re working with the environment and influencing the environment. Done badly, beekeeping can be detrimental, to your own bees, your neighbour’s bees and to the environment.

Toinen pesä siirrettiin puutarhurin huvilan pihaan marraskuussa.
Kuva Ina Niemelä© 17. 1. 2021

First summer and autumn were free from aims and ideas. I studied bees and immersed myself in. The most important for me was to be outdoors and observe the hives. Also to look out who is interested in our project and what might emerge from that. I wanted to find out what excites and what dispirits me. The biggest question for me, as time went by and work hours accumulated, was: how many kilos of honey makes a living for one family, and how many flowers need bees to visit for that? There is no one answers of course as years and expenses differ, yet Practical Beekeeping part two edited by Lauri Ruottinen, gives straightforward formulae in calculating the profitability of producing honey. These questions are very interesting to me for the large scale factory farming can only cease to an end when the small scale primary production (for ex professional beekeeping) becomes more profitable – or large scale factory farming less profitable. However the Bee Company’s honey from our extra small scale production is valued in more versatile measures: a jar can be exchanged for time, conversation, help or money, etc.

Edit. Lauri Ruottinen, s. 308, Mehiläishoitoa käytännössä osa 2, 2. painos 2014, toim. Suomen mehiläishoitajain Liitto r.y.

Footnotes (from David)

  1. It’s a backbreaking and economically-borderline business. This site [David’s The Apiarist Blog] is firmly focussed on hobby beekeepers with 1-20 colonies (though preferably at least two).

Honey from Tullisaari

Park/forest/garden/meadow honey from Tullisaari.

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This jar of honey from East Helsinki is a piece of Mehiläisten seura.
Our collective work is interested in artistic work as situated knowledge under the precarious conditions of multispecies livelihoods. This jar can be exchanged for time, conversation, help or money.
Photo Aino Aksenja © 10.10.2020

Bee Company’s honey is urban honey at its best. There are allotments, forest, meadows, gardens, park vegetation, many Salix and Tilias within the radius of 1 km. Especially buzzing were the Frangula alnus bushes in the park. I extracted a set of honey in the beginning of August and due to warm weather a lot more honey was foraged after that, but I decided to leave it for the bees.

Bee Company’s honey won the third price in the harvest fiesta of the Beekeepers of Helsinki. Because there were 14 other contestants with their excellent honeys, I was surprised yet pleased for us. All the honeys awarded were from places with diverse nature.

In the photo above the honey is sitting on the branches of an oak that fell after the Aila storm during the night of the 21st of September, exactly 64 years after the tree was conserved. It’s exact age has not been dated, but it is estimated being approximately 200 years old.

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Photo: Aino Aksenja © 10.10.2020

On an arbour day and on my birthday 27th of September, I took part in a tree tour in Tullisaari park organised by The City of Helsinki. For my great joy I was told by the city’s civil servant Elina Nummi, that the tree will be left to decay where it fell as natural memorial. The amount of species in an oak decaying is multiple to a living one. In Helsinki latitudes it may take nearly 20 years for a large oak to decompose completely.

You can find out more about the natural monuments and (officially acknowledged) ecologically important areas in Helsinki from the Nature Information System.

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10.10.2020 winter food is already dried and capped. Most of the bees are already in a loose cluster around the queen. On warm day some still collect nectar and pollen from the last flowers of autumn.
Photo: Aino Aksenja ©

If you are interested in the honey, contact me!

-Ina

Bee Company

Mehiläisten seura / The Bee Company consists of six artists and bees. We are interested in artistic work as situated knowledge under the precarious conditions of multispecies livelihoods. Particularly sharing lifeworlds and becoming with non-human others. More specifically Apoidea and the practice of beekeeping. Such situated knowledge enables recognition and action on the complex interdependencies of multi-species livelihoods in changing socio-ecological conditions in an epoch characterized by severe environmental disturbances.

We are : Aino Aksenja (visual artist), Ina Niemelä (convener, beekeeper and lighting designer), Ingvill Fossheim (scenographer, bio artist), Marlon Moilanen (dancer), Matt Parker (artist, researcher), Suvi Tuominen (artist, performer, archaeologist).

The act of slowing down, thinking and performing otherwise are political acts of resistance in the neoliberal work conditions. Our project is a place where possible futures become immediate, as we are unfolding very different planes of thinking about art, artistic practices and art institutions. The Bee Company is deeply connected to the need of doing otherwise; to land onto a new scene and see a ray of light in the lack of prospects; and share this journey in a generous way.

We work collaboratively allowing different kind of voices, interests and contributions. In these precarious conditions we cannot perform in unison, but instead of working alone we have come together in order to unite our forces to occupy space for the bees, our community and ourselves. We will organise gatherings to meet and learn from other residents, artists, scholars and beekeepers. Some of these gatherings/symposiums will be organised in collaboration with the Bioarts Society.

Our work invites everyone in joyful ecofeminist actions and idleness, with artistic quality and insight, looking all the way down to the materiality of the body and the soil.

Mehiläisten seura was awarded for Saari residence in summer 2021. From left to right: Aino Aksenja, Ina Niemelä, Ingvill Fossheim, Marlon Moilanen ja Suvi Tuominen
Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa / Saaren kartanon residenssi.