Irish beekeeper's Covid Lego Beehive is fully functional, and houses 30,000 bees

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LEGO are kind of expensive compared to plywood, but well done!


Isn’t a fully functional beehive just a box or other hollow container? That’s the idea behind the traditional straw skep. A modern beehive with movable frames just makes it easier for the beekeeper (and doesn’t force him to kill bees when removing the honey).

It’s two boxes, one on top of the other with a mesh screen between them and with the only exit in the bottom part.

The holes in the mesh are big enough to allow the worker bees access to both top and bottom layers, but small enough to keep the queen bee out of the top part.

So the worker bees fill both layers with honey, and the queen bee lays eggs in the bottom part only.

The bee keeper can then take the lid off and remove the frames which contain only honey, replacing it with a bucket of sugar water.

My Dad used to keep bees. The whole world of bees is pretty fascinating.

Lego is pretty fascinating too, but I don’t imagine it will do to well exposed to direct sunlight and freezing temperatures.


What’s worse than stepping on a Lego Brick? Stepping on a bee-infested Leo Brick.


Candyman Legos???


That is a pretty ingenious design! I think if I lived somewhere with a garden and if I didn’t move around all the time I would like to keep bees.


The Irish Beekeeper? That’s a poem by Yeats, isn’t it?


Very nice! But I’m afraid I have to insist on a recount of the bees.


The more our kids play with Lego the more I see my wife’s level of OCD come out. I look at it and think cool a functional beehive. Mean while she just sees the fact there is no pattern to the colors.

  1. Pick any thing.
  2. Build it out of Lego.
  3. Viral internet attention.

Courtesy of QI’s Alan Davies.

Two bee keepers . . . And one says, “How many bees have you got?”
And he says, “I’ve got 10,000 bees.”
He says, “How many hives have you got?”
He says, “I’ve got 20 hives”.
“20 hives; 10,000 bees?”
He says, "Yeah.”

He says, “How may bees have you got?"
He says, “I’ve got a million bees.”
“A million bees?!"
He says, “Yeah.”
He says, “How many hives have you got?”

"A million bees - one hive?”
He goes, "Yeah, f**k 'em; they’re only bees.”


Behold! Peak Internet! LEGO KITTENS!!!


Totally curious what it looks like on the inside.



ABS is pretty resilient stuff. It’s dimensionally-stable at freezing temperatures compared to other polymers, is a better insulator than wood with all those closed hollow air pockets, and the pigmented blocks have decent UV resistance. In particular, black and white blocks are very UV resistant because of the type of pigments used (typically carbon black and TiO2, which are both very good UV inhibitors). My only concern would be whether the plasticizers are food safe if they leech into the honey.


Wow! I didn’t know that.

I based my assumption on my own childhood Lego. When it was about 20 to 25 years old it was handed down to my nieces and nephew.

I found it had become very brittle with age.


“And that’s when he noticed slowly but surely the hive was changing in appearance. He watched in fascination as the worker bees slowly and clumsily repositioned the blocks. There seemed to be a pattern taking shape with the colors and the structure in general. He left out piles of lego bricks and watched them build their world”


I just did some checking. ABS is a thermoplastic, and so doesn’t need plasticizers in it’s rigid form. So no worry there. There are exceptions to LEGO using ABS, though. The early bricks were made with a cellulose polymer, and are prone to being very brittle and not stable over time. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, LEGO used cadmium dyes in their red and yellow bricks, so one has to be careful about those: they are toxic to some degree. The flexible parts like tires are made from SBS and have plasticizers. The clear parts are made from polycarbonate (which is actually the high-end choice; I’m glad they didn’t default to polystyrene).

So if the beekeeper used relative modern LEGO bricks, the hive should be stable and safe for both bees and honey.