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Distributed for Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Hive at Kew

As bee populations worldwide face alarming population declines, public awareness of the centrality of bees to the life cycle of plants is rapidly growing. The time couldn’t be better for a major piece of educational artwork designed to help people understand the lives and social structures of bees: The Hive.
Created by artist Wolfgang Buttress for the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo, the Hive now lives at Kew Gardens, where it soars fifty feet into the air, offering visitors to the Gcardens an immersive, multisensory experience rooted in the latest scientific research into the lives of bees. Visitors approach the giant lattice structure through a wildflower meadow—just as if they were bees returning home. Inside, the hive buzzes with activity: glowing LEDs shimmer through the space, while a symphony of orchestral sounds fill the air, as a soundscape of buzzes and pulses rumbles underneath. The result is an unforgettable simulation of life in the hive, and a potent reminder of the complexity of bee life.
This book celebrates the installation of the Hive through stunning photography and accounts of the artwork’s scientific underpinnings. It’s the perfect gift for any budding beekeeper.

96 pages | 150 color plates | 10 x 10 | © 2017

Art: British Art

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Table of Contents



The UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015: A Commissioner’s Perspective

Origin Stories: The Architecture of the Hive

The Hive at Kew

The Science behind the Hive

The Experience of Working on the Hive

Chronology: Wolfgang Buttress

Further Reading

Acknowledgments and Credits

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