Lonely Planet Writer

In Pictures: stunning sculpture The Hive at Kew Gardens celebrates honey bees

A beautiful structure that highlights the importance of honey bees through an immersive sound and visual experience is on display now at Kew Gardens in London.

The stunning structure has hundreds of LED lights that accent it.
The stunning structure has hundreds of LED lights that accent it. Image by Jim Dyson/Getty Images
The structure is 17-metres tall and weighs 40 tonnes.
The structure is 17-metres tall and weighs 40 tonnes. Image by Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Designed by UK based artist Wolfgang Buttress, The Hive is made from thousands of pieces of aluminium joined together to create a lattice effect and is fitted with hundreds of LED lights that glow and fade as a unique soundtrack hums and buzzes around visitors. Standing 17-metres high and weighing 40 tonnes, the multi-sensory structure is inspired by scientific research into the health of bees, aiming to highlight their unique role in nature.

The piece was designed by UK based artist Wolfgang Buttress.
The piece was designed by UK based artist Wolfgang Buttress. Image by Jim Dyson/Getty Images
Originally created as the centrepiece of the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo, The Hive will be open throughout winter and into next year.
Originally created as the centrepiece of the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo, The Hive will be open throughout winter and into next year. Image by Image by Jim Dyson/Getty Images

The exhibit was originally created as the centrepiece of the UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo, and is now on display in the picturesque Kew Gardens. The structure officially opened at the new location this summer, with a series of talks and tours being held to help visitors learn more about the lives of bees. From 30 October on, The Hive will open for visitors until 4.15pm each evening, allowing guests the chance to experience the beautiful glowing lights as the evenings get darker.

The structure aims to educate visitors about the unique role of honeybees in nature by offering an immersive multi-sensory experience.
The structure aims to educate visitors about the unique role of honeybees in nature by offering an immersive multi-sensory experience. Image by Jim Dyson/Getty Images
Opening of The Hive is weather dependent due to its open air design.
Opening of The Hive is weather dependent due to its open air design. Image by Jim Dyson/Getty Images

As it is an open-air exhibition, the opening of The Hive is weather dependant with the structure due to feature in the gardens through to the end of 2017. Entry to the exhibition is included in a day admission ticket to the gardens.

More information about visiting The Hive is available at the Kew Gardens website.