Bees are an essential part of the natural world, helping to pollinate plants so that we can not only enjoy all of those incredible fields of flowers, but bountiful food crops, as well. But they’re disappearing at rapid rates due to Colony Collapse disorder, and their plight has made us all the more aware of just how important they are. These 12 designs, from jewelry to large-scale architectural projects, pay tribute to bees and the beauty of their hives.
Expandable Aluminum WineHive
(image via: john paulick kickstarter)
Modular and sustainable, the WineHive takes a visual cue from honeycomb for a functional home accent with lots of bee-inspired style. Designer John Paulick created the rack from recycled aluminum, and its interlocking components allow it to adjust to the owner’s needs for space and capacity. He funded the project via Kickstarter, so thanks to his generous backers, the WineHive will be manufactured soon.
Honeycomb-Shaped Green Roof at OS+A’s Campus International School
(images via: organic-scapes)
Downtown Cleveland, Ohio could get an amazing new structure with a green roof modeled after honeycomb. Architecture firm Organic Scapes and architecture (OS + A) have proposed a mixed-use master plan for the Campus International School, which is due for a makeover. Some of the hexagonal shapes making up the green roof will be transparent to allow light to stream into a communal learning area below.
At-Home Hive for Urban Beekeepers
(image via: philips)
With colony collapse disorder killing bees at a frightening pace, could urban beekeeping help re-establish healthy populations? Electronics manufacturer and innovator Philips thinks so, and they have designed quite a sleek and chic apparatus for city-dwellers to maintain their own hives. Placed against an opening in a window, the Urban Beehive has a flowerpot and entry passage outside that welcomes bees to make the honeycomb frames inside their home. The transparent design enables urban beekeepers to watch the bees do their work, and when they want to harvest the honey, they release smoke into the hive and open the top cover. Of course, bee hives do need periodic maintenance, and it’s hard to imagine how that would be possible without running the risk of inviting swarms into your home, but it’s an interesting idea.
Bee-Inspired Eco Fashion
(images via: ada zanditon)
Fashion designer Ada Zanditon caused quite a buzz with her imaginative bee-inspired Spring/Summer collection, called ‘Colony’. Presented at London Fashion Week in 2009, the collection features shapes that are subtly informed by honeycomb shapes.
Honey Packaging for Klein Constantia Farm
(image via: at pace design)
Naturally, honey packaging should reflect its origin, and the bees that make this sweet treat possible. Terence Kitching at At Pace Design and Communication gave ‘The Bees Knees’ honey for Klein Constantia Farm an elegant look with an outer container shaped like a bee box with embossed ridges that indicate planks and nails. Open the box and you’ll find a bee-covered honeycomb pattern.
The Hive by Mostapha El Ouhlani
(images via: darenart)
Moroccan designer Mostapha El Ouhlani really knows how to make a buzzworthy statement when it comes to furniture design. ‘The Hive’ is a modular storage system made of lacquered wood, featuring honeycomb cell-shaped niches for books and knick-knacks. A lacework cut-out in the back of each module pays tribute to traditional Arab Andalusian architecture. Individual units can be stacked to create custom arrangements.
Honeycomb Bracelet by Andrea Rivera Hurtado
(image via: arh design)
Designer Andrea Rivera Hurtado set out to create a pierced cuff bracelet inspired by nature, and chose bees and honeycombs as the basis for her design. The resulting ‘Bees’ cuff is bold yet delicate. Hurtado is also a graphic designer, and produces a variety of furniture and home decor items.
Honeycomb Lamp Shades by DesignTree
(images via: designtree)
DesignTree produced this line of lampshades that mimic honeycomb using recycled, textured polyester and steel rings. The lamps come in a range of shapes and natural colors that give off a honey-toned glow when illuminated. Says designer Rebecca Asquith, “A honeycomb cell is one of nature’s most efficient designs – there is not one unnecessary surface. The cell is strong, structurally sound, and very light compared with the volume of delicious liquid that is stored within.”
Beehive-Inspired Vertical Farm
(images via: xome arquitectos)
In this case, little bees have inspired a very big idea. Mexican firm Xome Arquitectos has envisioned a London Tower Farm set alongside the Thames River and the London Bridge, with a shape that clearly mimics honeycomb. The tower would function both as a vertical farm and a residential building and can collect its own rainwater, generate energy and grow food for its residents.
Honeycomb-Shaped Solar Panels
(images via: solaror)
Honeycomb-patterned acrylic imbedded with tiny solar panels could serve as energy-generating windows. Israeli solar power startup SolarOr designed the BeeHive PV with honeycomb-shaped prisms that focus sunlight to gather up as much of it as possible. The design could amplify solar energy 2.5 times its normal strength.
Packaging for the Bees Knees Brownie Company
(images via: design tomorrow)
How adorable is this packaging by Tomorrow Design of Australia? The firm created the mint-colored packaging with bee cut-outs and bee illustrations for the Bees Knees Brownie Company. The designers say, “We took their tagline “perfection squared” to be the base of the square logo and had lots of fun perfecting the company’s queen of all bees, Zelda.”
Glowing Nourishment Lamp
(images via: bright ideas lighting design competition)
Inhabitat’s Bright Ideas Design Contest brought in a beautiful and inspiring array of submissions in June 2011, and one of the brightest of the bunch was Joan Lau’s Nourishment Lamps. The lamps were made of plastic bottles that Lau gathered and then tied together to produce honeycomb shapes. While Lau used bottles of ‘yakult’, a Japanese probiotic drink, the design could easily be reproduced using virtually any kind of plastic bottle.
Transparent Honeycomb Pavilion
(images via: one fine day/roland borgmann, munster)
Architecture firm One Fine Day collaborated with designer Holger Hoffman to create this stunning partially transparent honeycomb pavilion in Germany. The Pavilion is made up of a series of polygons, and was built around pre-existing trees to maximize the space and maintain a connection with nature.