One of my recently discovered favorite spots in London: The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew; London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site offering unique landscapes. It’s their mission to be the global resource for plant and fungal knowledge, building an understanding of the world’s plants and fungi upon which all our lives depends.

Sometimes you can say more when you talk and whisper, instead of when you shout.

Wolfgang Buttress

The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew currently has a new must-see/feel/hear experience: The Hive, an immersive sound and visual experience set in a wildflower meadow to highlight the extraordinary life of bees. It is designed by the UK artist Wolfgang Buttress. Thousands of aluminium threads fitted with hundreds of LED lights connected to a real bee hive at Kew to create real-time sights and sounds. Basically, the lights you see and the sounds you hear inside The Hive are triggered by the bee activity (how?).

“Honey bees communicate through smells and vibration; different pulses translate into different messages. Installed with The Hive are around 1000 LED lights which connect to one of Kew’s beehives. The illumination of lights represent the bees’ ‘communications’ and the vibrational changes occurring within Kew’s hive. This fascinating phenomenon is achieved through the use of accelerometers that detect vibrations caused by sounds of honey bee vibrations and has been pioneered by Dr. Marin Bencsik of Nottingham Trent University. Accompanying this dazzling display is a beautiful symphony of orchestral sounds performed in the key of C – the same key that bees buzz in. Together, the sound and light swell and diminish as the energy levels in Kew’s beehive surge.” – source: Kew

Since I find bees very fascinating, experiencing this was really amazing! And I did learn new things about bees. If you want to know more about The Hive you can go to Kew.com and read all about it. If you are in London, go visit Kew. It’s an amazing place and definitely worth visiting. I’ve been there twice so far, and it keeps surprising me.