The Bee Mural is Underway!


“Bee” a part of this unique experience by visiting in person (outdoors), participating in

upcoming events  and following along online.  



Bee City USA - Hendersonville works to create healthy habitats and raise awareness of the importance of all pollinators through educational events. We are thrilled to be partnering with Hands On! Children’s Museum, local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community members to bring The Good of the Hive to paint a landmark bee mural in the heart of downtown Hendersonville.   



The Good of the Hive artist Matthew Willey is on a mission to hand-paint 50,000 honey bees – the number necessary for a healthy, thriving hive – in murals around the world.  Because Hendersonville's mural will be painted outdoors in a public space, Matt will purposefully be just as busy working as a pollinator educator as a painter!  You can BEE inspired by his work and his message at



The bees (and other pollinators!) are currently being painted on the exterior wall of Hands On! Children’s Museum located within the Azalea Public Parking Lot (facing Third Ave. E. between N. Main Street and King Street). 



Phase 1 of the mural project was completed in the fall of 2020.  You can now see the queen bee and her attendants “overwintering” on their comb dripping with honey on the exterior wall of the museum.  Phase 2 of the project to add more bees and honeycomb around the corner of the building as well as flowers growing up from the ground and additional pollinators in flight across the walls will be completed in the spring of 2021. 



Art has the enduring power to create beauty, stir curiosity, and ignite action.  In addition to the many aesthetic, cultural, social, and economic benefits public art provides, we believe this mural will draw attention to the importance of bees and other pollinators and inspire actions to help sustain healthy ecosystems. 


The bee and her hive are the artist’s symbols, but at its essence this project is about activating and celebrating the power in human connection.  The global hive Matt is painting is a metaphor for the connectedness of all things. The bees are a symbol for humans, trees, animals, pollinators, water, soil and everything in between.  “If COVID-19 has taught us anything it is that we are truly all connected more deeply than we realize.” – Matt Willey 



Through the tremendous support of local  donors and sponsors, over $35,000 was raised from June 2019 – June 2020 to bring the mural to life in our community!   $25,00 is being used for design work, artistry, labor, materials, and supplies needed to create the one-of-a-kind hand-painted mural that will be part of The Good of the Hive’s global initiative to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators as well as for community and media engagement with the artist/founder.  An additional $10,000+ went (or is going towards) other supportive expenses including preparing and applying base coat to the wall prior to mural painting, renting a hydraulic lift, creating professional video updates about the project, designing and planting the pollinator gardens located alongside the mural, etc. 


Additional contributions to the “Bring the Hive Alive!” bee mural fund will help accomplish the following:  


  • Establish a fund for future care and maintenance of the bee mural.
  • Enhance the demonstration pollinator garden to be planted in front of the bee mural.
  • Expand pollinator-related STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) education programs for students and community presentations by the artist (online or in-person as may be most appropriate) during the bee mural painting period and beyond.
  • Join the Appalachian Mural Trail and develop/promote a downtown Hendersonville mural trail.
  • Support future museum exhibits related to pollinators, agriculture, food systems, and ecosystems.



Donate to the Bee Mural Project

There are many easy ways to make a contribution: 


  • Make an online donation  
  • Text “buzz” to 44321 to donate online using your phone 
  • Mail a check (payable to Hands On! and designated for the bee mural fund) to Hands On! Children's Museum, 318 North Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792


Participate in Bee Mural Fundraisers!

There are many upcoming pollinator events where you can make a donation and/or purchase items such as pollinator notecards (created by the Honey Bees Kindergarten class at FernLeaf Community Charter School), honey bee and monarch window clings, etc. to benefit the “Bring the Hive Alive!” bee mural initiative.


BEEcome a Mural Sponsor!

Sponsorship opportunities are still available.  Additional sponsors are invited to join the initiative before it closes in the spring of 2021. Download the “Bring the Hive Alive!” Sponsorship Guide.


 Questions? Please email or call 828-697-8333 ext.223. 


View Our Sponsors!


Learn More

There are lots of ways to learn more about the bee mural project: 



Bee City USA - Hendersonville and Hands On! Children’s Museum are especially interested in collaborating with local schools to offer more STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) opportunities for students.  During the fall of 2020, we were so inspired by Ms. Cox’s bee unit and virtual field trip to the bee mural for all K-5 students at Mills River Elementary School; bee mural class assignments at FernLeaf Community Charter School; and Ms. Fuge's honey bee virtual classroom complete with a clickable calendar to see the bee mural in progress, bee art lesson, and bee storybook videos.  We were also excited to get to work with several Henderson County classrooms who raised live monarch butterflies and/or sent symbolic monarchs to Mexico.  If you would like to partner with us on upcoming pollinator education projects in the spring, please contact


Bee Mural Press:


Bee the Change – Bold Life Magazine 

Fundraisers set for bee mural in downtown Hendersonville - Hendersonville Times-News 

Friends of honeybee launch mural campaign - Hendersonville Lightning 

Honeybees and beers mix at fundraiser for Hendersonville bee mural - News 13 WLOS 

Bee mural to be painted at Hands On! in downtown Hendersonville - Hendersonville Times-News 

Bee Mural to go up later this year - Hendersonville Lightning

Bee Mural gets boost from Community Foundation - Hendersonville Times-News 

Mural Project Comes to Downtown Hendersonville – The Laurel of Asheville (April 2020)

Garden Jubilee plant sale in Etowah to benefit Bee Mural project - Mountain Xpress 

Hendersonville Farmers Market event celebrates pollinators, Sept. 12 - Mountain Xpress 

Hendersonville Starts Painting of Giant Bee Mural - The Laurel of Asheville (October 2020)

Downtown bee mural painting starts Monday, Oct. 25 - Hendersonville Times-News

Bee mural project set to begin in Hendersonville - News 13 WLOS 

Matt Willey Begins Bee Mural in Hendersonville, Nov. 5 - Tribune Papers

Educational pollinator garden being installed near Bee Mural in Hendersonville - News 13 WLOS

Inside the Bee Mural: Artist talks about his inspiration, Nov 23. - Hendersonville Times-News 

Cold weather pauses bee mural until spring - Hendersonville Lightning