Designing a system of objects for breeding Meliponini bees, as an example of circular interspecies collaboration.
Apidae is a project that seeks to improve our relationship with nature, specifically with a group of bees known as Meliponini. This species is known for producing phenomenal honey and being the main pollinators of many native foods in Mexico, as well as being essential for the conservation of the biodiversity of the ecosystems they inhabit. As a continuation of the work Refugio Bees have done over the last few years, Apidae proposes a system of objects for raising Meliponini bees. This system consists of breeding boxes, which function as ‘houses’ for the hives, as well as a kit to fabricate potes and piqueras. The potes and piqueras are part of the natural structures that bees build using wax. The potes’ function is to store honey and pollen, while the piqueras help to manage the access that other species have to the hive. The wooden breeding boxes are designed to have a life-cycle of at least twenty years. The potes and piqueras are designed so that the bee-keepers can make them directly with the wax produced by well-established hives, supporting the development of young hives. As such, this project is an example of a circular, interspecies collaboration, in which humans design and build objects with the intention of bees utilising, appropriating and modifying them.