Homegrown Hive to save Bees in Ireland

Student: Jessica Yu | Uni: Jy3076


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More than 30% of Irish bee species are threatened with extinction, part of the reason that bee populations have undergone a rapid decline is the rise in imports of international bees. Originating from totally different climates, these bees and others, like the Italian bee, are used to warmer weather. They can’t survive the Irish rain.


Niamh built a hive (Econooc) that’s designed to help save the native bee population. It will not reject international bees, but it will focus on conserving black bees.

  • This self-assembly hive “biomimics” the shape of a tree hollow, this being the perfect shape for bees to move around in a cluster during the winter months.
  • The base of the Econooc is made from mycelium, which is grown from mushrooms, and is similar to polystyrene, while also having natural substances that give the bees an extra defense against the varroa mite that can carry viruses into the hive.
  • The hive comes with a calendar that teaches the user about biodiversity and how to create a more diverse garden. This calendar is made from paper embedded with wildflower seeds which the user can plant to encourage pollinators.

Source: http://thenewnow.ie/students/niamh-damery/econooc/


  • Local Farmers
  • Government
  • Food companies


1.) Identify the areas that have wide green space and trees. Or work with Farms that have the area to install these hives

2.) Partner with farmers and local government to monitor the process and track the increase of bee growth

3.) Ensure this program and initiative has continuously grown and been maintained and can look into expanding into other areas


One thought on “Homegrown Hive to save Bees in Ireland

  1. Hey Jessica, super interesting article! It’s incredible how much the world depends on bee populations, yet most of us rarely think about their impacts. This beehive technology has a lot of potential! I wonder whether it has autonomous capabilities- in terms of harvesting the honey, and taking care of the hive and bees. There is a company called Beewise, that specializes in autonomous beehives (https://www.beewise.ag/). Also, since this is a human-made hive, can there be sensor/cameras inside, that can help to better monitor bee populations? Super exciting to learn that Mycelium can be used to make such a product! (Jamie shared an article about Mycelium packaging earlier in the course) I wonder how durable Mycelium is in the outdoors? Thanks for sharing!


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