A Skyscraper for Honey Bees (PHOTOS)

Posted by Rapti Gupta on May 08, 2013 09:44 AM EDT
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Barry B. Benson in the 2007 "Bee Movie" says:

"Listen everyone. This runway is covered with the last pollen from the last flowers available anywhere on Earth. That means this is our last chance. We're the only ones who make honey, pollinate flowers, and dress like this. If we're going to survive as a species, this is our moment. So what do you all say? Are we going to be bees, or just Museum of Natural History key chains?"

And six years later, a group of architecture students in Buffalo seem to have woken up to the call of Bee Benson. To preserve and make bee maintenance easy, they have designed and built a skyscraper for the winged sweet-makers.

On the banks of the Buffalo River, amid a group of unused grain silos, stands a "bee-tastic" seven feet tall structure that is home to thousands of honey-bees that had once called a boarded-up window of an old office tower their home. The structure is the winning design for the bee-home designing "Hive City" competition that was held by the University of Buffalo's School of Architecture.

According to Dezeen, the tower is made of steel and clad with hexagon shaped panels. Tiny triangular spokes allow light to gently seep into the structure. The bees are housed high up in a hexagon shaped wooden box, which is suspended via a pulley. The base of the box is glazed so that visitors can enter the structure and 'say hello' to the bees. The pulley helps bee keepers pull the box down for maintenance.

The feature at Dezeen reads:

"This "beecab" provides protection, warmth and separates entry access between bees and humans. Visitors are able to enter the tower, stand below the cypress beecab and look up to view the colony of bees behind glass, similar to an ant farm, as they build their hive. Beekeepers gain access to the hive by lowering it, allowing them to ensure the health and safety of the bees. This feature also caters to the school groups that visit the site, encouraging children to get a close up view."

The structure has been appreciated by the city. The "beecab" has been a popular spot for school field trips and a great photography location too.

Read more on the importance of bees, here.

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