Bee Honey Garden - Design

date: 13 May 2013
The experience of nature is a major point in our design of new nature reserves and landscape parks. It is the key to social involvement of people with landscape and nature. The desired effect? After visiting these landscapes and parks people look differently against nature: however small or large, they had an extraordinary nature experience they will not soon forget. In Ackerdijkse Bos (Ackerdijkse Forest) such an experience is in the making.

The Ackerdijkse Bos is a recreational area south of Delft. The art and culture center World Art Delft is located in the Ackerdijkse Bos and is building a Culture Park. Situated in the park is the Melarium, a building intended to help (keeping) bees: it provides space for eight bee colonies and doubles as a center for education. Provincie Zuid-Holland asked LOLA to design its surroundings.

Bees can only live here if the environment of the Melarium creates the right conditions for them: the Honey Garden will consist entirely of flowers, herbs and trees attractive to bees, providing the bees with nectar all year long. This way the Honey Garden gets a direct relationship with the Melarium. The types of herbs and flowers will determine the behavior and welfare of the bees and the taste of the honey.

Not only does the surrounding landscape serves the bees, for the visitor the Honey Garden is an experience in itself, a celebration of nature. The referred landscape experience is in the spirit of all insects, flowers and animals that are part of the honey cycle. Why? Because this may be a sublime nature experience for visitors, which involves them in the value of the landscape and gives sense to the role of bees for nature.

The world according to the bee is quite grainy and colored differently: the bee can not see red, but ultraviolet light, unlike many species who see only black and white. Flowers that are pollinated by bees also make use of the fact that the bees can detect ultraviolet light. The design around the Melarium gets with this data an extra perception layer. By placing a UV-scope on the Melarium the visitor can experience the landscape through the "eyes" of the bee. This way the design around the Melarium offers an unique landscape perception that is experienced only in the Ackerdijkse Bos.
UV-scopes are provided in the garden
The special UV-scope makes it possible to see the flowers as the bees do
Normal view and ultraviolet view
The garden provides a surplus of nectar-rich flowers for bees
The gardens have a long flowering season the make life easy for the bees
Hydro seeding makes a quick result possible
The honey produced can be sold at the highway service stop
Three Honey-gardens surround the Melarium
The natural ridge in the landscape is enhanced by a stretched Honey-garden
View on one of three honey-gardens
View on the stretched honey garden on the ridge
UV-scopes are provided in the garden
UV-scopes are provided in the garden

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