Doing & Talking
I joined the Lewes and Brighton beekeeping society for a day of learning. It was fantastic, they were so welcoming and full of enthusiasm. This is definatley an area of interest, the people there ranged from completed novices to pro's and there was much debate in technique.

There is allot of specific equipment, but like all things people are divided on how much to use things, the rght techniques. There are common grounds that I have found between beekeepers and allotment holders from probes, they have the same approach, same attitude, they work with nature so things change and you cannot predict things... and they all like tea and are some of the friendliest people I have ever met.

There is an amazing amount behaviour and activity that goes on in a hive, communication through movement and pheromones... they are amazing creatures, so many insights that we can apply to design. If the workers know that they have a disease that is dangerous then the will self sacrifice and fly out of the hive to die, they store their excrement and go outside to save contamination of the hive. Truly they are a system inspiration! They are active and so diverse, they heal, they edit, they travel. One very interesting insight was that if you move a hive (whilst in use) you either have to move it 3ft or 3 miles, (I am sure there is a difference of opinion) so that they can re orientate themselves or find new areas. 

Checking the frames for disease and contamination. There is a tremendous amount of knowledge that goes into  being able to describe and understand what you are looking for and then being a doctor in the approach that you deal with the problem. Some of the photos are bit out of focus etc, it is not all that easy taking pictures in a bee suit... covered in bees!
There has also been a visit to the BBKA spring convention in Stafford. This is massive so will blog about is separately. 

The Smell of Cedar in the exhibition centre was amazing, this timber is used because it is light weight, durable and will last for an average of 10-30 years without treatment. The approach of the visitors was amazing, so many good contacts from events like this. The beard ratio was high, so was the friendly nature and the comments "well there are many ways to do that... if it was me then". There is plenty of opinion in bee keeping about how to do things, who is right and who is wrong, but this is interesting bit.
 Proof that Open design exists in different areas, this is also based on an economy and scale of cost per unit, there is still the labour cost in these things. People always talk about motivation, ie why should someone do this, that etc... I think this is important to bear in mind but it should not just be the driving force, people do know what is possible until someone tries it or highlights the points of what is happening.

So many varieties of amazing equipment to do specific tasks and the openness of lectures and training that was at the show, very insightful and inspirational.

looking at different ways of making IP housings with heat shrink. keeping it simple but open. I have some extrusions and details that I am happy to share. Here are some test images, the black murk is ink in the water. Simple casings and I know that O-rings are better but, thinking about alternatives that are less dimension specific and more "open". it did work but needs allot of compression, when I have working and "idiot proof" I will upload the drawings, profiles and files. I have nearly finished writing a paper and looking for places to publish, I know that this goes hand in hand but it is easier to have the material first.

I also met up with the UCL citizen science group, very interesting and definitely a group to stay in touch with, very interesting concepts as the next stage of user centred design, ie designing outcomes for themselves. But which comes more important? providing the platform? providing the chance to achieve something? providing the insight that x can be achieved? This is half of the argument.


“How motivated lay residents can themselves participate in science discovery and analysis thereby generating data that they not only have some proprietary interest in but can also hold up for further research”. An interesting read, looking for more citizen science so if you have any good references please share or email me.


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