PLAN BEE – CITY BEEKEEPING
‘Regeneration’ is the conceptual inspiration behind Plan Bee. The design approach for this project is being intertwined with the existing condition of the surrounding to enhance the abandoned area along with the repopulation of honeybees. Since the building is surrounded by the hill that is covered with forest trees, I wanted to focus mainly on the hill. The hill where the apiaries are kept is the starting point of my design for Plan Bee. Making it look like that the apiaries are sprouting from the hills, reflects the concept inspiration behind this project. Regeneration is also related to the existing condition of the site. Plan Bee is all about rejuvenating, such as the declining of the honeybee population as well as restoring the degenerating site as it has been abandoned for few years due to a minor landslide. The newly proposed vegetable and fruit trees which are planted as the forage for bees not only benefits the bees, but will also control the existing landslide issue at the site. When practicing urban beekeeping, it is important to know which plants will ensure the best living condition for the bees; therefore the garden provides the users with adequate information on vegetable and fruit trees that they could plant in their homes, schools or offices.
The existing building is only one storey, whereas the new proposed design has two floors to adequate more people and more jobs for urban beekeeping. The building consists of a retail area where honey, propolis, bees wax are being sold along with a mead bar where people can sit in a mini bar which is hung over the honey extraction area. Mead is stored in cylinders hung over each bar so that the user can pour the mead directly from the cylinders. This aims to create curiosity among the users about honeybee products and their natural producer honeybees. The outdoor dining deck is more towards the audacious people who are daring enough to experience the open forest and honeybees while they dine-in.
Honeybees get to see in the ultraviolet world. We can never see colors the way bees see them. Bees see “primary colors” as blue, green and ultraviolet. They can distinguish yellow, orange, blue-green, violet, purple, as combinations of their three primary colors. Their favorites are said to be: purple, then violet, then blue (which all look different to the bees).
Bees have good color vision to help them find flowers and the nectar and pollen they offer. Flower colors that particularly attract bees are blue, purple, violet, white, and yellow, thus colors in Plan Bee is within this range. Darker and bright colors like red are said to make the bees aggressive. The colorful paint on the wooden designs of the apiary and the outdoor areas are meant as a means of protection from weather too.
Overall design of Plan Bee reflects the small details from the honeybees, such as the design of the apiaries is inspired from the honeycomb, whereas the zigzag design reflects the flight mechanism of a single honeybee. From the ceiling lights that look like a honeycomb to the hexagonal mesh walls of Plan Bee, all are design fragments that also relates to the honeybees.