McDonald’s Opens a Tiny Restaurant — and It’s Only for Bees

How are the world’s hon­ey bees doing? Just a few years ago, word spread that they were on the verge of a mys­te­ri­ous extinc­tion. Look for updates on their sit­u­a­tion now and you get con­tra­dic­to­ry results, all of them fair­ly recent, from “Bees Are Still Dying” to “Bees Are Bounc­ing Back From Colony Col­lapse Dis­or­der” to “Yes, the Bees Are Still in Trou­ble” to “The Bee Apoc­a­lypse Was Nev­er Real.” But whether they’re in exis­ten­tial dan­ger or not, bees at least now have their very own McDon­ald’s — bees in cer­tain parts of Swe­den, any­way.

“McDonald’s has cre­at­ed a tiny repli­ca of one of its restau­rants, too small for any human to eat there,” writes Emi­ly Chudy in the Inde­pen­dent. “The repli­ca, dubbed the ‘McHive,’ is a ful­ly-func­tion­ing bee­hive designed to look like a McDonald’s restau­rant and fea­tures seat­ing, a dri­ve-through and an entrance. The brain­child of set design­er Nick­las Nils­son, the hive is part of an ini­tia­tive which has seen bee­hives placed on cer­tain Swedish branch­es of the fran­chise.” This project seems to be the first insect-scale restau­rant for Nils­son, whose past work includes cos­tume design on the video for David Bowie’s “Black­star.”

You can see footage of the McHive’s design and assem­bly process, as well as an assem­bled McHive full of its “thou­sands of impor­tant guests,” in the video at the top of the post. There are more pho­tos at design­boom, which quotes the pro­jec­t’s adver­tis­ing agency NORD DDB as say­ing that “the ini­tia­tive start­ed out local­ly but is now grow­ing.” In addi­tion to installing bee­hives on their rooftops, more Swedish McDon­ald’s fran­chisees “have also start­ed replac­ing the grass around their restau­rants with flow­ers and plants that are impor­tant for the well­be­ing of wild bees.”

Why so much con­cern about hon­ey bees in the first place? Chudy quotes a Green­peace esti­mate that they “per­form about 80% of all pol­li­na­tion and a sin­gle bee colony can pol­li­nate 300 mil­lion flow­ers each day.” Bees do the hard work of keep­ing a sur­pris­ing­ly large part of the nat­ur­al world work­ing as we’ve always known it to, and to the extent that bees die out, much else may die out as well, with poten­tial knock-on effects many would pre­fer not to think about. But then, the taste for pre­dic­tions of eco­log­i­cal dis­as­ter on the inter­net seems only to have grown since we first noticed the prob­lem with bees: if you real­ly want to feel moti­vat­ed to peti­tion your local McDon­ald’s to put up a McHive, try Googling the phrase “cat­a­stroph­ic col­lapse of nature.”

via design­boom

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Mes­mer­iz­ing Time­lapse Film Cap­tures the Won­der of Bees Being Born

The Bil­lion-Bug High­way You Can’t See

A Shaz­am for Nature: A New Free App Helps You Iden­ti­fy Plants, Ani­mals & Oth­er Denizens of the Nat­ur­al World

The Muse­um of Fail­ure: A New Swedish Muse­um Show­cas­es Harley-David­son Per­fume, Col­gate Beef Lasagne, Google Glass & Oth­er Failed Prod­ucts

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.