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A steel tower that University at Buffalo students designed and built to house a colony of bees in Silo City’s Elevator B won the Azure 2013 AZ Award for Design Excellence in the category of “Best Student Work.”

The bee project tower was one of 14 winners named by the design magazine among the 677 entrees from 38 countries.

The student project also was the Jury Award winner in the Student Design/Build Project category of the Architizer A+ awards and was locally recognized with the Buffalo Architecture Foundation’s 2012 Pro Bono Publico Award in Design Excellence.

Erected last year, the 22-foot tower is sheathed in perforated stainless steel panels with a hexagonal “bee cab” to protect the bees.

It can be lowered so that beekeepers can tend to the colony, and visitors can observe them through the cab’s glass bottom.