Happy Bees — Alternative Beehive

ECAL / Fabien Roy

This project takes place in the context of the decline of the bees. According to the scientists, the bees population has known a huge decrease these twenty last years. The causes are notably the phytosanitary treatments used in agriculture especially the neonicotinoids but also some deseases and a parasite called “varroa”.

The standards beehives used in beekeeping are built with the aim to maximise the honey production without really considering the comfort of the bees. These shelters which are very far to the natural habitat of the bees, weaken them by disturbing their metabolism.

My project propose an alternative beehive targeting users who are looking for a product focused on the comfort of the bees more than the yield of honey. In addition, this beehive is designed to facilitate the bees transhumance. This practice is very effective to move the bees far away the field during the period of treatments. Furthermore, it is really positive to increase the pollination and thus the biodiversity.

Concretely, this beehive aims to reproduce the natural habitats of the bees which are often made of tree trunks. By getting closer to their growing conditions, bee metabolism is less disturbed and thus increase their ability to react to different aggressive factors.

Because the circular shape is most compact than the square for the same surface, this cylindrical structure is the most efficient to save the warmth. The bees are able to keep the temperature inside the beehive at 20 °C without spending too much energy.

The envelope is made of expanded granulates cork bound together by the natural resin contained in this material. This material is an excellent thermal insulator, rotproof, waterproof and its weight is very light. In addition it avoids the condensation inside the beehive (so dreaded by bees) and makes the hive light for its manual transport.

A strap system with handle keeps the elements together but also allows the manual transport for bees transhumance from the apiary to the vehicle.  A stackable legs system makes the hive compact and easy to transport.

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