Hiive is a project that attempts to re-invent the traditional beehive, making it safer and healthier for bees. Now, beekeepers can provide a natural, species adequate home to all these bees. Designed as a bee home, it completely replicates specifications of a wild bee home a.k.a a tree cave that provides stable microclimate for these bees to stay happy. Each beehive is developed exclusively from sustainable raw materials.
Hiive project started as a thesis in Industrial Design studies, the goal was to design an ergonomic beehive that eliminates the use of any chemicals against Varroa Mite (enemy of honeybee). Because these chemicals also raise serious problem affecting bees’ behavior.
Hiive is an ideal bee home that is capable to replicate microclimate inside a tree cave, a natural habitat of Apis Mellifera (western honey bee). Through the use of sustainable materials and low energy sensors, this habitat offers a replica of a tree cave where bees can live healthier and deal with various circumstances in a natural way. The tree-cave like geometry helps winter bees to hold the temperature in winter, that recycled plastic frame along with a textile cover protect the bees from the sun and the rain. Hiive is insulated with natural thermo hemp wool, together with additional vapor barrier film, these materials are perfect for moisture control. Because the ideal humidity level is also important to symbionts of the honey bee, the insulation system helps these bees to use less energy whether to heat up or cool down the house.
It took a year of research along with design studies for Philip Potthast and Fabian Wischmann to finally understand the demands from both, animals and humans. Biologists have pointed out that microclimate is the biggest issue, therefore, it’s important to test multiple prototypes and work with a bee colony to understand how we can make improvements in different areas to provide these bees with a good environment for them to thrive. At the moment, the team has conducted a field test with 10 prototypes, they plan to bring Hiive into series production after all test are done. Hiive would also come with a companion app, it’s a smart beehive that would track each bee colony and when to expect a swarm.