Listening at Scale: Bee Company open residency reflections

The listening experience is not only a geographical teleportation device but a scalar one. You become reduced in size too.


June 2022

June 2022 marked the third collective gathering with Bee Company. In the summer of 2021 Bee Company initially joined together in the beautiful surroundings of the Saari Residence. In that time we explored each of our individual creative practices, methodologies and conceptual frameworks. Our second gathering took place within Tullisaari Park in the winter of 2022. During this period we considered possibilities for how we might be able to create a public tour of the park which integrated our individual practices and methodologies in an event format. The third and most recent gathering was—for me at least—an opportunity to continue an ongoing interest in exploring our individual methodologies, but also to begin to share some of our practice and interests with the public audience of Tullisaari Park.

On PQ 2023

In March 2022 we were offered to be the official representation of Finland in the forthcoming Exhibition of Countries and Regions of PQ2023 (Prague Quadrennial) festival of performance design. Since this announcement was made our collective activity has started to become shaped by the needs to produce an output corresponding to PQ2023. It has become somewhat contra to our—up to this point—iterative collective process. Our direction has started to feel in tension between imagining this concrete output of a major international festival with pavilion style exhibitions against our characteristically tempered collective gatherings and their slow collection of tributaries; ideas which branch off and reconvene with different forms. A question for the midsummer open park residency was to engage with this tension between remaining in our fluid and exploratory stage of our collective work, whilst also understanding the need to do our work –and Finland!—justice within the context of an international artistic/performance design exhibition, with pavilions, competition, prizes, pride, and artistic statements all at stake.

For the remainder of this reflective passage on my personal experience of our open residency in Tullisaari Park, I will think about my personal experience of public engagement within the project. I am interested in thinking about the possible implications of this time spent together in the park and what it might mean (if anything) for our proposal and contribution towards a festival happening 2,000km and over a year away.


The PQ 2023 theme is the RARE: art springing out of ideas, materials, artistic approaches, and design practices that connect to the human level from within your environment, with its genius loci and unique situation. Prague Quadrennial call on performance designers, scenographers, and performance practitioners to use their RARE imagination and creativity to help us envision what the world and theatre could look like in the post-pandemic future.

This was the opening of the curatorial statement for PQ 2023 in its call for applicants. I have begun to think of Bee Company as an almost nomadic collective. It is a mesh-group which forms in different configurations around the locus of Tullisaari Park where Ina cares for and maintains four honeybee hives.

The ‘roaring 1920s’ are often considered as an era of great exuberance and excess across Europe and US. Recovery from the First World War and subsequent Spanish Flu pandemic was under way and The League of Nations promised security, collaboration and prosperity amongst the member nations including Finland, who had itself become an independent republic in 1917. This boom, captured magnificently by the scenes presented in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel The Great Gatsby suggests a ‘20s of huge celebrations, parties, debauchery and entertainment. During the height of the pandemic, commentators speculated as to whether a return to a world similar to the 1920s was due. Would people be keen to ‘get out there’ and ‘party hard’, entertain and be entertained? Would the post-pandemic performance and theatre worlds resonate to a demand for exuberance, with huge shows, lights, networks, sounds, big! Bigger! Biggest!? I am also conscious that the 1920s came to a brutal climax with the 1929 Wall Street Crash. It turned out that the excess was completely unaffordable and that people had been massively over speculating based on nothing (a typical condition that recurs time and time again under capitalism).

In 2022 the global economy is on the brink and across the West inflation is nearing all-time highs in many nations, strike action is becoming increasingly frequent and the cost of living is soaring. At the same time, profits for those at the top of shareholder stakes are also at ridiculous highs. How can this be sustained? If the markets won’t crash, do workers need to revolt and force their hand?

Listening as episteme; a knowledge gatherer, structurer, codifier, and ephemerata.

The conditions of Western economics and global markets under capitalism are also imbricated within the environmental impacts it continues to contribute towards. The summer of 2022 has seen unprecedented levels of climate catastrophes, global heatwaves, droughts and fires have broken out in areas often affected, but also new areas which have not suffered before. Simultaneously a war on European land has broken out which not only has impacted the lives and wellbeing of those within the borders whose lives are threatened on a daily basis, but also the ramifications the war is having upon food and fuel supplies across the world.

It all feels incredibly heavy. It all feels like a significant weight to load upon the shoulders of six creative practitioners and four honey bee hives. Should Bee Company be responding to this global crisis? At what level can we engage with it if we do?

Our mission has always been to reflect on the precarity of the creative practitioner within the conditions of western capitalism where funding for the arts is being constantly slashed, and at risk and positions remain always temporary, precarious and subject to the goodwill of wealthy benefactors. How do we support each other? How do we support ourselves? How might we explore our practices and these conditions together, and might the world of beekeeping/the lifeworld of honeybees act as inspiration for the way ahead?

Tullisaari Park

In the park, we met each day for a four days. We would share activities together, reconnect, discuss our feelings around the presentation of Bee Company to public audiences; one audience being that of our open event in the park at the end of the week and the other an international performance art and design crowd at PQ 2023.

Each day we wore beekeeper outfits that Ingvill had bought us. They helped us assume a formal presence, a formal sense of purpose and cohesiveness as a collective. It was also really fun to be in a costume and to see the confused looks of members of the public in the park when they saw a fleet of beekeepers marching. They would look around to see if there were bees somewhere, only to be left bemused that there almost always weren’t.

My work is primarily interested in listening. I am interested in listening as an individual artistic practice, listening as a technique, method, and methodology towards approaching and understanding the world. Listening as episteme; a knowledge gatherer, structurer, codifier, and ephemerata. Spending time with conscientious thinkers, speakers and listeners is a great pleasure. We don’t just listen with our ears; through haptic tactility and proprioception, we listen with our bodies too. And on our first day, we collectively joined and explored our bodies as resonators in a movement practice set by Suvi. We each responded to the fine adjustments sensed between each other’s bodies in what became a quiet dance. No music could be heard but the bodily rhythms and pulses felt, the breathing, steps, and rustling of costumes heard.

Listening with bees

On the final day we presented some ‘experiences’ to the public park. I was a bit isolated from the rest of the group who were located in different areas of the park tending to other activities. Dressed in beekeeper suit, I was based on a path which is one of the main entrances into the park. It is also where two of Bee Company’s hives are (down a hilly bank, in a dense field).

The two hives included one Farrar hive and one Top Bar hive. A Farrar hive is a vertically modular beehive with hung frames that bees use to build comb and store honey. They are a typical and familiar aesthetic ‘box’ design that are often what is thought of when one thinks of a beehive. They are often used in modern professional beekeeping. Within this hive lives a group of Italian bees, Apis mellifera ligustica who are a popular subspecies of honeybee.

A Top bar hive is one of the oldest and most commonly used hive style in the world and looks a bit like a wooden barbecue. In top bar hives bees build their honeycombs without waxfoundation. They are less convenient for the beekeeper to manage and take care in comparison to the modular style. Within the top bar hive, a new swarm of Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica), a subspecies typically known in the central European region, and typical in Croatia, was collected from a woman’s garden by Ina only a few weeks prior. Typically after swarming and being brought into a new hive, honeybees are incredibly active as they bring in food and resource to build out their new home and consolidate their colony. This hive was no exception. It was incredibly active.

With the assistance and consent of our beekeeper Ina, I moved two DPA 4060 microphones in a spaced omnidirectional stereo configuration along with a Sennheiser MKH416 shotgun microphone. The microphones were aimed towards the entry door to the top bar hive at a distance that would not obstruct the entrance. We laid cabling up the bank to a listening station that we set up with two small stools and attached the cables to a Sound Devices Mix-Pre 6 Field Recorder and connected a pair of headphones.

We spent some time listening to different balances between the two microphone setups and found a blend between the two, with the DPAs having a 120Hz high pass filter set on them which allowed their stereo qualities to emerge whilst the mono Sennheiser microphone offered a closeness and clarity to overall sound. My first impressions were that the bees sounded incredibly busy, even at 6pm in the evening.

What followed for the next two hours was really quite incredible. In my beekeeper suit. I would say hello to passers-by, inform them that I was listening to the sounds from a new bee hive recently introduced to the park, and invited them to join me and take a listen. I would then tell them about Bee Company, that I had friends/colleagues wearing beekeeper overalls elsewhere in the park, and encouraged them to find them too. Collectively we aimed to engage with the public and invite them to consider bee ecologies within the park. Most of the people lived nearby, many commented on having seen the hives and wondered what was happening with them. Some of the folk who stopped and listened had also kept bees at various times in the past. One young man, perhaps in his late teens, who was running past and sweating heavily, surprisingly stopped and took a long five minutes catching his breath whilst listening with deep concentration to the hives. He asked many questions about the bees. I felt a bit of an imposter. Whilst I was in a beekeeper suit, listening to bees and inviting people to take part, I am not an apiarist and my specialist knowledge of bees feels quite limited. Over the last two years of engaging in Bee Company I have definitely developed some foundation knowledge in bees that I hope make it possible for me to give accurate information when asked on the basics though.

Another person stopped and began to ask quite directly as to whether I was selling the honey or not. After listening to the bees through the headphones for a few minutes, we then began to engage into a fascinating conversation about whether honeybees are affected by the introduction of 5G wireless electromagnetic signals. The person explained how they were a smartphone user but they were cautious about new wireless signal technologies and what they might be capable of doing to small insect species such as bees. There is a great deal of research produced in particular over the past decade about the effects of electromagnetic signals on honey bees which continue to be inconclusive.

Scale effects of amplified close listening

When I listen to close microphone amplified sounds of honey bee hives, I am often at first quite shocked and slightly disturbed. The sense of being deeply immersed inside a world or vortex of honeybees is quite worrying and arguably counter-evolutionary. However, as I spend time in the intensity, becoming accustomed to it, I begin to be quite entranced and fascinated by the activity that thousands of individuals within a single species, in a single hive, can come together with a single purpose. It is not a sound that matches a harmonic scale. It doesn’t flow with sustained rhythm and meter. But the sound, as chaotic as it is, represents a community finding its way collectively through messy interchanges but ultimately working towards one ultimate goal, flourishing survival of the colony. I think this is something that dawns on people as they listen to a bee hive too. Often they are initially shocked in their response due to the intensity. After all, from the bank you can see that there are hives at the bottom of the hill a few metres away, but you cannot hear bees in any great number. The headphone experience transports the listener down the hill and to the entrance of a huge city. The listening experience is not only a geographical teleportation device but a scalar one. You become reduced in size. Reconfigured at honeybee scale, you become immersed, shocked, terrified and equally enthralled and tranced by the industry of the colony. You can temporarily inhabit the world of those bees, eyes closed, perched upon a stool. Eyes open, you achieve embodied dissonance which allows you to be at once in the hive, part of the collective, and simultaneously a surveyor of the wider scene. It is a moment where you can become aware of being truly part of something bigger than yourself. This is a rare moment for the observer. An encounter that challenges and encourages an appreciation of scale, of energy, industry and collective endeavour that transcends the values of capitalism.

A moment to listen to an encounter that fosters a scalar and temporal shift is my personal rare vision for the performance of Bee Company.

Mehiläisten seurassa tapahtuu

1.5. Vapputori 12-14

Vapputori peruttu sairastapauksen takia. Mahtavia munkkejamme tarjolla tulevissa koitoksissa.

Tullisaaren puistossa, 00590
Viljelypalstojen vieressä.

Kesätori eli Laajasalo Grassroots Market on Mehiläisten Seuran järjestämä Laajasalon pienin toritapahtuma.
Vappupäivänä myymme itsetehtyjä vegaanisia munkkeja ja simaa Tullisaaren puistossa.

Maksu käteisellä tai mobile paylla.

20.5. Maailman mehiläispäivä 17-20

Istutetaan perunaa ja kukkia aamulla päiväkoti Nallessa ja illalla palstalla nr. 45.
Palstan koordinaatit: N:6673855.44 E:25501819.38

Pidämme istutusten lomassa hautausseremonian huhtikuussa kuolleelle Purotarhan sinisen kuningattaren pesälle.

27.-30.6. Avoin puistoresidenssi

Työsketelemme ulkona Tullisaaren puistossa kesäkuun viimeisellä viikolla 27.6.-30.6.

Järjestämme avoimet iltamat torstaina 30.6. klo 18-20.
Olet lämpimästi tervetullut seuraamme.
Ilmoittautumiset tekstiviestillä numeroon 0407175011 tai sähköpostilla osoitteeseen:

Tiedotamme asiasta lisää kesäkuussa.

3.-4.9. Birundan på Trädgårdmästarens Stugan.

Lördag 3.9 klo 11-17
Söndag 4.9. klo 11-17
I Turholm Parken på Trädgårdsmästarens Stugan.

Birundan är ett mångsinnligt evenemang för hela familjen. Publiken kan kika in i biodlarens höstarbete, sätta händerna i lera, smaka och köpa honung, dofta på blommor och självklart se, höra och uppleva konstverken som vi installerar i trädgården och runt den i parken. Konstnärerna är på plats, och vi ser fram emot många intressanta möten med besökarna.

Birundan on monimuotoinen tapahtuma koko perheelle. Yleisö voi katsoa mehiläishoitajan syystöitä, laittaa kätensä saveen, maistaa ja ostaa hunajaa, haistella kukkia ja tietysti nähdä, kuulla ja kokea taideteoksia, joita laitamme esille puutarhaan ja sen ympäristöön. Taiteilijat ovat paikalla viikonlopun ajan.

Kontiokari, S. Yhdyskuntasuunnittelu, diplomityö 1964. Aalto-yliopiston arkisto.

Discussion on barrier tapes around the fallen Oak in Tullisaari

112 Likes, 35 Comments

October 16th @Tullisaari Park.

A writes at

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.

Keskustelu pölkkypesien haitoista ja hyödyistä

32 kommenttia

13. maaliskuuta kello 22.23  

A kirjoittaa paikassa

Tässä olen hieman hämilläni. En tosin ole vielä aloittamassa mehiläisten kanssa puuhaamista.Tarkoitus aloittaa suoraan pölkkypesistä.Kaadetuista puista, joihin jätän pitkät kannot. Ehkä rungon kappaleistakin.Sanovat että mehiläiset eivät pärjää omalla hunajallaan talven yli. Että kuolevat kun suolen täytyttyä menevät talvella pesästä ulos tekemään tarpeensa. Paleltuvat ennen kuin kerkeävät takaisin?Onko tämä tosiaan näin? Eikö Suomessa ole luonnonvaraisia mehiläisiä ollutkaan?

B: Hunajamehiläinen (apis mellifera) ei ole kotoperäinen laji, eri villimehiläislajeja täältä kyllä löytyy. Niistä ei tee hunajaa tietääkseni mikään. 

C: Vaikka aloittaisit pölkkypesistä, käy silti mehiläishoidon kurssi ennen kuin aloitat. Tiedät edes mitä et tiedä.

D vastaa C:lle: Ehdottomasti!

E: Pölkkypesät kuulostaa sen verran hankalilta etten itse rohkenisi lähteä sellaista kokeilemaan. Luultavasti vaan tulisin tappaneeksi sen pesän ja levittäneeksi tauteja lähialueiden mehiläispesiin. Jos kuitenkin päädyt kokeilemaan, niin suosittelen perehtymään parvien kiinniottoon erittäin perusteellisesti.

A kysyy E:ltä: Tuppaavatko parveilemaan enemmän pölkkypesistä?

E vastaa A:lle: Tila pölkyssä on rajoitettu, ja hoitaminen vaikeaa/ mahdotonta toteutetusta mallista riippuen.

C vastaa A:lle: Vahva suositus sille, että otat selvää mehiläisten elinkaaresta, ravinnosta, lisääntymisestä, talvehtimisesta, taudeista ja loisista. Noin alkajaisiksi. Ihan samalla tavalla kuin mitä tahansa muita eläimiä hankkiessa. Sillä välin kuin opiskelet, voit lisätä monimuotoisuutta tontillasi toimimalla luonnonvaraisten pölyttäjien hyväksi. Siihen löytyy hyviä ohjeita, ja sillä et saa aikaan vahinkoa eläimille etkä riesaa muille ihmisille.

F: Joidenkin kasvien medestä valmistuva hunaja on huonoa talviruokaa, joten kyllä se sokerilla talveuttaminen aina varmempi keino on. Muutenkin hunaja lisää ulostuspainetta sokeria enemmän, joten riski pesään ulostamisesta on todellinen.Kunnon valmistautuminen ennen mehiläisiä kannattaa tehdä, jottei homma käänny vaikka puutteellisen punkintorjunnan vuoksi alueen muita tarhaajia vastaan tai parvi lähde hallitsemattomasti vaikka naapurin piippuun.

G vastaa F:lle: Kuullostaa hiukan oudolta että hunaja olisi mehiläisille huonoa ruokaa. Vähän sama kuin sanoisi äidille ettei kannata rintaruokkia vauvaa kun korvikkeet ovat parempia. Ihmisen arroganssia luontoa kohtaan.

C: G tuo vertaus äidinmaitoon ontuu. Ei ole ”arroganssia luontoa kohtaan” ottaa huomioon ne olosuhteet, joissa tarhamehiläisen evoluutio on enimmäkseen tapahtunut (ei pitkiä yhtenäisiä pakkasjaksoja) ja se, että tietyistä hunajista kertyy enemmän ulostettavaa mehiläisen suoleen kuin toisista. Mehiläiset muodostavat symbioottisen kokonaisuuden elinympäristönsä kanssa. Itsekseen pärjäävä luonnonvarainen tarhamehiläiskanta Suomessa saattaisi hyvinkin olla hieno juttu, mutta italialaiset tai krainit tänne tuotuina ja pitkän ajan kuluessa hunajantuotantoon valittuina kantoina ovat kotieläimiä, eivät villieläimiä.

F vastaa G:lle: Huomaatko, etten kommentoinut aivan noin, kuinka väitit minun kommentoineen?

G vastaa C:lle: Kyllä nimenomaan eurooppalainen mehiläinen, jonka luontainen levinneisyysalue ulottui Uralille asti, on sopeutunut pitkiin pakkastalviin. Ja on pohjoisesss keski-Euroopassa suhteellisen pitkä talvi jolloin ruokaa ei ole saatavilla. Pohjois-Amerikassa, johon mehiläinen vietiin 1600-luvulla on tälläkin hetkellä laajoilla alueilla villimehiläisiä alueilla joissa on pitkä talvi. Ymmärtääkseni on varsin laaja tieteellinen yksimielisyys siitä että ei ole olemassa kesymehiläistä ja villimehiläistä erikseen vaan A. mellifera on A. mellifera kaikkialla. Toki ihminen on sotkenut rotujen levinneisyysalueet.

G: Sori F jos kärjistin sanomaasi. Välillä vaan harmittaa että näitä samoja asioita toistetaan ehdottomina totuuksina kun joillakin on toisensuuntaisia kokemuksia tai halua viedä toimintaansa mehiläisten kanssa eri suuntaan tai toimia eri lähtökohdista. Toisaalta kukaan ei esitä selitykseksi sitä että mehiläishoitaja yksinkertaisesti vaihtaa hunajan moninkertaisesti halvempaan sokeriin. Aika voimakas taloudellinen ohjaus toimia niinkuin toimitaan.

F: En kai missään ottanut kantaa hunajalaatuihin? Voihan olla, että jos pitää mehiläisiään rypsipeltojen äärellä, kannattaa vaihtaa hunaja sokeriin. Siihen mikä on Suomen luonnossa oikea määrä A. melliferaa ei taas taida olla yksiselitteistä tietoa. Onhan muitakin pölyttäjiä, ja ne saattavat kärsiä kilpailusta tarhamehiläisten kanssa. Luonnossahan populaatioiden kokoa ei määritä niinkään ravinnon märä sesongin aikana vaan pullonkaulat kuten talvi. Tarhamehiläinen saa nyt “epäreilua kilpailuetua” kun autamme ne talven yli ruokinnalla. Samasta syystähän meillä on liikaa kauriita.

C: Juuri tuota tarkoitin, että ihminen on toiminnallaan sotkenut levinneisyysalueet. Pohjolan tumman mehiläisen tarhatut kannat vaihtuivat Suomessa italialaisiin viimeistään sotien jälkeen, koska haluttiin suurempia hunajasatoja. Hyvä talvehtimiskyky omasta ympäristöstä kerätyn hunajan varassa ei ole ollut geneettisen valinnan perusteena millekään näistä silloin tänne tuoduista kannoista.

H: Itse olen talveuttanut mehit omalla hunajalla (ei kanerva) hyvin on mennyt! Yksi talvitappio siitä kun aloitin kolme vuotta sitten talveuttamisen oman hunajan kaa, pesiä nyt 14.Kuulostaa hienolta, että pölkkypesät kiinnostaa, opiskelet hyvin vaan ja upeaa jos niihin päädyt!! Yes!!!! Mulla unelmana pölkkypesä tiluksille! 🌼

F vastaa A:lle: Kuten huomaat jo näistäkin kommenteista kysymys on hiukan kiistanalainen. Mutta tässä ryhmässä jos missä pitäisi voida keskustella avoimesti. Pidän kahden viikon kuluttua ’Mehiläisempää mehiläishoitoa” kurssin jossa pölkkypesistäkin puhutaan vaikka pääpaino on ylälistapesissä.

F: Olen juuri hankkinut muutaman 70 cm paksun koivu ja kuusirungon, joista on tarkoitus tehdä pölkkypesiä. Rungon paksuus pitäisi olla minimissään 50 cm, jotta siihen mahtuu 20-25cm onkalo ja seinäpaksuus vielä yli 10 cm. Näiden toteuttamiseen on vähän eri tapoja – ensimmäiseksi on päätettävä onko tarkoitus kuitenkin korjata pesistä hunajaa vai rakentaako pesäpaikkoja villimehiläisille [kuva lumisista pölkyistä].

I: Mehiläinen (Apis mellifera), joka ei pärjää Suomessa omalla hunajallaan talven yli on kuin saimaannorppa, joka ei pärjää, jos ei ihminen kolaa pesää ympärille joka talvi.

F: Saattaishan se pärjätäkin, mutta pesäpaikkojen puute on suurin ongelma. Ja luultavasti pitäisi saada musta mehiläinen takaisin. Italialaiset ym talvehtivat liian suurella porukalla ja alkavat sikiöidä liian aikaisin, jolloin hunajaa kuluu. Tarhauksessa se on tietysti etu kun tarkoitus on vain vaihtaa hunaja sokeriin.

J: Mun mielestä, ja mun kokemuksella, rotua tärkeämpi asia on ominaisuudet joita mehiläisiällä on. Mustistakin löytyy tuhlailevia talvehtijoita.

F vastaa J:lle: Noinhan se tietenkin on. Minulla ei vielä ole mustia mehiläisiä ollut, mutta olen antanut itseni ymmärtää että ne noin keskimäärin talvehtivat pienemmällä porukalla.

K: Miksi tarhamehiläisiä pitäisi kasvattaa pölkyn sisällä? On melkoista inhimillistämistä (antropomorfismia) kuvitella, että niillä on jotenkin kivempaa siellä kuin hyvin hoidetussa pesässä, jotenkin parempi feng shui? Esimerkiksi maatiaislehmien suhteen lähes kaikki oivaltavat, että alkuperäisrodun karjaakin täytyy hoitaa. Onko eläinten huono hoito hyväksyttävämpää, jos kyseessä ovat hyönteiset? Eläin, joka tilataan toiselta tarhaajalta ja laitetaan asumaan ihmisen ontoksi kovertamaan pölkkyyn ei ole villieläin. Jos joku eläin spontaanisti asettuu onttoon pölkkyyn (esim lintu lintupönttöön) tai tekee kolonsa tontille jätettyyn kantoon, se on villieläin. Eläintarhoissakin yritetään tarhattujen villieläinten terveyttä hoitaa mahdollisimman hyvin, esimerkiksi torjumalla syöpäläisiä.

F vastaa K:lle: Ei lehmää ja mehiläistä voi rinnastaa noin. Lehmä – myös maatiainen – on hyvin kaukana luonnonvaraisesta alkumuodostaan. Mehiläinen on villieläin jonka ihminen on laittanut laatikkoon. Englanninkielisessä keskustelussa on jo todettu ettei ole järkeä eritellä mikä on wild honey bee eli villimehiläinen ja feral honey bee eli villiintynyt mehiläinen kun ne ovat kuitenkin ihan samaa porukkaa.

K vastaa F:lle: No sittenhän voi vaan laitella niitä pölkkyjä tarjolle niille villimehiläisille.

F vastaa K:lle: Niinpä. Ihmiset tekevät varmaan pölkkypesiä hiukan eri motiiveilla. Keski-Euroopassa ja Briteissä on nyt ’free the bees’ liike joka laittaa luontoon pölkkypesiä koska luonnonvaraisen mehiläisen suurin ongelma on pesäpaikkojen puute. Itse asiassa Apis mellifera on uhanalainen eurooppalainen yhdyskuntahyönteinen joka pesii harvakseltaan metsissä. On myös mehiläishoitajien edun mukaista ettei mehiläisen perimä ole pelkästään emokasvattajien hyppysissä. En näe ongelmaa siinäkään että joku haluaa tuottaa hiukan hunajaa perinteisissä pölkkypesissä.

J vastaa F:lle: Toi on hyvä pointti, tai oikeastaan erittäin tärkeä, että mehiläisten perimä on mehiläishoitajien käsissä. Laajensin tarkoituksella emonkasvattajista mehiläishoitajien ihan vain jotta jokainen mehiläisiä kasvattava tajuaa, että niitä rmoja voi jokainen kasvattaa omiin tarpeisiin. Suurinta vääryyttä mitä tarhassa voi mehiläisiä tehdä on ostaa aina emot suurelta emonkasvattajalta. Näin tulee edistäneeksi mehiläisten geneettistä köyhtymistä vaikkei sitä tarkottaisikaan.

F vatsaa J:lle: Samaa mieltä. Sehän on jo hyvä jos on hoitajia, jotka tuottavat emonsa itse vapaaparituksella, toiseksi kun on harrastajahoitajia jotka antavat emojen syntyä ja pariutua omia aikojaan, mutta askel eteenpäin olisi vielä villi/villintynyt mehiläiskanta, johon kohdistuu paikallisen luonnon valintapaine. Nythän tästä ei ole varmuutta, mutta tällä hetkellä ajattelisin että rajoittava tekijä on Suomessa (ja muuallakin) pesäpaikkojen puute, ei niinkään talvi.

J: Sopeutumattomuus varroaan on luultavasti se suurin tekijä. Ainakin täällä keskemmällä Suomessa on sen verran autioituneita tiloja, että luulisi sieltä löytyvän pesäpaikkojakin. Eipä lisästä varmaan haittaakaan ole 🙂

F vastaa J:lle: No sekin varmasti.

Mehiläisten seura: Mahtava ja asiantunteva keskustelu. Kiinnostaa A kuulla miten aattelit lähteä eteenpäin?

Keskustelu Tullisaaren kaatunutta Tammea ympäröivistä sulkunauhoista

112 tykkäystä, 35 kommenttia

16. lokakuuta kello 10.32  @Tullisaaren Puisto.

A kirjoittaa paikassa

Koska tämä kaatunut vanha tammi aiotaan säilyttää paikallaan, olisiko syytä rakentaa sen ympärille kunnon kauniimmatt aidat noiden muovinauhojen tilalle. Tammihan lahoaa tuossa kymmeniä vuosia.

B vastaa: Miks edes tarvitsee aitaa?

C vastaa B:lle: Se on varmaan siksi etteivät lapset kiipeile ja aikuiset pidä jumppapuuna, oksat eivät varmaan kestä🤔

B vastaa C:lle: Aidan yli kyl lapset kiipee, se ei nyt ketään pitele, jos nyt haluu puulle mennä. Eikä varsinkaan noi narut estä ketään.

C vastaa B:lle: En ole kyllä nähnyt ketään nauhojen sisäpuolella vaikka päivittäin kuljen siitä ohi, vanhemmat ei päästä lapsia sinne.

B vastaa C:lle: Mun mielestä noi narut o vaan äärettömän rumat. Joko antaa sen puun maatua siinä ilman rumia naruja tai sitten roudaa pois. Puut kaatuu ja kuolee, se on ihan normaalia kiertokulkua. Mitä väliä, jos joku istuu puunrungolle tai kannolle. Niin mä oon lapsesta asti tehny. Se, että se puunraato sijatsee puistossa on ongelma ja siks pitää aidata, anna mun kaikki kestää.

C vastaa B:lle: Puu on 200 vuotias ja rauhoitettu, ei sitä voi joka näreeseen verrata.

D vastaa C:lle: nauha ei mitään estä ja ruma se on. Onneksi on vielä niitä, jotka ymmärtävät, että tuon nauhan sisäpuolelle ei voi mennä. 100-vuotias tammi on harvinaisuus Suomessa ja siksi suojelemisen arvoinen kaatuneenakin.

E: Kiinnostaa kuulla näkemys henkilö B:ltä: voiko kaatuneen puun ikää laskea järkevästi? Kun se lahoaa, jatketaanko iän laskemista kuinka pitkään? Ja eikö lahoamisprosessiin kuulu, että oksat katkeilee ja rikkoontuu? Joten mitä merkitystä iällä on kaatumisen jälkeen?

F: On siinä hyvä olla jokin osoituksena, että on edelleen rauhoitettu puu.

G: Kävisikö vanhan ajan riukuaita paremmin kuin työmaanauhat.

H: Juuri niin – nuo raksa nauhat pilaavat koko alueen.

I: Voiskohan kasvattaa uusia tammia!

J vastaa I:lle: Siellä tammen ympärillä kymmeniä pikkutammia jo.

I vastaa J:lle. Wauu! Luonto hoitaa!

K: Todellakin voisi olla jotain kauniimpaa nauhaa tai aita, koska on tarkoituksena vanha kaatunut tammi jättää paikoilleen lahomaan.

L: Kaupungin puisto-osastolle viestiä menemään…

M: Olisi syytä.

Kuva Ina Niemelä, 20.10.2021 klo 16.16

N: Puiston nurmikko on väärä paikka lahoavalle puulle. Puu oli kasvaessaan suojeltu, suojelulle ei ole enää tarvetta. Sen voisi ainakin siirtää pois hoidetulta alueelta, siis jonnekin lähimaastoon.

O vastaa N:lle: tässä kaatuneessa puussa on tarina. Ei ole kysymys sen mätänemistä.

N: Mielestäni tarina ei saa kunniakasta loppua, jos puu jätetään mätänemään keskelle muuten hyvin hoidettua puistoa. Ei puistoihin ole tapana jättää puita lahoamaan. Olisi hienoa jos Laajasalossa olisi joku puuseppä, jonka käsittelyssä puusta saisi valtavasti uusia esineitä ja tarinoita.

P vastaa N:lle: Tossa voi tulla pikku yllätys näille suojelijoille ja säilyttäjille, kun toi tammi tossa pikku hiljaa makailee, se lähtee aika pian tummumaan ja lahoamaan ja sitten sitä onkin kiva katella. Ja mitä tulee puuseppään, niin ne on sen verran kalliita kavereita, ettei taitaisi markkinoita olla jos se tekisisi siitä taltanvarsia tai muita hyödyllisiä esineitä. Mulla oli Hålvikissä vaari joka oli puuseppä (kuvassa Hilja Matildan kanssa) mutta se siirtyi viimeiselle verstaalleeen jo 1960-luvulla……[kuva vaarista Hilja Matildan kanssa].

Q: Höpöpöpö. Asuntoja tähän, koska ilmastonmuutos ja väkeä pukkaa ku pipoa!

R vastaa Q:lle [GIF jossa ojennetaan nenäliinoja]

S: Vuosia sitten poimin “Tullisaaren mahtavan” tammenterhoja, idätin jääkaapissa talven ja siirsin mökille, siellä ne kasvavat ja komistuvat ‘suojelupuiden’ vieressä🥰En ole enää näkemässä niiden mahtavuuden päiviä,silti uskon niiden kasvuvoimaan:. :. :.

T: Kannatan oksien sahaamista ja uusien taimien suojelua kohta meillä on tammimetsä😃 rannalla lojuu kaatuneita koivuja ja sähkötolppia saisi kyllä poistaa.

U: Käsittääkseni kyse on luonnon vaalimisesta, kaatunut tammi tarjoaa monille öttiäisille elannon ja asuinpaikan. Ihmisen esteettistä silmää tietty vaivaa; toki nuo muovinauhat on ällöt. Joku tosijykevä ankkuriköysi tms. ympäröimään puuvainajaa?

V: Eikö sitä voisi myydä jollekin puusepälle ja se jatkaisi elämäänsä esim. pöytänä tai tuoleina? Puisto ei ole mikään luonnonmetsä mihin jätetään kaatuneet puut lojumaan.

X vastaa V:lle: Hyvä ajatus. Suurin osa tammesta kovaa puuta joka tietysti vuosikymmenten aikana lahoaa mutta onko siitä seuraaville hiilidioksiidipäästöilleå tarvetta?

Y vastaa V:lle: Ehkä siitä voisi puuseppä tehdä jotain, joka tulisi joko puistoon ulos tai sisälle Aino Acten huvilaan. Poistetun rungon kohdalle kyltti, jossa kerrotaan, mihin runko on viety ja mihin sitä tullaan käyttämään. Oksat voisi viedä tien toiselle puolelle metsään. Siellä on muitakin kaatuneita tammeja.

V vastaa Y:lle: Hyvä idea.

Z: Ping Anna Elina Nummi? 🤔 1

Å: Vaikea arvioida kumpi tuossa rumentaa puistomaisemaa vähemmän, kun ei ole kuitenkaan kyse mistään natura alueesta. Uusiokäyttöön molemmat joutaisi. Harvinaisen älytöntä päätöksentekotaitoa Helsingin puisto-osastolta.

Ä: Tuohan on tuossa oksineen kuin muinainen jättiolento. Annetaan sen rauhassa maata paikoillaan ja jalostaa paikallista biodiversiteettiä tuhansine pikku apulaisineen, jotka siinä jo nyt asustavat. Myös linnut hyötyvät niistä. Jätettäiskö välillä ihmisen, ihan kaiken järjestykseen laittamisen pakkomielle tässä kohtaa väliin, ja vain annettaisiin tämän väsyneen jättiläisen monine kavereineen hoitaa itse itsensä. Sen etenevästä tilasta voisi sitten vaikka tehdä hienon luontodokumentin, jopa biologisen tutkimuksenkin! Sen äärellä voitaisiin pitää lapsille satutunteja muinaisista maailmoista ja aikuisille luentoja puiden salatusta elämästä..Onhan tämä vanha jättiläinen nähnyt sen mitä Tullisaaressa tapahtui jo 300 vuotta sitten! Ei siis ole ihan mitä tahansa puutavaraa. Kerrotaan sen äärellä kertomuksia muinaisista ajoista. Hyvä kokoontumispaikka kertomuksille. Rakennetaan ympärille perinne-puuaita ja iso kota jossa kokoontua juttusille..Oltaisiin kerrankin edes vähän luovia..,

Ö: Keltapunainen varoitusnauha kerätään kierrätykseen ja sen tilalle laitetaan uusi nauha. Seremonia järjestetään juhannusviikolla 2022. Toivoo: Mehiläisten seura

  1. Anna Elina Nummi on Helsingin kaupungin kaupunkiympäristön projektisuunnittelija.

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!


Bee Company


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?

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.