Phillips Taps Into A New Urban Hobby: Beekeeping
A sexy new beehive design brings an ancient craft into the 21st century.
Urban beekeeping has quickly risen as a productive hobby for New Yorkers ever since the Board of Health reversed a longstanding ban on tending honeybees in the city limits back in March 2010. Until then, beekeepers were hiding their hives by disguising them as air conditioners or sealing them inside their apartments with a tube leading outside.
The love of the swarm has even led to a fight. When Hurricane Irene hit the New York area in August, it imperiled a large beehive in Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn when it destroyed the hive’s host tree. News spread quickly across the city’s beekeeper communities via Facebook and Twitter, with the two main beekeeping groups squaring off over who could claim the 30-40,000 strong feral hive. The police’s resident beekeeper, Tony Bees of the N.Y.P.D., had to be called it to help settle the dispute.
Phillips has gotten wind of this trend as it has grown across the country (and the world) and came up with a concept beehive that is very sleek and well-designed. Part of the initiative that includes the Microbal Home, the Urban Beehive is meant to allow everyone to glimpse the remarkable world of the honeybee.
From the Urban Beehive page:
The design of the beehive is unconventional, appealing, and respects the natural behavior of the bees. It consists of two parts: entry passage and flower pot outside, and glass vessel containing an array of honeycomb frames, inside. 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. Smoke can be released into the hive to calm the bees before it is opened, in keeping with established practice.
The bulk of the hive hangs inside a glass window, viewable through a tinted vessel, while the only opening to the hive leads outside so amateur beekeepers can enjoy their bees without the worry of being stung.
A product like this is remarkable because it goes good on several levels. The community benefits from pollination, which allows plants to flourish and supports a healthy environment; the household or family hosting the hive gets delicious honey; and individuals learn about the incredibly complex society and teamwork that is a beehive.