Shipping pallets and their versatility and availability are all the rage. I know the boards are often finished with harsh treatments to endure their continuous life cycle , but if sanded down and retreated with a natural finish why not turn them into a beehive?
I was given the opportunity to do just that a few weeks back at a 2 week long sustainability event held in the Madrid suburb of Getafe. With only 3 hours over 2 days to carry out the workshop on how to build a hive out of pallets, I had a bit of prep work to get done before it started. As the Beefree beehive design came together last month in Andalusia and is already proving to fulfill the bees needs, I combined the same hybrid style beehive design with the urban areas locally available materials.
Following a brief introduction and photo slideshow of the various beekeeping experiences which have led me to prototype this model, a diverse group of workshop attendees enthusiastically assisted me in the assembly of the precut boards.
By adapting the design to the width of the pallets I had available I was able to respect the 40 liters of interior space bees look for while swarming in nature, provide side walls with angles of 30 degrees, as well as assure its top opening compatibility to the standard Langstroth dimensions.
Now time to fill it with bees and let the real prototyping begin.