Although the lockdown will end soon, hopefully crafts and home DIY projects will stay with us, especially if we can support a good cause with them. Scientists have been warning us about the drastically dropping numbers of bees in the world for many years now. This is alarming also because without them, we might be losing up to one third of our total food supply – this means if the bees go, we might have to go, too. Now IKEA’s research and design lab, SPACE10, offers an alternative open design solution for this global problem concerning all of us.
Einstein allegedly said once that if the bees became extinct, humanity would only survive their disappearance for four years. Whether this is only an urban legend or not, we’re not sure. But one thing we do know is that if the bees become extinct – due to global warming, chemicals and certain parasites –, we will have to say goodbye to fruits, marmalade, almonds, coffee and chocolate in addition to honey, of course. To put it simply: bees are essential in our ecosystem and food supply.
But how can we contribute to preventing the mass extinction of bees?
IKEA’s research and design lab, SPACE10, together with European design studio Bakken & Bæck and designer Tanita Klein, created a free online platform, where everyone can design and create their very own customized bee apartment from the comfort of their homes. This isn’t a beehive, but a homemade habitat for solitary bees which don’t produce wax or honey, and simply act as pollinators. So the end result will look like a tiny apartment complex with balconies and all – it’s good for the bees, for us, and the planet, too.
Creating the bee home is quite simple – the website guides you through the process. You choose the height, number of floors, how you want it positioned and the type of wood to be used, then the online engine generates the CAD designs that you can print out. Equipped with all this, all you need to do is go and find a workshop with a CNC milling machine, where they can help you make your very own unique and cool bee home – the platform also provides help in this regard; in Budapest, for example, they recommend Fablab located at Eötvös utca 29.
It’s important that the bee home needs to be outside, and you should also plant some flowers nearby. Another thing to keep in mind is that solitary bees are nonaggressive and won’t sting you since they don’t have a queen or any honey to protect.
Designing a tiny habitat like this could make an impact on our entire planet. So go and design a bee apartment with the help of Beehome!
Source: Fast Company