Innovation That Matters

Printable smart hive could save bees from dying out

Property & Construction

A downloadable and printable beehive that can be equipped with smart tech to help crowd-source data about the insects living inside has been developed.

Not everyone enjoys having bees in their back garden, but the insects’ pollination is vital to the global ecosystem and there has been a dramatic decrease in their number past few decades. Companies such as Bee Landing have in the past created handcrafted hives to encourage more homeowners to help the creatures thrive. Now the Open Source Beehives project, currently seeking funding on Indiegogo, has developed a downloadable and printable beehive that can be equipped with smart tech to help crowdsource data about the insects living inside.

The designs for the hives were created by a joint venture between Fab Lab Barcelona, the Open Tech Collaborative and Valldaura, based across Denver, Barcelona and Brussels. Those looking to help bees can either pledge USD 15 to download the files to print their own version of the Colorado Top Bar or Barcelona Warré hive, or pay USD 250 to have a flatpack version delivered to their home. For those wanting to take part in the project however, the USD 600 option will give them both a beehive and the sensor kit to install inside it. The kit measures a variety of factors, from air composition and temperature, to light intensity and sound levels. The data is sent over wifi and uploaded to the Open Source Beehives project’s servers, accessible from an online platform and API service that lets citizen scientists configure their own data collecting activity. The information then helps the team investigate potential reasons for the bees’ dwindling numbers. The video below explains more about the project:


Are there other ways to get citizens involved in scientific projects to help speed up results that could benefit the environment?




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