Our apiary designs for the Bristol branch of the Avon Beekeeper’s Association have been approved by South Gloucestershire Council, and have since won a distinction award at the 2015 Vita Bee Health Initiative awards.
The new apiary will replace a dilapidated structure that the beekeepers are currently operating out of near Cribbs Causeway and give them additional space and improved facilities. Located in an orchard, the building needed to be simple and robust and meet the practical requirements of the beekeeping organisation which has seen its membership increase greatly in recent years.
In early discussions the idea of a lightweight, hexagonal, grid-shell structure was explored which, like honeycomb, has a natural geometric strength. Several handmade models were made to get the design of the roof right.
The structure will be constructed from timber and will be visible internally, an appropriately inspiring enclosure for the building which includes teaching spaces.
Externally the structure has a planted roof and trellis-wall, both providing further pollination potential for the many hives in the vicinity and helping the building blend into its orchard setting.
Stride Treglown’s Bristol offices have hives looked after by local beekeeper Peter McLaughlin, who is currently harvesting this year’s honey for distribution to staff. Urban areas are normally excellent sources for nectar, offering diverse foraging grounds with their many gardens and parks, and Bristol is no exception, which is often in contrast to the countryside today which can be dominated by single crops.