Philips is best known as a purveyor of common consumer electronics – things like speakers, flatscreen TV’s, and color-changing lightbulbs you control with your phone. But one of it’s latest design projects is something a bit less conventional.
It’s called the urban beehive, and while the company has actually been kicking the design around for a few years and still hasn’t moved past the conceptual phase as far as we can tell, it’s still a pretty awesome idea.
The device consists of two parts: an entry way and flower pot situated outside your house, and a large glass vessel that contains an array of honeycomb frames, situated on the on the side of the wall – inside of your home or apartment. The internal frames are specially designed with a honeycomb texture for bees to easily build their wax cells on, and the glass enclosure serves to filter incoming light and only let through the orange wavelength that bees use for sight. Once some bees have taken up residence in the hive, you can periodically open up the enclosure to harvest any honey the bees have created – only, of course, after you’ve released some smoke into the chamber to sedate them first.
But harvesting honey isn’t the point, it’s really just more of a bonus. The point of the urban beehive concept is to help bring bees back. In case you’re unaware, honey bee populations have been in rapid decline across the globe for years, and if these fascinating little insects were to die out entirely, modern agriculture — and the human race as a whole — would soon follow. Giving bees a place to colonize in urban environments could help them stage a comeback, and Philips’ innovative design concept would provide city dwellers with a way to make that happen.
At this point there’s no word on when (or even if) the urban beehive will ever become a living, breathing (and most likely buzzing) product, but the idea certainly has promise, and if Philips doesn’t follow through, we’re sure there are plenty of independent designers who’d be more than willing to bring this idea to life through Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.
Check out Philips’ website for further details
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