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.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.