The Buzz on Urban Beehives

Dutch company Philips is probably best known for its signature electronics; the company has been quite successful when it comes to producing TVs, stereos, and Blu-Ray players. But now the electronics giant has shifted gears, recently announcing a number of green projects, among them is the Urban Beehive.

Home beekeeping isn't something that gets a lot of commercial attention, but Philips has taken the leap by introducing a uniquely styled system that, through its cool design and very green purpose, may find appeal among more consumers. The Urban Beehive is precisely what its title suggests. Philips has created an innovative product that is both cool and practical. The device installs through a window, and outside, there's a flower pot to attract the insects' attention. There's also an entrance through which bees can enter, and the other side leads to a honeycomb utopia bees should find very inviting.

As Philips explains, “The glass shell filters light to let through the orange wavelength which bees use for sight. The frames are provided with a honeycomb texture for bees to build their wax cells on.â€

Philips' Urban Beehive not only looks sophisticated, it works too. Owners of the hive will be able to harvest honey simply—pulling a string triggers a smoke release, which sedates the bees and allows for honey-taking. Adds Philips, “This is a sustainable, environmentally friendly product concept that has direct educational effects. The city benefits from the pollination, and humans benefit from the honey and the therapeutic value of observing these fascinating creatures in action. As global bee colonies are in decline, this design contributes to the preservation of the species and encourages the return of the urban bee.â€

The Urban Beehive is a part of a bigger project by Philips, dubbed the Microbial Home. Items in the collection include a dining room table that comes with an evaporative cooler and a filtering squatting toilet. What are your thoughts on the Urban Beehive? Would you consider buying one for your home, or would you rather spend your money on a new garage door? Let us know in the comments below!

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Chris Keenan
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