Skyscraper for bees

Erected amongst a desolate group of disused grain silos beside the Buffalo River, the seven-metre tower provides a new hive for honey bees that had formerly taken up residence in the boarded-up window of an old office block.

The tower is clad with a honeycomb of hexagonal steel panels. Triangular perforations speckle the surfaces, allowing light to filter gently inside.

The bees are housed in a hexagonal wooden box suspended near the top of the tower. The base of the box is glazed so visitors can enter the tower and look up into the hive.

The box is also attached to a system of pulleys so that beekeepers can bring it safely down to ground for maintenance tasks. University at Buffalo students Courtney Creenan, Kyle Mastalinski, Daniel Nead, Lisa Stern and Scott Selin named the project Elevator B, as a reference to this mechanism.

The tower represents the winning entry of the university's Hive City competition, which asked students to design a habitat for the bees. Other entries included a wooden cube and a geodesic dome.


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