I applaud Philips for the sleek design of their Urban Beehive concept, and its attempt to combat dwindling bee colonies by encouraging those living in urban areas to maintain a hive at home. But I don't think it's the traditionally boxy design of your standard beehive that are keeping homeowners from adopting their own colonies. As safe as the practice can be, people are still afraid of bees, or more specifically, bee stings.
Besides the promise of fresh honey for tea or biscuits, the concept also helps to boost the number of bees cross-pollenating plants and trees which are usually in limited supply in urban areas. Consisting of an array of visible honeycomb frames inside with a flowerpot sitting below the entry passage, the tinted glass used in the Urban Beehive's design filters orange light inside which bees use for their sight. There's also an access hole on the bottom that allows the bees to be smoked out in the traditional fashion when it's time to harvest their honey. But I think the stigma behind getting stung is going to be a tough one for the average urban dweller to overcome. [Philips via Fast Company]