Philip de los Reyes didn't have to read about the Bay Area's obsession with urban beekeeping in the New York Times: it was impossible not to notice that nearly every backyard, roof deck, and patio he visited had a newly acquired hive. The freelance industrial designer, who has also worked with furniture, goods, and even technology, took no issue with the act of beekeeping itself, but rather with the design.
"People put a lot of thought into their homes," de los Reyes explained. "They are full of carefully chosen pieces. Their backyards are landscaped. Then they add the hive, and here's this clunky structure with boxes that don't even stack properly."
De los Reyes was interested in the aesthetic, but after consulting with professional and amateur beekeepers alike, he began to play with the details. "I wanted to mitigate what hinders them," he said, "so ergonomics were a factor. This wasn't just a piece I wanted to show people, but something utilitarian."
The design is still a concept, but the hive has garnered interest since de los Reyes, who lives in San Francisco, first put images on his website. He is certainly open to creating a saleable product, but until then, the public response is encouraging, and he hopes to hear from more prospective users.
"People want to take it home, and that's certainly a compliment."