One of my goals in life is to have a bee colony, so I can produce honey, pollinate the neighborhood and help out this country's amazing but threatened honeybees. Obviously this is a much greater logistical challenge than keeping other creatures, which is why I have no bees at present. But this new concept from Philips could make it a lot easier, by simply glomming a bee colony onto an apartment window.
The Urban Beehive was developed as part of Philips' new Microbial Home project, a self-sufficient closed-loop home concept that also features items like a methane digester and a plant-based effluent (read: toilet) filtration system. It's a design concept, so it's not exactly coming to a Home Depot near you. But it could, and maybe it should.
The Urban Beehive has two parts that attach to your apartment window: A white frontispiece with a flower pot and a small hole for bee entry, and an orange-hued glass inverted teardrop mounted inside your house. This way you can see the bees at work, and access their honey via a small spigot. The glass teardrop has an array of honeycomb frames for bees to build their wax cells, like existing honeybee colony kits do. The shell is orange to help the bees navigate, and there's a small hole for the urban beekeeper to release smoke inside, should the hive ever need to be opened (smoke chills out the bees). The city benefits from the bees' pollination work, and your apartment benefits from fresh honey and the pleasing effect of watching bees, Philips says.
It would be great if some of the beautiful green-design concepts in these pages would ever make it to market. If the beehive ever goes on sale, I'll be among the first to sign on the dotted line.
Here's a question from someone who clearly has no idea about keeping bees: Does one have to worry about filering said honey for bee doodies and other various droppings? I feel like gathering honey must be more difficult than this product description would lead you to believe.
I can definetly see this on a 1000 ways to die in the coming year... Bees + Apartment = a high five... to the face... with a chair.
" Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein
lmao @ Starchild_1
The people of the world only divide into two kinds, One sort with brains who hold no religion, The other with religion and no brain.
- Abu-al-Ala al-Marri
It looks pretty when its new, but I just do not think it's going to stay that way honey. ;)
My grandfather kept bees for several decades. When extracting honey from the comb he would get a small amount of pollen, wax and dead bee parts mixed in the honey. This unwanted material would be removed heating the honey and running it through a vacuum filter.
Given that it takes at least an acre or two of clover to properly support a honey producing hive I can not see this thing being more then visually interesting to the owner and a terror to the neighbors.
Bees generally do their buisness while flying but the windows might get alittle messy . Honey is capped in honeycomb pure and clean it is usually spun out or eaten still in the comb . The big problem is that bees go through a cycle that matches the seasons (flowers bloom in summer bees go dormant in winter) at their peak the hives grow in numbers and swarm when they outgrow their hives.
Honey bees "range "up to 2 miles so its not just the neighbors going to be pissed
I see your point. Now the problem is honey bees being natural, but if I attract a large quantity bees near my home and neighbors home and one person dies from a bee sting it has me curious of how or if the law can respond to this?
It’s like going out to sea and having friends go swimming off one side of the boat and I put bloody meat off the other side of the boat.
I see the potential for a law suit or more.
Leaf cutter bees would work they are smaller and dont sting
I think this is a way to domesticate a traditionally "farm or wild " creature and bring it to the condo living style .hobby beekeepers are one thing but this is aterrible idea unless green roofs and green spaces are expanded exponentially
Might be a way to actually save the worlds honey bee's from extinction. Most bees are used to pollinate by taking nests to various locations where pesticides and genetically altered farm plants are being raised.
I'm pretty sure that unfiltered honey is perfectly safe because of naturally occurring antimicrobial compounds that the bees make to prevent unwanted colonization of their food supply by fungi, yeasts, and bacteria.
For some areas I see this being practical, just make sure flowers etc are close by with plenty of polan (such as rooftop gardens). There is the issue of possibly needing cleaning now and then but it be ok. Also you can filter the honey through most non-died materials, mostly its just bee wax and dead bees that need be filtered, remember bee honey is naturally antibacterial so don't panic.
So ultimately this is good for people who are smart about it, and not so good for those who just go out and set one up without thinking first. The bees in general shouldn't be a issue, there are certain bees that will hunt you down and kill your family while there are some bees that will not even be able to sting you yet produce very good honey. I am sure the right selection will be made if anyone goes out looking to set one up.
In french cities(and probably elsewhere too)the urban bee colonies on top of buildings has already proven to be a success. This is an interesting more elegantly designed approach.
I have two beehives. i've been stung once only because i was being an a$$ to them on purpose (you know, to see scientifically what it would take to get that response. found out all it takes is a little spit on a stick and voila!)
It is the unknown that makes people afraid. Bees are pretty docile. And the honey is clean and dang good. The only problem I see with this design is : HOW DO YOU GET THE DANG HONEY?! The honey comb is capped. sealed. you cant just 'open a spigot' and out flows honey.
sooo, despite the beautiful appearance, this is not a user friendly design. only bee friendly.
and the bees clean house. they throw all the 'junk' out the entrance. that pretty little flower pot will soon be full of dead bees. dumb designer.
Your words seem like really good info.
Science sees no further than what it can sense.
Religion sees beyond the senses.
Until somebody like Charlie from its Always Sunny In Philadelphia tries to get honey from hornets lol.
My purpose in this world is knowledge and the dissemination of it, and it is I who is to restore the fruits of my labors to the entire world.
You would probably need a service contract with a bee expert with this to perform maintenance on it regularly. Or just use it as a tropical fish tank or turn it into a lava lamp or some other interesting device. Either way it sure looks stunning on a window.
LoL What next....Cows for Milk and Sheep for Wool.
Here's another question. How do you get the hole through a window? You could put up plexiglass in the screen but then you lose the use of that window. I doubt a land lord would overlook a hole put in their window. You can't just puddy over it.
Also, using smoke indoors doesn't sound like that hot of an idea. What happens when you set off the smoke detectors?
This is a great concept but, I don't see this getting past the concept phase. It would be great to have a ready supply of fresh honey though!
It's not easy harvesting honey! Though it would be a fun experience for kids. The coolest thing about this would be the value for children to watch and understand the bees, how their hives work, the importance of pollination, and how honey is produced in that process.
Something I considered though would be the impact of our day cycles with that of the bees. If it's in your home, how would our artificial lighting and occasional excessive noise affect the bees? Is the attempt to save the bee going to end up creating moody and unproductive bees, for a little household amusement?
Some people may think it is bee-utiful for now, I guess!
Science sees no further than what it can sense.
Religion sees beyond the senses.
The idea of making beekeeping accessible for folks in urban settings and assisting with declining bee populations is commendable. However, as a beekeeper this conceptual design is fraught with issues.
First, when you purchase a hive you generally purchase a colony of bees (and a queen) to populate your new hive. This is ALWAYS done in an outdoor setting. For truly urban settings I can see this as a real issue. One does not simply set up a hive and wait for the bees to come.
Secondly, bees produce honey as a food source. You can’t simply take is as you want it. They need the honey to survive in winter months when food sources are not available. If you take too much the colony will perish. Further, continued disturbance of the hive will result in low productivity and most likely swarming (bees will get fed up and move).
Thirdly, the hive is too small. During winter months bees huddle together and form a “bee ball” around the queen. They vibrate their wing muscles to generate heat. A hive stays in the upper 90s even when the temperature outside is freezing. Cool huh? However, you need a large enough population of bees to create enough warmth. The design does not address this and ambient hive from inside the home will not be sufficient.
Fourthly, bees need ventilation within the hive. The design does not allow for this and condensation will build up inside the hive due the temperature gradient. The hive will be wet. The bees won’t be happy.
Lastly, harvesting honey is never done indoors, as would be required with this design. True, you do smoke the bees to calm them down, but trust me, they do not always stay on the comb and frames within the hive. Do you really want to open your apartment or home to several thousand bees with no way to contain them?
Very Cool! I wonder what I would do when winter arrives. Do bees hibernate?
Thank you for pointing out the necessary "honey due" list.
That hive wouldn't be legal in some countries, as the frames would not be easily removable. If you can't remove the frames you can't check for diseases, such as American foul brood, or infestations, such as varoa.
This hive might look pretty, but it is not practical. There is a reason that hives are rectangular boxes. Bee hives use a standard frame size so that the frames can be removed and replaced in other hives, or into honey extractors.
I am also a beekeeper. JMP and NOM are correct.
It is a beautiful object, but the worst idea for a beehive I've ever seen.
In the United States it would be illegal in all 50 states as moveable frames are required so state inspectors can check for disease and so forth.
Bees will not build comb on the side like that. They will only be happy hanging their comb from the top. If foundation is used it must be vertical, not slanted.
Ventilation is a must.
Bees will often abscond (abandon) from an enclosure where light is visible to them from above.
The size of the colony is insufficient, and as JMP says, this would be an issue. There needs to be a way to feed the bees due to the small size and due to artificially warm winter temperatures which would cause them to go through winter stores too quickly.
The idea that you would maintain the hive from inside is ludicrous. All good observation hives will be designed so that they may be carried outside for maintenance.
Search for "observation hive" to see how beekeepers design these things.
The entrance looks too small to me also. Though occasionally beekeepers will have tiny entrances for certain reasons, I would expect something like a 1 inch or so entrance would be sufficient, maybe 2.5 to 3cm if you prefer metric.
To be very clear, in most cases, rather than harvesting honey from an observation hive, you will need to feed them in the winter.
If the myriad design flaws were corrected the bees would be pets and pollinators only.
I also have 2 managed bee hives. I also have one wild hive in my front yard. It is about 4 feet above the heads of those who walk by. The bees bother no one. If I do not say anything, no one knows they are there. They have been our guests for 10 years now. The beauty of the one in my neighborhood is that these bees are not subject to monoculture farming, genetically modified plants and systemic pesticides. They live, multiply and swarm providing new colonies to help offset the great bee decline.
Honey bees help provide 80% of the vegetables that come to our tables. The only time I have been stung is when I am inspecting the hives which is basically tearing up their homes. They defend their home as we would defend ours. The bee is an amazing insect. There are plenty of videos on the internet which are just fascinating. When honey bees are out foraging for food, they are not interested in stinging any one. If you leave them alone they will do the same. Even when one buzzes around your head, if you just stand still, they will fly off. It is when you swat at them and hit them, they will go into defense mode just as we do when someone hits us. As far as this design, I find it beautiful but agree that it is very impractical. Better a box hive on the roof of the building.
After all it is a product concept. Not a real product.
It may be possible to re-invent the use and functions of a bee hive. The bee's don't care about looks but their keepers may find that a new design improves the process.
Never know until they actually make it.
Better get your honey now before the bees are extinct.