Bee technology company, ApisProtect, recently launched its flagship commercial hive monitoring platform into the US.
The ApisProtect technology allows beekeepers to monitor the condition of their colonies remotely in real-time without the need to physically check the hives.
The technology uses a range of sensors and machine learning to actively monitor hive conditions and bee activity to alert keepers of potential problems.
The company is headquartered in Cork with a growing team in the US.
Traditionally, commercial beekeepers relied on manual hive checks to understand their operation and condition.
In 2013, Fiona Edwards Murphy began her doctoral research into the application of sensors and networking in honey beehives.
Research shows that 80% of manual inspections do not require any action on hives but disrupt the bees and risk the loss of a queen.
ApisProtect technology drove a variety of improvements; helping to increase hive count and productivity
Following this research, ApisProtect was formed which aimed to move the use of technology in beehives into commercial operations.
In trials monitoring the condition of more than 20 million honey bees worldwide, ApisProtect technology drove a variety of improvements; helping to increase hive count and productivity.
ApisProtect uses sensors and machine learning in its hive monitoring system. A wireless in-hive sensor device is inserted into each hive where temperature, movement, sound and humidity conditions are recorded.
The information from each sensor is sent from the dashboard to the base station which collects and transmits the data.
Users then receive smart alerts and insights on the condition of their hives on a real time dashboard.
Using bespoke models, the technology also helps to identify problem colonies and suggests a variety of actions to keep colonies healthy and prevent loss.
ApisProtect received support from international venture capital investors including Finistere Ventures and Atlantic Bridge Capital. They also received the support of the Yield Lab, Radicle Growth and Enterprise Ireland.