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Beehive for Urban Beekeeping

Bachelor's Thesis - 2016

This project was developed solo in 2016 as my degree’s thesis. The course aim was to create interesting service/activity finalized to increase the pleasure of living in Rho, a big city in the suburbs of Milan, mainly known as a dormitory town. Besides a strategy of people who activate this service, the final output should be a real product too.

When I heard about the possibility and the good results of keeping bees in an urban environment I immediately feel that was the right way to take. BEEcause was born to create a perfect beehive for cities and overpopulated regions while giving health to bees and as a consequence to all the town.

Crafted to be adaptable

Adaptability was the main challenge of this project. Law on beekeeping change form country to country: the strictest ones do not allow to place a hive within 5m from the private borders, space quietly hard to find in the city unless if the “landing point” of the bees is at least 2 meters high. 

BEEhive is an exploit of this constraint, the main part is placed at a height fully comfortable for maintenance, while the access is placed above ( exactly 205 cm from the ground). The hive adapts to the surroundings, to the beekeepers, and to the climate: the external shell made with rotomolding creates an internal air wall that avoids extreme temperature variations.  The bees are safe and warm inside BEEcause, and when the swarm goes into hibernation the upper part can be folded down to decrease the heat dispersion.

Ergonomics studies have played a big role in the development of the concept: I would like to create something much easier to use. Traditional hive implies to lift heavy parts, made this activity more difficult. Taking inspiration from the everyday object I designed an approach more similar to what we are used to doing: opening a drawer!