The REAP (Realising Economic Agricultural Potential) Conference is the flagship annual event of Agri-TechE. The conference brings together farmers, technologists, scientists and advisors to discuss options for the future of agriculture and how innovation can help deliver them. A number of companies were selected to present in the ‘Start-Up Showcase’ at #REAP20, one of them was BeeSecure.
BeeSecure – happy healthy hives
Honeybees are a key component of the food chain, their wellbeing is critical. Fruit growers worldwide are dependent upon rented beehives to perform pollination duties across fields and orchards. How do they know if the bees are happy, healthy and performing well? It’s not as if anybody can ask them how they’re feeling (I’ve tried), but what if they could? This is where Italian start-up BeeSecure comes in.
By tapping into vibrations in the hive, BeeSecure’s technology is able to listen into aggregated conversations and provide monitored pollination services. “At the moment we can understand the ten most important topics, from ‘the Queen is dead’ to ‘there are not enough flowers nearby’” said Roberto Pasi, Co-founder of BeeSecure adding “this is sufficient to determine a problem with the hive and understand the size of the colony”
“We have a little microphone that is able to translate vibrations within the bee hive; it can’t pick up the individual conversations, but just like sitting in Old Trafford watching Manchester United, if somebody scores a goal, you’re really going to hear it.” he adds.
BeeSecure uses IoT devices such as sensors to measure the temperature, humidity and sound within each individual beehive. Data from the hives can be viewed in real-time by the farmer and beekeeper via a secure app. For example, typically bees maintain a constant temperature of 35°C within the hive – if that suddenly changes and shows up on the app it signals that something needs investigating.
By giving real time data about the health and happiness of each hive, action can be taken to resolve issues. A happy healthy hive boosts pollination which in turn results in increased crop yields.
“Communications between honey bee colonies is a complex process, which has been poorly understood. The use of this exciting technology to monitor the health status and behaviour of the colony in the hive will reveal unprecedented insights into the likely efficacy of field pollination to BeeSecure’s customers.” added Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-TechE
BeeSecure also reduces hive theft
Hive theft is an increasing problem for beekeepers so BeeSecure also contains a GPS tracker, which provides an alert if the hive is moved. BeeSure report that 10 million stolen bees have been returned to their rightful owners thanks to BeeSecure, quickly resuming pollination services and honey production.
BeeSecure supports thousands of beehives across mainland Europe. It is part of the EIT Food Accelerator Programme and has just started working with beekeeper associations and farmers in the UK. BeeSecure is changing the way bee services are rented on farms and orchards.
Roberto Pasi is keen to talk to UK farmers about the rental of beehives and the BeeSecure system and to find partners with specialist knowledge of honeybees, which are used for undercover pollination.
Find out more about BeeSecure at beesecure.app or contact Roberto: [email protected]