Discussion on barrier tapes around the fallen Oak in Tullisaari

112 Likes, 35 Comments

October 16th @Tullisaari Park.

A writes at https://www.facebook.com/groups/laajasalo

Since this fallen old oak is going to be kept in place, would it be worth building around it a more beautiful fence to replace those plastic strips? The oak will rot there for decades.

B to A: Why do you even need a fence?

C to B: It’s probably to prevent kids from climbing and adults using it as a gym tree, the branches probably won’t last🤔

B to C: The children can climb over the fence, it is not holding anyone if they wanna go to the tree. And especially those strings won’t stop anyone.

C replies to B: Yeah, I haven’t seen anyone inside the strips even though I pass by it every day, parents don’t let their kids go in there.

B to C: In my opinion, those strings are but infinitely ugly. Either let that tree rot without ugly strings or lug it away. Trees fall and die, it’s just the normal cycle. What difference does it make if someone is sitting on a tree trunk or stump. That’s what I’ve been doing since I was a child. The fact that that carcass is in the park is a problem and therefore needs to be fenced, what a life!

C to B: The tree is 200 years old natural memorial, it can’t be compared to every common Spruce.

D to C: The tape doesn’t block anything and it’s ugly. Fortunately, there are still those who understand that you can’t go inside that tape. 100-year-old oak is a rarity in Finland and therefore worth protecting even when it has fallen.

E: Interested in hearing B’s view for this. Can the age of a fallen tree be calculated reasonably? When it decays, how long will the age continue to drop? And doesn’t the decaying process involve the branches breaking and breaking? So what does age matter after a fall?

F: It’s good to have something there to show that there is still a tree that is protected.

G: Would an old-fashioned fence go better than construction site strips?

H: That’s right – those stripy strips are ruining the whole area.

I: Could I grow new oaks!

J to I: There are dozens of little oaks around the oak already.

I to J. Wauu! Nature takes care!

Q: There really could be some more beautiful ribbon or fence, as the intention is to leave the old fallen oak in place to rot.

L: Message to the city park department to go…

M: That should be done.

Photo Ina Niemelä, 27.1.2022 at 9.14 a.m.

N: The lawn in the park is a wrong place for a decaying tree. The tree was protected as it grew, there is no longer a need for protection. It could be moved away from the treated area at least, i.e. somewhere nearby.

O to N: There is a story in this fallen tree. This is not about rotting.

N: I don’t think the story will end gloriously if the tree is left to rot in the middle of an otherwise well-kept park. There is no habit of leaving trees to rot in parks. It would be great if there was a carpenter in Laajasalo who could create a lot of new objects and stories from the wood.

P to N: There may be a little surprise for these protectors and keepers, when the little one is lying quietly, it will soon darken and rot and then it will be nice really nice to look at. And when it comes to carpentry, they’re so expensive guys that there might be no market for chisels or other useful item. I had a grandfather in Hålvik who was a carpenter (pictured with Hilja Matilda) but he moved to his last workshop as early as the 1960s …… [picture of a grandfather with Hilja Matilda].

Q: Crazy. Apartments should be built here because of climate change and the crowd is coming in like never before.

R to Q [GIF where handkerchiefs are handed]

S: Years ago I picked up acorns of ‘Tullisaari’s mighty’, they spent the winter in the fridge and then moved to my cottage, where they grow and become more handsome next to the ‘shelter trees’. :. :.

T: I am in favor of sawing the branches and protecting new seedlings and soon we have an oak forests on the shore – fallen birches and electric poles should be removed though.

U: I understand it’s about nurturing nature, a fallen oak provides a livelihood and a place to live for many amphibians. The human aesthetic eye has a problem; Of course, those plastic strips are ugly. Some real anchor rope, etc. to surround the deadwood?

A: Couldn’t it be sold to a carpenter and it would continue its life, for example, as a table or chairs? The park is not a natural forest where fallen trees are left to fall.

X to V: Good idea. Most of the oak is hardwood that will decay for decades, of course, but is there a need for the resulting CO2 emissions?

Y to V: Maybe the carpenter could make something for the park or for Aino Acte’s villa. A sign next to the removed carcass stating where it has been taken and how it will be used. The branches could be taken across the road to the woods. There are other fallen oaks there as well.

V to Y: Good idea.

Z: Ping Anna Elina Nummi? 🤔 1

Å: It is difficult to estimate which one is less disturbing in the park landscape, the tree or the strips, when it is not a natural area. Both should co to recycling. Really potty decision-making from the Helsinki park department.

Ä: That there is like an ancient giant creature. Let it peacefully rot and refine local biodiversity with its thousands of little helpers who already inhabit it. Birds also benefit from them. Would the obsession with the man fixing, just about everything, give in at this point, and just let this tired giant and his many friends take care of themselves. Its progressive state could then be made into a fine nature documentary, even a study in biology! There could be fairy-tales told of ancient worlds for children and lectures on the hidden life of trees for adults. After all, this old giant has seen what has happened in Tullisaari 300 years ago! So it is not just any timber. Stories from ancient times were told alongside it. A good gathering place for stories. Let’s build around it a traditional wooden fence and a big hut where to gather for stuff..Could we be a little creative for once ..,

Ö: The yellow-red warning tape is collected for recycling and replaced with a new ribbon. The ceremony will be held during Midsummer Week 2022. Best wishes from Bee Company .

  1. Anna Elina Nummi is a project planner for the urban environment of the City of Helsinki.

In Awe of the Summer Market (a Saari journal)

Aino Aksenja 

Bee Company lived and worked in Saari Residence for two wonderful weeks in late July 2021. It’s impossible to summarise the residency in a short report, so I have decided to concentrate on two activities from our time at Saari, and how, to me, they’re inextricably linked.

The activities both took place on a Friday. On the 23rd, Marlon held a workshop in the afternoon. We were first guided through an intense meditation, and afterwards read and discussed an article by Summer Allen: How to experience more wow (Psyche, May 12, 2021). In short, the article is about the experience of awe in everyday life, and how it may be increased. Here is one of its key points:

Awe is a complex emotion that tends to arise when you’re in the presence of something vast that you don’t already understand. It heightens your sense of time, makes everyday concerns fall from view, shifts your perspective, and makes you feel more connected with the world and part of a greater whole.

We talked about what makes us feel awe, how common it is in our lives (consensus: more common than the average 2,5 times a week suggested by the article) and the possibilities for our work with the Company to inspire awe in ourselves and others. The discussion took place in warm yellow late-afternoon sunshine in front of Navetta, and afterwards the topic came up in other contexts and the conversation continued through our time in Saari.

The following Friday, the 30th, it was drizzling. We put on our raincoats and cycled to the local summer market in Pyhe, a short bike ride away. The weekly market was full of locally farmed and crafted products: everything from vegetables, seedlings and jams to woollen socks and birdhouses. A local choir made their first appearance since the pandemic started, and it seemed like the whole village and all the summer guests had gathered to listen, to drink coffee and to meet.

While wandering around the stalls and making purchases (spinach, kale, strawberry juice, two metres of liquorice, socks for Ina’s kids, a bee hotel from the birdhouse maker, wolf’s bane plants), Ina and I started talking about how awe-inspiring local markets are to us. I am deeply moved by the care and effort that goes into growing, making and selling all those things, as well as markets as meeting points and creators of community, both in the city (take Hakaniemi market for example) and in the countryside. Small everyday miracles take place in front of us all the time, if we just pause to look.

This experience of awe and the wish to share it was the starting point of our own Laajasalo Grassroots Market, that Ina and I started in spring 2021 as a part of Bee Company in our neighbourhood in Helsinki. We arranged four market days this summer: classic mead and doughnuts on May 1st, a seedling market on World Bee Day, a day off in the garden with the Company on Summer Solstice and a late summer’s flea market with new harvest honey from the prolific Tullisaari bees. The markets have been a great way to get to know more of our neighbours, and to share things we ourselves have grown and made. In short, they have been awesome. The next market will be a Christmas one, come visit us in Laajasalo in December!

Yours,

Bee Company

7.10.2021

BEE DANCE (a Saari journal)

Instructions and few moves for bee rave

Stand up from where you are sitting at and move to a better and more open place with bee walk. (beewalk.mp4)

If you’re not alone, show them the bee dance . If you are, show it to yourself. You can use a mirror if you want.(beedance.mp4)

Put on some danceable music. If you don’t know any of it. Here is a song we danced to on Friday 23rd of July in Mynämäki.

You are in the hive now.

It’s dark and hot. Hot and dark. Try saying that out loud as you walk around the space.

Say HOT when you throw your hands out forward and DARK when you throw them up in the air. Marlon shows you how. Do it with him and do it with the music. (hotndark.mp4)

It is very crowded and smelly. Everyone is minding everyones business. It is summer, sun is shining and you are about to go out and forage.

You are at the landing board showing your stinger to the sun. Whoa! What a big and poisonous stinger.

Do the honey slap! Bend your knees and treat yourself with a good series of slaps to the softest place of your bum. 1 2 3 4 5 6 at least. (honey slap.mp4)

You fly from flower to flower. Nectar is sweet and there is plenty of it now.

Winter in the hive (an adaptation of the dance we did in Saari residence as I remember it)

Winter in the hive requires more dancers, at least four. Select who will become the queen and put on more danceable music that should last at least 6 minutes. This for example.

Queen: “Do you want to do the winter?”

Cluster: “Yeah!”

Queen: “Come to the cluster now.”

Queen: “Let’s huddle!”

Dancing people form a tight group around the queen and start to huddle.

Queen: “It is so hot and sweaty here in the middle.”

huddling and dancing

Queen: “Hey guys, this is how it’s gonna be like for the next three months.”

huddling and dancing

Queen: “Can I touch you a bit? Can I use you a little? There is nothing to do but huddle here.”

Touching and huddling

Queen: “Hey guys, this is how it’s gonna be like for the next two months.”

Queen: “Round and round we go in circles.”

Dancers move places around the queen.

Queen: “Hey guys, this is how it’s gonna be like for the last one month.”

Queen: “I start laying eggs here in the middle. I lay eggs now. You being to feed me.”

Queen is kneeling in the middle of the cluster.

Queen: “It is spring. It is +7 out in the shadow. You go out to release yourself. It feels so good to go out at last. “

buzzing and huddling and dancing more loosely.

Queen: “We survived the winter. Many died but we survived.”

Royalty Free Music: ‘Cheeky Bum’ from Ina’s phone

These videos were recorded by Ina with her phone on 31st of Jyly 2021 close to a neolithic dwelling site. Bee dancer: Marlon Moilanen.

Risk, Consequences and Likelihood (a Saari journal)

Saari Residence 20.7.-1.8. 2021, video by Matt

Risk Assessment

I travelled from the UK to Finland during the pandemic. At the time of travel UK residents were required to have special exceptions in order to enter Finland. I negotiated, with the assistance of The Bee Company and Kone Foundation, to be offered special cultural representative status in order to work for two weeks at the Saari Manor.

Whilst in the UK, I was required to complete a risk assessment matrix that would identify the level of risk that a trip for a residency with The Bee Company would incur. It is these bureaucratic measures of risk that have left many nations and people across the world in desperate, difficult circumstances during the past year and a half. How should we quantify and qualify risk during a global pandemic and how do we quantify and qualify reward? Are risk and reward antonyms? Is it a roll of the dice, or it is something that can be managed, quantified and revised? Hyper managed? How do honeybees manage themselves? Is there a leader? A consensus? A biological imperative? A monarchy?

What does it mean for me to be considered a cultural representative for the UK and Finland at a time like this? How vital is my work at a time like this? What contribution to the cultural economy of both Finland and the UK would my presence at the Saari Manor for two weeks offer? Should I be taking this business-like approach to an artistic collective? Why are we called a company? Are we a performing arts company? A capitalist enterprise? A group of people in good company. A secret society of apoidea worshippers? Perhaps we are all of these things and none of these things. Would two weeks in the spacious nature and generous facilities of the Saari Manor help define this further? Why is this report open with so many questions? Why don’t I have any answers?

RATINGCONSEQUENCELIKELIHOOD
5MAJORDeath, Major damage to buildingsVERY LIKELYAlmost certain to happen, is happening now
4HIGHCause permanent disabilityHIGHIt has happened in the past year
3MEDIUMTemporary disability, eg fracturesMEDIUMIt has happened or is likely to happen within 2 years
2LOWSignificant injuries, bruising, sprainsLOWIs unlikely to happen in next 2 years
1MINORMinor injuries, cuts, scratchesIMPROBABLEVery unlikely to happen
Risk Management Codex
Risk Assessment Matrix

Uncalculating Risk

What about other types of risk? What about emotional risks? What about the value in taking a risk?

This is where I feel like the Saari residency with The Bee Company is excelling. It is an exercise in risk taking. We take risks together through exercises in trust, through the practice of going slow, through learning with and for each other, through trying new things, or opening ourselves up to one another and becoming vulnerable in order to explore a practice or a method or methodology that interests us. We take risks through sharing this experience together, and through not trying to force the issue.

This is the theory anyway. The Bee Company always aimed to only ever be somewhere else to where it started by the end of the residency. The Bee Company always stated that The Bee Company wasn’t about making artwork about bees. And yet, we ended at the same place we started, the Saari Manor. We discussed honeybees extensively, developed movements for a potential future performance, made recordings inside beehives and generally thought of ourselves in relation to bees, and other critters that our spirits aligned with.

What is there to come from exploring a group residency where there was no major agenda other than to get to know one another and one another’s practices, approaches and inspiration in their individual work? We drafted dream scenarios of what happens after the residency. Could we commit a mid-term future together exploring the lifeworlds discussed and investigated during the residency?

But what did you actually do there?

We arrived and agreed a shopping and food protocol. We made indicative recipes and a rota for evening meals. Our daytime meals would be individually managed, but there would always be a breakfast option if desired. Food was and is a critical force for The Bee Company. We agreed a schedule drafted by Ina for workshop activities. We each ran a workshop which introduced the other members to an element of each individual’s practice or ‘where they were at right now’. We navigated the Saari manor in an interdisciplinary and multi-sensory mode. Smell, Sight, Sound, Taste, Proprioception, Dreams, Fantasies, Mapping, Mapping Mapping and more Mapping. We formed an alliance of mapmakers, mapping the landscape, the schedule, the connections between one another and other critters, and our psyche, ecology, environment… an economy of noise. I hugged a granite boulder. Performed haptic cartography on Marlon’s body. Sensed the flow of honey through my body. Found a smell and tried to contain it in a box. Created a backstory for a spooky building in the woods. Melted my bones. Listened deeply. Howled at the moon. Explored dreams and imagined sanctuaries. Walked at night. Listened to an all-male choir. Danced at a honeybee rave. Uncovered new knowledge about a local archaeological site of importance. Waxed a honey bee hive box and weaved a skep. Cooked. Washed the dishes. Washed myself. Copious saunas. Kept returning to the bees. What of the bees?

My hope is that we can reconvene in spring 2022 where our lifeworlds will come together once more, this time in Tullisaari Park, in Helsinki. Home to The Bee Company’s honeybees and gardens. We will perhaps stage a performance that reflects on the risks taken, in the organising, and organisation of The Bee Company. Perhaps we will have honey. Perhaps there will be dance, music, vegetables, flowers and sound installations. Perhaps there will be film. The world still feels very open.

Something I have learned from attending residencies is that it is rare that any idea or work matures during a residency itself. It may be months later that the ideas coagulate and form into something exciting… the hallowed ground of the ‘output’. It might take even longer with The Bee Company. This is fine. This is how The Bee Company wants to be. Aspiring to perform, always performing, taking risks, flirting with the system, or finding ways to play a different hand altogether.

Amongst this group is realism. Nobody wants to work for free. Nobody wants to be taken advantage of. Nobody wants to quit The Bee Company. Within our ranks, a passionate beekeeper and skilled lighting designer. One of the most exciting Finnish dancers of their generation. A performer, choreographer and archaeologist of incredible depth, sensitivity and imagination. A set and costume designer with a deep knowledge of sustainable materials. A fine artist with gardening and flowering as a critical practice. A sound artist who wishes to listen and encourage others to do the same. An interdisciplinary company of makers, doers and thinkers.

The Bee Company.


Black pepper, tofu and broccoli stir fry recipe for 5 people:
  • 3tbsp black pepper crushed
  • 3tsbp white sugar
  • Ginger finely chopped
  • 3 garlic
  • 5 spring onion
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 6tbsp butter
  • Cornflower
  • 6tbsp soy sauce dark
  • 6tbsp soy sauce light
  • 350g tofu
  • 1 large broccoli
  • 1 red chilli
  • Rice (steamed)

Slice tofu into cubes. Dust with cornflower. Fry in vegetable oil. Remove from pain and drain. 5tbsp of butter, onion, garlic, ginger in large pan. Fry until soft. Add pepper and sugar. Add soy sauce. Add broccoli. Add chili and spring onion. Add tofu. Add 1tbsp butter. Serve with rice. 

Raportti / Report – Koneen Säätiö – Saaren Kartano – Mynämäki (a Saari journal)

Mehiläisten Seura / The Bee Company

Written by Suvi Tuominen, artist, curator, archaeologist, choreographer, dance per-former

31.7.2021

This report looks into the question of organising and organisation in The Bee Company. It is written with contradictory feelings, that at the moment unfold into two directions. On the one hand, the residency period has been wonderful, soft, energising and full of rest. On the other hand, the residency period has been consuming, energy sucking, laborious, full of internal conflicts and hesitations. 

I am artistically interested in the emergent relationships between various artistic methods, theoretical readings and structures of production. Therefore, for me these contradictions are somewhat essential in the analysis and reflections regarding artistic work. So, instead of looking away from the contradictions I want to write about them. After all collective art making is all about these relationships and negotiations happening in between contradicting emotions. We are in this way more human-like than bee-like. 

The Bee Company conceptualised their research trajectory for the Saari residence with the following words ‘’…our goal is to end up in a different place from which we started off…’’ 

A two week intensive artistic work together is inevitably doing so. There were few pre-conditioned strategies that were used as organisational tools for the company in order to achieve this research trajectory.

1. a time table draft. 

2. assigned times for each artist to host a workshop. 

3. assigned times for collective work. 

4. assigned times for leisure activities.

These modes of communicating organisational activities for The Bee Company failed drastically throughout the two weeks. Note, that the concept of failure is not used in a negative sense, but rather as something that is the reason for the unexpected to emerge. To fail with schedule drafts is quite common in porous artistic collectives, and also, I would claim, in process-oriented artistic activities. 

For The Bee Company the failure happened sometimes because of weather, sometimes because of unstoppable improvised lectures, sometimes because it was not clear what is leisure and what is work, sometimes because a taxi never arrived, sometimes because we simply forgot to ‘’speak about it’’ collectively, sometimes because we were ‘’speaking about it’’ too much collectively.  

It was clear for everyone in the Bee Company that due to our theoretical framings and references it would be somewhat contradictory even to follow a rigid schedule. The condition of failing in front of too restrictive organisational tools was set collectively. Or rather, in the collective consciousness. But to be quite honest, for me such decision requires more work, labor and space for exchange were the ‘’it’’ is continuously deconstructed. So to be honest, working collectively is a total post-structuralist mess. 

But wait let me hold my horses now!

Deconstructing in this case does not mean that in the collective we try to get rid of our collective history. But rather, the conditions where we fail either as a collective or as individuals need to be deconstructed in order to make that history of failing matter. This is to me politically transformative and therefore, The Bee Company seems to be making politically progressive art, looking straight into the questions of collectivisation. 

Emergent

Question: What does company mean for us? 

Question: What are the hidden power relations and hierarchies in the company?  

Question: How does bees fail in schedule drafts and what are the consequences of it? 

Question: What is the queens role in the Bee Company and in the Hive? 

Question: How much space do queens take in the Bee Company and in the hives? 

Question: How do we hold space for failure, vulnerabilities and accommodate different needs?

Question: How do we do this without talking?

What is especially interesting for me to work in this company is that we are not trying to solve these matters in one night. Speaking, talking and reflecting the modes in which all forms of organising, whether it be physical intimacies, discussions or collective decisions, happen is extremely important when making (for me) interesting art.

Visual artist and researcher Karolina Kucia has focused a lot on organisational roles and made also special notions around different modes of organising in the arts. Her work is a great inspiration for me and and I could sense how her insights would also assist The Bee Company forward with these organisational abstractions that do eventually also condition the very materiality of our future works. 

Next we need to discuss further Spirit animals in The Bee Company, Gossips, Private conversations within collective work situations, toxins and parasites. 

But that will be another longer blog post! 

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

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).

Muu mehiläisten kanssa tehty taide / Other Art with bees

Mehiläisten seura on osa mehiläisistä inspiroituneiden taiteilijoiden ja työryhmien jatkumoa. We are part of and in relation to the rich art scene inspired by bees and honeybees.

Melliferopolis

Apifilia

Ritva-Liisa Virtanen

Luonnon konserttisalissa

Charli Clark

Pienet & tärkeät -lastentanssiesitys

Mia Mäkelä

Kaikki hyvin kasvimaalla

Lily Hunter Green

AnneMarie Maes

Ava Roth

Beetime

Beehave

Mike Bianco

Wolfgang Buttress

Pierre Huyghe

Nigel Helyer

Mario Merz 1925-2003

Joseph Beuys 1921-1986