Bees and Hives at Kew.

A couple of weeks ago, I visited the Hive at Kew Botanical Gardens, London. Kew is one of my most favorite places and this visit was exceptional because of the Hive, an installation by the artist Wolfgang Buttress. He was inspired by the work of Dr. Martin Bescik of Nottingham Trent University. Dr. Bescik has developed technology to monitor the health of beehives.

The Hive is linked to local Kew beehives which cause LED lights to flicker in time with the vibrations created in the hives. You can also hear the buzz of the hive which goes from a soft hum up to a loud bee crescendo at times, it was a truly unique feeling, as if being inside a giant hive. The Hive is surrounded by a meadow of British wild flowers and bees, lots of them. Their are guides that talk about the need to protect pollinators and the life of bees. Some propolis was passed around in a cup, it smelled a bit medicinal and also slightly of Marmite. Apparently the bees use it to seal their hives, making them watertight and impenetrable. If a mouse enters the hive, the bees kill it and then wrap it in propolis, preserving and mummifying it, keeping it from polluting their hive. All interesting stuff to a bee lover like me. I was in bee heaven.