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The (Humming)birds and the Bees

October 10, 2018

There’s something so exciting (and exhausting) about giving yourself an entire secondary education on melittology. Nights and weekends spent pouring over the mountains of research, and furious discussions in Slack whenever we have a moment during the day, makes this feel more like cramming for an exam than building a product.

Aside from reading study after article after peer-reviewed paper, we’ve been thinking a lot about what our device should look like. What holds the reward? Where do the bees land? How do you feed bees? (We Googled that).

And...look; you might think we’re sitting around drafting tables under architects’ lamps, looking cool and designing but at this point we have no idea what we’re doing when it comes to the actual shape. The possibilities are endless and, therefore, a bit daunting.

Our Slack channel looks like an aisle of Lowe’s. Brant’s feeder concept is a sort of hamster-feeder-water-bottle; another looks like a low-budget space station you saw in 70s sci-fi movies; someone brought up hummingbird feeders; and Joe, bless him, keeps posting this picture...over…and over…and over.

Bee Feeder

The question of how to deliver the reward and the treatment is a hard one. But experimentation is part of the process, and when you’re approaching a project with no preconceptions, every bit of information helps you move forward.

We read a quote by Thomas Edison that feels so appropriate: “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”

Failures are data, too.

These are the first hints of how BeeKeep will look and feel. (Oh yeah, at least for the moment we’re calling it BeeKeep. Clever, right?)  Next week we’re meeting again with Dick Rogers, and we’re cramming like the night before finals. We’ll let you know how it goes.