OSBH – Open Source Beehives

A community of Beekeepers using hive designs that promote colony health with non intrusive observational instruments.


The Challenge

Determine conditions that promote bee health and share data in the apiculture and entomology communities.

Our Solution

An open-source suite of tools to network citizen scientists to track bees and pollinators globally.

Type of Project

OSBH is a Fabacademy Barcelona project which was incubated by Fab Lab Barcelona. It is now a spin-off company.


OSBH has more than 600 hives in over 20 countries.

The Open Source Beehives (OSBH) project is a globally connected network of citizen scientists tracking bee and pollinator decline. The open source sensor-enhanced beehives study the health of honeybee colonies globally. The primary goals of OSBH is to connect the beekeeping and science communities through the common goal of good data acquisition. OSBH also aims to determine the cause(s) of bee decline and identify good beekeeping practices, and further, to encourage citizens to participate in the process of supporting bee health. 

The Project

Digital fabrication, in particular, a CNC, can be used to make the beehives. This means that hives are accessible for anyone with access to a Fab Lab, maker space or CNC, to make anywhere. OSBH promotes the use of open source design, hardware and software as a methodology to address global problems using a global community. The project is founded on the belief that open source innovation is the most direct way to address our global problems, and therefore, the software, hardware, data, and methodologies used by it are the perpetual property of the public domain.

Our Contribution

OSBH has developed several sensor kits (the ‘Buzzbox’), which allows users to monitor bee colony information and upload the data to the Smart Citizen platform. The sensor kit makes use of the latest neural network technologies to apply to beehive recordings and sensor measures to detect global hive health – indicating to beekeepers any potential problems which require addressing in order to protect the colony. OSBH has more than 600 hives in over 20 countries. The project was inspired by the work of Annemie Maes and the Urban Bee Lab in Brussels, and a collaboration with the University of Barcelona. It was independently developed as a Fab Academy project by Jonathan Minchin who designed and prototyped the hives and determined the current direction of the apiculture sensing technologies from Fab Lab Barcelona. The project then merged with the work of the then ‘Open Tech Collaborative’ to become OSBH and continues to be directed by Aaron Makuruk and a team of Developers and  Data Scientists as a research company. The project has also received significant recognition, with documentary filmmaker Tristan Copley-Smith receiving one of the MIT Technology Review Top Innovators under 35 in Europe 2019 in the field of ‘Visionaries’.

Who is it for?

OSBH is for any budding beekeepers or scientists.

Prospective & Existing Beekeepers

Who wish to download, build and test the beehives and become a beekeeper. Existing beekeepers who have valuable knowledge about beekeeping to share with communities and budding beekeepers.


Who wish to contribute towards testing and developing hardware and software.


Who wish to plant pollinating plants in their community and surroundings.


Who wish to develop beehive designs.

Other project team members – Aaron Makaruk, Tristan Copley-Smith, John Rees, Ferran Massip & Annemie Maes.

Project Partners