The Beegin Beehive

beegin beehive


The plight of the bee was the driving force behind industrial design student Ivan Brown’s innovative Beegin beehive design.

The rapid decline in bee numbers worldwide coupled with the import of cheap honey are of major concern to local honey farmers.

Which is why it’s so exciting to hear that a test group of beekeepers increased their honey production significantly – thanks to Ivan Brown’s innovative beehive design.

His reinforced lightweight concrete beehive evolved from a university project. Ivan entered his design in the 2016 PPC Imaginarium Awards competition and was named runner-up and awarded a seed grant by PPC to continue his research, test the beehive and refine the design.

The Bee Bunka design is modelled on the common Langstroth wooden hive – the components for one beehive cost about R1 500. There is also the Bee Tonnel design, which is based on a horizontal top-bar hive.

We found out more about Beegin from Ivan himself.

Tell us about the testing phase.

I developed a prototype lightweight concrete beehive, which I had a group of beekeepers and farmers field-test for a year to measure the performance of the hive against standard wooden hives and as a component of small-scale farming.

Why concrete?

It is cheap, durable and impervious to pests and badgers.

How do you plan to assist the development of small businesses?

We are selling the moulding tools, too, so beekeepers, farmers and entrepreneurs can make their own beehives.

What can we expect next from Beegin?

We are working with beekeeping-for-development groups to assist in the rolling out of concrete beehives and set-up of production facilities at their sites.

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