The good of the hive


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The Good of the Hive® was founded by artist Matthew Willey on a personal commitment to hand-paint 50,000 honeybees – the number necessary for a healthy, thriving hive – in murals around the world. Through art and imagination, The Good of the Hive inspires curiosity and awareness about the importance of honey bees and other pollinators while celebrating the power in human connection.

Honey bees within the hive ‘think’ collectively. They are hard-wired to understand that their immune system is collective. Their health is based on the health of the hive, not the individual bee. After a personal experience with a honey bee in 2008, the artist realized that human health is the same way, although we rarely act like it. Through the simple act of painting a symbolic healthy hive of 50,000, one bee at a time, we intend to inspire an unstoppable movement of necessary change toward balance between humans and the natural world.

We are all one hive.


The Artist

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Throughout his twenty-five year career of painting murals, Matthew Willey has brought original, one-of-a-kind beauty to walls of homes and businesses throughout the US. By combining the abilities of designer, scenic artist and painter, this skilled visionary literally spins line, tone, atmosphere, and now bees, from the bristles of his brush. The murals seem to grow, one stroke, one texture, one wing, at a time, as he weaves the walls through his imagination.

Mural painting has been the focus of Matthew’s work throughout his career, but he also creates works on canvas, has written four screenplays and co-founded an educational company making Homer’s Odyssey and Greek mythology more accessible for teachers and students. 

Matthew has shared the stories of The Good of the Hive through speaking engagements at the United Nations, the FAO in Washington DC, Burt’s Bees Global HQ, Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Smithsonian Associates, Duke University, the Planetary Health Alliance 2018 annual meeting in Scotland, the NEA’s Podcast and many other educational institutions throughout the US. He is available for speaking engagements on select dates throughout 2019. Send email requests here.  

His work has been featured in Veranda Magazine, The New York TimesInterior Design Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post and many other publications and media channels. He currently lives in Asheville, NC, when he is not painting at a mural site.


Media & Logistics

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Never one to shy away from a challenge, Zach Ellis joined The Good of the Hive after meeting Matthew on a mural site during a road trip excursion. Captivated with the visual energy of the painted bees and realizing the next mural project was taking place a mere 30 minutes from his home, the adventure began. Since that serendipitous connection, Zach has been offering his skills in photography, videography, marketing and logistics, to name a few.

A mid-west native, Zach is an accomplished speaker, facilitator, and coordinator with a deep passion for people and the outdoors.