Gallery: Philips’ Sexy Urban Beehive Concept Lets Apartment-Dwellers Ha...


Philips’ just unveiled a new concept for an urban beehive that would allow anyone to become an amateur bee keeper – even those who live in apartments with no backyards. The pod-like hive attaches to a hole cut into a pane of glass. Once affixed, the glass covered pod on the inside of the window would allow you to peer into the hive while the white entryway on the outside would allow the bees the freedom come and go. Best of all, with the pull of a small cord you can have all of the fresh honey your heart desires.

Philips’ beehive concept was unveiled as a part of their Microbial Home Design unveiled at Dutch Design Week. The Microbial Home is an adventure in rethinking domestic life, with the centerpiece being a digester kitchen that turns waste into methane to provide power for the house. The urban beehive was one of many designs included in the showpiece home.

The beehive comes complete with an array of frames textured to make it easy for bees to build on them. It also comes equipped with a hole to blow smoke into — the traditional way of calming bees — in case the hive needs to be opened from the inside to be inspected. We’re sure there would be more to the keeping of these bees if the hive actually were to hit the market but so far it seems like a simple, elegant way to lend a helping hand to the bee crisis and get some sweetness in return.

+ Philips Urban Beehive

Via Fast Company


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  1. jon niedzwiecki September 24, 2014 at 9:36 am

    An excellent way to contribute to colony collapse and the spread of bee parasites. Bees are not designer objects. The designer for this needs his own cord pulled until he produces honey. Perhaps designer spray painted couch goats would be a good alternative entertainment for apartment dwellers. In the USA your bees need to be inspected by the department of agriculture on a regular basis.

  2. Kelly Burns September 22, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Another beekeeper here and yes total BS. Bee hives do not work like this. AT ALL. If you’re in an apt, at least get a patio to keep your hive on. This would make for many unhappy and eventually dead, bees. Plus how do you ‘open on the inside to extract honey??” That would equal an apt full of pissed off bees! Well, at least it looks cool tho. :)

  3. buk-lau haboob June 27, 2014 at 6:51 am

    what the h. e. double hockey sticks

  4. DaveM50 June 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    A standard beehive would fit well into a double-hung window. Simply put the “lip” of the bottom board on the window sill, close the window, and make sure all gaps are sealed. Have a sturdy support (a few stacked milk crates will do it) under the bottom board and stack hive boxes as usual. The only potential difficulties will come when introducing bees into the hive and when opening the hive to remove frames or do other maintenance. If you’re using a room which can be closed off from the rest of the house, any bees that “escape” can be gathered in a net and replaced in the hive or, if need be, sprayed using pyrethrum or another “people safe” bug spray.

  5. Chanel Hilliard June 13, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    I call B.S. I am a bee-keeper and this will not work. Bee-keeping is not a recommended home accessory item and pulling a small cord for fresh honey, NOT!!!!

  6. Bee Keeper May 23, 2013 at 8:02 am

    As I beekeeper I find this completely ridiculous. Bees increase their numbers during the summer and will need way more space that this provides. I’m not sure how the mechanisms for honey extraction work but it would really interfere with the bees. The whole thing appears to be made of plastic which is not ideal for bees. You’ll probably end up with all your bees swarming and that’s only if you don’t kill them all off first! There’s a reason that amateurs aren’t given bees – you need training!

  7. PaulYoon April 10, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I want to be rich…for this.

  8. zFlamingPotato January 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I Want

  9. et January 5, 2012 at 6:54 am

    i have kept bees for about 50 years with several stints as a hired professional bee keeper. I hate to inform the ‘idea folks’ but comb for european bees or africanized bees does not hang in that fashion. as someone above mentioned keeping bees in anything without removable frames is definitely illegal in most states. the size of the hives is just about right to encourage the swarming frequently for any european type bees. the size is about right for keeping africanized honey bees… good luck with that!

  10. mdschwartz November 22, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Our beekeeping group was looking at this, and decided the designer doesn’t know squat about bees.

  11. Mike James November 14, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    I know Jack-all about beekeeping, other than that a gentleman who lived in back of our house when I was a kid kept several hives, and it looked like he spent plenty of his time fussing with them.

    This contraption looks like it should have been around during the Golden Age of Television–what an episode of I Love Lucy that would have made!

  12. jsilence November 11, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Yes, it is a concept. And it is fundamentally flawed.
    That is all the people with a little beekeeping knowledge are saying here. No offense, no ridicule, just saying: Hej, this is beautiful, but not actually a good idea.

    To everyone vaguely thinking about getting started with beekeeping: I can only encourage you. It is less work than you think when keeping two to five bee tribes, and it is a lot of relaxing fun. It is just lovely to sit there and watch the busy sisters at the flighthole.
    Find your local beekeeping group, get into it and follow the advice of the elders.

  13. Phillip_lust November 10, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Ummm… you all are missing the point. I think this is more for getting honey from some uber-rich folk who want something “exclusive”. Of course they’ll throw it away after awhile… and on to the next “toy” to show off.

  14. beedude November 10, 2011 at 10:38 am

    In addition to endorsing the comments of those who know something about beekeeping already offered, I would point out that it would be illegal to actually keep bees in this device in most, if not all, states. The law requires that domesticated hives have removable frames (for the comb) so that the colony can be inspected for disease and parasites. That is one reason why you never see the classic straw skep style hive in actual use in this country.

  15. Evilpasta November 10, 2011 at 8:57 am

    did any of you guys read the title? here let me quickly copy paste it “Philips Unveils Sexy Urban Beehive Concept” concept, now thats an interesting word, you know why? because it means that their idea of a window sill box for your herbs can somewhat be translated into another medium. This is a big toe testing the big dark waters of the consumer. CONCEPT, please, they are not thinking of actually building this thing, they are seeing the idea works across different mediums. also i believe that opening the door inside the house is only a last measure for repairs and such like.

  16. Henk November 10, 2011 at 8:36 am

    You would probably need a service contract from a expert with this device to perform regular maintance. And it needs to be worked on from from the outside. Performing maintance from inside a house would not work.

  17. plparisi November 9, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    gotta agree with most of the comments. I kept bees for one year and bee keepers know that this gizmo will not work properly. but it sure does look pretty! it’s more like a fancy, live-insect stained glass kind of decoration. if anyone wants to buy one, just wait a year and they can buy hundreds of them second hand and for a song.

  18. christy@goldstarhoneybe... November 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    This is probably the most unlikely way ever to keep bees – but it sure is a beautiful piece of glass art!

  19. ojay November 9, 2011 at 11:37 am

    jsilence is correct! Did they even talk to a real Beekeeper before designing this thing? Pull a string and honey comes out???? Completely nonfunctional – and a waste of limited resources from a practical view, but lovely to look at as a work of art.

  20. bugbits November 9, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Really cool design put together by someone with absolutely no clue. Some of the more obvious failings:
    – lack of ventilation. Crucial for bees to regulate hive temperature keep mould problems down and make honey.
    – Even with smoke you’re surrounded with fliers when you work the hive, which you have to do regularly especially if you’re in an area with bee diseases. Your apartment will be full of bees every time you open the hive.
    – Bees are messy little buggers. While they preferentially use comb provided they will build bridging comb wherever they bloody well please. The internal dimensions of a commercial hive are carefully sized to discourage this behaviour while allowing relatively free passage. They’ll take one look at that echoing cavern around the comb and go nuts filling it.
    – I have no clue what is going on with that pull string mechanism. Does the designer think commercial hive have taps on the side to collect honey? Ripe honey is collected after the bees have evaporated it to the right moisture content and sealed the comb. You have to physically remove the comb, shave the cap off and extract the honey.
    – Bees are messy, and short lived in the summer. The bottom section of that rig will look like the collection pan of a built in vacuum by mid July.

  21. Don Voss November 9, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Cute, a bee pod of sorts. Besides hole in glass …

    I have kept bees, well watched them for a few years. Got up to 6 -7 hives. Strictly insect loving. They have been doing their bee thing for a few million years, don’t think I added much – the thrived when I stopped fussing with them out of curiosity. All my friends do not want anymore free honey.

    Bottom line – bees will take a pristine wooden hive with all new frames, clean wax bases and make it theirs – fast .. no surface will be left uncovered with wax. They want their “bee space” between objects + heat control. If they do not get it – they leave – swarm.

    That pod will be dark, ugly, smelly [ think “alive”, yeasty in 20 – 30 days. Not modern then.

    Put them on the roof. Communal, across city. Paint boxes white.


  22. MelissaSteele November 9, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I want to know more! Form Follows Function in action.

  23. char70ger November 9, 2011 at 11:01 am

    As one who raises bees I cannot see how this would be useful at all. After about one year most people would be so disgusted by how it looks inside they will just throw the thing away. I also am interested how one would go about harvesting any honey from it. Does not look practical at all.

  24. Syn November 9, 2011 at 10:49 am

    What a worthless device. Bee hives are MESSY, and don’t plan on opening that thing inside. Smoked bee’s will still fly all over your house. And good luck extracting honey, it will probably be filled with brood (baby bees) This is obviously a device created by a designer and NOT by a person who has ever come in contact with bee’s.

  25. samjam November 9, 2011 at 10:26 am

    How well does it work with double-glazing? eh?

  26. dcullen November 9, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Considering the way in which wild bees inhabit tree hollows and wall cavities, I don’t see any problem keeping alive. I’ve kept bee in past and the design looks workable. I am a bit perplexed at the “pull a cord to get the honey” mechanism. I’m guessing that pulling the cord brings a decapper across the “Honey frames” and the honey drains by gravity. Some eudcation will be needed to prevent winter starvation of the colony.

    But the problem of Hive collapse still looms for bee keepers in the US. But perhaps a greater number of non-travelling colonies is part of the answer.

  27. arduous November 9, 2011 at 9:48 am

    If colony collapse remains unsolved, bees will ultimately abandon the hive – which has to be destroyed before new bees will return.

  28. mwlee November 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    would love to see how this really works to keep bees alive.

  29. jsilence November 5, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    As nice, shiny and compact as the design might be, it is most probably almost completely unsuitable for keeping bees.


  30. Green Joy November 5, 2011 at 1:43 am

    That’s a nice, compact design. Something we might commonly see in the future. Hopefully its made of sustainable materials so it doesn’t cause an impact.

    Juan Miguel Ruiz (Going Green)

  31. caeman November 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    That is downright sexy, indeed! It looks good and services a useful function. I like it.

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