Swarmstorm — a biological act of colony reproduction — is under threat due to the widespread and destructive nature of American foulbrood disease that affects bee larvae. Honeybees now rely on the competence of beekeepers for their health and wellbeing, as much as we rely on them. Swarmstorm, usefully adds to the tools beekeepers can use to protect the vulnerable ecological status of honeybees and encourages industry practices that improves beekeeping and protect bee colonies.
The industry standard for swarm retrieval involves sweeping bees into a cardboard box by hand but swarms rarely settle at eye height and on a flat surface. Swarmstorm is a bee vacuum that minimises the traditional challenges associated with swarm retrieval. It uses a gentle suction to guide honeybees into a swarm box, protecting their wellbeing, while assisting to limit the spread of disease by employing single-use organic materials in storage and capture boxes.
Swarmstorm is made from recycled polyethylene, a lightweight and durable material ideal for outdoor use, and is ergonomically designed for comfort and portability. Designed with a universal vacuum adapter, Swarmstorm can function as an accessory to any household or outdoor wet and dry vacuum. The corrugated cardboard swarm box fits firmly inside its polyethylene body and acts as a removable module for transportation to the new hive, while the natural cardboard and paper provide the bees with a soft breathable medium throughout the recollection process.
School of Design, College of Creative Arts, Massey University, New Zealand