Why You Can Never Eat At The World's 'Smallest McDonald's'

There's a lot of McDonald's locations out there that you could consider less than standard; unique, even. There's a UFO-shaped McDonald's out in Roswell, New Mexico; a McMansion in New Hyde, New York; and one in Barstow, California, that's built into a decommissioned rail car. There's an Art Deco McDonald's in a repurposed hotel in Melbourne, Australia (via The Daily Meal). Truly, it seems as if Ronald McDonald can call just about anywhere home and serve you a Happy Meal, even in the most unconventional of places.

But there's one McDonald's that's perhaps the smallest McDonald's out there. And when we say smallest McDonald's, we mean it quite literally. And it's not even for meant for human beings.

This McDonald's, known as a "McHive," is literally what it says on the tin: a fully functional beehive built inside a shell that's is based on a real McDonald's (via DesignBoom). The exterior is meticulously designed — wood panel flourishes, tiny posters, a drive-through, a seating area, and of course, the towering Golden Arches that stand like a queen bee over the hive. Within the interior is not a maze of grills, frying stations, and ice cream machines, but instead an orderly row of wooden racks that could be found within a normal beehive, buzzing and teeming with life and work, just as busy as your average McDonald's kitchen. But what exactly is the purpose of building such a tiny replica of a McDonald's, if the "customers" don't even have any money to spend?

There's an environmental reason behind the McHives

The impetus for such a project is environmental. The company seeks to draw attention to the plight of bees, which are of course key to the natural food supply, but are facing threats ranging from climate change, natural parasites, and industrial agriculture. The project started out locally in Sweden, which already boasts five McHives atop their bigger, human-sized counterparts, but now the trend seems to be more widespread, according to NORD DDB, the creative agency overseeing the McHive project (via TravelandLeisure). In fact, NORD DDB claims that alongside building little Mickey D-esigned hives, many franchises have taken to filling the grassy lots by their restaurants with bee-friendly flowers and plants.

"We have a lot of really devoted franchisees who contribute to our sustainability work," states Christoffer Rönnblad, marketing director of McDonald's Sweden. "And it feels good that we can use our size to amplify such a great idea as beehives on the rooftops" (via Adweek).

At the moment, it seems only time will tell how many restaurants will boast a new tiny addition to their layouts, but if you really want to be the Ronald McDonald of a miniature McDonald's filled with bees, the first McHive was auctioned on May 20, World Bee Day, for the benefit of Ronald McDonald House Charities, bringing in $10,000 USD (via The Drum). So, perhaps it's best to bee on the lookout for any auctions from McDonald's in the future, or any new additions to your local Mickey Dee's.