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Urban Beehive Prototype for First Year Engineering Design Class

Study/Design Phase

Campbell University, Main Street, Buies Creek, NC, USA



Project Overview
Project Name: Urban Beehive Prototype for First Year Engineering Design Class
Date Completed: 2018
Location: Campbell University, Main Street, Buies Creek, NC, USA
Project Status: Study/Design Phase
Project Type: Building/Structural

Project Tags: Design Class


Project Team

Project Details
About this project
The Campbell University First Year Engineering Design groups assisted a company called Bee Downtown (Durham, North Carolina) with an urban beehive design. The 2017 Design Team developed three concept designs. The 2018 Design Team produced a full-size prototype of one of the concept designs.

The standard beehive used for beekeeping is the Langstroth hive, which was patented in 1852 and is used primarily in rural environments where it can be hidden for protection. Since Bee Downtown installs and maintains hives for businesses located in urban environments, they need a hive that can be protected from theft and is easy to use. The purpose of the First Year Design groups was to develop a cost-effective solution that would be appropriate for beehives in urban areas.
Who benefits from this project, and how?
Many types of plants, including fruit and vegetable crops, rely on bees for pollination. Therefore, bees are critical for our food supply. There is a concern about the high loss of honey bees. Standard beehives used for beekeeping are not good in urban areas, due to their potential for theft and vandalism. If the proposed design created for this project can be used by Bee Downtown to increase the number of urban beehives, it will help increase the number of bee pollinators.

This design class project also taught first year engineering students about the design process. They learned how to identify the problem, define problems, gather data, identify constraints and criteria, develop and select alternatives, and build the model or prototype.
Environmental considerations
Bees are very particular and the designs needed to consider beehive features required for bee colonies to thrive.
What's unique about this project?
Bee Downtown, a business in Durham, provided the First Year Engineering Design groups feedback on their work. The project was completed in two consecutive First Year Engineering Design classes, with the second class building off the work done by the first class.

Funding & Costs
Funding notes: The cost of materials as of 2018 has been $1,500




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