The company’s main value is to contribute to the upgrading of bees' survival conditions and thereby raise awareness about the importance of pollinating insects in nature.
Greatly inspired by high performance architectural envelopes, Bee Space has developed a new standardized wintering method, thought-out and specially made to observe bees’ biology.
Eradicating the technical factor of humidity by using a concealment suitable for exterior wintering certainly increases the colonies' survival rate. This insures a strong start for the beekeeping season and therefore increases the colonies' productivity and the beekeeper’s profitability.
Bee Space engages in a life cycle in line with its value by committing to create quality products with recycled materials.
Here at Bee Space, our skills revolve around five lines of knowledge: ethnography, creativity, design culture, technique and entrepreneurship. Because progress needs to be shared, Olivier Lebrun and Jimmy Riopel-Thibault, both product designers and founders of Bee Space, wish to create a strong community and integrate collective intelligence around beekeeping products.
Bee Space has for mission to offer products that are reliable, efficient and inexpensive in order to improve beekeeping methods and procedures. These products are made to better the way humans, bees and nature coexist. Determined to idealize, help and especially bring together, the business model created in part on collective intelligence (Open Source) proves how much the company wants to create a strong bond with the beekeeping community.
The idea behind Bee Space came up during the final project of the two entrepreneurs’ bachelor’s degree in design. The chosen topic was the integration of beekeeping in an urban and Nordic environment. This practice has to overcome many obstacles such as technical, social and political issues. The analysis surrounding the integration of bees in an urban environment, the availability of small spaces, the wintering in a Nordic context and especially the use of the beekeeping practice guided their project towards resolving this issue:
How can we facilitate and optimize the practice and integration of beekeeping in an urban and Nordic environment?
In order to conceive products relevant to beekeeping, it is important to have a knowledge of who will use the products and in what type of environment. Research is mandatory to create a full picture of the users’ problematics and needs associated to this practice. Gathering information and analyzing data is essential to create a strong basis to guide decision making and product development. To reach its goals, Bee Space referred to many experts on the subject, such as researchers specialized in beekeeping and also apprentice and professional beekeepers. Still in progress, the research continues to try to determine in what ways the products of Bee Space are beneficial to the health bee colonies.
After receiving several honourable mentions for the quality of their research project and the business opportunity combining beekeeping and product design, Bee Space Inc. was officially launched. Bee Space was granted many honours and awards such as Best project with a big social impact awarded by Desjardins, Koen De Winter Best sustainable design project awarded by Université Laval, the Première Ovation grant offered by the Government of Quebec and the City of Quebec for the creation of prototypes, a grant offered by the Quebec consortium for industrial bioprocess research and innovation (CRIBIQ) and the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI) and Most original project in industrial design awarded by the Association des Designer Industriel du Québec (ADIQ).
Product development in a complex task that requires a wide range of resources in order to turn an idea into a tangible product. This structured development stage mixing design and engineering is taking form through a certain amount of iteration loops in which the main activities are generating creative ideas, visualizing, prototyping an evaluating. To create a product in line with the company’s values, such as collaborating, sharing and sustainable growth, Bee Space teamed up with partners who specialize in sustainable and eco-friendly development. At the moment, the company is in the advanced prototyping stage of its wintering slipcover and is preparing a pilot research project on the impact of the slipcover on bee colonies wintering outside in partnership with the Centre de Recherches en Science Animale de Deschambault (CRSAD) and other beekeepers enthused to try this new products.
Bee Space will soon start a crowdfunfing campaign, intended to be held in the fall 2020, in which beekeepers will have the opportunity to pre-order their wintering slipcover for the 2021 season. This campaign will serve as financial leverage for the start-up company in order to begin the first commercial manufacturing if this product. You are not a beekeeper? No worries! Adapted flat fees will be offered to introduce you to beekeeping and to assist you in your beehive acquisition process. Related products will also be available for those who simply wish to support the pollinating insects cause and also encourage the launching of a new local company.
Once the product is fully developed, a commercial processing is planned for 2021 in order to allow beekeepers to equip their colonies for the next wintering. Through a collaborating approach and in an optimization perspective, Bee Space stays in touch with its clientele to respond to evolving needs and resolve new issues.
To launch the production of wintering slipcovers in the near future, Bee Space will soon start its crowdfunding campaign. If you believe in the undeniable contribution of bee colonies to beekeeping and food sovereignty, contribute to our project by subscribing to the Bee Space newsletter or by pre-ordering one of our products.
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