With an aim to “help reconnect individuals with the nature of food,” eco-driven designers Dustin Betz and Mike Zaengle created BEEcosystem, a modular observation beehive. The hexagonal honeycomb-inspired structure can be mounted to walls (indoors or outdoors) and features a see-through front so that users can watch and learn about their resident honeybees. Unlike existing, fixed-sized observation hives, the BEEcosystem is modular, allowing the user to expand their hive by attaching additional magnetic HexHive bodies.
The connection points of each magnetic hive features sliding ventilation screens that open into “crawlways” that allow the bees to move freely. The BEEcosystem also features a transfer tube that the bees can use to come and go from between indoors and outdoors. A feeder at the top can be used for supplementing the hive when necessary, and a top bar can be removed to harvest honey.
Bees play a vital role to our global food system and, as pollinators, they’re to thank for one out of every three bites of food we eat. Most crops grown for their fruit and vegetables are completely reliant on the insect for production. However, with 3.5 million less beehives than there were in 1947, bees are declining in record numbers due to a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder. The BEEcosystem designers hope that they can “build a community, a ‘hive mind’ of beekeepers who can support one another through sharing industry best-practices and educational outreach strategies.”
For those who want to support the BEEcosystem cause, but lack the necessary beekeeping knowledge and skills, Betz and Zaengle have set up a new ambassador program. The project enables beekeeping experts to visit potential customers such as restaurants, hotels, and education centers to teach them how to care for their beehives.
Find our more about BEEcosystem on their website.