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3D Printing is Still a Goal for Creators of Recycled Plastic Bee Boxes

by • January 20, 2016 • No Comments

xlogo.png.pagespeed.ic.7XLXoTo0G6For a few reason, bees come up a lot in 3D printing. If you ponder of it, bees are kind of like small living 3D printing equipment – in fact, a few strange ideas of genetically modifying bees to act as actual 3D printing equipment have may already been presented. But we’ve in addition seen several cases of folks via 3D printing to assist bees, which, sadly, need a lot of assist right now. Recently, New Zealand researchers created a technique of 3D printing honeycombs to assist bees with their workload, and now a few Australian beekeepers are going a step additional with their plan to 3D print entire beehives.

beeHiveHaven is a Sunshine Coast startup which creates bee boxes for honeybees and stingless bees, a harmless relative of the honeybee which is equally crucial to pollination and therefore global food donate. They’re in addition equally threatened – maybe actually additional so, as the native Australian stingless bee cannot regulate its temperature the way honeybees can. According to Ann Ross, co-founder of HiveHaven, stingless bees start dying off when temperatures get to of 40 degrees Celsius.

“Compare the stingless native bee to a honeybee, which collects water on a hot day and fans the hive — as a sort of evaporative cooler — the stingless native bee does not have the talent to do which, and are really susceptible to heat,” Ross said.

Ann Ross of HiveHaven (Photo: Brett Wortman)

Ann Ross of HiveHaven [Photo: Brett Wortman]

To combat this threat, Ross and others at HiveHaven are attempting to create 3D printed beehives which can regulate their own temperature – and do a lot additional. Without human interference, nature has a somewhat great system for keeping itself healthy, balanced and controlled. Unfortunately, humans have interfered really a bit with nature, cavia ereallything to get out of whack. Climate alter, pesticides, habitat alteration and additional have created the global bee population really vulnerable. Thankfully, there are humans like Ann Ross and her husband and co-founder Jeff, who are via a few of our many high end technologies to bring back a few of the balance we have upset.

hivehavenTraditionally, beekeepers have utilized boxes created of old growth hoop pine, but the material has become unsustainable, so the Rosses created a method of createing bee boxes of HDPE, which is derived of recycled plastic bottles. The plastic boxes are durable and provide protection of diseases and pests. They need little maintenance, are easily washed and sanitized, and HiveHaven actually offers built-in GPS and Radio Frequency Identification innovation.

HiveHaven manufactures two varieties of the boxes to address the various needs of honeybees and stingless bees. Today, Jeff Ross is milling them by hand, but the system takes a lot of time, so the Rosses are hoping to start 3D printing the boxes so which they can mass-produce them. According to Ann Ross, 3D printed material in addition offers additional effective insulation and protection of spore-based disease.

honeycombsUnfortunately, 3D printing a bee box costs around $900, whereas a traditional pine box costs of $100. Last year, HiveHaven ran an Indiegogo campaign to try to raise adequate money to start 3D printing, but the campaign fell short of its funding goals. The Rosses weren’t discouraged; the money they did raise gave a big boost to their company, but for now they have put 3D printing on hold. It is yet a goal for the next, yet, and the company has been successful in spreading their bee boxes around Queensland. The boxes are in place at several trial locations along the Sunshine Coast, and the Queensland Beekeepers Association has been that successfully via them for over a year.

Right now, HiveHaven is seeking corporate sponsorship to assist additional their research. They can be contacted at hello@hivehaven.com.au, or you can reach them on Facebook. You can see their original crowdfunding pitch at a lower place. Tell us what you ponder of this concept in the HiveHaven 3D Printed Bee Boxes forum on 3DPB.com.

[Images: HiveHaven, via Facebook]