student salvage hives

During the Fall Semester of 2011, 8 first-year Tulane University students with no prior agricultural or construction experience designed and built urban bee hives using salvaged materials for our class on sustainable systems.

found road signs lap the roof and skin of this apiary.
1 / 4 more↓ found road signs lap the roof and skin of this apiary.

In the Fall of 2011, CrookedWorks guided a group of first-year Tulane University students as they designed and built four urban bee hives using materials salvaged from the urban environment. Each of the hives was built for less than $50 and all were donated to local growers following a teach-in during which the student builders taught middle school students about bees and beekeeping in partnership with the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans. The final designs ranged from a hive built of salvaged palettes with planted vertical sides to a stacked hive made of found five-gallon buckets.

Over the course of three separate work days, the teams of two students learned the basic principles and requirements of hive design, developed initial design schemes, mocked-up their designs, and then built hives to be donated to a local urban beekeepers. The hive design-build project presented newly-arrived students with a tangible, hands-on opportunity to engage with these issues of local food production and food security as well as wider issues of disaster preparedness and the materiality of consumer culture. In researching, designing, and building the hives the students were invited to explore, intellectual and physical, a new critical engagement with the city.