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The Hive at Kew Gardens

The Hive | Kew Gardens (Partner Content)

On the off chance that you’ve been looking for an additional reason to spend the summer frolicking in London’s beautiful, sun-drenched Kew Gardens…

…it now contains a gigantic, walk-in beehive.

Additional reason found.

The 17 metres and 40 tons of aluminum lattice beehive has been constructed from 170,000 individual parts; it’s located in the middle of a wild flower meadow; and it contains a hollow spherical centre that you’re going to walk into.

Why? Because –


They’ve rigged the interior with a thousand LEDs, all of which are hooked up to a real beehive behind the scenes. Inside that beehive, they’ve placed micro accelerometers which will read the activity of the bees themselves, converting their vibrational movement into lighting effects, and allowing the interior of The Hive to become a real time visual representation of the bee colony’s activity.


In addition to the slick lighting, there’s also a meditative, deep, ambient soundscape that “hums” in real time along with the bees. It’s written & performed in the key of C, because that’s the key bees apparently buzz in (no, it’s not B. Way to mess that one up, nature).


Sadly you’ll find no actual honey inside The Hive – unless you bring your own along, which would be weird. You will, however, find some very sweet ”Hive Explainers” under The Hive who’ll be keen to tell you anything you want to know about our little pollen-happy friends, and there’ll also be a whole calendar of short films, workshops, shows, and talks by horticulturalists, beekeepers and scientists…

…plus at least one Kew & A.

NOTE: The Hive opens to the public on the 18th of June, and entry to the installation is included with day entry to Kew. You can find out more right HERE


Like being in the loop about London’s newest bar and restaurant openings? Check out our excellent guide to new bars in London and new restaurants in London.


Image: Mark Hadden

The Hive at Kew Gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, West London, W9 3AB

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