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The Open Source Beehives project, currently raising funds via Indiegogo, is using smart tech and the power of the crowd to help tackle bees' dwindling numbers.

The team behind the project, which is based in Denver, Brussels and Barcelona, has developed downloadable and printable beehives that can be equipped with internet-connected sensors to collect and share data about the bees living inside.

It's already attracting attention around the world including in New Zealand, with a team at Wellington's FabLab among the first to try out one of the two hive designs.

Fans can pledge US$15 to download the files to print their own hive (out of a single sheet of ply) or US$250 to have a hive delivered.


The gear includes a beehive and a sensor kit to install inside it to measure air composition, temperature, light intensity and sound levels.

The data will then be sent over Wi-Fi and uploaded to the project's servers and help the team investigate potential reasons for bees' declining numbers.

The campaign has just hours to go with over US$62,000 raised so far. Once it ends, the team will make open-source versions of the hive designs available to the public.

Check out the Open Source Beehives' website for more details. Like what you see? Sign up to our newsletter. We're also on Facebook and Twitter.