A bit of time in the woods

there has been a great deal of work going into a project that I have been working on with The Honey Club, there will be allot more to follow. I presented to their design team and strategy team this week (presentation available here). There was a great vibe and it re-enforced the fact that often you have to get people to think in a certain way before you present different work, mainly just putting things into context.

I got invited to a day with the bee keepers, they have an amazing spot in a nice forest. This was all about when to add super's (a frame that extends the hive during honey flow). This was an amazing setting and there was much debate about what "natural bee keeping is"... something that is of interest.

A really stunning home made top bar hive, this was finished with a mix of linseed oil and beeswax, very important!

 Collecting and marking the queen with a home made device.

 We had a call out to an amazing allotment to collect a swarm, this turned out to be tiny, but hey. It was very nice to share some allotment tips, some thoughts about environments and habitats for bees.

 Lighting a home made smoker, a copper pot that was bought from a local car boot sale for 50p, You do not really need that much smoke to inspect a hive... another comment that many people will disagree with but in the words of a bee keeper... "that's bee keeping".

I got a good review of my second probe from a very experienced bee keeper. This is really important to try things in any stage especially research as then you know or have an idea of how things could fail in the field.

There were some great projects at the RCA show as always, here are some of the highlights for open design:
amazing interface from tactility Eunhee Jo
Alex Du Preez Machine craft really nice!
Ben Alun Jones Remix really interesting next step to product.
Matt Batchelor open shop a really simple but very well considered project of how design can affect lives and give opportunities.

Urban bee keeping a guide, Craig Hughes This is a good overview. It is quite tongue in cheek but there is nothing wrong with that.
Scaffolding Creativity with Open-Source Hardware  David A. Mellis looking at the ideals of open hardware and consumer electronics.
How academic biologists and physicists view scientific outreach? Ecklund describing the "Sagan effect" of spending to much time communicating research to the public.
Fab FM: the Design, Making, and Modification of an Open-Source Electronic Product  a very worth while read.
At the seams: DIYbio and opportunities for HCI an interesting read, think that DIY BIO is something that we need to become aware of.
Aiga, An Ethnography Primer a good overview if you are looking for something simple.
Useless a publication from the Critical Writing course at the RCA. A great piece of writing and collected essays on different meanings of useless, making and forming of ideas.


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