Open source prefab bee hive helps the masses protect our pollinators [video]

Open Tech Forever, Prefab Bee Hives, open source design, global neighborhood watch for bees, cnc-cut bee hive, warre hive, the people's hive, sustainable design, environmental catastrophe, colony collapse disorder

Enlisting the masses to save the bees, Open Tech Forever has developed a high tech CNC-cut hive that allows global citizens to keep an eye on our precious pollinators.

Anyone who is even remotely alert knows that bee populations from as far afield as Israel and Turkey and the United States are in deep trouble.

To put into perspective what to expect from a future without bees, Whole Foods captured this photograph of a grocery store emptied of the fruits and vegetables that they would normally pollinate. It’s a disturbing image, to say the least.

Which helps to explain why so many designers, farmers and scientists have devoted significant resources towards developing solutions that may help to reverse the trend. But Open Tech Forever takes a new collaborative approach to the problem.

(Related post: London mosques start beekeeping trend.)

The group teamed up with FabLab BCN, Sony CSL Paris and OKNO from Brussels to develop a prefabricated beehive modeled after the Warre Hive (which stacks new boxes to the bottom of the hive to mimic bees’ natural tendency to build down) that is equipped with sensors that monitors the bees’ direct environment and their overall health.

Open Tech Forever, Prefab Bee Hives, open source design, global neighborhood watch for bees, cnc-cut bee hive, warre hive, the people's hive, sustainable design, environmental catastrophe, colony collapse disorder

This information is then sent to an open data platform called Smartcitizen.me, which is like a global neighborhood watch for all kinds of environmental issues – including noise pollution and even humidity.

“The sensor-enhanced beehive is a gateway to monitor a honeybee colony and its environment,” writes project partner OKNO.

“Storing all of the data over a period of several months allows not alone a very well detailed observation but also the ability to discover and follow long-term trends of complex relations between the super-organism and its environment.”

The first phase of the project involves installing two rooftop urban been hives about 400 meters a part and then watching them grow.

Watch how Open Source Beehives are made:

“Observing and monitoring the activities of the hives coupled with ongoing documentation of each individual hive as well as the interaction between the different colonies will be performed.”

If some kind of serious crash occurs within a particular colony, let’s say there’s a sudden drop in weight, or the temperature suddenly changes, an alert will be sent to the user’s smart phone, as well as the open source data platform.

“This data has abundant information value, but can also be used and made available in a more indirect/symbolic way,” writes OKNO.

“A translation of the signals/data into something publicly accessible is intended. Direct “public moments” on the roof top gardens in the vicinity of the hives add an interactive facet.”

To build your own prefab beehive, visit open source beehives for more information, and do your part to save the bees.

Our collective future may very well depend on it.

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