Our Friends the Pollinators (2014 - ongoing)

In Our Friends the Pollinators kids, youths and adults build homes for pollinators such as honey bees, wild bees and bumble bees. Honey bees are great pollinators, however recent studies have shown that wild pollinators such as solitary bees, bumble bees and butterflies often are even more important for efficient pollination. Unfortunately honey bees are having a tough time and many species of wild pollinators are endangered or already extinct. One of several contributing factors to the demise of wild pollinators are the disappearance of their habitats. In some cases their situation can be improved by constructing various housing for them. However, constructing a pollinator house can be a good idea even if it might not always be the most effective way of helping the pollinators.

"If backyard bugwatchers become engaged with the interactions they see in their gardens, they might become stronger advocates for keeping highway medians herbicide-free, for assuring that only biological control agents are used to manage pests on food crops and for establishing corridors linking protected areas." - The Forgotten Pollinators, S. L. Buchmann and G. P. Nabhan

If you construct nests for pollinators it's important that they are done correctly. Here is a guide to building houses for pollinators (in Swedish). More research related to the project can be found here.

Our Friends the Pollinators, Erik Sjödin 2014

The photos above are from an art camp for kids arranged in collaboration with Tensta konsthall at Eggeby gård in Stockholm 2014. During the weeklong camp the participants built houses for solitary bees which were then permanently placed on the farm and inhabited by bees. They also seeded a meadow and learned about beekeeping.

Our Friends the Pollinators, Erik Sjödin 2015

The year after a group of summer job youths completed the practical work with the project by building bumble bee nests and top-bar hives for honeybees. The hives were built using wood recycled from an exhibition at Tensta konsthall.

Our Friends the Pollinators has been shown at Hästa gård (SE) in May 2011 and 2012, at Färgfabriken (SE) in November 2012 - March 2013, at the Garden City's 100 Year Anniversary in Stockholm 2013, and at Eggeby gård from 2014. It has been realized by Erik Sjödin with the help of Hästa gård, a public farm in Stockholm (SE), the contemporary art and architecture space Färgfabriken in Stockholm (SE), The Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm (SE), Karin Ahrné at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala (SE), Sergio Montero Bravo and The Interior Architecture and Furniture Design Programme at Konstfack in Stockholm (SE), Vintervikens trädgård in Stockholm (SE), and Tensta konsthall, Eggeby gård, Sundbybergs och Spångaortens biodlareförening and Eggeby gårds naturskola i Stockholm (SE).