With the protection of bees being more important than ever, one student from Loughborough University has taken steps to introduce beekeping to a new generation. Ellie MacLeaod developed a self-monitoring beehive for her final year project aimed at inspiring novices to increase the number of honey bees.
Ellie wanted to create an urban beehive and make her hobby more accessible through removing the need for specialist equipment and large, open spaces. The project, Mella, reduces risk for users by taking away direct contact due to a removable top section. Users will also be able to see their bees by ‘unwrapping’ the hive to look through a clear plastic shell.
According to Ellie there is a built in honey collection system, using the same mechanism as a salad spinner to release honey into the comb. The honey is collapsed into a a funnel and goes through two meshes to remove debris like wax and dead bees.
The hive also has a self-monitoring system that measures temperature and humidity, comparing data with other hives. A microphone is also included to monitor the health of the bees via an app. The microphone detects the frequency of buzzing bees and compiles data, such as telling whether the queen is present or if the colony is diseased.
Ultimately, Mella’s design puts the welfare of bees first and creates a healthy environment for them to live in. Ellie’s project is a great example of youthful innovation and something that could potentially help an entire species survive in the future.
Ellie is interested in hearing from businesses who would like to work with her on the project so you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org