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The Hive: Bee at Kew Gardens

The Hive at Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens Fire juggler

Fire juggler

The Hive at Kew Gardens is a magical transformation of a set of giant metal rods and bolts into an amazing, delicate and vibrant structure set down in a bucolic corner of southwest London.  It has to be experienced in person to be fully appreciated.

We visited ‘The Hive’ at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew  as part of the ‘Kew Lates’ programme of events.  We arrived just before dusk so were able to see this incredible sculpture as the light was changing.  Very helpful guides were on hand to explain the work and the role of bees in pollination and the work they do at Kew Gardens.  There were also activities and events in the Orangery including silk screen printing and jewellery making. It was a great evening and the weather was marvellous so we enjoyed a glass of wine on the terrace watching the fire jugglers afterwards.

The Hive structure  at Kew Gardens is designed to highlight the importance of bees as pollinators. It’s been well documented that in recent years, the world’s bee population has declined.  This is an important addition to the awareness of this phenomenon that affects us all. Specially commissioned music inspired by the humming of bees plays inside the structure to add to the experience.

The work was commissioned by the British Government and created by Wolfgang Buttress and he took his inspiration from the work of Dr. Martin Bencsik of Nottingham Trent University on bee vibration and communication patterns.

The Hive at Kew Gardens featured on BBC Radio 4’s Gardener’s Question Time on Sunday 10th July 2016. Listen here.

Emma says: Kew is so innovative in its approach to creating public interest in these amazing, world-famous gardens. I haven’t seen another ‘Lates’ event scheduled for the Hive but it’s there to be visited during normal opening hours for another year.  And there are lots of other events planned at Kew Gardens, if you’re interested. Check out Kew after dark in the run up to Christmas for a spectacular visit. 

You can see the Hive until November 2017.


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