a safe and healthy home for bees


it has been known for some time now, that bees —world’s most important pollinator of food crops— have been going extinct. and although there’s quite a bit going on around the globe at the moment, our planet cannot survive without them, so it’s up to us humans to save them. with classic hives giving bees a hard time, there’s a pressing need for a new type of bee home that’s safe and healthy. HIIVE seeks to provide just that, by introducing a tree cave-like structure that reproduces the microclimate of our favorite insect’s natural habitat.

HIIVE bee home precisely replicates the microclimate of a tree hollow
all images courtesy of HIIVE


this bee home replicates the microclimate of an actual tree cave


the design of HIIVE draws influence from the apis mellifera, better known as the western honey bee, which likes to live in tree hollows. showcasing a completely new aesthetic, the small structure mimics the natural geometry of a tree hole and precisely reproduces the microclimate of an actual tree cave. the home enjoys natural insulation, keeping crisp in the summer and warm in the winter, as well as natural moisture regulation. in this way, bees are more comfortable, spending less effort on heating and cooling their shelter, and are then able to better protect themselves against parasites. 


created by german industrial designer philip potthast, the HIIVE features two compartments: a honey chamber and a brood chamber. the structure is configured as a fully modular system with easily exchangeable components, while the construction is based on sustainable materials including recycled plastic, hemp wool, clay, wood, or bark. in addition, the shelter features smart sensors to monitor relevant data about the activity of the bees, while a HIIVE app is also available, notifying users when to expect a swarm.


the innovative beehive was shortlisted for the james dyson award invention competition, finishing among the finalists. with the designer describing HIIVE as easy and inexpensive to mass-produce, this new kind of bee home will surely be talked about in the future. 

HIIVE bee home precisely replicates the microclimate of a tree hollow HIIVE bee home precisely replicates the microclimate of a tree hollow


project info: 


name: HIIVE
designer: philip potthast