Melliferopolis Hives

Hexa-Hives improved – a new copper roof

hexa roof installation

With the hard weather conditions, an improved protection of the hexa-hives against wind and weather was necessary. With the help of Joni Lustig, an industrial designer, metal roofs were designed for the wooden structures. The roofs were placed on the hexa-hives in June 2014.



And the bees seem to like them as well. The space between the wood and the metal and the reflection of the surface keeps the hives cool.


The bees are building and expanding their home. 


Hexa-Hive Village moves to Kaisaniemi Botanical Garden

In May 2014, the Hexa-Hive village is moving to the centre of Helsinki. Due to construction works in the garden, not all Hexa-Hives can be placed this year.

Hexa-Hive Village at Otaniemi

June 2013 – the Hexa-Hive Village was opened near Ossinlampi, where the Aalto Campus garden is being installed. The village hosts 3 colonies of bees in Hexa-Hives elevated on sticks.


There are 9 more Hexa-Hives that can be used as bench or seat, for human consumption. You are welcome to visit and explore!


In 2012, the Melliferopolis project introduced 3 new hives in the city of Helsinki and Espoo. The three locations are situated in quite different environments, representing various aspects of urban situations.

Harakka Island

Harakka is almost like a nature reserve. It is very popular with birds and serves as a breeding place for geese. The vegetation on Harakka is very divers and attractive for bees, as we were able to notice in this first season. When observing the bees at their flying entrance in August, they carried pollen of various colors into their home and the honey harvest was rich and delicious.

Harakka is also the place where the first Melliferopolis workshop in May 2012 took place.

by Susanna Kekkonen

Erkki and Pekka are taking care of the Harakka hive. They are both working on the island.

Kaisaniemi Botanical Garden

At the Botanical Garden in the centre of Helsinki, an experimental hive was installed – the Hexa-hive. It was designed by Christina Stadlbauer and Kiran Gangadharan and should please bees and visitors alike.

by Bartaku

by Bartaku

by Bartaku

The hive is placed in a public, accessible spot – and invites to watch, smell, hear the bees from close up.

In May 2012, during the Melliferopolis workshop the Hexa-hive was installed permanently in the botanical garden.

As the first prototype of Hexa-hive seemed a bit small, the bees got a bigger version of it, and were transferred on the day of the summer solstice 2012 to their new house.

by Mirja Noland

by Mirja Noland

by Mirja Noland

In the botanical garden, the bees have a large variety of flowers to graze on. The honey tastes a bit minty and spicy, but there is not enough to harvest this year – as the bees got delayed with their work due to their moving houses. Laura and Peppi are looking after the hexa-hive and Lauri started a little research project with his students around details in handling of the hexa-hive.

Keilaniemi Business District

After the winter 2013, the Keilaniemi bees were moved to Harakka island – the situation seemed too harsh, after all. In Keilaniemi there are no more Melliferopolis bees, but here the description of the spot they were located at.

In the business district of Espoo by the office building of Fortum, the third Melliferopolis hive was installed in May 2012. Just a few days later, a tough storm hit the area and incredible enough, the hive got blown over. Luckily, the queen and a lot of the bees survived the blast, but they needed time and effort to recover. In August they had fully regained strength, but had not managed to produce a lot of honey. So, this first year, all they have collected will stay with them to feed them over the winter.

by Ulla Taipale
Saana and Ilari live in Espoo and are taking very well care of the bees. They also have a hive in their private garden, and one in an allotment garden.

by Ulla Taipale

by Ulla Taipale

Bees are incredibly resilient and manage to live in all kinds of surroundings. With the bees and a little herb garden, nature is installed in Keilaniemi – but is stays a very business-like environment.

by Ulla Taipale

by Ulla Taipale


2 thoughts on “Melliferopolis Hives”

  1. Hi, I’m Steven from Melbourne, Australia. I’m an urban beekeeper. I’m interested in your hexa hive, love experimenting (and woodworking too) and would like to try to build a hexa hive myself, just for private use. Are there any plans available?

    1. hi Steven, good to hear from you! Yes, there are plans – however, the Hexa-Hives are still undergoing a lot of changes, so the drawings are kind of rudimentary. Send me an email to christina (at)!

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