Kew Gardens closes The Hive for "essential maintenance"

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew's popular attraction The Hive unexpectedly shut yesterday afternoon so contractors could undertake "essential maintenance".

The Hive at Kew Gardens. Credit: Skyvantage
The Hive at Kew Gardens. Credit: Skyvantage

The Hive, centrepiece of the gold-medal winning UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo, was erected in the west London botanical gardens in June and has proved a popular attraction.

Kew has not revealed the exact reason for the closure but a spokeswoman said yesterday: "The Hive has been closed due to essential maintenance work this afternoon, Tuesday 16 August. We are working as quickly as we can and aim to have The Hive open again for visitors to enjoy from tomorrow morning. Please check our website for further updates."

This morning the attraction has remained closed, with work by the construction company which built and manufactured The Hive, Stage One, running on longer than expected. Kew has said it will re-open The Hive as soon as possible.

The 17m-tall 40 tonne aluminium lattice structure designed by Wolfgang Buttress features hundreds of glowing LED lights and is an immersive, multi-sensory experience inspired by UK scientific research into the health of bees.

It is surrounded by a wildflower meadow, which aids understanding of the insects’ habitats and their significance for pollinators, and is meant to allow visitors to follow the route of a bee back to its hive, where they also hear the sounds of bees. Within the structure visitors learn about the role of bees and other pollinators in feeding the planet.

The Hive is due to remain at Kew until the end of 2017. Director Richard Deverell has praised its "magnificent aesthetic appeal and for the resonance it has with our work"

Kew held a Hive Late event on 9 August, with two more to follow on 1 and 15 September. Opening hours on both nights are 7pm to 10pm and no under 18s are admitted.

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