Thursday, October 25, 2012

And Now, the Answer to Those Clues. Presenting: Episode #1!

Are you ready to discover what those four clues were building up to? Get ready for...Elevator B!

Here are a few more facts about this project:

Silo City is a group of grain elevators and warehouses in Buffalo, New York. In the 1930s and ‘40s, barges would bring wheat from farms in the Midwest. They traveled across the Great Lakes and into Buffalo’s harbor. There, grain elevators would scoop the wheat up; they did this with a series of buckets that were attached to a conveyor belt. The wheat would be stored inside these elevators.  Later, it would be shipped along the Erie Canal to other parts of New York State. Some of it would even be shipped across the ocean to Europe.

Silo City was largely abandoned for many years. But in 2006, a man named Rick Smith bought some of its buildings. (His company, Rigidized Metals, actually made the stamped panels you see in the film.) When he discovered bees living in one of them, he knew he wanted the bees moved, unharmed. He wanted people to be able to see the bees up close, to study them.

So, he held a competition with the University of Buffalo. Ten teams of architecture students competed to be able to build their design for a new bee house. The winning Elevator B team was made up of five students: Courtney Creenan, Kyle Mastalinski, Daniel Nead, Scott Selin, and Lisa Stern. Not only did they design this 22-foot tower, they spent 3 weeks making it themselves. It was installed in the summer of 2012.

Many people have come to see the bees’ new home. And from all reports, the bees love their new digs!

To find out more about the project visit the hive city site.

All photos and footage courtesy of Courtney Creenan & Kyle Mastalinski.

Special thanks for this episode to Joyce Hwang, Anne Seidlitz & Amy Sirot. And of course, to Ada Grazia Cowan!


  1. Awesome! Those bees must get so cold in Buffalo, though! Brrr!

  2. Dear "Robert": Never fear, Elevator B was designed to be nice and snug!

  3. was that a glove they were making honeycomb in?

  4. Hi Ben! No, the bees are making the honeycomb right inside the bee cab, which is that hexagonal wooden box in the center of the tower. It was just a big, open space when they started, so the honeycomb is freeform and wonky looking - but I think really COOL! What do you think? Inside bee boxes that beekeepers normally use these days, there are flat wooden frames that the bees start to make honeycomb on; since these frames are, as I mentioned, flat, they honeycomb stays very orderly looking. Unlike here. The disadvantage to this is that the honey from the bee cab cannot be harvested without destroying the bee's home.