Design your own architectural Bee Home for the garden

Try this clever software to design and fabricate your own architectural bee habitat for the garden.

By Hugh Metcalf | 20 May 2020

IKEA’s research and design lab SPACE10 has launched an open-source platform for designing, downloading and making architectural bee habitats for World Bee Day 2020.

space10 beehome design - photo by Irina Boersma - grand designs

Image: Irina Boersma 

Bees are vital to ecosystems and life as we know it – did you know that they’re essential to one third of the global food supply and that 90% of the world’s flowering pants rely on insect pollination? Despite this human impact has put these pollinators at risk, with loss of habitat, increased use of pesticides, climate change and invasive species all playing a role in falling numbers of wild bees.

While there are many initiatives around to save the bees, including promoting environmental practices that preserve bee habitats, this year for World Bee Day, IKEA’s research lab SPACE10 is appealing to the design-conscious with this open-source Bee Home design concept.

Hero Image 2 amin SPACE10 Bee Home Web Photo by Irina Boersma

Image: Irina Boersma 

Open-source is a buzzword for a type of software that is developped as a public collaboration, and in this instance it allows users to create custom Bee Home designs. Once created, the schematics for this can be downloaded, and then sent to a local ‘Makerspace’ to be fabricated – you can find your local Makerspace via the dedicated Bee Home website.

The Bee Home is designed for solitary bees, rather than honeybees. 90% of bee species are solitary and a single solitary bee could provide as much pollination as 120 honeybees.

As they don’t produce honey, they also have nothing to protect, so can be welcome garden guests even around children and pets.

Male solitary bees don’t have a sting, and every female is a queen that can have up to 20-30 offspring.