Project aims to get you to help increase bee population

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THORNTON, Colo. -- Monday morning, Open Source Beehives launched its "crowdfunding" project which is designed to put internet connected organic beehives in the hands of the global community.

“Our DIY (do-it-yourself) beehive designs can be downloaded and 'printed' on a standard plywood sheet with a CNC router in 30 minutes, or ordered through the new 'crowdfunding' campaign,” said Tristin Smith.

“Proceeds from the campaign will help develop the sensors that can track the hive’s health and inform solutions of the global bee colony collapse issue.”

Local beekeepers we spoke with questioned the use of plywood when making a hive. Greg McMahon says plywood is a wood made with glue and other chemicals that kill bees.

“We are close to knowing what is causing the hives to collapse,” said McMahon. “Many think it is just the nicotine based pesticides used in sprays and powders used to control insects in and around plants, crops and flowers. When the bees take in pollen and nectar from contaminated plants, they often become ‘drunk’ and can’t find their way back to the hive. Experts know this because when they open a hive that dies, they find the queen and nursing bees clinging to life, but there are no forager bees in the hive … they never come back with food needed to keep the hive stay alive.”

Using plywood, which is very absorbent, soaks up the chemicals and spores from the materials, and then it's transmitted to other hives by robber bees.

A very crazy cycle of life to be sure. While the more beehives effort is a great idea, beekeepers say using other woods or plastics is a much better idea than using plywood.

They say red cedar, pine or other hard woods are better because they don’t absorb harmful materials.

For more information log onto Open Source Beehives … there you will find all the info on how to become a beekeeper in your neighborhood. Just check local laws to see if keeping bees is allowed.

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