»HIIVE conceives of the habitat of a tree cavity as a smart home system for honey bees. Natural materials are joined together in a modular design that is easy to handle and repair. The interior climate and swarm mood can be monitored externally via sensors. It's a win-win for bees and beekeepers.«Andreas Detzel
Three questions for Fabian Wischmann, Co-Founder
How did the idea for HIIVE come about?
It came about through an encounter between my co-founder Philip and a friend who had recently taken ownership of a number of bee colonies. When Philip subsequently immersed himself in the topic of beekeeping, he also became aware of problems, which led him to became deeply involved with research findings on the natural habitat of honeybees the cavities of trees. As an industrial designer, he was driven by the ambition of creating a habitat that was as close as possible to the tree cavity whilst also being sustainable and industrially manufacturable. Since 2019, countless prototypes have been created along these lines.
What was your personal highlight in the development process for HIIVE? Was there a low point?
The low point was when, due to a lack of resources, the apartment was converted into a prototyping studio. The living room was turned into a workshop and 3D printers were rattling away 24/7 in the kitchen. Without funding and at an early stage of development, it was completely uncertain whether it would ever be possible to develop a finished product under these conditions. However, a mixture of existential fear, ambition, luck and optimism allowed us to overcome this low point and put the project on a firm footing.
Where do you see your project in five years?
Our big goal for the coming year is to deliver the first product series to our pre-sale customers in the spring. Within the next five years, we want to establish HIIVE as an alternative approach for beekeepers. Through our app, we plan to connect HIIVE owners with each other and create a community of beekeepers that are focused on the welfare of the bees. We also plan to develop and launch other products around the topic of bees.