A Hive Of Activity

Back in June we posted news that Wildflower Turf were proudly involved in the magnificent installation that is The Hive. And we’re thrilled to announce that the project has recently been shortlisted  in the ‘Design for a Temporary Landscape’ category at the prestigious Landscape Institute Awards.

So what’s the buzz on The Hive? Situated in Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, The Hive is a 17-metre-high aluminium latticed structure that aims to raise awareness of the rapid decline of the world’s bee population.

Visitors to The Hive are first met with a lush and healthy wildflower meadow grown and supplied by Wildflower Turf Ltd. The link between the value of wildflower meadows in providing a haven for pollinators cannot be underestimated, and meadows play a vital part in supporting the ecosystem of bees.
To achieve the attractive, natural entrance to The Hive, both Landscape Turf and Border Turf were utilised within the surrounding garden, with a mix of non-native and native perennial wildflowers adding to the array of colour and biodiversity. If you visit now, however, you will see the wildflowers are at the end of their growing season and are soon to be cut down and removed, in readiness to over-winter.

Once inside The Hive, the multi-sensory elements of the incredible structure create an insight into life inside a bee colony. Hundreds of LED lights glow and fade while buzzes and hums emanate. The experience is further enriched as the intensity of the light and sound experience alters based on the activity of a real, behind-the-scenes bee-hive at Kew. The linked bee-hive contains 40,000 bees, and the experience of sharing their hive is one not to be missed.

With EU research revealing that 29% of British honey bee colonies died in the 2012/13 winter alone, this initiative to raise the profile of the importance of pollinators to our future food security is a tangible and powerful piece of messaging.

DEFRA’s National Pollinator Strategy recommend the following steps as a means of utilising Wildflowers to help to halt the decline of bee populations.

  • Plant for pollinators. Grow more native, nectar and pollen rich flowers, shrubs and trees.
  • Leave patches of your garden to grow wild and leave some areas undisturbed as much as possible to allow for insect nests and hibernation spots.
  • Cut grass less often and if possible remove the cuttings after you mow longer grass to allow plants to flower.

The Hive will remain a key feature at Kew until the end of 2017 and we hope that this amazing initiative will inspire more people to support our pollinators and consider adding wildflowers to their gardens and land.