Between the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder and pesticide poisoning, it's been a rough few years for bees. According to recent estimates from the Department of Agriculture, around ten million hives have been lost over the past seven years.
The ecological tragedy is being met with all sorts of innovative approaches to creating new bee habitats. The latest, designed by students at the University of Buffalo’s School of Architecture, is a sort of skyscraper for bees. Elevator B is 22-foot honeycomb steel tower that gives a new home to a colony of bees living in an abandoned office building in the city. The tower is clad with a honeycomb of hexagonal steel panels, perforated with triangular holes that allow light to filter inside.
Elevator B has become an important teaching tool for the city. "It sparks children to learn and adults to reconsider what they thought they knew," explain the design team. "This includes the designers themselves, who have not only designed for the needs of their clients but have become inspired to become advocates for them as well."