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INDUSTRIAL DESIGN FINALIST 2016/IVAN BROWN

My design is a concrete beehive...

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My design is a concrete beehive.

Beekeepers lose up to 30 percent of their stock and equipment each year due to vandalism and theft. Beehives are kept in locations where they cannot be inspected regularly and the hives are often damaged by people, animals or extreme weather conditions. Standard wooden hives also deteriorate over time and can cause bees to abscond.

Bees are also under threat globally due to diseases such as American Foul Brood (AFB). The practice of migratory beekeeping is a leading cause of the spread of the disease, however, farmers view beekeeping as too risky to undertake themselves. The current method of preventing the spread of AFB involves burning infected hives and their contents.

My solution is a permanent concrete beehive that will help farmers and beekeepers to create more sustainable apiaries. I have designed a concrete beehive that will reduce the risk of theft and vandalism, improve the bee colony’s insulation and thermoregulation and support good beekeeping practices.

Concrete provides key values such as durability, insulation and weight. However, the ease of use and ecological effectiveness will need to be addressed through well-considered and innovative design work.

To test the success of the final outcome, I will introduce a swarm of bees to the hive and measure its progress.

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