Beekeeper Spends Lockdown Building a Fully Functional Beehive Using Only LEGO Bricks
By Elias Marat
A beekeeper in Ireland had the brilliant idea of building a big, colorful beehive made entirely out of LEGO – and the results are as spectacular as you’d imagine.
Across the globe, people have been coping with social isolation and physical distancing in countless – whether it’s catching up on missed TV series, experimenting with sourdough starters, livestreaming DJ sets, starting podcasts or simply reading.
But for Ruari O Leocháin, a school teacher and wildlife activist from the town of Athlone, County Westmeath, he decided that his corona hobby would be one which helps the local bee population.
Ruairi, who also owns at Athlone’s Wildlife Apiaries, had already thought of creating the beehive before the pandemic hit. But with a long spell of quarantine on the horizon, the bee-lover decided to commit to making his dream a reality.
Step one required him to order a huge amount of LEGO blocks. Taking his time to construct the future home for a bee colony, Ruairi spent eight weeks tackling the project “bit-by-bit” without using any adhesives or any blueprint before handing it over to its denizens.
From there, the bees themselves would take over the task of turning the LEGO structure into a successful beehive.
While it was somewhat difficult to coax the bees into moving into the rainbow-colored new home, roughly 30,000 bees are currently residing there now.
The hive will definitely hold up once the buzzing bees work their magic on the structure – or, in this case, apply their natural “bee glue” or propolis, a resinous compound bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax with the secretions, saps, and resins of plants.
Ruairi told the Westmeath Independent:
What the bees will do, given enough time, is they will propolize the whole thing.
Propolis is a kind of glue that the bees get from trees, and with any gaps in a beehive, with any wind or air getting through, they will basically put their glue in between to seal it up.
Since sharing video of the “Covid Lego Beehive” online, the response has shocked the beekeeper. He explained:
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting such a big reaction … I have had people getting in touch with me from China, America, and elsewhere saying that they love the idea.
The apiarist community has also greeted the unique LEGO beehive with enthusiasm. Ruairi added:
I shared the video with some beekeeping groups online and I’ve had a lot of people messaging me asking if I have any plans (for how to make one), because they’d like to try it as well.
I had to tell them that I didn’t have any plans, I basically just had a beehive beside me while I was making it, so I was measuring up everything against the beehive all the time.
Ruairi started working with bees and maintaining a collection of beehives so that he could make honey to sell and fund his work rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife. The fervent animal lover hopes that by next year, he can reach 3 million bees.
On May 20, people across the globe celebrate World Bee Day – a day where we show our appreciation to one of the most important managed pollinators in agriculture. Bees are crucial to the natural process of plant reproduction, helping to spreading the male sex cells of flowers and plants to their female counterparts.
According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, pollinators are worth anywhere from $235 and $577 billion worldwide owing to their pivotal role in the production of global crops. Without bees we would likely have to kiss almonds, blueberries, watermelon, chili peppers, tomatoes and other important crops goodbye.
Ruairi hopes to educate people about bees and help the struggling population by providing beekeeping courses to those interested through Athlone’s Wildlife Apiaries. To pursue that long-term goal, he has set up a GoFundMe page to help fund the project.
Source: The Mind Unleashed