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Our bees light up

10 Jul 2019

Our bees light up Image

Eureka Tower’s famous, and now growing, colony of gold bees now comes alive at night, thanks to the addition of new lighting.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp helped light up the colony on the side of our tallest tower during a special grand opening of its newly-renovated foyer on June 6.

The unveiling of the new-look entrance, which was designed by the same architects that created the tower itself in Karl Fender and Nonda Katsalidis, was topped off when the Lord Mayor switched on the lights by hitting a novelty button.

And in a sign of the tower’s love affair with its insect friends, a new giant bee has been added to the building, which now greets residents and visitors at the entrance.

Karl Fender and Nonda Katsalidis, who also reside in the building, said they managed to “squeeze another bee” out of artist Richard Stringer, who designed the original colony that had become a much-loved feature of the building since its installation in 2007.

And as Mr Fender explained to residents on the night of the unveiling, the bees were “starting to leave home!”

“We work over the road,” Mr Fender said. “We walk to work backwards and forwards every day and every day we do it we see people taking photographs of the bees. They’ve become such a Melbourne tourist attraction.”

“This new bee is wonderful because you can get close to it and see the artistry that has gone into making it. They’re beautiful things.”

“Actually, they’re so good that we’re going to put another bee over the road at 2 Riverside Quay, so the bees are now starting to leave home. To get that bee out of Richard Stringer was quite an effort because he’s done a lot of bees.”

“He [Richard] says: ‘I don’t think I’ve got another bee left in me’. But, he’s got face up to the fact that after that bee there is no doubt city council will say ‘Richard, we want a bee on Town Hall, on the railway station on the library, the museum’ … the bees will become a symbol of Melbourne … thank you Richard!”

The Lord Mayor said that the city was very proud of Eureka Tower and the civic space it had created for people to enjoy public art.

“These are the spaces where people come to interact and really weave the fabric that becomes that special personality and identity that is Melbourne,” Cr Capp said.

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