Imported bees into Ireland have had a rough time adjusting to the climate. In fact, even when breeding with native bees, the subsequent population of black bees still weren't adaptable enough to survive the harsh weather changes.
Fortunately, Niamh Damery has created a sustainable hive for the bees called Econooc, a novel hive which uses Mycelium in combination with other agricultural bi-products which would normally go to waste. It molds into a shape that mimics the hollow of a tree, where black bees would normally create their shelters for the harsh winter environment. The mushroom exterior grows with the other materials to create an insulated and sustainable shell, perfect for the black bees. The Mycelium material is being explored with new uses, and this adds to the list.
More than just a helpful product to help bees, it also encourages education to learn how the bees live. The bottom landing pad allows for access for people to see the bees movement, which they can read about with the calendar included in each purchase. Not only do the different pages teach about black bees and how to help sustain them, but they come with seeds that can be planted to help grow flowers and fauna that help the bees survive.
While not on the market yet, they should be ready to launch soon, allowing all Irish consumers everywhere to help repopulate the pollinator population through voluntary coordination.