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The Hive at Kew Guide

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This book is a beautiful celebration of the Hive. Special Kew price £10 (RRP £15).


Author: RBG Kew. 96pp. 250 x 250mm. Colour photographs and illustrations throughout. Paperback, with fold-out flaps, ISBN 9781842466254, Kew Publishing 2016.

The Hive was the centrepiece of the gold medal winning UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo, and from June 2016 takes up its new home within Kew Gardens. Soaring 17 metres in the air, designed by Wolfgang Buttress and created by BDP, Simmonds Studio and Stage One, The Hive is an immersive, multi-sensory experience inspired by ground-breaking UK scientific research into the health of bees. Showcasing British creativity, innovation and leadership in overcoming global challenges, this magnificent aluminium structure draws visitors into the space via a wildflower meadow, as though they are worker bees returning to the hive. 

Hundreds of glowing LED lights bring this 40 tonne lattice structure to life, while a beautiful symphony of orchestral sounds fills the air, with an atmospheric undercurrent of buzzes and pulses. Triggered by vibration sensors within a real beehive, the sound and light intensity within the pavilion increases as the energy levels in the living hive surge, giving visitors an incredible insight into the ever-moving life of a bee colony.

The Hive at Kew is a beautifully illustrated celebration of this fascinating project. The book is divided into three sections, with James Haldane, Design Editor for The Architectural Review focusing first on the origins and the architecture of the Hive and its creation led by artist Wolfgang Buttress. The central body of the book focusses on the immersion of the Hive at Kew and the surrounding wildflower meadow designed to attract a variety of bees. This section includes features on the team behind the Hive, as well as Kew’s horticultural experts. Finally, Martin Bencsik of Nottingham Trent University and Kew’s Phil Stevenson and Hauke Koch explain the pioneering research into bee health and communication that inspired the Hive, and how Kew is working to help bees in their vital role as pollinators. 

Beautifully illustrated throughout with photographs of the Hive itself, its construction, and the wildflower meadow surrounding it, as well as architectural plans of the structure. 

Special Kew price £10 (RRP £15).

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