Above London’s Kew Gardens sits 56 feet of aluminum towers, allowing visitors to catch a glimpse into the secret life of bees. Inspired by scientific research revolving around the health of these vital pollinators, this remarkable installation known as The Hive was designed by UK based artist Wolfgang Buttress and designer/engineer Tristan Simmonds—originally constructed as a centerpiece for the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Composed of thousands of aluminum segments woven into a lattice and fit with hundreds of LED lights, the award-winning installation glows and fades, humming and buzzing all around you as you step inside a massive man-made beehive.
The immersive piece actually works according to the real time activity of bees in the surrounding gardens. The sounds and lights within the creation surge according to the energy displayed by the real beehives, providing visitors an amazing insight into life within an interconnected bee colony. Through the imposing installation, designers have sought to “highlight the plight of the honeybee, [and] focus attention on the importance of pollination in our food chain, by reinterpreting apiarian ecology as an immersive multi-sensory experience.” Combined with talks, tours, and activities that revolve around the environmental subject, the complex structure will be both an educational and aesthetically appealing tourist attraction.
For those who are interested in checking out the impressive display, the forty-four-ton spectacle opens to the public on June 18, 2016 and will remain a feature in the Gardens until the end of 2017.