oneybees are the world’s most important pollinators, and according to Greenpeace, they contribute at least 80% of all pollination. And for those who’ve been paying attention to the Save the Bees movement all over social media, it’s easy to notice their growing popularity on apparel and jewelry.
For many companies, utilizing these beautiful bees allows them to generate revenue and donate a portion of proceeds right back into efforts that help save them: restoring wild habitats, advocating for stricter regulations on pesticide use, and the development of ecological agriculture. In some cases, however, the damage is far beyond repair. Corporations have completely decimated many of the natural habitats of bees, clearing land for farms and covering it in pesticides, ensuring the populations of bees can never return safely.
Enter Bee Home Design, a self-described “Open Source Design for Our Planet”. Created in collaboration between Denmark-based research and design lab SPACE10, and designers Tanita Klein and Bakken & Bæck, Bee Home Design brings the preservation of bee habitats to an individual’s fingertips by providing them with the tools to create their own bee home in a backyard, balcony, and beyond.
For the people who are unfamiliar, open-source is a type of software that is publicly accessible, meaning those who download it can modify, share, and enhance the source code. In Bee Home Design’s case, the source code is hosted on a customizable platform on their website. There, consumers can design, customize, and download their own unique Bee Home. Once downloaded, customers can bring the unique file to their local maker space, which is a “collaborative work space inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools”, according to makerspaces.com. In this case, consumers would be looking for a makerspace that has a CNC milling machine, a special computer-controlled mill that can cut intricate shapes needed for a Bee Home Design.
Each file download also comes with a PDF document outlining the steps needed to make a Bee Homemade, including the materials, assembly and care instructions, and tips on creating a bee-friendly environment
Bee Home Design’s houses are designed with solitary bees in mind. Solitary bees are different from the better known honeybee. They don’t live in hives or produce honey, and spend most of their lives pollinating and collecting food. Solitary bees are highly versatile, and can easily adapt to new surroundings and flowering plants.
According to SPACE10, Bee Home Design habitats could house “hundreds of solitary bees, offering a link in the survival of flowers, frees, animals and our ecosystems as a whole."
Bee Home Design strives to be accessible, sustainable, and locally-sourced. Materials can be purchased locally, and fabrication can be done at the aforementioned makerspaces worldwide. With the versatility of the open-source concept, SPACE10 is able to bring the accessibility of a bee-focused future to anyone willing and able to make a difference, no matter where they are.