Despite being vital for biodiversity and for producing food, bees are at real risk. So much so that environmental groups estimate that almost 40% of Europe’s populations are in decline. Hence the importance of advancing education about the value of this species, for example through observation hives. To offer more options to those who choose this path of awareness, a couple of experts have designed BEEcosystem, the first modular hive that expands horizontally and that can be installed both indoors and outdoors.
Contributing to make these pollinators more accessible to anyone is the purpose for which this proposal arises, which, as seen in the images, breaks with the classic vertical system. Maintaining the modularity of this type of installation, BEEcosystem is committed to its placement on walls horizontally, through hexagonal structures 53 centimeters long, 45 high and 15 deep. In addition, the weight of each of these modules is less than 5.5 kilos.
With this design Mike Zaengle and Dustin Betz, experts in urban farm architecture and biology, respectively, update their first commercial prototype, launched in 2017. Just a year later, these young people have activated a crowdfunding campaign with which they intend to gather support so that the new proposal enters the production phase. In addition, both are trying to give force to another initiative. It is an ambassador program that, through a platform, puts experienced beekeepers in contact with those who are taking their first steps in a field that has a full impact on the protection of bees.
While they continue to shape this network of beekeepers, the couple has incorporated novelties that attract attention to their new hive. Thus, in addition to breaking trends with its horizontal structure, BEEcosystem surprises with the way in which the different hexagonal boxes are assembled. Thus, a patent pending magnetic connection system allows modules to be attached simply by sliding them. In addition to the obvious ease of carrying out the operation, the method guarantees the safety of the structure. “It offers comfort and inner peace , ” they say.
Another outstanding novelty of this hive is that it can be opened from the front face, instead of the back. The advance is significant since, thus, it will no longer be necessary to move it to carry out maintenance operations. In addition, the system includes an automatic closing mechanism and eliminates the need to drill the hive to install the conduit through which the bees enter and leave the hive. Faced with this alternative, BEEcosystem includes a non-invasive transfer channel that guarantees the movement of pollinators.
A powerful insulator, an interior cleaning drawer to facilitate the removal of wax and any debris, a simplified mechanism to feed the bees, and a cover that filters the entry of red light and, thus, favors the rest of the colony during the night, they are other novelties of this hive. With it, according to its promoters, a new standard is set with which they simply hope to arouse more interest in bees and, thus, guarantee their survival, with all that that implies.