• Ellen Mary

It's a bees life


I had a chilly walk around Kew gardens recently, a stunning garden at any time of year but I do love the colours of Autumn!

I've blogged plenty about Autumn recently and there are loads of gorgeous Autumnal photos doing the rounds on social media, so instead of blogging about the season, I thought I would tell you more about The HIVE at Kew.

Firstly, I had no idea it was actually as fascinating and inspiring as it is. It's huge! It's metal. Its complicated. And its in the middle of a natural environment. I am not sold on many garden structures but there is something extraordinarily captivating about the HIVE.

It is firstly representative of a bee hive and secondly the sounds it makes are actual real bees communicating! How I hear you ask - well lets start with some background info:

The structure was created by Wolfgang Buttress, Simmonds Studio and BDP and was inspired by Dr. Martin Benscik who has developed a way of monitoring the health of beehives using technology. It was commissioned by the UK government for the Milan 2015 EXPO and is a stunningly fantastic insight into life in a bee hive.

It stands at 17m high and has 1,000 LED lights. So that sounds interesting doesn't it!? But how does this actually link to bees...here is the part I barely understand (I am such a technophobe) but it is truly incredible...

The lights are connected to one of the beehives at Kew gardens and the illumination of the lights represents the bees communication and the vibrational changes occurring in the beehive. Did you know that honey bees communicate through smell and vibrations and different pulses translate into different messages? Got to love bees for so very many reasons.

The sounds you hear when standing at the HIVE are a result of accelerometers detecting vibrations caused by the sounds of the honey bee vibrations in their hive. Along with this, you can hear sounds in key C which is the same key that bees buzz!

It is remarkable and if the above doesn't make any sense, just head off to Kew and take a look for yourself. In a strange way, it made me feel closer than ever to bees. I have a deeper understanding of them and its a truly lovely experience to stand by the wildflower carpets surrounding the hive listening to the sounds.

We need bees and other pollinators. Without them, where would we be? We actually depend on them for food and farming, for our gardens, for our life. We should never take them for granted! There are loads of ways we can help pollinators so have a read of this article HERE and save our bees.


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