IKEA Encourages Everyone To Build Their Own Customizable Bee Home For Free


As May 20 marks World Bee Day, conservationists and scientists are aiming to raise awareness on this day on the vital role of bees. Bees, together with other pollinators, are an essential part of our ecosystem, responsible for about a third of the food we eat. Unfortunately, bees are getting nearer and nearer to extinction due to our lifestyle, which is destroying the homes of these little buzzing insects.

To celebrate World Bee Day, SPACE10—Ikea’s external innovation hub— has launched Bee Home. Created in collaboration with Bakken & Bæck (which was recently named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2020 by Fast Company) and designer Tanita Klein, the goal of the project is to enable people from all corners of the world to design and download a Bee Home for free to take action in preserving bees.

More info: Bee HomeSPACE10 | Bakken & BæckTanita Klein

Image credits: Irina Boersma

Today, bees are under threat of extinction due to human impact, climate change, and invasive species. For this reason, with the new Bee Home project, SPACE10 aims to make it easy for people to take action locally. So after teaming up with Bakken & Bæck and designer Tanita Klein, together they launched an open-source Bee Home.

Image credits: Irina Boersma

Image credits: Brendan Austin

Bee Home is a free, open-source design, marking a new era of democratic design for IKEA. “With a design that is flexible and accessible through open-source design principles, everyone, everywhere is empowered to design and fabricate their own Bee Home locally,” the creatives behind the project explained.

Image credits: Irina Boersma

90% of all bees are, in fact, solitary bees, which means that they live alone and not in colonies. Known for being great pollinators, one solitary bee can provide as much pollination as 120 honeybees! Since they don’t live in complex hives, all they need are small holes that protect them from moisture and weather, where they can store pollen and lay eggs.

Image credits: Brendan Austin

To encourage people to take action locally by preserving solitary bees, the Bee Home project makes it easy for anyone to design a lovely home for this essential species. In just 3 easy steps, users can create their own bee home in almost no time. All you have to do is select size, visual style, and desired placement, whether that’d bee your balcony, rooftop, or garden.

Image credits: Brendan Austin

Image credits: Adrian Vindelev

After finishing, you can download your personalized design files for free, together with easy instructions on how to build your bee home. After downloading the design files, the user can forward them to their local CNC machine-owner, where it can be built using digital fabrication. The last step is placing your bee home and then planting some flowers for the insects to pollinate.

Image credits: Adrian Vindelev

“I want people to design a dream home for bees that provides the perfect environment for their offspring, while at the same time being incredibly easy to design, assemble, and place, designer Tanita Klein explained. “It was important for me that Bee Home is aesthetically pleasing and almost feels like you’ve added a sculpture to your garden or your balcony. This project really exemplifies how design can do good for both people and their environment.”

Image credits: Adrian Vindelev

For those who are afraid of the bees, no need to worry—solitary bees are friendly. Since they don’t produce honey, the buzzing insects have nothing to protect, while the males don’t even have a sting. In addition to this, no maintenance of the bee house is required besides a quick cleaning every third year. “In fact, once you put it up, you should just leave it be,” the Bee Home creatives advised.

Image credits: Irina Boersma




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