Jun 16th. 2015

Guest Blog – The Architecture of Bees

On my first visit to the old Skip Garden site. I knew almost nothing about bees let alone of the honey kind. However, the level of enthusiasm within the Honey Club led me to explore what all the fuss was about.

I soon learned that bees don’t act as one, but as a collective. A 50,000 strong colony is like mega-organism, within which every member plays a specific role that they’re perfectly suited for. In order to maintain their survival.

The more I learned my fascination grew. I couldn’t comprehend that a Queen bee can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day. Their importance isn’t fully appreciated, having learned that Worker bees pollinate a third of the food that we eat.

However what interested me the most was the ominous “buzzing” sound they created in the hive. They constantly vibrate their wings at a particular frequency that’s audible for us to hear.

Months of research, drawing, modelling and planning permission has led towards designing something unique. I thought of using their “buzzing” sound to connect people to the bees.

On top of a portacabin roof in the new Skip Garden site. I’m currently building a massive sound horn that extends from inside a bee hive and amplifies the buzzing created by the bees. Outside the portacabin you’ll be able to hear a colony in action.

Also, a sound capsule that extends from another bee hive overthrown edge of the portacabin to ground level will create a unique experience.

Derived from the shape of a queen cell, you’ll be able to sit inside this dark and cramped space. You’ll literally feel like you’re in a bee hive as you hear the echoes of the busy bees.

Soon enough, members of the Honey Club and those who visit the Skip Garden can come and experience my project for themselves!

Richard Aina, The Bartlett School of Architecture