BEE Buried

Not for eternity

BEE Buried is a biodegradable ash capsule made from beeswax, wax pomace and earth pigments. In contrast to the conventional double urn principle, we rely on an aesthetic ash capsule that combines the requirements of a decorative urn. Unlike conventional bioplastic capsules, we use purely organic materials: beeswax and wax pomace. The wax pomace enriches the soil with valuable nutrients and helps the capsule to decompose quickly. There is the option of personalization through the addition of soil pigments, for example from your own garden.
The local use of resources is strengthened by beekeeping associations providing beeswax, while local companies produce ash capsules and supply them to crematoria. Together we create a respectful, sustainable and individual farewell.

student:Ira Becker & Mia Hennig

The Insect Project
– Resilience Part I

The bee has long been a companion of mankind. In various cultures and ages, it has been associated with symbolic meanings, including death.
The honey bee is an important economic factor in Germany; apart from honey, it produces products such as beeswax and wax pomace. The pomace is a byproduct of wax extraction. It consists of pollen, silk membranes and resins and is therefore very rich in nutrients. Could these materials develop new potential when used together?
We decided to create an ash capsule from these materials. 
But what is an ash capsule anyway? 
At the crematorium, the ashes of the deceased are placed in an ash capsule together with a numbered fireclay brick. It is then sealed. The name of the deceased, her/his date of death and the name of the crematorium are stamped on the lid. Ash capsules can be buried just like this, but they are often unsightly and made of plastics. Many relatives therefore decide for a so called decorative urn. As the lid of the ash capsule may no longer be opened, it is placed in the personal decorative urn. 
“BEE Buried” focuses on an aesthetic and dignified ash capsule and questions the need for a double urn. As part of the grieving process, relatives can decide whether they want to get involved in the design process. For this purpose, the undertaker provides earth pigments from different regions, from which the relatives can choose according to their wishes. Soils differ from region to region, so depending on the pigment, a very personal colour can be integrated into the urn.

At the same time, relatives are given the opportunity to provide their own personal soil. This makes it possible to integrate a part of a beloved place into the capsule and thus create an ash capsule with personal value. In this way, a final personal connection to the deceased person can be established. The soil or pigment then comes to us, the ash capsule producers.
We cast the capsule using the slip casting process. As beeswax shrinks as it hardens, this casting process has proven to be successful. 
We obtain the beeswax from the used combs of neighboring beekeepers. Old combs are the combs that beekeepers can no longer integrate into their own wax cycle. They still contain wax and a lot of wax residue. Wax and pomace are separated during processing. The pomace is an actual byproduct but very rich in nutrients and easily compostable. It helps the capsule to decompose in the soil and at the same time provides it with nutrients. We pulverize the pomace and dry it so that it remains durable and does not go mouldy during storage.
The addition of soil or pigment also creates interesting color nuances and an individual look.