21 May 2019

A stunning tunnel of flowers designed by McQueens Flowers has been opened at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The BBKA is being supported by McQueens at the show and celebrity chef Marcus Wareing, who is also a beekeeper ,has designed a special honey menu with honey from his hives which will be served throughout the week with proceeds being shared with us. 

Honey, I'm home! is the title of the installation which invites visitors to help create a swarm of giant honeybees flying home to their hive. The will then pass through a 20m long by 7m wide dark immersive tunnel Per Oculus Apum  ( Through the Eyes of Bees ) complete with upside down lavender field. Both are designed to open visitor's minds to how bees see the world and to raise awareness of the recent reported decline of several bee species. 

Visitors will find out how bees see flowers in ultra-violet and there will be a soundscape of electrostatic patters that help guide bees to the flowers which is taken from the electric potential of a petunia plant over time as a bee comes in to land. 

London perfumer Miller Harris will be providing honey scents that will waft around the tunnel too. 

Dr David Lawson, Bee behaviourist at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol was consulted to give insight into bees behaviour and their relationship to flowers. He said: "It's fantastic to be part of a project that communicated the rich sensory world that bees experience as they navigate their environment. Considering the ongoing decline in bee populations, I commend McQueens for shedding light on the plight of bees and bringing attention to their hidden perceptual world." 

It took 23 members of the McQueens Flower School five days to bring the design to life. 2,500 plants were used and 6,000 Craspedia stems and 6,000 leaves will be used to make the bees the public will design. 

On the first day of the bee making #McQueensflowers shared this lovely photo of a Chelsea Pensioner making a bee. All the bees made over the week will be added to a special honeycomb structure created at the entrance to the tunnel of flowers. This can be walked through and contains information about the need to help bees and all our pollinators.