Nest site selection by the honey bee, Apis mellifera (Springer) :
see also: guerilla beehives research
Order out of chaos, Voronoi patterns, comb, Buckminster Fuller, comb and domes, leafs, veins, citymaps, woven cocofibre, fibonacci series, chinese hats, N55 housing units, snowflakes and hexagons.Expandable dried mushrooms. Algues & seaweed.
For our designs, we have to think about new materials, inspired by nature. We can experiment with a list of raw materials (list without limition): corn starch, brown sugar, glutinous rice, coconut fibers, hemp, mushroom mycelium, coffee ground, linen, cotton. We can e.g. cut old natural woven carpets with the lasercutter. We can dye raw materials with color extracts from plants as indigo (from the Indigofera tinctoria) or orange from the Calendula officinalis.
see also: mycelium_lab
Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. Propolis is used for small gaps (approximately 6 millimeters (0.24 in) or less), while larger spaces are usually filled with beeswax. Its color varies depending on its botanical source, the most common being dark brown. Propolis is sticky at and above room temperature, 20 °C (68 °F). At lower temperatures, it becomes hard and very brittle.
Worker bees recover propolіs on trees аnd shrubs аnd then store іt іn theіr polen bаskets locаted on theіr hіnd legs. When they brіng propolіs to the hіve, mаson bees tаke іt аnd іmmedіаtely stаrt the work. Propolіs іs then mіxed wіth wаx, bees аlso аdd а lіttle of theіr own sаlіvа to mаke іt more mаlleаble.
More info on propolis.
The hive is a system of homeostasis. Homeostasis is the property of a system that regulates its internal environment and tends to maintain a stable, constant condition of properties like temperature or pH. It can be either an open or closed system.
A medium sized nest needs 1200gr wax to be build, and 7,5 kg honey for the energy. Beeswax is composed of more than 300 different chemical components.
The vertical comb construction is parallel to the earth magnetic field, the bees can construct this way thanks to the gravity receptors (organs) that are situated in all their legs and body joints.
note: Check online the molecular composition of hot wax and cold wax (order and chaos).
This is a good paper on the different properties of beeswax: physical, chemical, medical, etc…
The bees’ body is the basic template for the construction of a wax cell. From a cylindrical form the cells become hexagonal under the tension of the regurlarly constructed comb and heated by the bees’ bodyheath (cfr. soap bubbles joining together). The wax wall of a cell is 0,07mm. The antennae of the bees measure the cells’ thickness.
More info on wax and combbuilding.
On beeswax and propolis perfume.
3D model printing with beeswax
reprap heads and wax
beeswax melting point is around 62°C-64°C
It could be intresting to print with a mixture of oil macerate and beeswax. That way we can color the substance, give it a specific smell and control its viscosity.
First research for an organic beehive design. Plantfibers from sunflowers and Calendula officinalis, a mix of dried herbs and seeds, recycled paper.
paper from plants
papermaking from plants
new organic materials for beehives / artefacts
Waxed Linen is a strong, wax-coated cloth thread woven from flax fiber
overview of a season growing 2 kinds of indigo: Indigofera tinctoria and american indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)
coloring with indigo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigo
Indigofera tinctoria, Amorpha fruticosa and indigo powder cake