Plastics design firm branches into bees
A UK firm famed for its innovative chicken coops has launched a range of plastic beehives – just when the country is being urged to help boost the flagging bee population.
By Charlotte Eyre
Posted 6 August 2009
Omlet, the UK-based design firm which aims to help people look after animals in urban environments, has this week launched the Beehaus – a brand new beehive concept.
The Beehaus is rotationally moulded in MDPE and is 0.6m wide by 1m long. When standing on its legs, it’s only 0.9m high, making it an ideal product for any urban dwelling apiarists.
Omlet spokesperson Johannes Paul says the plastic beehive provides a much more insulated home than traditional wooden models, making it easier for the insects to maintain their nesting temperature of 35°C in summer and hibernating temperature of 8°C in winter.
“The Beehaus is also very easy to clean, as it can be wiped down with disinfectant, as you would with an ordinary kitchen surface,” he told European Plastics News. “The Beehaus does not need to be flamed – or burnt – like wooden models to be made hygienic.”
The new creation has already incited considerable coverage across the media and conservation watchdog Natural England is installing a Beehaus on the roof of its central London offices.
Natural England has for some time now been urging British citizens to install hives in their homes, warning that honeybee numbers have fallen by 10 to 15% in the last two years. The UK has traditionally been a hot-spot for bees but now all of the country’s 250 species are in decline.
The organisation’s chief scientist, Tom Tew, told the BBC urban areas could help boost the bee flagging population.
“There’s no reason why our towns and cities should exist as wildlife deserts – wildlife can thrive when we design our urban areas with nature in mind and the Beehaus is a great example of how easy it is for anyone to bring the natural world closer to their doorstep.”
Omlet first came to the attention of European Plastics News last year with the Eglu Chicken Coop, again designed for people living in towns or the suburbs. The twin-walled coop, rotationally moulded in medium density polyethylene (MDPE), is not only easy to use in small spaces but keeps chickens cool in summer and warm in winter.
Omlet has sold over 15,000 Eglus since its 2004 launch and has now extended the range to house rabbits, guinea pigs and ducks. There is also a Eglu Cube – a ‘penthouse’ that caters for a greater number of chickens.
Omlet's innovative new beehive - the Beehaus