Alone with Bees

The hive as an architectural object was born out of the relationship between the beekeeper and the bees. Similarly to architecture, the hive connects those living within and  around it. Over time, hives have gradually ceased to replicate the form of tree cavities that originally served as the natural habitat of bees, and have increasingly transformed into contraptions serving the comfort of humans. The balance has thus broken: instead of  bees, now humans are the determining factor. Due to the stress caused by the changing of the hives, monoculturalism, and toxic pesticides, bees have become more vulnerable to diseases and parasites. As a consequence, they live in complete dependency on humans, as they have no time or energy to solve their own problems. Modern metropolitan life with its constricted living spaces and disconnection from nature gives rise to a similar crisis for humans. The problem of isolation has increased exponentially over the past year. 

In their project Alone with Bees, AUW explores how the architectural system of the hive has transformed over the ages, and to what extent it correlates with architecture for humans. We are inclined to regard architecture as the opposite of the natural world, but why is this so and why do we believe that the honeycomb built by bees or the anthill are part of nature while the house built by humans is an entirely different world? The beehive is somewhere in between, as it is a human-built space accommodated by bees, which simultaneously has a very intense relationship with nature—the bees—and with humans—the beekeepers—while there is also a strong connection between the two.

AUW  has been making solitary spaces for years (Flower House, 2015; Wool House, 2018).These spaces are not about complete confinement, however: in this case, bees are living constituents of the building, just like the roof or the windows. As the light shining through the window connects humans with the outside world, in this space it is the sound and scent of bees that connect us to the surrounding world. Its shape and perforated screen resemble an enlarged beekeeper’s mask-veil, like the one in Pieter Brueghel the Elder’s drawing The Beekeepers (ca. 1568).


Online registration is required. All necessary information about the site and instructions for using the building along with a general description of the work will be available to visitors upon registering.

Assistant: Anna Zsoldos

Time 23.04 - 30.05