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Make your own printable, smart beehive to track colony health and promote international bee recovery.
Tristan Copley Smith
Email Verified
586 Facebook Friends
Denver, Colorado
United States
3 Team Members



We're trying to solve the colony collapse issue by making it easier than ever to keep bees. Contribute now to become a beekeeper or support our research!

More Information: What is Colony Collapse Disorder?

We're a team of ecologists, beekeepers, makers, engineers, and open source advocates who believe that citizens, rather than governments or corporations, can solve this problem by taking action together. Our team is based in Denver, Barcelona, and Brussels.

Fab Lab Barcelona    Open Tech Collaborative    Valldaura

We've designed two downloadable, printable beehives: the Colorado Top Bar, and the Barcelona Warré. These hives aim to prioritise bee colony health, make beekeeping more accessible, and will ultimately allow you to log and study the health of your colony.

Your contribution will help us develop sensors to enhance our hives, connecting them to the Internet to log data about what is causing the bees to disappear around the world. This data can be used to study colony health, build hard evidence against the causes of the problem, and generate policy change and informed solutions moving forward.

A Word About the Open Source Ethic and Beekeeping

Beekeepers have a long history of sharing ideas, skills, honey and collaborating. The Warré hive design itself was meant to be the "people's hive", and we are definitely not the first or only one's to walk this path. We want to thank those that came before us, that help us now, and that will come in the future. Please check out these other great open source beehive monitoring projects:

If you want to add to this list, send us an email at hello@opensourcebeehives.net

The Colorado Top Bar

Update: the Colorado Top Bar was recently printed in New Zealand! (Video)

The Barcelona Warré

Version 1.0 Shown - Version 2.0 Requires No Screws Or Glues - Flat Pack!

Update: the Warre v2.0 was made by our friends in France today! Photos

The Smart Citizen Kit

The Online Platform

We will leverage the fruits of this campaign to develop a bee monitoring sensor package based on the Smart Citizen Kit.

Developed by our partners at Fab Lab Barcelona, the Smart Citizen Kit (SCK) is an open source platform that comprises 3 technological layers: a hardware device, a website and online API, and a mobile app. 

The first layer is a piece of hardware comprised by two printed-circuit boards: an interchangeable daughterboard or shield, and an arduino-compatible data-processing board. It carries sensors that measure air composition (CO and NO2), temperature, light intensity, sound levels, and humidity. Once it’s set up, the ambient board is able to stream data measured by the sensors over Wi-Fi using the FCC-certified, wireless module on the data-processing board. The online component of the Smart Citizen Kit is used for logging and visualizing the data measured by the hardware.

  • Proceeds from this campaign will be used to develop a robust, field ready, open source sensor package for beekeeper's throughout the world.
  • Our team has more than three years of experience field testing sensors in beehives.
  • We are integrating with an existing open source, environmental-monitoring solution that is being used throughout the world - the Smart Citizen platform developed by Fab Lab Barcelona.
  • We are a 100% open source project (CC BY-SA 3.0), meaning you are even free to manufacture OSBH technology locally and start your own business!
  • The Colorado Top Bar and Barcelona Warré hives can both be routed with high-end CNC machinery in less than forty minutes.
  • We've established manufacturing and shipping pipelines to get your hives to you in April, 2014.
  • All of our hives are made with CARB Phase 2 wood, the strictest eco-plywood certification in the United States.

"In October 2006, some beekeepers began reporting losses of 30-90 percent of their hives. While colony losses are not unexpected, especially over the winter, this magnitude of losses was unusually high.
The main symptom of CCD is very low or no adult honey bees present in the hive but with a live queen and no dead honey bee bodies present. Often there is still honey in the hive, and immature bees (brood) are present. Varroa mites, a virus-transmitting parasite of honey bees, have frequently been found in hives hit by CCD."
U.S. Department of Agriculture

"Since 2006 an estimated 10 million beehives worth about $200 each have been lost, costing beekeepers some $2 billion. There are now 2.5 million honeybee colonies in the U.S., down from 6 million 60 years ago. And if CCD continues, the consequences for the agricultural economy — and even for our ability to feed ourselves — could be dire."

-Time Magazine

"If you're a professional beekeeper or hobbyist, and handy with electronics, you get a double-whammy: a free design for a high-tech beehive that can monitor your bees' environment, and a chance to contribute to citizen science."
- Popular Science

"Farmers are going to need to rebuild the bee population, and that means more hives and more beekeepers. The Open Source Beehives Project is hoping to achieve that by spreading simple, low-cost hive designs to make it easy for anyone to start their own, and encouraging collaboration among designers, technologists, researchers, and bee lovers."

"Honeycomb" designed by Juan Sebastian Rickenmann from the Noun Project

Find This Campaign On
raised by 1,353 people in 1 month
315% funded
No time left
$20,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 25, 2014
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Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    Thank you!

    We'll feature your name as an official supporter on the Open Source Beehives website and at the FAB10 conference in Barcelona.

    133 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $15USD
    Download Kit

    You'll get a link to download both our Colorado Top Bar v5 and Barcelona Warré v2 design files to print your own beehive! You'll also receive a PDF project manual, and resources to find a local place to print it. You also join our supporter list!

    778 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $25USD
    Seed Bomber Starter Kit

    We'll send you a packet of seeds and a tutorial video on how to make your own Seed Bombs! With this arsenal, you'll be able to spread bee-friendly plants around your community to keep local bees healthy and well fed.

    42 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014

    Sweetness Kit

    You'll get a jar of delicious, organic, fair-trade honey and beeswax lip balm from Zambeezi, a social enterprise in Zambia founded by OSBH adviser Andre Houssney. You also get the whole Download Kit!

    175 out of 175 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $75USD
    Shipping - U.S.

    Shipping costs for beehives within the United States.

    12 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $100USD
    Mini-Hive Kit

    You'll get a miniature laser-cut model beehive to assemble and keep in your home - a great reminder of your contribution to helping the bees. You also get the Download Kit!

    57 out of 60 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
  • $120USD
    Shipping - Canada & EU

    Shipping costs for beehives in Canada and the EU.

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014

    Bee Guardian

    Adopt a beehive. We'll commission a hive in Denver or Barcelona in your honor under the care of our bee research team. Your name will be inscribed in the hive, and we'll email you photographs and updates for a year.

    30 out of 30 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014

    Beehive (Limited Early Bird)

    Receive a Colorado Top Bar or Warré beehive made from eco-plywood with project manual Please add $75 for shipping to U.S. Please add $120 for Canada & EU. International shipping costs vary.

    10 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014


    Receive a Colorado Top Bar or Warré beehive made from eco-plywood and a printed, limited edition project manual. Please add $75 for shipping to U.S. Please add $120 for Canada & EU. International shipping costs vary.

    20 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014

    Citizen Scientist Kit

    You'll join our beta tester's network and get an engraved Colorado Top Bar or a Warré beehive (mailed to you in April 2014). You'll get the first version of our sensor kit once its ready (estimated delivery time August 2014), and a limited edition project manual. Please add $75 for shipping to U.S. Please add $120 for Canada & EU. International shipping costs vary.

    10 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $5,000USD
    Citizen Traveler

    You'll get airfare and entrance to the 2014 FAB10 conference in Barcelona, where you'll meet and hang with OSBH team. We'll also send you an engraved Colorado Top Bar or Warré beehive made from eco-plywood and a printed, limited edition project manual. Please add $75 for shipping to U.S. Please add $120 for Canada & EU. International shipping costs vary.

    2 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
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