UFeed m built chewing gum machines with 50 cents and thus make a small contribution to the death of bees: For a project that started in Dortmund in autumn 2019 with a single converted box, supporters have now found all over Germany, reports initiator Sebastian Everding. Inquiries come from primary schools, daycare centers, municipalities, associations, companies, private individuals, family centers, an SOS Children’s Village or funeral directors.
The 100th machine was recently installed in front of a district central library in Berlin, says Everding. More than 60 interested parties are still on the waiting list for one of the bright yellow boxes. The master craftsman refurbishes the discarded machines in his small factory in Dortmund and converts them.
The seed mixtures or flower bulbs come from the project partner “Bienenretter” from Frankfurt am Main. They are in reusable capsules and should make it easier for wild and honey bees to survive in times of surface sealing, the use of pesticides and monocultures in many green spaces.
Increased seed prices
The encapsulation is very complex and is done by employees of an integrative workshop in the Ruhr area. Next to each bee box there is another box in which you can throw the empty capsules – in the interests of sustainability for later refilling.
The machines “made in Dortmund” consist of two dispensing sides: one dispenses a capsule with a regional annual and biennial seed mixture, the other side a perennial flower mixture. The mix for Hamburg, for example, is different than in Bavaria: “We have already put together four regional mixes, depending on the local flora and fauna,” explains Everding. Demand is particularly high in the north and west of the republic.
In the very first machines you could insert 20 or 50 cents depending on the mix. Due to increased seed prices, there are currently only boxes with a 50-cent insert, old machines are still being converted accordingly.
Everding purchases the parts for its machines from classifieds portals or receives them from friendly machine operators. Every bee rescue box is unique and he puts many hours of manual work into it. The “bee rescuers” use the proceeds to support ecological and educational projects, according to the information. Everding had previously made headlines with “jokes to go” – notes with gags for cents from an ex-chewing gum box.