Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Bees in Elevator B(ee) - Buffalo NY

By Carol Kagan, Franklin County Master Gardener

We went north to see the elk, scooted up to Niagara Falls and, in support of my October photo club assignment – SILOS – stopped at Silo City in Buffalo, NY.

It turns out this is a collection of grain elevators on Childs Street owned by Rick Smith of Rigidized Metals Corp. who dubbed the site "Silo City." A number of art festivals and events are held here.

Not really silos - but then there’s Elevator B(ee).
Elevator B
Silo City in Buffalo NY: Excerpts from Elevator B @ Hive City, by Queenseyes in Buffalo Rising

"[Rick Smith] came upon a massive bee colony lodged inside the boarded up window of one of the office buildings. In order to see the transferal of the bee colony from the office building to another site at Silo City, it was decided to bring professors and students from the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning's Ecological Practices Research Group together to participate in a competition. The [winning] team came up with the concept of building a giant metal hive using plates fabricated at Rigidized Metals.
The design would allow for the bees to be kept inside a wood and glass compartment (referred to as a 'Bee Cab') that would travel up and down a 22' vertical structure. The crank driven 'Bee Cab' would give the beekeeper access to the colony so that he/she could tend to the bees as needed. The bee colony would also be locked securely, away from danger and the natural elements, while the individual bees would be allowed to pass through small cut-outs in order to come and go as they please. Positioning of the sun would be crucial (sun shading).

Looking up into the 'Bee Cab'
Another incredible feature actually allows viewers to walk inside the structure to view the bees when the 'Bee Cab' is elevated to the middle or top. In essence, the project would become an outdoor learning lab."

Here’s a video with more information about this unique solution to preserving pollinators.

For more information check these links:

Buffalo Architecture and History: Silo City



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  2. Love this post Carol! I'm interested to see how this turns out in the long run. I'm hoping the bees love it and it's an idea that will catch on. Thanks for sharing!