Introduction: Brazilian Native Stingless Bee - 3d Printing Honeycomb

Picture of Brazilian Native Stingless Bee - 3d Printing Honeycomb

This 3D printing project was made to share my interest by the nature and particularly by the bees.

In Brazil there are many species of indigenous bees and it all started when I saw some of them pollinating the flowers in my house. I decided to create indigenous bees last year when I attended a workshop about stingless bees in the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro.

I won a Jataí beehive and from daily observations of their habits and behaviors i decided that it would be interesting to use the 3d technology to facilitate their work.

A simple definition found at

"Stingless bees (or meliponines) are a tropical group of social bees that are of economic importance in many of the areas of the world in which they occur. While they make honey like the honey bee, yield is far less per colony per year. They are also important pollinators of wild plants and crops such as macadamias and mangoes. The name for these bees is misleading as their "stingers" are highly reduced and non-functional."

Step 1: 3d Model

Picture of 3d Model

In many ways and with different materials i tried unsuccessfully to do other beehives from the first one

So i created the honeycomb 3D model using SketchUp Make and my brother printed to me. All this is for the bees save time, effort and material in the production of their honeycomb and also to facilitate the multiplication of the hive which is one of my goals.

After printing the honeycomb i inserted it inside the hive to see if the bees would accept or reject the printed material.

Step 2: 15 Days Later

Picture of 15 Days Later

15 days later i opened the hive to know the result: SUCCESS! They accepted the material and probably the queen laid eggs in the 3d model.

Step 3: New Beehive

Picture of New Beehive

I made a wooden beehive and puted the 3d honeycomb inside it to try to make a new beehive.

Step 4: 5 Days Later

Picture of 5 Days Later

To my surprise, five days later, the bees are adapting and building your new home.

Step 5: Next Step

Picture of Next Step

The next step is buy a 3D printer in order to print everything in 3D. I will print the honeycomb and the beehive box (already done with the Sketchup) in order to facilitate the multiplication of beehives and to be able to share the bee boxes and contribute with the nature.


gmpbr (author)2016-04-28

Next step is to make a honey tap.

faustopenello (author)gmpbr2016-04-29

I saw it. It´s possible!!!

We will need to adapt it for the indigenous bees because they put the honey in pots. See the picture...

But before we will need to know if the bees will adapt in the dimensions of the 3d box model that we made. We will need to print, test and be patient. It will take time and effort principally from the bees.


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