As part of its Microbial Home concept, which we covered here, electronics giant Philips has unveiled a new way to keep bees in the city.
The Urban Beehive is a see-through version of a hive, which can also be hung up on a wall rather than kept on the ground.Philips states, "The design of the beehive is unconventional, appealing, and respects the natural behavior of the bees. It consists of two parts: entry passage and flower pot outside, and glass vessel containing an array of honeycomb frames, inside. The glass shell filters light to let through the orange wavelength which bees use for sight. The frames are provided with a honeycomb texture for bees to build their wax cells on. Smoke can be released into the hive to calm the bees before it is opened, in keeping with established practice."
I'm curious to see if a bee colony really would take to this kind of design, rather than to a hive that is opaque. If its possible to get them to like a brighter home, then it could be really interesting to be able to see into a hive. As Philips points out, it could be a great learning opportunity for people to understand how bees get their work done and how bees benefit an area through pollination. It could also be a design that encourages keeping bees in urban areas, which is something of a sticky topic as bee supporters work to make urban beekeeping accepted by cities that currently have it outlawed.
What do you think, beekeepers? A winning design, or back to the drawing boards?
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