The Insect Societies (part 1)


The Swedish artist Henrik Håkansson envisions the new Emscher Valley’s ecological future with The Insect Societies (part 1). The Emscher area is re-inventing itself through the Emscher conversion, inspiring the artist to create three over-dimensionally sized bee houses on a meadow at the Emscherquellhof in Holzwickede, offering shelter to bees, bumblebees and other insects. The whole meadow will be covered in a mix of selected wildflowers, providing enough sustenance for the insects and colorful accents. The Emscherquellhof is mostly surrounded by agricultural fields and paddocks. The big bee houses consist of open cubes and a tier system – they jut out of the surrounding, flat landscape similar to island-like skyscrapers.

In public perception, bees are mostly erroneously only associated with producing honey, but in reality, that is just one of the bee’s many functions in our ecosystem. About 80% of all native crop and wild plants depend on honey and wild bees for pollination. Bees are also incredibly important for an intact environment and intact nature.
Besides settling “extraneous” bees, local beekeepers’ hives and dwellings for other insects will be integrated. With the help of experts, Håkansson wants to create a suitable home for endangered insects acting as pollinators and therefore preserve the Emscher area’s biodiversity. Thus, during the exhibition, visitors can observe the bee’s busy going-ons, the continuously swarming around their extraordinary dwelling.


Visitor Information:

The Insect Societies (part 1) is one of the few artworks that remain, even after the exhibition has closed. It is situated on the property of the Emscherquellhof, which isn’t accessible during the autumn and winter season. You can arrange an apointment to visit the artwork by contacting the team of the site via e-mail (
Adresse: Quellenstraße 2, Holzwickede
Public Transit: From Dortmund Main Station, take the U47 to Dortmund Aplerbeck, there take the bus 438 (towards Holzwickede Landskrone) to the station: Holzwickede Emscherquelle. From here it’s about 1km on foot to the Emscherquellhof(Quellenstraße 2).
GPS: 51.49089, 7.61298