There is a story behind every new product launch and the story behind our new Cabin is one we feel is especially share-worthy!
In 2019 our small team began brainstorming ideas for a fresh, new house design. After looking through our small pile of poorly drawn sketches, we decided a new approach was necessary. So we enlisted the help of a class of students at Northwest College of Art & Design (NCAD).
Dave Hunter, Founder of Crown Bees, first taught the design class all about solitary bees - the resources bees need to survive, bee-safe nesting materials, and key features we wanted to include in the new design.
NCAD tailors its programs to provide the skills needed to succeed in a career in the creative industries. So to give the students some real-world career experience, we asked the students to create and submit their proposals and the winning design would head to our manufacturers to be built and sold on the Crown Bees website.
3D design student, Anna Malakhova, had the winning design.
Original Concept - Anna Malakhova
Final Proposal - Anna Malakhova
When asked about the inspiration behind her design, Anna said she wanted to capture the cozy nostalgia of her childhood cabin through this design and hopes others will get the same rustic feeling from this simple homage to nature, while also enhancing their bee-raising experience.
Anna is passionate about 3D design and hopes to make it her career after she graduates from NCAD. While open to work in many different fields, Anna told us she is grateful for the design experience and proud to have contributed to such a meaningful environmental cause.
Thank you, Anna! We are grateful for your thoughtful design!
Anna Malakhova with The Cabin
The cabin features:
- Twin hatchery drawers in the attic to keep your cocoons safe from sun, wind, rain, and predators.
- Removable center pieces to allow space for your favorite nesting materials. The cabin can be configured to fit natural reeds, cardboard tubes, wood trays, or a mixture of all three!
- The Cabin is lightweight, yet large enough to hold up to 130 BeeTubes, 130 BeeTubes with Inserts, 110 Large Natural Reeds, 48-hole Spring Mason Bee wood tray, or 78-hole Summer Leafcutter Bee wood tray.
The Cabin is made of wood from the Paulownia tree. Native to eastern Asia, this wood is fast-growing and can be harvested within 8-10 years. When the Paulownia tree is cut down, new shoots grow from the stumps of felled trees. This allows the root system to remain intact, which can help reduce erosion of the forested area. Additional ecological benefits include:
Paulownia is a woody nitrogen-fixing species. Meaning it can play a valuable role in agroecological systems by converting nitrogen into usable soil nutrients. This makes the species an ideal addition in areas surrounding plots of land that have been degraded by mono-crop farming.
The large flowers and leaves facilitate the absorption of carbon. According to an analysis performed by NatureBank, at maximum growth rates, an acre of mature Paulownia trees can absorb up to 90 tons of CO2 per year from the atmosphere.
When managed responsibly, Paulownia can be a sustainable wood option where lightweight, yet strong, wood is needed (like our new Cabin). However, it's considered an invasive species in North America and should never be introduced (planted) into foreign ecosystems without a proper management system in place.
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