Honey bees are an essential environmental pollinator but currently under threat, from Colony Collapse Disorder. The “Conversations with Bees” project (CWB) will begin to reverse these trends by inviting the public to proactively monitor the health of honey bees, using open design to enable members of the public to design and make digital monitoring devices in open workshops. Once constructed the devices will be deployed nationally via the British Bee Keeping Association (BBKA), in order to gather digital data on bee health and honey yield inside bee hives.
The digital device designs and the gathered data will be published on‐line under a creative commons licence widening engagement via WordPress and the “Timestreams” plugin. The collaboration will bring together entomologists, designers, the public, and bee keepers.
The project builds upon existing Horizon projects such as Artefact café, User Innovation Communities and Relate. It has the potential to integrate with future projects exploring the domains of open design, crowd sourcing and general public engagement with technology.
Academic Partners: Brunel University
Industry partners: Technology will save us, The Honey Club, The British Beekeepers Association, Wolf Olins