I'm a final year product design student at the Glasgow School of Art looking into reasons why people might choose (or choose not to) take up beekeeping - in an attempt to address any barriers to beekeeping through product design.
I was wondering if anyone's ever considered taking up beekeeping but decided against it?
Or if anyone's still thinking about it?
Or if anyone hasn't thought about it much before but likes the sound of it?
I'd love to hear about your thoughts on what made you decide that it was or wasn't for you. I've put together a wee questionnaire and would be immensely grateful if you could fill it in - or just tell me about your experience in this thread!
I'm getting into beekeeping - have been on a short introductory course, read some books, got myself a 'bee mentor'. I plan to shadow / help an experienced bee keeper for a year before getting my own hive. I would need to find somewhere to put it though, as currently I don't have my own garden.
In terms of barriers to beekeeping through product design, well the only thing I've heard so far is the problem with lifting and moving your supers & brood boxes if you have a bad back. Lots of bending & lifting heavy boxes is not good, especially the older you get. There's some plastic 'beehaus' I've seen which is meant to help with that, but most people seem to dislike it because we're all so emotionally connected to the traditional image of a beehive and the 'beehaus' doesn't meet the expectation of what a beehive should look like, if that makes sense!
Hey, cheers for the replies, much appreciated! I did notice my link looked an awful lot like nasty spam so figured this might become dead in the water.
Terraviva, that's great you're taking up beekeeping! I was originally looking into the lifting issue but realised there's a design that pretty much solves it (and is apparently healthier for the bees too) - the Kenya top bar hive. That's a good point about the image of the Beehaus - I never thought of it like that. FYI it's based on the design of the 'Dartington' beehive, which looks a bit more traditional while still reducing the lifting - look it up if it's only the aesthetics putting you off!
What I'm looking into now is a simple remote sensing system to allow people to keep track of the progress of their colony without having to physically open up the hive as often - and maybe make it more viable to keep bees away from your own garden.