Beehive – University Design Project

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  • #2348
    Profile photo of Sandra Pak
    Sandra Pak
    Member

    I am currently a
    student at Loughborough University, studying Industrial Design &
    Technology. For my final year project I am thinking about designing a
    innovative beehive that is aimed at the urban/suburban environment,
    with the intention of making the activity less daunting and more
    attractive to novices.

    I would appreciate your
    views and any suggestions you may have regarding my project.

    Many thanks

    Chris.

    Bee

    #2349
    Profile photo of ThePath
    ThePath
    Keymaster

    Hi Chris,

    Thats sounds cool. I think the beehaus hives and top bar hives were trying to be innovative in the respect of design and usability. Im sure I saw hives made of polystyrene before too.

    I think the core of your idea is why is it daunting to beginners. Personally I think its a general fear of things buzzing around you that can sting you and cause pain, can a hive design counteract this? Nope so you would move on to the next daunting thing……I guess its lack of knowledge.

    What about a hive that makes it easy for beginners in terms of knowledge and usability. So something that takes a bit of the necessary studying away…….what about a hive that is already the required level off the ground (i.e. on legs…simple but havent seen any doing this apart from top bars etc), you could also incorporate a simple diagram (maybe ingrained in the wood) that shows the best direction to point the hive entrance etc. From a usuability point of view my experience is that the lugs of the frames can be a pain to handle and normally result in squashed bees. Perhaps clip handles or little knobs ontop of the frames (then they would have to be sunken more into the super or Bbox).

    I just had a thought and it sounds a bit silly but if we look at the average age of a beekeeper they are getting on a bit its fair to say. When working with full frames they can be damn heavy, I wonder if this heavy work puts the frailer or less strong old beekeepers off continuing with their beekeeping. Perhaps creating a hive designed to create less heavy (bent over) work would benefit the older beekeeper.

    Mmmm what else Ive always liked the idea of a hive that has a built in thermometer gauging inside and outside temps. Id also like the sides of a hive to be removable like an outer skin revealing a see-through (perspex perhaps) inner hive where I can examine the bees without disturbing them at all! (so I mean any side can be simply lifted out to reveal the see-through inner hive).

    Im a bit of a techy so Id like atechnologically advanced hive. The temperature thing could be linked to an alarm system so if gets to hot or cold you will know. You could also have a built in (removable) feeder which could also be alarmed to alert you of low stocks! Anything that would save you time and help you manage the bees better would be a plus in my book.

    Hope that gives you some ideas and you get some others, feel free to bounce some ideas off me and discuss the ones above.

    Dude


    Help make this the best beekeeping website!
    #2350
    Profile photo of ThePath
    ThePath
    Keymaster

    Also wanted a wireless hive-cam! Have it stream direct to my laptop!


    Help make this the best beekeeping website!
    #2351

    ‘The Path’ has some good ideas, but could there ever be a form of hive where honey could be extracted on a ‘conveyor belt’ system ie bees in one end, and honey out of the other ??? as we know, bees have to have specific areas, Brood,storage and overflow storage (Ie supers) If we leave brood untouched, our bees tend to glue everything up with propolis, we are unanle to check their health etc etc, but the super areas are a place where real innovation could prehaps take place. As the ‘Path’ said, many new beekeepers are afraid of being stung (me too). We wear good protective clothing to minimise this, but I have seen new apprentices shy away from the bees. Could a study of noise or other media be made to keep the bees away from beekeepers ??? Each inspection probably kills more than 100 bees as some are crushed, others ‘sting’ our suits etc.

    Good luck, I hope you will keep us up to date with your studies.

    #2352
    Profile photo of Sandra Pak
    Sandra Pak
    Member

    Thank you very much for this feedback guys, I didn’t think I would get such detailed responses.

    And I shall certainly keep you up to date with my progress during this project and my ask for your views once again at the evaluation stage.

    Many thanks.

    Chris.

    Big Smile

    #2353
    Profile photo of ThePath
    ThePath
    Keymaster

    Cool well if I think of anything else then I will let you know.

    You should go to a local beekeeping meeting or course and ask what would make peoples lives easier. Im sure you will get loads of ideas.

    Dude


    Help make this the best beekeeping website!
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