Bee Home: An Open Source Design for Our Planet

In collaboration with designer Tanita Klein and Bakken & Bæck, Space10 has launched Bee Home.

This free and open-source design enables anyone, anywhere to support their local pollinators and take action to preserve the world’s biodiversity.

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Photo credit: Irina Boersma

For people and the planet

Bees and the service they provide are essential to life on this planet. These animals are a vital part of our ecosystem and have been shaping our natural environment for millions of years. But now, because of human impact, their place in this world is threatened.

Bee Home explores how Space10 can inspire people to solve this global challenge in a playful and accessible way.

Through a digital platform that allows anyone to design, customise and download their own Bee Home, Space10 hopes to offer a vision of how democratic design can help rebalance our relationship with the planet.

In order to re-establish a balance between people and the planet, we need to start restoring our natural surroundings. Giving the bees back their homes can be a start.

In order to re-establish a balance between people and the planet, we need to start restoring our natural surroundings. Giving the bees back their homes can be a start.

Why solitary bees?

Bee Home is designed to house solitary bees — the most prolific pollinator you’ve probably never heard of.

There are around 20,000-30,000 bee species in the world.

While the most recognised and talked about is the western honeybee, the vast majority of bee species are solitary. Unlike honeybees, solitary bees do not live in hives or produce honey. Instead, they mostly live alone and spend their days gathering pollen and collecting food for their next generation of offspring.

Solitary bees are phenomenal pollinators. A single solitary bee can provide as much pollination as 120 honeybees.

While the commercially bred honeybee is often shipped across countries to pollinate farming crops, wild bees have uniquely co-evolved and adapted to the flowering plants in their local context and habitat.

This means that when it comes to pollination, they are designed to do this job in a way no other animal can.

Interestingly, every female solitary bee is a queen and can have anywhere between 20-30 offspring.

 


“In light of this, one single Bee Home could give life to hundreds of solitary bees, offering a link in the chain that can contribute to the survival of flowers, trees, animals and our ecosystems as a whole.”

Space10


Behind the design…

1.

First, Space10 focused on the needs of the bees. 

Bee Home is designed with their natural inclinations in mind, made with holes for each bee to store food and provide shelter for the eggs they lay.

Everything — from the elimination of glue and other toxic adhesives, down to the specific dimensions of each hole where the bees will lay their eggs has been designed to optimise how at home they will feel within the design.

2.

Second, Space10 made local fabrication and sustainability the main metrics of success for the design.

Bee Home is designed with local hardwoods in mind — whether it be untreated oak, larch or mahogany — so each design’s fabrication can be as locally sourced as possible.

The entire design can be assembled without any nails or additional materials, so it is easy to recycle without compromising the circular design principles from which it was made.

3.

Third, Space10 made the project parametrically customisable so everyone, everywhere, can be involved with the design and realisation of their own Bee Home.

Each of the sixteen storeys of Bee Home is designed differently. The modular design allows you to shuffle and randomise the order of storeys, arranging them in any number of combinations you find most pleasing.

While the design is streamlined through certain ‘aesthetic parameters’, the Bee Home you choose to design will be uniquely your own.

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Photo credit: Niklas Adrian Vindelev

What is the process?

Step 1: Design.

Visit beehome.design and design your own Bee Home based on predefined parameters. This means you not only select the size, height and visual expression, but also define if you want to place your Bee Home on a rooftop, a backyard or on a balcony.

Step 2: Fabricate.

When satisfied with your design, you can download the design files instantly and for free, which you then forward to your local makerspace and have them make it locally and on demand.

Step 3: Place.

The final step is to place your Bee Home, plant some flowers and let nature do the rest. Solitary bees make this part especially easy — they don’t overstay their welcome, as they live just four to six weeks, and they are friendly and can easily coexist with children and pets. No maintenance is required besides a quick cleaning every third year. In fact, once you put it up, you should just leave it be.

Bee Home is an open invitation for everyone to give bees the space they need — and to make sure the planet we all call home thrives in the process.

Visit beehome.design for more information on how you can start to build your very own Beehome today!

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Photo credit: Irina Boersma

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Image courtesy of: Space10

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