Futuristic beehive caters for rise in urban beekeepers

The creator of the Beehaus, a futuristic beehive for urban dwellers that got extensive media coverage earlier this month, is considering selling though garden centres.

Omlet, the company behind the innovative bee box, currently sells exclusively through its website but creator Johannes Paul said: "For now we are only online but the launch has gone very well so I wouldn't rule out the possibility.

"Generally, the Beehaus has raised awareness of the company, which is great for all our products. I would say enquiries are up by about 40 per cent."

The hive is an ergonomically designed plastic hive with room for two colonies, providing a home for bees in an urban environment.

The company recommends that customers enrol on a beekeeping course before buying the hive.

British Beekeepers' Association chairman Tim Lovett said that membership has risen from 3,000 to 14,500 over the past 18 months, which highlights the demand for such a product.

He said: "There has been a definite shift in the demographics of people coming into beekeeping. Many of our new members are in urban settings — the worried wealthy, so to speak. They are environmentally aware people who would like to do a lot more than they are able to because of their busy lives. They are the concerned working families, the professionals under pressure from their kids who are getting the story at school. And now they are getting the message. Beekeeping is not incompatible with busy family and working life."

Omlet is also known for its Eglu products, designed to house chickens, rabbits or guinea pigs. To date it has sold 30,000 Eglus since launching in 2004.

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