The Hive is the latest permanent installation at Kew Gardens. Originally created for the British Pavilion at a recent Milan Expo, The Hive is part architectural ‘folly’, in the sense of an creation in the landscape to view and visit, and part science exhibit on the critical role of bees in pollination and hence food production.
The core of the installation is a complex metal metric which forms a large two-storey hive-shaped object, surrounded by a wild flower meadow. Throughout the structure are many thousands of LEDs which flicker in a manner seemingly driven by the level of communications activity in one of Kew’s own beehives (measured how is not explained). Inside the hive the installation gives off a harmonic background hum which I guess also reflects the activities of bees.
It all sounds a little too self-righteous and worthy to be much fun, but actually it is an interesting structure to visit. It would not perhaps justify a visit to Kew but should certainly be on the agenda if you are there.