BEEcosystem is an observation honeybee hive designed to make pollinator education more accessible to everyone, from hobbyists to agri/ecotourism and institutional educators. Indoor/outdoor wall-mountable and modular, this hive can grow along with your colony inside. BEEcosystem’s modularity offers a surprisingly familiar ‘bee-space’ solution towards improving upon existing observation honeybee hive maintainability.
From our design perspective, we wanted to create an observation hive that intentionally provokes meaningful conversations about honeybees, especially engaging non-beekeepers and non-agricultural experts. In deliberately differing BEEcosystem from existing styles of observation hives, we celebrate a fusion of old and new ideas in apiculture: an emergent hive form, with a familiar removable top-bar hive frame functionality. Beginning in 2014, we prototyped and field-tested the expandable top-bar observation hive design for 2 years, overwintering in the 4-season climate of central Pennsylvania, USA, before beginning to sell the BEEcosystem hive commercially in Spring 2017.
With a slim wall-mounted profile that can be incorporated into nontraditional beekeeping spaces and for new kinds of observation displays, each BEEcosystem unit or “HexHive box” contains six top-bar frames from which bees build foundationless comb.
The BEEcosystem has become our benchmark showcase for our company! Although our property is outfitted with countless unique features, nothing compares to the active BEEcosystem; boasting thousands of active bees, improving our local environment, producing honey, and educating curious guests young and old alike. The flexible and sexy design allows us to add additional BEEcosystems or relocate the system if needed, as the aesthetic is modern and adaptable!
installed either indoors or out [BEEcosystem’s] modular nature allows for expansion of the hive as it grows
acquainting people and the nature that sustains them, using a simple and elegant hands-on design
conceived to bring people and bees closer together. To create a relationship. And to get people talking about bees and their how absolutely essential they are to pollinating our food supply.
The BEEcosystem observation hive has been designed to help combat falling bee numbers by encouraging people to take up beekeeping and get educated about bees.
I couldn’t be happier…I plan on expanding the hexagons all the way down the wall as the hive grows. My kids love it and my friends and family are just in awe. Its a great conversation piece when guests come over. This hive is very low maintenance…after just a few days of being installed, my bees already have over 6 inches of comb jutting down from the top frames.
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