Honeybees are dying around the world, and so one designer in Italy decided to create a small first aid kit in an attempt to help.
The Bee Saver gadget, a keychain holding a small bioplastic container of artificial nectar, is designed to be carried along on a walk. If someone sees a bee in need, they can set the container of nectar next to it. To attract the bee, the container is shaped like a flower, smells sweet, and is shaded a pleasing blue. If all goes well, the bee will take a sip and fly safely back to its hive.
“Often I run into bees collapsed as if they were dead,” says designer Hady Ghassabian. “I had read that many of these bees are not really dead, and with a bit of water and sugar they can be reinvigorated, but I did not give much thought to the issue until a trip to the park with my little brother when we found a bee on the ground. I gave some fruit juice to the bee, and under the astonished eyes of my brother, the bee began to fly.”
Ghassabian worked with beekeepers to choose an artificial nectar that could safely provide nutrients to a bee that happens to be worn out looking for a flower. “The collapsed bees that we meet on sidewalks in many cases are just exhausted,” he says. “They fly many kilometers to travel from flower to flower, and excessive urbanization has meant that this problem has increased.”
While the product isn’t likely to make much of a dent in the bigger challenges of the bee die-off phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder, it’s intended to inspire more people to pay attention to the larger issues.
“If everyone would feel responsible and ready at every opportunity to save any bees in need, surely we would feel more involved and try to help them in any other circumstance, reducing risk factors such as pollution and aggressive urbanization,” Ghassabian says. He notes this would create a more sustainable future for everyone–not just the bees.
Ghassabian has developed a functional prototype of the design and successfully tested it. He plans to run a crowdfunding campaign to support production.